What Are the Different Career Options for Hair Stylists?

On the surface, it may seem like a hair stylist’s job is streamlined to do one thing—styling hair. But, hair styling can take you down some unique and enthralling career paths, and various duties depend on your chosen role! So, where will your hair styling career take you? 

How to Get Started

Before you decide, ensure your resume is in top form, so you are ready to apply straight away to any of the following options! ResumeHelp has a wonderful array of templates and examples to get you on the right track, including a hair styling resume template!

To perform most of the following occupations, you must first fulfill the relevant training and gain the expert knowledge required. For example, before starting in a salon, you will need to complete a cosmetology program and a set amount of experience hours to gain your license. 

Following your cosmetology studies, you can keep up training throughout your career to ensure your skills are always up-to-date with the latest trends and new techniques. Evergreen Beauty College offers a hair design program, which would be incredibly useful if you would like to become a hair stylist for TV or an agency.


After studying cosmetology or hairdressing, your first experience as a professional hair stylist will most likely be in a salon. Working in a hair salon is a great way to get used to meeting and working with a range of different personalities while learning to adapt to each client’s needs! 

You will start your career as a hair stylist, but once you have gained enough experience, you will be able to work your way to a salon manager or a more senior role.

Suppose you end up enjoying the business and managerial sides of the industry. In that case, you may also be tempted to open your own salon one day. How’s that for an exciting opportunity? 


If you want to choose your own hours and become more independent, a freelance hair stylist role may be the way for you to go. When working as a self-employed hair stylist, you can either deliver a mobile service by visiting your client’s homes or set up a base for clients to come to. 

By getting this private time with clients, you get to know each other very well. This means you will likely be asked to do wedding and prom hair styles, with clients wanting you to be there for their big day. 

Agencies & Photoshoots

Behind every great photo and beautiful model is a glam squad that knows all the best beauty tips. Getting into this side of the industry is more challenging than some, but with a great portfolio of work and enough networking, it is incredibly doable! 


When you have a great portfolio, cosmetology license, and a dedicated client base, nothing is stopping you from providing hair styling in creative spaces, such as TV, theater, and film. Starting as an assistant hair stylist for experienced hair stylists who are already working in these spaces, can be useful. 


Maybe you would like to step away from being creative and instead put your customer service and product knowledge to the test. You can do this by fulfilling a sales advisor role in a store specializing in hair products. You will be required to memorize product information and hit sales targets, a job not for the faint-hearted!