14 Pros and Cons of Being a Hairdresser

Hairdressers take the hair of individuals and transform it into a stylish look that is fitting.

Whether it is fitting for going to work or to a wedding is for the hairdresser to determine.

Clients depend on hairdressers to make sure their hair is up to the occasion, and the occupation has a demand nationwide.

But before you sign up for beauty school or take an online course to be a hair artist, learn more about the pros and cons of being a hairdresser in the US.

Pros of Being a Hairdresser 

1. Independent Contractor

As a professionally trained hairdresser, you are an independent contractor.

You can work for a beauty salon or hairdressing business, or you can open up your own shop and do hair anywhere.

There is a great deal of independence in the job of a hairdresser.

A hairdresser is a wonderful occupation for an individual who is self-reliant and able to work on their own. 

2. $30,000 a Year

For most independent jobs, pay is variable and can be hit or miss.

That is not the case with hairdressers.

This is a paid profession with an average salary of $29,680 a year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Considering you do not have to go to a four-year college to become a hairdresser, you can enter the workforce with little training and financial investment.

3. Minimal Training

As noted, a four-year degree is not necessary, nor is a two-year associate’s degree.

You only need to be licensed and certified, which involves some postsecondary training.

Typically, you can attend a technical school for approximately one year to train for certification as a hairdresser.

This training includes 100 percent online training, such as the Michael Vincent Academy from Hollywood, CA, which offers online hair artistry courses.

4. A Fashionable Career

Hairdressing is part of the fashion scene.

Once you have selected your best clothing style to show off your personality, your hairstyle must match.

That means hairstylists are involved in helping clients develop their style.

If you want a fashionable career without stitching a single thread of fabric, a hairstyle is a way to go.

Of course, you might also add embroidery floss to your client’s hair for a twisted style. 

5. Consistent Work

Hairdressing is an area of service that is always in season.

Most clients need a basic hairstyle for work or to go out for an evening.

But often they are looking for a fancy style for a wedding or photo session.

Ultimately, there are plenty of reasons why people visit a hairdresser.

You can capitalize on different seasons that you specialize in, such as spring styles for Easter and graduation photos.

You could also offer incentives, like back-to-school hairstyles, to bring in new clients.

This reduces downtime and boredom for you as a paid hair stylist.

6. Working With Other Beauticians

If you are interested in what it is like to be a hair colorist or nail stylist, there are all sorts of beautician jobs associated with hairstylists.

In fact, if you are working at a wedding or other event with a group, you may likely be hired alongside other aestheticians in the beauty industry.

Here is where you can join up with these professionals and create alliances as aestheticians. 

Find more jobs and clients by offering to work with individuals in the future.

Take a business card when you attend a multi-faceted project for a client.

This way, you can connect with other professionals who can help you secure more clients and opportunities.

You also get to see more about what others are doing in the industry–and what they bring with them in terms of style.

7. Playing With Hair All Day Long

Are you someone who had a Crimp and Curl Cabbage Patch Doll or a life-size Barbie head that came with hair styling tools?

If you love styling hair for different types of people, either with various ethnic hair or based on a variety of personal looks, become a hairstylist.

The beauty industry needs you.

This is a job that allows you to have fun with the hair and do something you may very well love. 

Cons of Being a Hairdresser 

1. Must be Licensed

To be a professional hairdresser, you have to be certified and licensed by your state.

This is a legal requirement for any state in the US, and your customers will look for your certificate to be proudly displayed at your booth or stall where you style hair.  

2. Need to be a Self-Starter

As a hairdresser, the biggest requirement for you to make money is to meet with customers.

These people want you to style their hair.

If you meet them for their hairdressing appointment and complete the work, you get paid.

If you do not put in the time and energy, you will not get paid.

It is that simple.

Yet if you are not someone who can work on your own, and you require a timecard to keep you motivated, you will struggle with hairdressing. 

3. Must Enjoy Touching Others’ Hair

If you are someone who is squeamish at the sight of someone else’s skin or hair, beware of working as a hairdresser.

You will need to stick your fingers in locks of dirty hair and you might even see some lice or a tick or two.

Hopefully, you won’t, but it could happen.

Working with others and their hair means you have to touch other people’s hair.

That alone will cause some people to never want to get into this career.

4. Style Choices are Always Questionable

When you think you have someone’s personal hairstyle figured out, it turns out they wanted exactly the opposite.

Or perhaps your style choice for their updo was not at all how they usually wear their hair, and they feel “weird” with that look.

As a hairdresser, you have to hope that the hairstyle you create is on point with the styles of your clientele, or you may have to move to a new city to find clients.

You also might end up doing a ton of hairstyles you hate, which can have you regretting your decision to become a hairdresser.

5. Standing Up All Day

As a hairdresser, you have to stand up to reach over the top of a client’s head of hair.

Otherwise, you will never be able to complete a style.

Standing up all day for eight or 10 hours, though, is very difficult for your feet and legs.

You might even develop sciatica or other types of lower back pain. 

6. Cuts and Nicks

Cutting hair means you might end up cutting your skin, too.

After all, that is where the hair is attached.

If you are afraid of blood or do not like getting cut, forget hairdressing.

You would be surprised to know that you might also accidentally cut someone else–which is a terrible embarrassment for you and the client.

Plus, it hurts them, and a nicked client is less likely to tip you–or to return or give you good reviews.

There is even the risk of contracting a bloodborne disease, such as HIV or AIDS, or hepatitis, as a result of cutting someone when giving them a hairstyle.

7. Being Social if You Are an Introvert

Doing someone’s hair means you have to get to know that person at least a little bit.

This will help the client ease up and be relaxed enough to let you do their hairstyle.

It also means you have to be chatty and have a good sense of how to conduct conversations with strangers.

If you are someone who doesn’t like to be social, this is not the best job for you.

Introverts who want to spend most of the day alone should avoid doing their hair. 

You are going to have to be social in order to appease clients–and to tease the truth out about how they really want you to fix their hair.

That is because clients may be introverted, too, but they still want to look fabulous and they are hiring you to help them do that.

You are getting paid to make others feel better.

If you fail at being friendly, you most likely won’t have many clients who are looking for you for some confidence-boosting, too.

Pros and Cons of Being a Hairdresser – Summary Table

Pros of Being a Hairdresser Cons of Being a Hairdresser 
1. Independent Contractor1. Must be Licensed
2. $30,000 a Year2. Need to be a Self-Starter
3. Minimal Training3. Must Enjoy Touching Others’ Hair
4. A Fashionable Career4. Style Choices are Always Questionable
5. Consistent Work5. Standing Up All Day
6. Working With Other Beauticians6. Cuts and Nicks
7. Playing With Hair All Day Long7. Being Social if You Are an Introvert

Should You Become a Hairdresser?  

Ideally, a hairdresser is a person who is physically fit and can stand up and walk around all day.

They must also have good motor skill development with their fingers and hands–and not have carpal tunnel syndrome.

Anyone who wants to become a hairdresser should also know about hairstyles and what looks suitable and socially acceptable for different hair types. 

This is also a socially active occupation that involves one-on-one interaction in order to get work done.

Are you qualified to meet these requirements, and do you have the creativity that is applicable to hair?

If so, then you should consider a career as a hairdresser.

Every town, big and small, needs new hairdressers who are able to handle the demand of getting hair styled for everyday or formal events.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

3 thoughts on “14 Pros and Cons of Being a Hairdresser

  1. Riley Wilkins says:

    Being a hairdresser offers the chance to express creativity and make people feel good about themselves. It’s a rewarding career that lets you leave a positive impact on your clients.

  2. Addison Patel says:

    On the downside, the job can be physically demanding and may require long hours. It’s crucial; to maintain good health and take care of your well-being.

  3. Gemma Cruz says:

    One of the pros is the opportunity for flexibility. Many hairdressers have the option to set their schedules or work in different salons.

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