Hair Styling/Stylist and Hair Design  Program Description


Insider Info

dotAs a hairstyling student, it's important to keep on top of new trends in order to give clients the latest haircut.

In general, hairstylists can enroll in community colleges or at private hairstyling schools to earn a certificate or diploma in hairstyling, barbering or cosmetology.

The National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences accredits hair design programs. However, accreditation is voluntary.

Entrance requirements vary by state. Some states require that trainees be at least 16 years of age. Others may require the student to be older. Some require a high school diploma and others don't.

Hairdressing courses generally take between 10 and 24 months to complete. Some schools offer apprenticeship programs that can last between one and three years.

At hairdressing schools, students learn about haircutting, shaving, hair and scalp massage. They perform these treatments and haircuts under supervision. They practice on customers in school clinics. Schools usually teach about cuts for men and women, unisex design, and shampooing and chemical styling.

Throughout their careers, stylists will often take refresher courses or go to hair competitions to learn about the latest hairstyles.

When looking for students or prospective employees, Oly Kolansky of Oly's Hair Salon in New York says personal appearance is important. "This is the beauty industry and the students need to be properly groomed."

Kolansky says that he also looks for people who will be good with customers. "You need to be polite and be able to get along with people. Communication skills are so important," he says. "You can't be uppity. You have to listen to the customer."

High school students can begin to learn about hairstyles in fashion magazines, at the movies and on TV.

Maurice Hopkinson, a former instructor at a hairstyling school, says someone thinking about hairstyling should visit a hair salon or tour a styling studio. "Coming down and actually seeing the place will help you understand if you think it could be something you want to do."

Learning to cut hair is expensive. Tuition can range from $4,000 to $5,000 for a program. This tuition can include all the accessories needed to take the course, such as scissors and a uniform.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information on this field of study, see: Barbers, Cosmetologists and Other Personal Appearance Workers

Cutting Edge
A beauty professional's network to share information

Hair News
Developments in the world of hairstyling

Beauty and Barber Supply Institute
Listings of hairstyling conferences and competitions

Just the Facts

Want a quick overview of what this program is about? Check out Just the Facts for a simple description.