I Graduated from Beauty School. What Do I Do to Get to Work?

Professional hair stylist using hair dryer

Prostock-studio – stock.adobe.com

Your dreams are coming true. You have completed your beauty school training with lots of compliments and your cosmetology licensing with flying colors. But how do you get an actual styling job now? The experienced educators at  Evergreen Beauty College have some recommendations for you, depending on the work situation you are looking for.

If you plan to work out of your home, at first, you will need to be sure you have all the supplies and equipment necessary to do the job. The basic needs that are listed below can be purchased at beauty supply stores and at numerous sites online.

  • Your preferred shampoo and conditioner
  • All-purpose shears — You most likely already have a favorite pair.
  • Blending shears
  • Blow dryer — Lightweight but powerful
  • Curling iron — If possible, purchase one that has interchangeable barrels. That way, you will not need multiple irons.
  • Straight razor
  • Paddle brush
  • Combs
  • Cleaning and sanitizing jar and solution
  • Foil for coloring
  • Sectioning clips
  • Dyes, developer and colors

To keep your costs down, don’t just buy a full range of dyes. Talk to your clients and get the range of colors they want. If dyes have to be ordered, explain that and your customer should understand. Usually, your clients will be friends, family and referrals from those people, so they will hopefully be patient and understand your situation. As you build your business, you will be able to purchase more colors and dyes. Take pictures of your happy clients to develop a portfolio. If you are hoping to work in a salon, you will want examples of your work.

Salonsdirect discusses some of your options and the need to gain experience in the beauty industry. Harrymakesitup recommends you do the following:

  • Network
  • Show evidence of what you can do
  • Show passion and a willingness to learn
  • Build a portfolio of work
  • Be receptive to suggestions, but show your style

If your plan is to work in an established salon or spa, on your resume, or when you interview with the owners, be sure to acknowledge all of your experience. Most schools provide hands-on training as you are going through your certification. Some, like The Evergreen Beauty College, offer salon experience as part of their training. They have numerous training sites and salons where you can gain experience. Many beauty schools also have arrangements with local salons to intern their students. Frequently, these internships can turn into long-term employment.

As you prepare to get out in “the real world”, know your options. You will most likely want to set yourself up as self-employed. Research information with your state department licensing general site, as it is state-specific. This is fairly simple and can be done online. Working from home, you control all of the expenses and costs. If you work in a salon or beauty shop owned by someone else, you will pay booth rent and possibly other costs. You may be able to be included in some group benefits and reduced purchasing costs, and these perks should not be considered insignificant. A group health policy can be a huge benefit.

Young hairstylist in a salon holding a comb

Pixel-Shot – stock.adobe.com

In summary, just get out and start doing your thing wherever you can get experience. If you must visit salons and talk to owners for four hours of your day, do hair the other four hours. Be available for weekends and holidays. Many established stylists will not work on those days, so make yourself available. Even if you can only get a spot in a salon on Mondays, weekends and holidays, take it. Build your practice on walk-ins if necessary. If you do a great job, clients will start to ask for you and the salon owners will see that you are a great addition.

Happy Evergreen Beauty College Students


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