A Cut Above: You Could Become a Stylist to the Stars

December ’08

Walking down the red carpet is the ultimate goal of many celebrities in Hollywood and in the music industry. What they wear, and how it’s worn as they grace the red carpet, will be covered in People, E, and In-Touch, plus evokes commentary from everyone from Joan Rivers to Ryan Seacrest. But who are the stylists behind these looks? How did they begin? How can you become one of the trend-setters?

There’s much more to cosmetology than putting on a beautician’s smock and grabbing a pair of scissors. If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in cosmetology, the best path to success involves keeping up with ever changing trends in fashion, training at an accredited cosmetology school, obtaining your cosmetology license, learning and mastering the business skills required to build and maintain your client base. And equally important, you have to make a commitment to lifelong learning by taking advanced, continuing education classes.

Defining Hair Fashions: Staying up to date on the current fashions helps a stylist maintain their own personal appearance (which is important so that you make a good impression on your customers), and helps you find out about the upcoming trends and styles so that you can help your clients make the best choices. Art and technical design talent are not restricted to painters and architects.

Training and Hair Stylist Education: Except for shampooers and makeup artists, every state requires cosmetologists and other personal service workers to have a license. After completing a state approved training program, students have to take a written exam and sometimes a practical test of technical styling skills. The majority of states need a personal appearance worker, such as a hair stylist, to be a minimum of 16 years old and possess a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

State-approved training programs can be found in private, post-secondary career schools such as Salon Success Academies.

Maintaining a Client Base: Career success is determined by a stylist’s personal communication skills and attitude. These “soft skills” are so crucial to maintaining and developing your client base that beauty schools require courses in this area.

By cultivating these skills, and with some determination, there are many directions you can take with a career as a celebrity stylist. Some work with celebrities; for example Ken Paves assists Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Lopez as they create and re-create their overall appearance. Others may pursue careers in the fashion or movie industry, like Kim Kimble, who works with A-listers like Beyonce, Mary J Blige, and Michelle Williams. She got started by working in the film and television industries where she began meeting celebrities who later became her regular clients.

Or you could attain celeb status yourself, like stylist Nick Arrojo. After he worked in salons like Vidal Sasson, Arrojo branched out by starting his own shop, Arrojo Studio. He continues to be a style maker by working on his own product line, and authoring how-to books. “What Not To Wear,” which can be seen on the Learning Channel (TLC), showcases his work.

Once you have the training under your belt, it’s up to you where you go from there.

You can find Salon Success Academies on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/salonsuccessacademy

You can follow Salon Success Academies on Twitter here: http://www.twitter.com/SalonSuccess

About Salon Success Academies

Salon Success Academy offers five locations in California’s Inland Empire, in Redlands, Fontana, Upland, San Bernardino, and Corona. Our mission at SSA involves caring for every student as a member of our family, furnishing the chance to finish their educational objectives as affordably as possible. SSA incorporates first-hand, real-world practice of the principles of cosmetology, skin care, and nail artistry. The campus teams with members of the beauty industry to educate our graduates on the technical and customer service skills they need to succeed in their careers.

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Our mission is to equip our students with the tools necessary to succeed in the beauty industry by providing exceptional technical education in the classroom and servicing our local communities. The training our students receive will enable them to successfully attain employment in the beauty industry and related fields.

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