If you have a knack for making people look their best, you might consider a career as a beautician. From cutting, styling and coloring hair to applying makeup and waxing eyebrows, you can earn a living making clients feel and look good while helping them enjoy life. Before you sign up at your local beauty school, make sure you know the duties of a beautician so you can understand what's in store. If you like what you see in the details, being a beautician makes the world a more beautiful place.
One of your main jobs as a beautician is cutting, styling and coloring hair. From trims to dramatic cuts to high-society updos, you spend much of your days on your feet with scissors and combs in your hands. While some clients come to you with specific cuts in mind, others need you to make expert recommendations. Since no two clients are the same, you have to be able to work with each one's specific face structure and hair texture to create a custom look. After evaluating your clients, either wash and condition their hair or begin the coloring process. Once you're done, treat them to a thorough cut and style. Finish by explaining how they can replicate the look at home and make product recommendations, especially if you add color or highlights.
Nails and Skin
Part of making people beautiful includes aspects beyond hair. If you want to take your trade to another level, you can pursue training to become a nail technician or an esthetician, which is a skin care professional. If you choose either path, you’ll add variety to your days by being able to schedule manicures, pedicures, facials and makeovers. For manicures and pedicures, you begin by soaking clients' hands or feet and follow that up with exfoliating and moisturizing treatments. You then trim, shape and paint the nails. When doing facials, you start by washing and exfoliating the client's face and then applying a mask. After removing the mask and applying a moisturizer, you either finish the facial or apply the client's makeup, depending on the services they've chosen. If you're giving a makeover, apply the foundation, concealer and powder first before doing the eyes and finishing with the lips.
Regardless of whether you strictly cut hair or do nails and skin, you spend part of your day maintaining the cleanliness of your work area. Sweeping hair clippings, cleaning sinks and washing mirrors are just a few of the sanitation chores you have to complete before walking out the door at night. You also have to scrub a few toilets and stock a few shelves.
Outside the salon, you’re responsible for keeping up with the latest beauty trends and techniques. You can attend expos and conferences, and also take classes to learn new styles or gain new certifications. As part of your job, you need to sample and test new products designed to keep your clients looking their best.
If you choose to open a salon or shop of your own, you must be prepared for bookkeeping, scheduling, advertising and budgeting. Should you hire extra employees, you must manage payrolls and multiple client rosters. While owning your own shop can be a dream come true, it’s important that you keep in mind the extra time and organization it requires before you begin.
After graduating from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in sports information, Jill Lee served for 10 years as a magazine editor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Also a published author, Lee now works as a professional writer and editor focusing on fitness, sports and careers.