On Becoming a Hairdresser (2)

Hairdresser who loves her job
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Finally, a good hairdresser has to be self-motivated and a little assertive. Of course, you always want to be as courteous with your clients as you can, but you should never hesitate to suggest follow-up appointments for maintenance services, or to offer additional services that you feel would benefit your client.
Sometimes, when you take the "soft sell" approach and "let the client make the first move," they can interpret it as you not caring about their business. Always make your client feel that he or she is the most important person to sit in your chair. If you make them feel important, you’ll become important to them.
The Difficulties of Being a Hairdresser
Contrary to what some people believe, the job of a cosmetologist is physically demanding. It may not require heavy lifting or rigorous activity, but it does require that the individual be able to stand on his or her feet for long periods and often to assume and hold uncomfortable positions for a protracted period of time. And there is a lot of repetitive motion in cosmetology. While you may not need to be able to compete in a triathlon, you still need to be aware of the physical demands of the job.
These physical demands also include working with some fairly strong chemical compounds; some of which don't have a pleasant odor. Even the required practices that don’t involve harsh chemicals can become problematic.
I had a classmate in cosmetology school who developed contact dermatitis from having to constantly wash her hands so often (and from shampooing clients repeatedly). Another cosmetologist I worked with developed an allergy to latex from frequent exposure to the rubber gloves we have to wear during chemical services.
Pensive hairstylist
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There are a lot of stresses in addition to these physical ones, too. When clients come to you, they often have an image in their mind of what they want their hair to look like, but have no realistic understanding of whether it is possible, or even how to communicate their desires to you.
For instance, I once had a 60+ year old white woman with baby-fine hair come to me and tell me that she wanted her hair to look like Halle Berry’s. I tried explaining in every way that I could and did my best to approximate what she said she wanted, but she still left my chair dissatisfied.
Some people cannot be dissuaded, and you have to learn to deal with them. Occasionally, you can make them happy, or you can explain to them why it won't work and they'll accept it. But those who get upset or can't tell you exactly what they want are going to be a problem in most cases.
Requirements for Licensing
The requirements necessary to become a licensed cosmetologist - and therefore eligible to practice your trade in the area where you live - vary from region to region. In the US, the requirements are set by the individual states, though they do tend to be somewhat uniform. Even across the globe, among the places that require licensure to practice cosmetology, most of the requirements are fairly common.
Cosmetology training to become a hairdresser
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In most cases, in order to become a licensed cosmetologist, one must complete training in all areas of practice. This may take one of two forms. Some people choose to attend formal schooling and take classes that teach theory and allow for practical application in school salons to earn the required experience and master the knowledge necessary.
Others may choose to follow an apprenticeship, wherein they work with a licensed cosmetologist (who has gotten a special license to allow him/her to train an apprentice) and learn the craft "on the job".
Some apprenticeships are paid positions allowing the individual to earn some income while training, and others are simply internships where the reward for the work put in is the experience and education being gained. Generally, the benefit of "school" versus "apprenticing" is that the number of hours you are required to log before becoming eligible to take the exam for a license is less for those who take the formal classes. In most areas, an apprenticeship has a specific time period requirement as well as an "hours" requirement.
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