Have you recently graduated from a school of cosmetology/beauty? Congratulations on having completed this phase of life and for having taken the first step towards establishing a career in the beauty industry.
A bright future as a Cosmetologist awaits you. Now it is up to you to make it happen. There aren’t any shortcuts. You must determine what you are going to with your degree? How are you going to share the knowledge and skills you learned? Where do you see yourself in the next five days, five weeks, five months, and 5 years?
The beauty industry very saturated. Many of the most popular YouTube beauty influencers do not have a professional license which makes standing out and being seen by potential customers challenging. It takes more than just skills. You need a clear focus. You must set reasonable goals, and make consistent efforts toward to get what you want.
There’s no magic formula for success, no code to crack the market mechanics, and no certain definition of success. You must decide what success means to you as a licensed Cosmetologist. What does a career in the beauty industry mean to you?
One thing I know for sure is that Cosmetology is a wonderful career choice. I have been a hairstylist specializing in weaves and extensions for over 14 years. I decided early in my career to specialize in non-surgical hair replacement. This decision allowed me to focus and navigate my career on my terms.
Knowing what you want for yourself is the first step. Read on to explore, what the future might hold for you, and what you need to make a lasting career in cosmetology.
The Future of Cosmetology
To help you decide how you want to start your career, you should know what the industry’s future will look like in the coming decade or so.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the future is bright. A 16% increase in the demand for cosmetologists is expected to occur in the next decade. Manicurists and pedicurists’ demand will increase by 19%. At the same time, the need for skin specialists will increase by 38%!
These increases are presumably caused by an increasing population, growth in the sense of individuality, and people trying to look younger. Awareness in personal hygiene is considered to be another factor.
It’s fair to say; the cosmetology business will be booming in the next ten years.
Careers in Cosmetology
Cosmetology is an umbrella term for several specializations. You need to decide what you’re most passionate about and pursue that diligently and passionately.
Paris Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week, anyone? As a fashion stylist, you’ll have the freedom to create looks that people only dream of—playing with possibilities and a lot of guessing games. If it goes well, congratulations, you’ve set the trend for the entire fashion industry. You will work with a very tight-knit team of designers, makeup artists, hairstylists, nail artists, and models. So, everyone has a say in everything. Teamwork is of utmost importance.
This is the Master Cosmetologist or “Jack of All Trades” when it comes to hair. They have studied every fiber of every strand of every type of hair there is. Hairstylists can cut hair, style the hair to make it look longer or shorter than it is. Hair Stylist can even treat your hair to be stronger than it naturally is. While you can mostly find us in salons, highly skilled hairstylists are in high demand everywhere.
Steering towards more of the media side of cosmetology, celebrity stylists have the best of both worlds. They build a good relationship with their celebrity clients. As a celebrity stylist, you will collaborate with styling teams to devise all types of looks for a various occasions and events. From the red carpet to afterparties, celebrity stylists have many ways to show and display their talents.
These are just a few examples of the countless possibilities available in the beauty/cosmetology industry. I didn’t even get into Colorists, Creative Directors, and a slew of other career options.
Pick what you wish to and stick with it. There are no limits.
How to Stand Out in the Industry
You’ve decided what you want to do. You even know where you want to be in 5 years.
How do you get there? Can you get there before your estimated timeline?
Getting there before you’ve predicted is possible. But it is not easy. Trust me, I know.
Opening my salon suite business fresh after getting my license, for example, wasn’t a walk in the park. The walk was more of a sprint, and the park was more of an obstacle course. Having zero clients and experience didn’t help.
But I did it and you can do it too. You can read my story here.
How can you do it? Well, here are a few tips. You need:
1. A solid portfolio.
Done a few gigs before and participated in local competitions? Styled your friend for an event? Take photos. Write it down. Compile it. Share it on social media.
Start your portfolio with whatever you have. Be prepared with everything. Even if it’s not the world’s best box-dye or the manicure could have been a little better. Or that cut is not even. It’s okay. You need to start.
You need to show that you’re not a one-trick pony.
If you only add perfect pieces, your portfolio will be a blank page.
Whether it’s to land your first gig or to be hired at a salon, persistence is vital. When I say that, I mean continually proving your worth.
You go to a salon to see if there’s a job opening? Talk to the manager, not the receptionist. Make sure the manager not only hears you but listens as well. Direct message the artist that you are admiring on social media and ask to shadow, apprentice, assist, etc. You may be surprised how willing they are to help.
Learn to pitch yourself in a minute flat. Ask for an appointment. Make sure you leave an impression. A positive one, preferably. There’s a fine line between being positively persistent and annoyingly nagging. Tread carefully.
3. To start networking immediately.
The cosmetology industry mostly relies on word of mouth, so you need to reach your ideal clients as much as possible and begin to create relationships. Don’t forget to ask them to tell their friends about you and to send you selfies that show off your work.
With the internet and social media, the word is at your fingertips. There are billions of people in the world and you only need to reach a fraction of this billion and show them what you have to offer. They will become your ideal clients. Speak to those people daily on social by communicating and sharing your pictures and a little bit about yourself. This is essential to having an amazing a cosmetology career.
4. To Provide Great Customer Service.
Attitude is key. You can be the hair stylists, colorists, make-up artists, weaver, braider, extension artist, etc., but if you have a bad attitude and lack customer service, you will fail in this business.
Having a great attitude and providing great customer service are of the upmost importance in any business. It is particularly important in the personal service industry.
The industry needs specialists; but don’t forget to treat your customers well and they will treat you well in return.
The future of cosmetology is a lot brighter than what statistics have predicted. Cosmetology is growing as a field, and career options are increasing by the day. It’s up to you to decide what niche you wish to pursue and how determined you are to stand out from the crowd in what you choose to do.
Keep yourself motivated. Get inspiration from the world around you. Don’t forget why you started this journey.
These are just some of the things I’ve done when I first started. You can do the same and be even bigger and better.
I wish much success!