So, You’ve Graduated from Beauty School… Now, What?

Tags: Stylist, Hair, Cosmetology, School, Education, Goals, Clientele, Continuing Education, Beauty School

Congratulations are in order!

If you are reading this blog post right now, it is because you have made a commitment to set yourself apart from the millions of beauty professionals who have graduated from a state-licensed cosmetology program.  

Stay in the Know

Sure, obtaining a license to cut, style, and color hair means you have acquired the basic skills that are essential to having clients looking and feeling their best. But in order to be a successful stylist with longevity, there are some key habits that you should start to develop, the first of which is to make reading insider publications like the one pulled up on your screen a weekly habit. By taking this first important step, you are demonstrating that you are on the right path to turning your passion into a platform for you to showcase your unique talent.

Innovations in health and beauty are made every day so your education should continue long after you’ve received your diploma.  By keeping your finger on the pulse of all of the newest gadgets, tips and tricks, you are showing your clients that you are dedicated to bringing them the best services, often times way ahead of other stylists in their area.

A stylist should be passionate about the products she uses to nourish and style her client’s hair! Each year, set aside a time to research promotional events and training classes offered by the manufactures of your must-have beauty products and set a realistic budget of which events you should participate in. Not only will you build a rapport with the reps who provide your salon with back bar and retail items, you will learn the individual makeup of each product and be able to confidently explain and demonstrate why each product is worth your client’s investment.

Attending hair shows gives you access to workshops, product demonstrations and creative competitions designed to educate and spark your creativity.  These prestigious insider events are a surefire way to make valuable connections that will contribute to keeping your career on the fast track.

Be Yourself, But Be Professional

One of the keys to maintaining any client-oriented endeavor is to provide exceptional customer service.  Your clients can go virtually anywhere but they should come to you not only for the quality of the services you provide but for the respect you show for their time and hard-earned money. As a stylist, never make tardiness a habit. As you build clientele, proper time management is a vital aspect in earning your client’s trust. Strive to arrive well before your appointment time and have all of the materials you need ready.

The beauty industry embraces creativity and self-expression and is one of the few professions where you can allow your individuality to really shine. However, keep in mind that you do not want to wear provocative attire that may offend the sensibility of some of your clientele. Revealing or sloppy attire can be a distraction. If you work at a salon where there is an official dress code, make sure that your clothes are always ironed and free from chemical stains. Your station should be cleaned and swept between clients and mirrors should be spotless.

If you are able to wear your personal wardrobe to work, refrain from wearing offensive or obscene clothing that takes the focus off of the most important aspect of your business: your client.

Set Realistic Goals and Stay on Track

In the beginning, pursuing your goal of being the best stylist may meet some roadblocks. You may have days where there are huge gaps in your schedule or, even worse, no clients at all. Never lose hope!  Celebrity hair stylist Ursula Stephens who has given artists like Rihanna the covetable hair looks that sparks major trends once said in a 2014 interview with xoVain.com, “Be ready because it’s really a sacrifice. You have to sacrifice a lot of your life and time. It’s like a gift and a curse to be a great hair stylist because everyone is grabbing you in different directions."

Being present at your salon, engaging potential and existing clients through social media, volunteer work through community events and freelancing are surefire ways to build your books and showcase your work.  There will be times where you will be discouraged and you will most certainly wonder if you have made the best decision by pursuing your dreams of becoming a successful stylist.

The difference between those who prosper and those who don’t is the level of persistence and patience exhibited throughout the most trying times. Never view setbacks or failures as the final chapter in your dream to achieving success. Learn from your mistakes, constantly reevaluate your goals and explore new ways to expand upon your skills and reach out to new clients.  

Learning the basics in school and acquiring your license is the first important step you have taken to achieving personal greatness. Through a combination of hard work, perseverance and a desire to offer the best possible services to your clientele, you will build a strong foundation for future success.