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The Pros and Cons of Being a Hairstylist

If you are truly giving this career a thought, then take the time to ponder the pros and cons of our Industry. This is an “insiders” list, a transparent list of the true realities of having a career as a Hairstylist, a list that you won’t find anywhere else.

I have been a Hairstylist for 35 years, and I have never regretted the career that I chose. That does not mean it was an easy career, in fact, in many ways I think it is harder than most.


Mental Health PROs
  1. Artistic and creative In life, to feel fully alive we need beauty, creativity, and artistic expression. As Hairstylists, you will have that in your daily life, and get paid for it!

  2. Personal Interaction and Touch. Being with a variety of people, talking, interacting, touching and caring for the people in your community, is deeply rewarding, incredibly important and totally soul satisfying. And did I forget to say, fun?

  3. Career and Customer Satisfaction This is a career where your clients are happy to see you, you start and complete a “project” (head of hair) every one to two hours and your clients feel so much better about themselves when they leave.

Physical Health PROs
  1. Stand and Move. As Hairstylists we stand and move all day long. For years as a Hairstylist I was asked, “ohhhhh you stand all day?” Well we can kiss that concern goodbye. The news is out: a desk job and sitting all day is considered the same as smoking. As Hairstylists we were years ahead of standing rather than sitting for our work.

  2. Exercise. Because our job has a physical aspect to it, in order to take care of ourselves, most Hairstylists I know have some sort of exercise routine.

  3. We never get sick. Lol, well that’s a bit dramatic. As Hairstylists we know that missing a day of work will mean rescheduling and losing a day of pay. You won’t focus on illness, and if you do get sick, you will probably be better faster.

Freedom PROs
  1. We make our own decisions. We decide where we want to work, when we want to work, and how much we want to make. You won’t wait for a superior to tell you when you deserve a raise, what days you have to come in, and what hours to work. You will decide these things for yourself.

  2. There are so many many opportunities within the hair industry. Do you want to be a product representative, a Hairstylist, Entertainment Industry Hairstylist, Educator, Platform Artist, Wig Specialist?

  3. Bartering Do you have a client who is a Dentist, Life Coach, Plumber, Accountant, Web Designer? Bartering services with other professionals is fun, practical, and helpful.

  4. We choose who we want to work with. If you don’t like your work situation, you can take your clientele and move elsewhere.

CONs (Yes, those Pros do have a dark side)

Mental Health CONs
  1. Artistic and creative. When you have a fight with your spouse, when your kid is sick, when you are struggling in your personal life, sometimes the hardest thing to be is artistic and creative.

  2. Personal Interaction and Touch In order to have personal interaction and touch YOU have to build your clientele base. No one will build your clientele base for you. Your clientele base is the absolute key to your success.

  3. ALL clients have insecurities and problems. That means you have to manage and care for your mental health and your issues, in order to care for and work with your clients.

Physical Health CONs
  1. Stand and Move. You have to develop excellent posture and positioning. I worked with a rolling stool so I could sit and stand all day long. You know how you have to bend your knees and use your legs when you are lifting something heavy? Same concept when you are doing hair. Good physical habits are a must.

  2. Exercise. I have always worked out. This helps prevent injuries, gives you stamina, and works out the kinks from stress and over use.

  3. We never get sick. If you get sick, you miss work and you don’t make money. We “pay” for our sick days and mental health days, not a company. The good news is, Hairstylists rarely work a 5 day week, which gives us time to care for our physical and mental health.

Freedom CONs
  1. We make our own decisions. Making your own decisions comes with A LOT of responsibilities. Freedom doesn't come with guarantees. As Hairstylists we don’t make money until we build a clientele base, we don’t have a secure monthly income and we don’t have company health insurance, sick days, or paid vacations

  2. There are so many opportunities within the hair industry. I have friends who are educators for college theater departments, award winning movie and television Hairstylists, friends that do editorial work, product representatives, and platform artists. The world is your oyster as a Hairstylist, but absolutely no Hairstylist will tell you it was easy to land their dream career.

  3. Bartering. For the most part bartering is all good. I love getting vacation stays, dental appointments, and life coaching with no out of pocket expenses.

  4. We choose who we want to work with. Sounds good, however making a move out of a salon, or into a new working environment needs to be kept minimized and localized. Our clients appreciate a better environment, but they have their limits as to how many times they will move salon locations, and how far they will drive.

Are you considering a career as a Hairstylist? You should. It is deeply satisfying and fulfilling. A career as a Hairstylist comes with its share of both PROs and CONs however, most Hairstylists find that this job is one of the most fulfilling on the globe. If this is your calling, don’t let anything stand in your way!

Elevating The Industry,

Karen Spinelli


Cosmetology Students and New Hairstylists My intention with every post is to give New Hairstylists all over the world the tips, short cuts, and tools they need to quickly achieve success. I would love to hear from you! You can reach out here, on my site, Instagram, or Facebook. Sign up for my newsletter to receive my weekly blog sent to your inbox.

Cosmetology Schools and Teachers I would love to talk to your students! To book Karen as a speaker at your Cosmetology School, click here.

Karen Spinelli is from Pasadena, California. She was behind the chair for thirty five years, as well as Salon Director of Education for New Hairstylists for the last twenty years. Karen loves Hairstylists! She loves to be a part of “AHA” moments, and to watch New Hairstylists grow in their confidence and skills.

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