A Day in the Life of a Cosmetologist

If you’ve made the decision to become a cosmetologist, you may be wondering what a typical day consists of in terms of staff  and client interactions as well as the tasks that are performed throughout the day.  It’s not likely that you’ll go from obtaining your license to immediately opening your own salon.  For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on a salon employee.

Depending on the salon or establishment a typical day may begin with setting up the tools you’ll use for the day.  Many cosmetologists, especially those who work in several salons, maintain their own kit of hair dryers, irons, brushes, even an assortment of dyes.  You’ll need to follow all the policies on sanitation and disinfection for your tools throughout the day to ensure your clients’ (and your own) safety.  At the start of your shift, you may even take a glance at the appointment book to see how your day will flow.  In many salons, the cosmetologists are responsible for answering the phones, making appointments and selling personal care products that the salon offers. 

If you don’t specialize in one particular area, you’ll probably have a day filled with a variety of tasks.  Your first appointment may be to shampoo, condition, cut, trim and style hair. Some salons employ a shampooer, but many do not.  You may also feel the need to advise this client on hair color options, straightening methods or long term care for their new locks.

Your next appointment may be a manicure/pedicure client.  You’ll work with the client to achieve the correct color, shape and treatments that best suit their lifestyle and appearance needs.  The rest of your day could be spent trimming a beard, giving a perm, styling a wig, giving a facial or performing scalp treatments.  All of these tasks are designed to help your clients look and feel their best. 

For cosmetologists who work in an establishment where each cosmetologist has a specialty, the interaction between cosmetologists is key to a smooth handoff from treatment to treatment.  Great salons are those where the cosmetologists are constantly sharing tips and ideas, working together to select hair color, seeking each other’s advice and generally making the clients feel as if they’re in good hands, even though they are treated by a variety of experts. 

The best cosmetologists are those who constantly update their skills in new treatments and techniques, keep up with the latest trends, and invest in continuing self-education in general.  States like Florida, Illinois and Texas require that you complete a certain amount of continuing education hours to maintain your license.  If you are already a licensed cosmetologist, tell us about your typical day.

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