The Five Traits of a Great Stylist

This post is originally from the Douglas J Aveda Institutes website.

As a kid, were you always cutting your dolls’ hair? Did you also feel inclined to cut your own hair, your brother’s hair, and the hair of that kid from down the street? You may have always felt destined for a career in cosmetology. Passion is important if you want to work in the beauty industry, but success in cosmetology involves a lot more.

While all stylists are unique and have many wonderful traits, there are five traits that most great stylists possess.

1. A Knack for Listening

Being a good hairdresser means listening to your guests in more ways than one. It’s true that many of your guests will love sharing the ups, downs and dramas of their lives with you. You can show your consideration by listening and carrying on the conversation.

The most significant act of listening you can experience as a stylist is during the initial consultation with your guest. It’s important to clarify exactly what they want from their service to avoid miscommunication. Before you pick up the shears or mix the color, it is imperative that you and your guest are on the same page.

Some of our favorite tips you can follow to be a great listener are:

  • Never forget to smile!
  • Ask questions! If you can, over communicate instead of not communicating enough.
  • Repeat back answers to questions to make sure you’ve understood.
girl talking and other girls listening

2. Making Visions a Reality

girl holding her hair and blowing in the wind

Part of being a successful hairstylist means staying on top of the latest trends. The truly great stylists have the skill to integrate those trends into their guests’ personal styles. Your elevated taste and killer eye for design should let you set a few trends of your own. At the end of the day, it’s important that you can not only create a vision but execute it as well!

3. Honesty

Hairstylists have to understand face shape and hair types to create looks that complement their guests’ natural features. Hairstylists also have to be honest about what looks good and offer recommendations to create a style that matches each person’s unique fashion sense in a way that still looks good. Honesty is identifying whether it’s a good fit for the guest. It’s one thing for your guest to be happy with their new look when they’re walking out the door, but it’s better to make sure they’re just as happy a month later.

girls smiling at each other

One of the number one complaints salons receive from guests is sticker shock. This occurs because they didn’t know how much something actually cost. If you suggest an add-on or elevated service while your guest is in the chair, make sure you convey the extra costs. An unexpected cost could ruin a great relationship between a stylist and the guest.

4. Technical Skills

All the honesty, creativity, and listening skills in the world can’t make up for a bad haircut. What makes a good hair stylist means committedly learning the ins and outs of several techniques. It also means continuing your education and training once you leave school. In fact, certain states like Illinois require licensed cosmetologists to take continuing education courses before they can renew their license.

hairstylists holding up scissors

We’ve all heard “practice makes perfect” throughout our lives, but it bears repeating because it’s true. You have to make sure you’re familiar with a number of techniques and tools, and hone your ability to keep your energy up while working on your feet all day.

5. Adaptability

girls walking and laughing with their arms around each other

An excellent stylist can adapt to changing trends, new tools and guest visions that are hard to achieve. You never know what your day will bring you, so it’s imperative that you’re confident. Your creativity, vision and skill can all come into play to help you achieve a stellar result and a happy guest — no matter what pops up.

Do You Have One of These Traits?

If you possess one or more of these traits, you might be a perfect fit for our cosmetology program! Find the Aveda Institute closest to you!

If you want to learn more about cosmetology school, see if you’re cut out for cosmetology school. Once you’ve started your journey, you can take a look at the 10 Outside-the-Box Jobs You Can Pursue With a Cosmetology License to prepare yourself for your dream job!

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