Qualifications for a hairdressing career vary from state to state, but typically you must have a high school diploma or equivalent and have completed an accredited hair design, cosmetology, or barbering program. Programs vary in length and generally result in an associates degree or certification. Your classes will cover a wide range of useful skills such as salon management, client relations, health regulations, sanitation and hygiene, hair shaping, texturization, hair extensions, coloring, and use of various instruments. You will also be required to pass an exam for state licensure as a hair stylist. The exam will include a written test and, in some states, a practical skill test or oral exam.
Technical skills such as dexterity and skill with styling instruments are important. Knowledge of latest fashions and trends are important. But the most important skill a professional hair dresser must possess is excellent customer service. You need to have strong interpersonal skills and be able to listen and communicate clearly with clients. You must be service oriented and pay close attention to a customer's verbal and non-verbal communication. A happy client is a return client.
You may need to complete two or three years of apprenticeship before qualifying to take the hairdressing license exam. High-end salons will also be looking for applicants with a number of years of hairdressing experience.
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