the pros and cons of being a hairstylist is it worth it

The Pros and Cons of Being A Hairstylist! Is it Worth It?

Perceptions of A Hair Stylist

Being a hairstylist seems like the ideal job. Its fun, you meet tons of new people, and you pick your hours! But just like anything in life being a stylist it's all flat irons and flexi- rods, it has its rough patches.

The Pros of Being A Stylist

Let's get into all the great things that come along with being a hairstylist:

Short Program/Get Started Early

Becoming a licensed stylist can be done even before you graduate high school! Many trade schools offer programs that will train students in the field of cosmetology allowing one to graduate with their hair license and diploma!

One of the significant things that appeal to many of those entering the field of cosmetology is the length of the program. Typically, obtaining a hair license takes about twelve to fourteen months. There's also the option to attend school part-time, though that will make the program about two to four months longer.

Additionally, one can work as an apprentice for two years and then complete their boards to become a licensed stylist! While the second option takes longer, it allows the student to make and save money, get hands-on experience and find quicker job placement.


Flexibility is critical in this fast-moving world. As a man or woman with kids, a demanding school schedule or balancing other entrepreneurial endeavors, it's a massive plus that being a stylist offers you flexibility within your life and your career as a whole.


Most stylists choose to work Tuesday through Saturday, approximately ten am to six pm, but the beauty of being a stylist means that any day is up for grabs to be blocked off.

Additionally, you can cut your workday short or shift your clients around. The flexibility is endless. When it comes to scheduling, the best thing to do is go with a service like Vagaro, Acuity Scheduling or Style Seat.

Each of these services charge a monthly fee but make scheduling easier and send both the stylist and client reminders about their upcoming appointments; it also allows clients to pay deposits.

Can Turn Into Other Careers

This flexibility can also funnel into other careers. Being a stylist gives one the clientele and base for sprouting up other supporting branches like selling hair or coming out with a hair product line. Famous stylists like Cliffvmir (@Cliffvmir) on Instagram and @TheHairMagician have gained internet stardom for slaying clients hair left and right. These two stylists were able to sprout an additional source of income from their career as a stylist.

Cliffvmir has started a hair business. This career is obtainable for anyone. As a new hair business owner, the number one thing you need you need is personality! You should be patient, hardworking and determined. After you've resolved that, you would need a logo, a wholesale vendor, and promotional items to push your business further. Some stylists like TheHairMagician have their edge controls and hairsprays!

Being a stylist can be a great way to get your foot in the door to other careers. Remain positive and committed to building a flourishing brand and there are no limits to where you can go.

Work at a Salon/Work For Yourself

Being a stylist means being a boss! Though it also can mean being an employee! As a stylist, you can choose to open your salon, work out of a suite or even work out of your home! It's all up to what you feel is most beneficial for your financial budget and the advancement of your career.

Opting to work in a salon or suite will mean that you will be required to pay rent either directly to the suite you are leasing, or to the salon owner for your booth. While working from your home or starting up your salon can be another process altogether! Whatever route you choose, be sure to do your research thoroughly and shop around for what is best for you.

What You Earn/Setting Your Prices

Being able to pick your prices is nice. In this regards, you are in control of the cost of your work and getting the value of what you are putting into your craft. Gone are the days of being low-balled or underpaid.

Cash On Demand

Another benefit of being a stylist is that you will receive money in cash every day, for the payment of your service as well as tips. Receiving capital eliminates the need for waiting for a paycheck to paycheck or counting your hours. As a stylist, you will always take home money at the end of the workday.


The best thing about being a stylist is that you can meet different people and touch so many lives through your service. Every day you meet people in different walks of life. Not to mention, you get to flex your skills and style, treat and trim all different types of hair textures. It's nice to go to work with a sense of excitement due to the variety this career provides.

The Cons of Being A Hairstylist

Unknown Income

I know, I know, all of us nine-to-five people are cringing at the thought of an unsteady paycheck. Since stylist receive income based on how many clients they have, what their clients are paying based on their service and the addition of tips, any given amount should be expected. Not to mention cancellations and no-shows, that can cut into your weekly cash-outs. With so many unknown factors it can be hard to calculate earnings on a weekly or monthly basis precisely. This uncertainty can be hard on the mind and pockets of potential and seasoned stylists.

Self Promotion and Building Clientele

In the game of hair, everyone has to be their own biggest fan. As an independent stylist, you must promote yourself to gain clientele and showcase your skills. You can never depend on your clients returning for sure or new people taking a chance on you, the best you can do is put your best foot forward. Plugging oneself can become frustrating for a reserved person or someone is accustomed to working a job with regular customers. Staying consistent with fantastic customer service, doing your job well and active promotion will grow and maintain your clientele. Don't worry about being underbooked in the beginning or flooding others timelines; get armed with a jaw-dropping Instagram and don't forget your business cards!

Booth Rent

As mentioned before, becoming a stylist sooner or later, you will have to find a 'home.' What your home will look like is up to you. Being apart of a salon means that you will have to pay booth or suite rent which can range from $150 to $200 a week. For a new stylist, this can be a hefty obligation starting out.

Have to Provide Some of Your Products

Whether you work in a salon or at home, you will be required to purchase work-related items to perform your job. Things like shampoos, towels, dryers, and curlers provided by the salon. However, additional tools like flat irons, hair clips, and shears (which can be expensive) fulfilled by the stylist. TIP: Invest in your products and tools; don't cheat yourself or your clients when it comes to quality shears and flat irons. You will spend less money replacing them and pay once for things you need. Include these expenses like clips, mousse or hair wraps as necessities with the money allotted for your booth rent. Saving as you go allows your materials to stay restocked. Another great thing to do would be to get a membership with Sally's or another hair store to get coupons and discounts on things you'll need. You may even be able to find items in bulk. Keep track of your things within the salon and take care of your products and tools. Proper care and storage practices can bring you a long way!

Dealing With Different Personalities

Although this can be a positive aspect of being a stylist, it can also be negative. I've seen countless stylists complain via Instagram or Facebook about rude customers, cancelations, no-shows, and clients who are incredibly unrealistic in their hair expectations. Like any job, it can be stressful dealing with a broad and unsuspecting array of personalities and hair. Additionally, stylists have to deal with being contacted with questions or inquiries on a daily basis via direct messages, text messages, email or phone calls. Clients want to be able to book appointments or ask questions around the clock which can be intimidating, inconvenient and demanding. Tip: Don't let the pressure get to you! Try to use a scheduling website and adhere to strict inquiry times. Furthermore, include any necessary information like location with city and address visible, services offered and your pricing list to cut down on the amount of time spent answering questions or repeating yourself.

Being The Boss and The Worker

As a worker, you must show up to work and do your job to the best of your ability. Being a boss, it's your job to make sure everything is running smoothly, and everybody is on point. As a stylist, you must do both. You must manage your money, time with clients and appointments. It can be difficult to juggle so many things and make sure that your client's curls still come out bouncy. Tip: Use a schedule to help manage your clients. Make a list of expenses and responsibilities to ensure you are meeting your weekly or monthly marks and distributing your money appropriately. Set timers! As a writer, timers are my best friend, and they should be yours too! A timer in the salon can help you manage how long you are spending prepping, styling and drying your clients.

Getting More Serious

Many of the cons mentioned about hairstylists have an equal and opposite decisive point, or they are easily solved. But what about the broader issues.

No Benefits!

As an independent stylist, even if you pay booth rent, you are still considering working for yourself. No benefits mean that stylists have no dental, life or health insurance provided by their employer. Tip: Try to get health insurance from school or parents, or Medicare.

Go online or talk to insurance professionals to find out what your options are. Be sure that you are covered, planning for emergencies or accidents ahead of time will save you money and stress later. Unlike other careers that reward you for twenty years of loyal service, most salons do not offer a retirement fund. Having no social security set aside for you means that stylist is responsible for securing their future later on.

Tip: Save a set amount each month! Do not catch your eggs before they hatch or spread all of your seed. In other words, do not spend all your money just because you can! The hair game is unpredictable, and while one week you may have taken home a thousand dollars or better, next week you can fall just below three hundred.

Try to save a set amount of money each week outside of your booth rent, and outside responsibilities. It is essential to plan for later so that you always have a security net

It's All In A Day's Work

Any career path will have its positives and negatives, but a career as a hairstylist can be gratifying. Before deciding on becoming a stylist be realistic about your goals and your personality.

You should be a person that is good with direction, budget, time management and meeting others. Being a stylist allows for growth, quick and steady money and is fulfilling when you see the smile spread on your clients face. Comment below and tell us some of your concerns about starting the program or a career as a stylist. One day you'll be calling Private Label Extensions to be apart of our wholesale program for your salon!

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Hi there. I have a question. I read this article and it says no benefits in being a hairdresser does that mean in Canada too?

Vince Mattina

It’s great that you elaborated on how hairstylists are able to change their schedules. Last week, I heard that my cousin’s interested in becoming a hairstylist, but she wasn’t sure about it fitting her lifestyle, so I’ll be sure to share your tips with her when I see her. Thanks for the information on becoming a professional hairstylist and how you’d control your shifts and time.

Eli Richardson

Thanks for mentioning that you can have the option of opening your salon, working in a suite, or even working at home as a hairstylist. I’ve always been interested in hairstyling even as a kid so I was hoping to have a career in it. I’ll have to look for a reputed beauty school to enroll in first before I think of opening my salon.

Anna Collins

I disagree with the cons of being a cosmetologist. If you are a lazy cosmetologist then the cons would apply. I have been in the field for 30 years, stylist, teacher and salon owner. The beauty industry for hair stylist is like any other industry…you get out of it what you put into. The number one mistake the new hair stylist make when coming into the field and graduating beauty school is that they think that they do not have to continue their education.
Cosmetology school is only designed for you to pass stateboard. You can hardly use the basic archaic things learned in school to have a budding and promising career. The things that are listed as cons, like self promoting- that is with any business if you are the owner or an independent..and stylist are independant. As far as no benefits….THAT IS NOT TRUE…it depends on where you work. I carried benefits while as a stylist and it was not WELFARE…as for as not going to school to start a hair business, not it is not necessary, but you do need a license if you plan to actually do hair in your salon…as far as different personalities..that’s everywhere. Whoever is looking to get into cosmetology it is a good lucrative profession. I personally feel this article is incorrect on the con sides on so many different levels…I am 30 years in and still going strong…you are only limited by your imagination in this industry.

Lisa D

I loved this this is helping me learn of i want to become a hairstylist and it made my decision clear I want to be a hairstylist thank you so much to whoever did this i need to go buy everything and i finnaly know what I want to study for in college after I graduate this year.

Leilaniz Rodriguez

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