Cosmetology is a flexible, rewarding career that allows you to use both creative and professional skills to help clients look their best. While most cosmetologists perform similar functions on a daily basis, the job duties can change, so stay on your toes. If you can adapt to this fast-paced lifestyle, cosmetology is a rewarding career, both financially and personally.
Most cosmetologists start out working at a full-service salon to build up their clientele and get professional experience. Most salons set their own hours, typically 9:00 to 6:00, although some open earlier and some stay open later. Cosmetologists in these salons are often required to be in the salon during those hours in order to accommodate walk-in clients. More upscale salons allow cosmetologists to set their own schedules. If you only have two clients scheduled, you only have to be there during those times.
Many cosmetologists work Tuesday through Saturday, although plenty who work on Monday. You typically take two days off per week, with one being Sunday and the other being Monday, or maybe a Wednesday. Mondays are often taken because Saturday is often the busiest day of the work week for a cosmetologist.
You’ll soon find that a cosmetology job entails far more job duties than you learned about in school. For example, many cosmetologists are also required to answer the phone, clean up the salon, and even sell a certain number of haircare or beauty products. Your day may also include speaking with beauty product representatives, who will educate you on the benefits of their newest products and try to get you to use them in your work.
Then, there’s the fun part: the styling, cutting, and coloring. You will do all of these, often simultaneously with several clients at once. You must be prepared to provide advice on what styles would look best on a client as well as recreate a look in a picture a client likes.
A Typical Day
After arriving early, you’ll look at your appointment book and talk with the receptionist to make sure clients haven’t canceled or rescheduled. Then, it’s time to prep your station by restocking shampoo, conditioner, or styling products that are running low. Once your first client arrives, you’ll consult with her to find out exactly what she wants. You’ll wash, cut, dry and style her hair to perfection. Depending on the services that clients want, you can typically fit three to four appointments into the morning before breaking for lunch.
The afternoon may be filled with a color or foil, or adding and styling extensions. You may even have a wedding party come in for up-dos. Additionally, you may perform a makeup application or an eyebrow wax. By the end of the day, the sun may have gone down, but you will be fulfilled and excited to do it all over again tomorrow.
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