Hairdressing career: How to get started
Hairdressing as a career has gained the interest of many people. Long ago, people did not have to get any special education to become a hairdresser. In fact, in many countries around the world that is still the case. If you want your hairdressing career to be a great one though, you need to ensure that you go through all the necessary steps.
Understand your city’s hairdressing regulations
Before starting your hairdressing career, you need to check out the regulations your city or state has regarded the credentials you need to work as a hairdresser. As mentioned above, some countries do not require a specialised education to start your career, others require not only a special education, but a minimum age requirement, high school or an equivalent diploma as well. You should also check what kind of exam you might need to pass to be licensed; if there is one.
After finding out what the requirements are working in the state you want, you need to start your cosmetology education. When looking for such a program, you need to take a couple of things into consideration. First, you need to ensure that the program is recognised in the state you want to work in, or else, it will be completely useless. You also need to make sure that the program offers specialisation in hairstyling because cosmetology is a broad field and has several specialisation areas such as hair, nails, and skincare.
Compile a portfolio
During the time you are getting your cosmetology or to be more specific your hairstyling, education, you should start your portfolio. Basically, your portfolio will show your work and will help you start your career quickly. You can add any hairstyling you have done with friends or family throughout the years as well as any assignments and projects worked on while studying. Even after finishing cosmetology school, you need to update your portfolio continuously with your work to show future employers that you can adapt to new styles easily.
Become an apprentice
To help enrich your portfolio and to have some experience in the real world, you should start looking for apprenticeships or internships at hair salons around you. Not only will this give you a glimpse at how professionals work, but when you apprentice somewhere, there is a higher chance of the salon hiring you after you are licensed a professional as well. If you get such an opportunity do not pass it up, even if you are not going to be paid for the apprenticeship, the experience you glean will be priceless.
You might be confused with the fact that studying cosmetology does not automatically make you a licensed hairdresser. To get your license, you need to pass a couple of state issued exams. The exams range from theoretical, oral, and practical ones to show your knowledge and skills. In some countries, you can take your exam online, while in others, you have to go to a registered organisation to take the tests and get your license. Keep in mind that your license will expire at some point and you will have to retake the exam to get re-licensed.
Look for jobs
After you get your license, you can start looking for jobs as a professional certified hairdresser. Do not be surprised that any salary you used to take as an apprentice, if there was one, will be doubled if not tripled now that you are a certified hairdresser. To find jobs at popular and prestigious salons, a trusted expertise in hairdressing is much needed because they need to ensure that you will only deliver the best styling services out there. You can do so by showing them your work apprenticing and your portfolio, or you can work for a couple of years to gain even more experience before joining such salons.
Network and gather contacts
From the moment you start your journey to become a hairdresser you need to be on top of your networking. In the hairdressing business, word of mouth is quite important. Having loyal clients that become attached to you will get you recognised quickly as a good hairdresser. Having contacts with various organisations will help put you on the map and become well known in the world of cosmetology.
These tips on how to get started will ensure the success of a long profitable hairdressing career. Just like any job field, a career in hairdressing requires hardworking, dedication and skills. Remember, never stop learning about your profession so that you are always an asset to have in any hair salon you work.
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