A professional hair stylist works with clients to accurately create the different hair styles they may ask for. This may involve cutting, coloring, perming, or styling hair for a special event, among other services. The hair stylist may own his or her own business and work independently, or may work as part of a group of stylists at a salon. Mobile hair styling is also becoming more popular, where a hair stylist will come to a client's house to style hair.
A potential professional hair stylist will likely begin his or her career by attending cosmetology school, where she will learn all about her chosen profession. She will also get the opportunity to practice and hone her skills. After cosmetology school has been completed, a hair stylist must take a certification exam and become licensed in the state in which he or she will be practicing. After becoming licensed, she is now free to work with clients.
A professional hair stylist may set appointments to see clients throughout the day, or may allow walk-ins. Some accept a combination of both. It is always helpful to call ahead of time to see what times are available, however. Many professional hair stylists are able to set their own hours, and may be able to come in early or late to style hair for a client. In addition, hair stylists that work independently may be able to set their own prices, whereas those who work for a salon will likely not have that option.
When a professional hair stylist sees a client, he or she will ask what type of hair style the client wants. If the client has a clear idea of a hair style, then the hair stylist may just proceed from there. If the client is unsure, however, a hair stylist may offer some suggestions, show some photos, or offer other advice regarding choosing a hair style. In addition, if a hair stylist feels a client's choice will not work well, he or she might offer alternatives.
For instance, a client might want a haircut that is too short for her hair type, or a hair color that is not flattering with her skin tone. A professional hair stylist should be able to recognize this before styling the hair in an unfortunate way, and should be able to tactfully encourage the client to try a style that is more flattering. This will help to ensure happy clients and repeat visitors to the salon.