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Styling Success: Benefits of Beauty School if You Have a Flair for Hair

Options and Opportunities Abound in a Career as a Hair Stylist

Advantages of Attending Beauty School for Hair Stylists

Consider these two important reasons to attend beauty school if you want to pursue a career as a hair stylist:

1. The most famous hair stylists in the world got their start at beauty school.

2. A cosmetology license is often required before you can get a paying job as a stylist.

What Does a Hair Stylist Learn at Beauty School?

Most beauty school programs include classroom instruction and hands-on experience.  Some classes are offered through online schools as well. These classes generally last nine months, garnering you an associate degree. Along with learning about hair cutting, coloring, and design, you can take beauty training courses in:

  • Business and marketing
  • People skills and communication
  • Salon management and ownership
  • Spa services

Getting Started as a Hair Stylist

Ken Paves, one of the most famous hair stylists in the world, got his start doing his mother's hair at age 14. He then went to beauty school, got his license, and continued his beauty education with advanced studies at the Vidal Sassoon school in Toronto. He has created glamorous looks for several stars, including Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Lopez, and he has been endorsed by Oprah.

Mary Ann Valdes, an Emmy-nominated Hollywood hair stylist, tells anyone who wants to become a hair stylist to attend the best beauty school they can to learn the latest trends, methods, and products.

Developing your communication skills, particularly listening, can take you far in this field. So, if you're already good with people, then you're ahead of the game. Valdes got where she is because of one connection she made with a California hairdresser who came to her salon in Miami. Both Rita Hazan (stylist to Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Carmen Electra, and many others) and Robert Hallowell (who has worked on Geena Davis, Lucy Liu, George Clooney, Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker, and others) credit their success to their listening skills and ability to make close connections.

Hair Stylists' Salaries and Job Prospects

617,000 hair stylists, hair dressers, and cosmetologists worked in the U.S. as of 2006, and that number is expected to increase by 12% by 2016. However, there will always be tough competition for jobs at the top salons.

The average hair stylist earns $26,660 a year, but you have the potential to make a lot more depending on where you work and in which industry. For instance, the average hair stylist in the motion picture and video industry earns $61,370 annually, and the average annual salary for hair stylists in Hawaii is $41,600.

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