The first step to becoming a professional hair stylist involves taking hair styling classes at an approved beauty school, cosmetology school or local community college. The next step is passing a state licensing exam to earn certification. Once certified, seek a job as a hairstylist. Professional hair stylists continue growing and learning by obtaining certification in special areas such as hair coloring.
It is not possible to work as a professional hair stylist without proper training and licensing, so start by researching hair styling programs at various schools to choose the right one. Visit different schools and speak with teachers and students about the school's program. Request to sit in on classes to get a feel for what classes are like. Typical hair styling classes include shampooing, cutting, hair coloring and styling techniques. Consider how often the school offers hands-on experience for students to practice hair styling techniques on live models.
Attend a school that offers classes that are approved by the state for licensing purposes. A school that prepares its students to take the state cosmetology licensing exam is a good choice. Follow state licensing board procedures for obtaining a cosmetology license. Seek hair styling jobs at local salons, spas or resorts that pamper guests with beauty services.