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7 Things Hairdressing School Won't Tell You

Acing hairdressing school doesn’t guarantee success -- but mastering the salon does.

There’s no doubt that you need to learn the techniques and understand the cuts, but don’t stop here. The salon floor needs a lot more than what you are taught at school.

Here are seven things that even the best courses tend to overlook:

1. Get Confident - Quick

Sure, you’ve aced the hairstyling techniques, but that doesn’t mean you’re ready for everything the real world is going to throw at you.

In the salon, you’re pushed from the secure classroom environment into real-life situations, and that can be pretty overwhelming.

To excel in this field, you need to get comfortable and familiar in your workplace. Only then can you respond quickly and properly to those unexpected emergencies.

One suggestion: try to work in a place where senior stylists are encouraged help out the beginners whenever possible. As a newly-graduated student, this will help you transition easily from that secure environment into the real world.

2. Keep Up That ‘Happy’ Attitude

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? It really isn’t.

With numerous clients piling in, getting through an entire day can be exhausting -- yet to do so with a smile on your face is an absolute must.

To thrive in this business, you need to learn how to complete each challenge with a smile. No matter how tired you are, never let your attitude falter.

When you love your job and it shows, you can increase your client list a lot faster.

3.  Create an Experience

The first year at the salon is your time to gather a regular clientele, and that means you need to give them a reason to rebook.

For this, your skills with the scissors will only get you so far. In addition, you need to work on creating an entire experience, from the cut to the ambiance.

Clients come to the salon for a relaxing time, so master the social side of the business by keeping them entertained for the entire session.

Ask them questions, play tunes they like, and maybe even offer them a small treat. That time is all about them!

4. Volunteer for Everything

A beginner normally has a lot of free time on their hands for a reason. To excel on the salon floor, you need to learn numerous skills.

The next time you find yourself twiddling your thumbs, look around you. A salon is a busy place, and you can always find ways to help out.

Volunteer for anything and everything, whether it is a fashion show or an advanced styling class. Learning never goes to waste, and this is a great way to give you some extra insights into the fashion industry!

5. … And Even Do What You Hate (Sometimes)

Still, the tasks you find yourself doing in the salon aren’t always about the hair.

With that in mind, don’t shy away from tasks you hate.  

This is your opportunity to prove your mettle while getting some interesting insights into the fashion industry - and you never know when it could pay off!

As soon as you start putting the salon first, you’ll see a difference. Everyone loves a ‘will do’ attitude, and you never know what unique opportunities might come your way as a result.

6. Be Ever-Ready

Salons are the real world, so be prepared for the unexpected.

Every little mistake isn’t the end of the world, and getting nervous won’t get you anywhere.

Taking some basic precautions and doing your best will help you avoid major disasters. Keep those scissors sharpened and your supplies stocked, for example.

If you work with razors, it’s best to keep spare blades on hand as well.

7. Competition isn’t All Bad

A little competition is a good thing, so don’t be afraid of comparing yourself to others in the salon. Try to emulate their best traits, or perhaps even aim for one notch above.

Trying to do things even better than other people have done it is going to help you improve, but don’t get too carried away. With too much of a competitive spirit you’re bound to find yourself friendless.

Share Your Experience

What skills did your hairdressing school forget to teach you? Tell us in the comments section below.