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Hair Styling/Stylist and Hair Design


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What to Expect

Hairstyling students are learning all the latest beauty techniques, from perms to highlights to styling. If you have a way with scissors and some fashion flair, check out this training.

Akeiko Gibo can cut hair. In fact, she had already taken hairstyling courses and set out to work in the profession. But as she cut and styled people's hair, she realized that the skills she had were not enough.

So she went back to school. This time she researched different colleges thoroughly before registering, and found an instructor who she believed was a talented teacher.

"A good instructor makes all the difference," says Gibo. "The way they teach can really affect a student."

Finding out about a school, about its awards, its teachers and the success of its graduates is important. "You might think it's an easy thing to learn, but the instructor has to have many strengths and be able to show you how to do many things."

Gibo says that beyond learning about washing, cutting and coloring hair, students should be aware that they will be constantly dealing with people. "It really is a challenge," she says.

"Every customer is different. You have to figure out what they want and then figure out how to give it to them."

Audrey Pfeifer studied hairstyling at the Columbus Beauty College in Nebraska. "I've always liked doing hair and seeing people look their best," she says. "People feel better about themselves when they look good, and I like being able to help them do that."

Graduates from hair design programs often begin by doing tasks such as shampooing, sweeping floors and preparatory work. But this isn't much different than other fields, where new workers start doing jobs that have less responsibility.

Once workers prove their ability, they can move on to doing more sophisticated styling. "There are tons of different opportunities," says Pfeifer. "You could even open your own business if you wanted."

Gibo says that good hairstylists will continually take courses and go to conferences and competitions to update their skills. "Things are always changing, so you have to upgrade. You have to keep learning."


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