10 Skills of Highly Successful Hairstylists

Do you like to talk about different hairstyling techniques with your friends? Think you may have some of the skills to become a hairstylist? Attending a cosmetology school will help you build a foundation of skills to become a highly successful hairstylist. Learn what a hairstylist does and the skills to be a highly successful hairstylist.

What Does a Hairstylist Do?

Hairstylists offer a wide range of hair services, such as shampooing, cutting, coloring, and styling, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hairstylists manage records of products provided to clients and take payments for services. Hairstylists also keep records of salon products, so the client can continue to have the same hairstyle at home. These salon products include hair color, shampoo, conditioner, and hair treatment used. The hairstylist also uses different tools that include hairbrushes, scissors, blow dryers, and curling and flat irons. Hairstylists typically do the following on a day-to-day basis:

  • Greet clients and make them comfortable
  • Discuss hairstyle options with client
  • Wash, color, lighten, and condition hair
  • Chemically change hair textures
  • Cut, dry, and style hair
  • Cut and style wigs
  • Make recommendations about hair or scalp problems
  • Clean and disinfect all tools and work areas
  • Sell salon products

Skills of the Trade

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also cites skills that a hairstylist will need to succeed. These skills include creativity, customer service, listening skills, physical stamina, tidiness and time management. We have added patience, self-confident, and the ability to sell salon products.

Skill #1: Creativity

Many clients will ask the hairstylist for advice and ideas on how to cut or style their hair. Creativity and understanding lines and shapes will help the hairstylist come up with the best hairstyle for their clients. It can be boring to just cut hair exactly the same each time and having creative skills will keep the job fresh and exciting. The hairstylist will also want to keep up with trends, so they know what a client is asking for and what is best for them.

Skill #2: Customer-Service Skills

Hairstylist work with clients on a daily basis. If the hairstylist is happy, the client will follow suit. Nothing is worse than going to get a haircut and the hairstylist is in a bad mood. Being attentive, pleasant and engaged will help the hairstylist offer the best customer service available. Happy customers keep coming back and tell their friends too.

Skill #3: Listening skills

Hairstylists should be good listeners. A client does not want to argue with a hairstylist or walk out of the salon with a less than perfect haircut. The hairstylist must listen carefully to what the client wants in order to make sure that the client is happy with the result. The hairstylist should listen more and talk less.

Part of the job of a hairstylist is to be a confidant and listen to the client’s interests. Making the client feel comfortable and making conversation is a great way to keep the client happy.

Skill #4: Patience

Hairstylist must be patient with clients. Taking the time to do what the client wants will mean bigger tips. If the client is not happy with the first round of hairstyling, the hairstylist should listen to the client and make the necessary changes. The hairstylist may also run into a rude or obnoxious client, although rare, and they will need to keep the interaction professional and leave the client with a good experience.

Skill #5: Self-Confidence

A hairstylist makes quick decisions and shouldn’t second guess themselves. If the hairstylist is trying a new style or cut, it should be done with confidence, so the client will feel confident too. Self-Confidence is contagious and is a skill that will help hairstylists be successful.

Skill #6: Physical Stamina

Hairstylists stand on their feet for long periods of time. It is good for a hairstylist to walk around between each client and take breaks to relieve the legs and feet from extensive standing. In addition to physical stamina is dexterity, a hairstylist will use their hands and grasp small objects when styling and cutting hair. Also, finger dexterity allows the hairstylist to make quick, accurate and coordinated movements. A successful hairstylist will have to grasp, manipulate or assemble small objects and finger dexterity is important.

Skill #7: Cleanliness

Hairstylist will want to project success by keeping their work area clean and sanitary. This requirement is necessary for the health and safety of their clients and to meet standards and guidelines. A hairstylist will also want to keep a fashionable hairstyle, wear clean attire, and practice good hygiene. The hairstylist should be an example for their clients and they will want to have a neat and relevant personal appearance.

Part of cleanliness is organization and keeping a work place organized. Having the right salon products and tools to give the best haircut will help improve the services the hairstylist gives. Knowing where everything is located will speed up the process and the hairstylist will get to more client, making more money.

Skill #8: Time-Management Skills

Hairstylists need to manage their time efficiently. They spend time scheduling appointments and providing services. The hairstylist must prioritize their time. Overbooking clients can cause those clients to leave the salon unhappy, because clients don’t want to wait if they have made an appointment in advance. Having good time management skills is important for a hairstylist to be successful.

Skill #9: Teamwork

Being a team-player at the salon means the hairstylist will get along with their coworkers. They will also have a boss and having a good relationship with their boss will help them enjoy their job at the salon. Working well with colleagues will help the hairstylist get the shifts they want and make the workplace more enjoyable.

Skill #10: Sales

One of the tasks that a hairstylist will have and need to become proficient at is selling salon products. The hairstylist will need to be persuasive to let the client know that salon products are a good investment. The hairstylist will need to differentiate their salon products form other salons and grocery stores that carry less expensive hair products. They will want to pick the right product for the client, so they can continue to keep the hairstyle even after they wash their hair. Being able to sell is an important skill for a hairstylist to have.