According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 712,000 people were employed as hairstylists, barbers and cosmetologists in 2010. These people dedicate their careers to help women and men look and feel their best. Hairstylists work in a variety of settings, but no matter what the location, there are common features of their work environments.
Hairstylists generally work indoors in a clean and brightly lighted environment. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook notes that while the majority of stylists work in barbershops and salons, others work in spas and hotels. Some rent or lease booth space from other salons. Once a hairstylist has experience, she may become a manager or open her own salon.
Hairstylists are expected to have physical stamina, as the position requires standing for long periods of time. According to Northwest Territories Education, Culture and Employment - Tools for Success, stylists may also be expected to work through their breaks. The BLS notes consistent exposure to certain chemicals may cause irritation to the skin, so stylists may need to wear aprons and gloves.
The website Campus Explorer states that the typical work week for a hairstylist is 40 hours, while those who are self-employed may work longer hours. The workweek may also consist of nights and weekends, when salons are often busier. According to Campus Explorer, 29 percent of stylists work part-time while another 14 percent have a flexible schedule.
Campus Explorer notes hairstylists are expected to provide hair cutting, coloring, styling and other services to clients. Stylists will work with customers to explain how to maintain hair at home. Some hairstylists will keep records of color or hair regimens and will encourage clients to purchase products for use at home.
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