Is a Barber Stylist Career Right For Me?

Barbering and styling may be a new interest for you. Or maybe, it’s something you’ve thought about for a long time and life took a different turn. Until now. 

Let’s clarify the career path. A barbering license enables you to cut men’s hair but, many schools also teach women’s hair cutting under the same license. If you have questions about being a barber or a barber stylist, here are some reasons why fulfilling that itch or calling to change your career could be the right thing for you. 

Make sure to check your state regulations first and foremost. Each state has different requirements for licensure. Whether you’re 16 and wondering what to do after highschool or 35 and ready for a lifestyle change, the barber stylist career is a reasonably quick way to start making and growing a sustainable income. 


Let’s start with the very practical benefits of the barber stylist career. Barbers have been around since the first haircut started. It’s a career like doctors, bankers and attorneys that doesn’t phase out.

According to Google, employment of barbers, hair stylists, and cosmetologists is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. 

So, we know the economy is ever-changing, variable, unpredictable. Job security is a practical concern. It’s no wonder more and more people are choosing an entrepreneurial career. A barber is an entrepreneur. One with incredible flexibility. Working for yourself has its perks.

Manage your time:

Working for yourself could give you a very maneuverable schedule. While you’re considering something so big as a career change, your biggest hesitation may be the big change to the schedule you’re used to. Maybe you have a family who relies on your day-to-day routine. 

Honestly, it’ll be an adjustment in the beginning to add school to your week. It is, however, better AND cheaper than a 4 year degree. Most barbering schools have a part time or nighttime option as well. As we said, barbering school is also reasonably short. Just 10-12 months it can take to clock the hours. 

Socialize at work:

Upon graduation, it is advised that you get some real world experience, shadowing a pro and build your clientele. From day one after school, as an entrepreneur does, your main goal will be to build a client base. If you like talking to people and building relationships, this is where you will shine. Clients look for quality in your work. They also look for a good experience, a good conversation and to feel like it’s not a chore to go in for a cut and style. 

Two things in this career are important: continue to learn and perfect your technical skills and, listen to and remember your clients. Then, they will remember you. Making your business stronger.

Be your own boss:

Being your own boss and making your own rules is a major incentive here. What does that mean exactly, other than the obvious getting away from the 9 to 5? 

After school, you’ll start working in your first barbershop, starting from scratch. Honestly, this may likely be the time you make the least profit. People don’t know you or your style. Take advantage of this time by looking for employment where senior barbers and stylist are willing to teach you are at least let you shadow them. You can’t improve if you don’t keep learning. 

Some choose to keep working as an employee, however, most people choose to move onto renting their own chair. This is when you truly become independent as a freelancer. Your chair is your business and you earn as much as you put into it. The next step after freelancing, or being an independent contractor, is to own your own shop. Business ownership is ultimate freedom. 

Pick a career not a job:

Once you’re the boss, you have the opportunity to grow your business the way any small or big business grows theirs. You can start with building trust with every person who sits in your chair. In addition, you can market your business. Build a brand for yourself. Are you creative? Do you have your own style? As you work in the barbering and styling field, you’ll have the opportunity to brand your self made business. Firstly, you can choose to work only with men’s hair, specializing in beards, for example. You can also only cut and style women’s hair, showing off your expertise in tapered cuts or women’s haircolor, etc. 

Many barbers and stylists use social media like instagram or facebook to get awareness to their work. You can also join your local chamber of commerce or business networking bureaus to get referrals. It might sound cliche, but the possibilities are really endless.

Take the show on the road:

There’s another huge perk to a barber license. You can work from anywhere. Really. There isn’t a place in the world where people don’t need their hair cut. 

Market wherever you go.

Establish a presence in more than one location or as a traveling barber. 

So, how do I know it’s the right path for me?

Definitely, it’s not for everyone. If you find it stressful to put time and effort to grow a business, even if you’re doing fun and fulfilling work, it may not be for you. If you don’t want the freedom of making your own hours but still love cutting and styling, be an employee. Have someone make your schedule while all you have to do is come to work, do what you love, and go home to your family. The barber stylist career has many different paths you can take. We suggest, start with the basic training in school and see which specialty and salary type suites your life and ambitions. 

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