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Readers Respond: The Real Life of a Cosmetologist

Responses: 20


When choosing a career, it is helpful to get information about it from those who actually work in the occupation one is considering. Please share information about your career as a cosmetologist so that those thinking of entering this field can make an informed decision.

  1. Describe what you do as a cosmetologist?
  2. What do you like about being a cosmetologist? What don't you like about it?
  3. With the proper training, how easy or difficult is it for someone to get an entry level job as a cosmetologist?
  4. Overall, are you happy you became a cosmetologist? Why or why not?
Tell Us About Your Job

Just graduated feeling lost

I just graduated cosmetology school and I feel like I know absolutely nothing. I even have a job as a shampoo girl and I still feel like I can't give a good haircut. I wish I could find someone to take me under their wing and teach me one on one.... Did any of you ladies feel this way right out of beauty school? What steps did you take to get where you are now?
—Guest Kate

owner/senior director

Dear Guest HG, I have owned a salon for 6.5 years and I would leap bounds to find a stylist that has the heart for this business that you do. Im an owner that has tried immensely to find stylists that desire to be trained properly but have been unsuccessful, so many stylist let their egos tell them they know it all yet after 22 years as a stylist I am still learning. I am not sure where you are located but if possible try to find your nearest Vidal Sassoon Academy and start with their ABC's, its the best training Ive ever known...or move to North Carolina and work with me...:) Stay with it, your passion with take you further than you can imagine, best wishes.
—Guest Beverly


The field of cosmetology is run, to me, by one word. PASSION. The passion I have for the industry is what wakes me up in the morning to go to work every morning with a smile. Even on days I don't feel like smiling. If you are passionate about hair, skin, nails, etc this field is for you! If you are passionate about money, this field may be for you but you won't get as much joy out of your day. I loved beauty school, I loved being the shampooist, and I love being a stylist. It even shows in my work and relationships with my clients. I live, breathe, sleep, and sometimes unfortunately eat hair. But I love it!
—Guest Legend

feeling down

I have so much to learn. Ive been working in a salon for a month and I feel like I know nothing. The only thing I have going for me is color but because I dont have a clientele built up all I get is walk ins and they are hair cuts and I literally get migrains and half the time they are never happy with the cut. I love being a stylist but with every hair cut I get I feel like I made a mistake. My boss is getting a client I had yesterday because I didn't put enough layers in one side. Just broke my heart.
—Guest lay


I believe people are rude and cruel. But i don't understand why because they could always go home and cut their own hair or put on their own makeup. We deserve respect from people who we are slaving over. At least we get paid.
—Guest Stephanie

love doing hair!!!!!!!!!!

In beauty school I was a model student. I sat in the very front of class, I took my class work serious and I came out with a B average. My problem after I came out was I didn't get a lot of hands on . Most of my clients only wanted wash and sets. So here I am today in this competitive field lost on knowing how to do certain styles. I love the hair business, I live and breathe hair. I have made many attempt to better my training in the hair business but I am unsuccessful. I would love for someone to take me under their wings and show me how to do all of the styles I missed out on. I want to learn how to give hair that salon look. I am still hopeful. So my advice to anyone wanting to get into the hair business is, learn to do all styles. Some stylists are just gifted, myself I had no training except for doing my own. If I had a chance to do it all again, I would choose a school that has different variety of clients with different taste in styles.
—Guest HG

SAD Life

Doing hair is an awesome career!!! However the emotional part of it sucks! Some people are cruel and do not take the stylist's feelings into consideration. Although I have had a very successful career, I have started to shelter myself because of ugly things people say about me for the extra miles I am not willing to go anymore for them. Especially family…if you can avoid doing business with them PLEASE DO. Why, you may ask? Because hair is always a conversation piece, so what if you don’t do what they expect, then there is tension in the air. I learned this the hard way. When they choose other stylists over you is another issue no matter who you are you will still feel a certain way about that decision. This is not to discourage anyone but realistic experiences.
—Guest Belle


I believe being a stylist is more than just being a "stylist." I enjoy being a student but it does take a lot of work. You cant expect to have everything handed to you but I am very amazed what you learn on nails, skin, and hair. So much!
—Guest Linda


OMG I love doing nails. It is so fun and just doing what I love makes it even better.
—Guest leslie hercules


Being a stylist is a hard job! It is both physically and emotionally exhausting. It is never a thankless job though. You are one of the most trusted people in your client's life. Many people are more afraid to lose their stylist than their physician. I love this job and I greatly exceed the salary amounts on this page.
—Guest toni

Agree.!! x's 2

I started out in my home doing hair at the age of 12. I'm 18 now and I'm still in high school. I work in my cousin's shop and I love my job. Cosmetology is something that I would recommend to anyone who loves to work with their hands and with people.
—Guest bree


i love my job. i love cutting hair and doing people's hair for special occasions.
—Guest lindy


i have been doing this for about 10 years. i have never regretted my career choice. how much i make is based on me and my level of skill and my motivation. nothing in this job is handed to you. it is work. however, it requires creativity and gentleness when dealing with the public. NEVER A DULL MOMENT.
—Guest paige


It is a job that is both wonderful and hard. There is much opportunity to make money as you build clients. I make on average $90 a day in tips alone. Add salary and commission and it is not too bad. The downside is the strain on your body. Carpal tunnel, wrist strain, back problems are all real possibilities. To me not a long time career choice, but if you love people it is a fun and rewarding job.
—Guest Chris

why i love being a cosmetologist?

the reason why i love being a cosmetologist because i help people out with their hair problems and i love the company i get and i get payed good money.
—Guest twanisha

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The Real Life of a Cosmetologist

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