What Are Five Common Work Activities of a Hair Stylist?

Hairstylists help customers to look their best.
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If you love experimenting with new styles and your friends consider you a guru of all things related to hair, a career as a hairstylist could be right for you. From simple cuts to elaborate updos, hairstylists carry out their business while complying with their state's safety and sanitation regulations. While duties may vary from one salon to another, most hairstylists have similar responsibilities, regardless of where they work.

Cleansing Hair

    Before a stylist even thinks about pulling out the shears or the straightening iron, she treats her customers' locks to a deep cleansing. Typically, this will consist of a thorough shampoo and a light conditioning treatment. The stylist will assess the client's hair and determine the best cleansing products for her hair type, such as volumizing shampoo for fine hair or a deep conditioner for dry, damaged follicles in need of some major TLC.

Cutting Hair

    Many clients will visit your salon for haircuts. This could be anything from a simple trim to an extreme hair makeover that goes beyond "taking a little off the top." As a hairstylist, you will listen to your clients' wishes and make their dreams a reality. Using photos or your imagination as your guide, and with a pair of shears or a razor in your hand, you will carefully craft new hairstyles or trim away split ends. You may even help customers to choose new hairstyles by providing tips and advice regarding styles that would best complement their face shapes. Or, you might experiment and develop new hairstyles that are truly one-of-a-kind.

Styling Hair

    From a bride-to-be needing an updo for her wedding to a woman wanting to look her best for a night out on the town, you will style customers' hair for a variety of occasions and events. Straightening, curling, perming, relaxing and putting in extensions are all examples of ways you might style customers' locks. You may even demonstrate styles on freshly cut hair to show women how to style their new hairdos.

Coloring Hair

    Whether a customer wants lowlights or leopard print spots, your knowledge of color will come in handy for customers who want to change their look with a brand new, differently hued hairstyle. You might do simple, all over color treatments or add dozens of streaks in different colors, depending on what the customer desires.

Sanitizing Work Areas

    One of the most important -- while not the most exciting -- duties a hairstylist has is making sure her work area remains clean and that all sanitation regulations set by her state's health board are followed. Before you send one customer on her way and invite another into your chair, you must properly sweep and sanitize every surface in your work space and sanitize every tool you used. Not only does keeping your area clean prevent the spread of disease and bacteria and ensure the health department doesn't shut you down, clients are more likely to return to a clean salon than a dirty one.

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