2nd Trimester

Any Hairdressers Out There?

DH and I have been talking. The job I currently have is extremely stressful and not really conducive to working part time after the baby arrives. I've been researching cosmetology at my local community college and I was thinking that might be a good option for me. I know I would have to take all the classes prior to becoming a stylist, but it seems like a great way for me to learn a skill besides desk work. Thoughts or advice?
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Re: Any Hairdressers Out There?

  • I think it's a great way to be around baby more often because you will be able to create your own schedule to a point. BUT you have to realize now that at first you will have to be comfortable living off of your H's income because building up a brand new client base is the hardest part. I never finished school but did complete almost all of it (had a knee injury so I couldn't complete classes). As long as you are prepared to be commission based and know that you may not make much at first, you should be great! Also with the classes, it all depends on your schedule. If you have free days and child care the college would be great. If not, I would suggest finding a free standing cosmetology school. You can make your hours to a point and they have day and night classes and full time/part time. It's more tailored to a mom schedule. I hope this helps! 
  • I have been a hairdresser for 12 years...there are definitely its perks, as well as its cons!  I love my job and what I do, and it depends on where you end up working how the benefits work out for you.  As far as being able to work part time, that is definitely a perk, I work pretty full days 4 days a week (was doing 5 until my first child was born, then I cut down to 4).  The hours are very flexible (depending how how your employer runs things).  I am able to be there for my daughter (and subsequently this one when she is born) whenever I need to.  So there are many perks!

    Downsides--and this is all dependent on your employer and if you work an hourly wage or commission based wage (mine is commission)--since I work on commission, if I don't work or need to take off, I do not get paid.  This also includes maternity.  For me it also include vacations, etc....so I have to be wary about how many days I take off because it does affect our income greatly.  Also, when you develop a steady clientele, it can be harder to take off for things like maternity and the like....the way things are, if you are not available enough for your clients, they will find someone else to go to eventually.  So you can definitely do it part time, but be available enough so that your client base continues to go to you.  For my first, I forced myself back to work when my daughter was 5.5 weeks old (after a c-section mind you) because I was afraid of losing a lot of what I had spent so much time building up.  This time I am going to take off the full 8 weeks allowed but I will be back as soon as the 8 weeks is up.  

    Also keep in mind that in general, hairdressing is a lot of stress on your body...it's a lot of standing for hours on end, so there are issues that could always arise like back issues, hand issues, things like that.  But most jobs have some consequence, even desk jobs.  This job is definitely a bit harder though when you  are pregnant LOL!

    If it's something you really think you want to pursue it definitely doesn't hurt to do it!  It can be a great and rewarding field, but know that you really have to put your time in to reap the full benefits of this position.  The flexibility is just awesome, so that is always a major plus.  Good luck with your decision, I love what I do! 

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  • I think you should also keep in mind that you don't usually go out of school and directly into a stylist position.  Most people end up assisting for some time in order to learn technique, then they start as a stylist and have to build up a strong client base in order to really do things on your own schedule.  It can be a great career, but definitely isn't easy.
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  • Being a hairstylist is liberating in a lot of ways. You don't have to work a full-time 9-5, you don't have to wear silly business clothes, you have a lot of independence once you are behind the chair, you get to use your natural creativity, you get to choose your own style of communicating with clients. The big downside to me is the hours. Especially when you are starting out, you have to be there when clients want you to be there, which tends to mean evenings, weekends and holidays (or at least the days leading up to holidays). This works well for childcare, because you will most likely have a schedule pretty opposite of your husband, so you won't need regular daycare, but, you will feel like you are missing out on a lot of family activities. After a few years, once your clientele is build up pretty solid, you can start to maneuver your hours a bit, but I know of very few successful stylists who don't have any evening or weekend hours.

    The one other thing you should realize getting into this is that you must must must must must must must be a people-person. I swear, 90% of your success depends on your personality, and you have to be "on" all the time. This can be the fun, easy part of the job, but every once in awhile I wind up feeling pretty drained.

  • One more thing, about the stress factor... Yes! This is a low stress job! That is one of my favorite parts! Tiring, yes, because you are one your feet all day and busy busy busy, but stressful, no: Once you leave the salon, you are done. Yeah, you'll occasionally want to take some classes or go to some shows to keep your skills up to date but that stuff is fun. Another really positive aspect of being a stylist is that it is such a feel good job. All day long you will make people feel great about themselves and, in turn, all day long you will be hearing about how great you are. Such an ego boost!

    And one-more thing: Although I started out full time, I have slowly been able to hone my hours to where I now work 3 days a week (a 10-hour-shift, a 9-hour and an 8-hour) and that is great with me!

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