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In the event you are considering a hair stylist career in your state, then it is important to think about all of the different job opportunities that are available in your area. But before you can get to the point where you are actively searching for hairdresser jobs, you will need to meet all of your state’s necessary requirements. Depending on where you live, you will have to meet a certain amount of hair school training credit hours, be a minimum age and have certain previous education in order to even take the applicable hair cosmetology test. Only after you pass the test and have proof of your cosmetologist program completion will you be able to dive into the job market. The good news is that when you get there, you will be met with a wide variety of opportunities. First of all, you can get a job at a local hair salon. If that idea does not interest you, then you can take some time to learn about how to start your own salon. Then there is the possibility of becoming a professional hairdresser or barber at home, with clients visiting your house to enjoy your services. Additionally, you may also consider getting a job in the mobile hairdressing industry, which may allow you to get more business than working in a stationary location, such as your home or a local salon. And the best part is that the decision is up to you. All you need to do is consider the pros and cons of your situation and each potential career path.

Hairstylist and Barber Job Locations

There are a number of places that you can work in as a professional hair stylist or colorist regardless of the state in which you reside. Some of the most common examples of places where hairdressers and barbers can work include the following:

  • Hair salons
  • Barber shops
  • Hair and nail salons
  • Spa and hair salons

Because professional hair stylists are equipped to provide a number of services and treatments to their clients, there is no shortage of locations and workplaces that these professionals can employ. If you have been trained in wig styling, hair coloring, hair braiding, hair wrapping, hair drying, chemical relaxing, perms, hair washing, hair curling and more, then you will have no problem locating a job in a nearby shop or salon.

As for how you can find these jobs, the process is simple and easy. You can either conduct a job search online, using a locator tool to make sure that the opportunities are located near you, or you can simply visit local hair establishments and speak to fellow hair colorists, barbers and more to determine whether or not there are any openings. In any case, you must already have your barber license or hair stylist license in order to practice, and be sure that any location you are thinking about working in is approved by the Better Business Bureau. Finally, it is good to remember that you will be inspected for your work after you receive your cosmetology license; although the inspection does not need to be completed before you begin working.

As for expected salaries, hair stylists in the United States make an average of $23,000 per year, while barbers typically earn $30,000 annually. Compared to coat room attendants, who earn approximately $19,000, and movie projectionists who earn about $21,000, training to get into these cosmetology careers does have its financial benefits.

Work from home as a Hairstylist or Barber

If you are not interested in working out of a barber shop, hair salon or a combination of a salon, spa and nail shop, then you should consider getting a job as a home based barber. Working from home, whether it is as a personal barber or a home-based hair salon owner, provides a great level of convenience, which is great for those workers who are only working as hair stylists or barbers on a freelance or part-time basis.

A few more important factors to keep in mind are the requirement to separate your home space from your work environment when you create a home-based hair salon and the necessary materials. State cosmetology departments typically require that you place a division in your home to separate these two areas. As for equipment, all in-home barbers and hairdressers must have all of the necessary tools in their homes. Barbers should have brushes, clothing sheets, razorblades, clippers, shaving cream, etc., while hair stylists need to provide blow dryers, combs, hair products, color treatments and more to complete their  work.

If after reading about the pros and cons of working from home you are still interested in the idea, the last thing to consider is how you are going to attain and get to know your clients.

Hair Stylist and Barber Client Checklist

When opening an in-home shop, the first thing that you should do with a client is interview him or her about their preferences. Be sure to ask the client about all of the following:

  • Previous hair styles
  • Hygiene routines
  • Sensitivity to certain chemicals
  • Product preferences
  • What services they are interested in that you can provide
    • For barbers:
      • Hair cuts
      • Shaving
      • Facial moisturizing
    • For hair stylists
      • Hair coloring
      • Hair wrapping or braiding (if you have the necessary registration)
      • Chemical relaxing
      • Hair curling and straightening

Mobile Hairstylists and Barbers

One more option to keep in mind when you are beginning your career as a hairdresser in your state of residence is to create your own personal mobile beauty salon.  This option provides you more freedom and convenience than working out of a hair salon and more opportunities than working as a home based barber. However, just like a hair stylist that works out of his or her home, it will be your responsibility to obtain all of the necessary tools and products, in addition to securing a means for transport. As for the specific items that you will have to bring with you on a day-to-day basis, each barber or hair stylist should bring hair spray, shaving creams, scissors, brushes, clippers and the various other items listed in the section above.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that mobile hairdressing features the same kind of experience as an in-house salon. Therefore, you will have to speak with your clients about a number of important factors. You should ask them if they have any sensitivity to certain products. You should find out what dyes and bleaches they are using, if any. Once you are familiar with your client, the job becomes breezy. Mobile hairstylists and barbers can practice many of the same services from an at-home salon as a mobile business, including:

  • For barbers:
    • Hair cuts
    • Shaving
    • Facial moisturizing
  • For hairdressers:
    • Hair coloring
    • Hair wrapping or braiding (if you have the necessary registration)
    • Chemical relaxing
    • Hair curling and straightening

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you will need a hairstylist license, cosmetology license or a barber license in order to be able to legally work in a professional licensed setting.
You can provide services such as cut, coloring, treatments and styling in any professional licensed setting as hairstylists or barbers.
In order to apply for hairstylist jobs or barber jobs, you will be required to present proof your state-approved license, as well as proof of completed courses and other applicable certifications.
You may be required to show proof of having completed a certain amount of hours of school training in order to seek employment as a hairstylist or barber.
There are many types of businesses that seek hairstylists or barbers such as hair salons, barbershops, hair and nail salons and hair and spa salons.
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