Have you ever dreamed of a career as a hairstylist? Or even doing bridal hair and makeup? Hairstyling is a fun and exciting career that can take in you many different directions. Most commonly, professional hairstylists are licensed cosmetologists. If you are interested in pursuing a career in hairstyling, there are some essential things to remember when looking for the right education.
Online hairstyling courses are a great way to see if hairstyling is the right choice for you. They are an excellent introduction to the concepts of styling, cutting, and necessary sanitation protocols that are imperative to successfully completing your required training and passing your licensing exam.
Online educations for hairstylists are also one of the most convenient ways to stay up to date on current trends, hair styling techniques, and practices. Continuing education in hairstyling is the most important thing you can do to ensure a long and successful career. Online courses are also an excellent way to gain new information in order to shift focus within your career. If you are deciding to take on a new specialty service, or maybe even make the jump to salon owner, online courses can help you do just that.
For more details scroll further down into the article but as a sneak peek, these are the Best Hair Styling Courses Online:
- IAP College Hair Salon Owner Certificate Course Online
- Online Makeup Academy Hair Stylist Training
- Trendimi Extension and Hairstyling Expert
- Michael Boychuck Hair Academy
- International Career Institute
More info on each course below!
What’s the Best Hair Stylist Course for Beginners?
If you are just starting out and are interested in hairstyling, it is essential to find out the laws and regulations in place for where you will be working. In some cases, there are no regulations on hairdressers, and online diplomas and certifications are a great way to get you started. However, most places require licensing and a specified number of training hours.
Once you figure out if you will require a license, you will need to find the best local cosmetology or hairstyling school in your area. In order to be able to practice hairdressing and to work in a salon, or even as an independent contractor, you will need to complete a required and accredited number of training hours as well as take and pass a licensing exam.
Every state and location has different minimum requirements to obtain your cosmetology license. Most often, these hours must be completed by attending a hairdressing school. For example, Connecticut requires 1500 hours of study in a cosmetology school before taking your State Board exam while in California, the requirement is 1600 hours and in New York; 1000 hours.
Some states allow you to apprentice or intern for your hours with a licensed and accredited professional. Either way, you will need to complete the appropriate number of training hours for your location and then register for and pass the licensing exam. These requirements are necessary due to the importance of hygiene and sanitation in hairstyling, as well as knowing how to use heat, chemicals, and products safely and correctly.
Once you complete your training and are licensed, it is important to remember that you will still be a beginner hairstylist. There are hair styling products to keep track of, different hairstyles to learn and to truly be a successful stylist, hairdressers must continue their training and education. Online certifications are a great option since you can find anything in the beauty industry from nail technician courses to hair and makeup certification courses. Online hair styling education is the most convenient, easily accessible, and affordable way to move from beginner to expert hairstylist.
The 5 Best Hair Styling Courses Online
When first looking into online hair styling education, the results will seem overwhelming. Nowadays, it seems as though there are millions of online education opportunities, and almost anyone can start an online course curriculum. It is so important to make sure that the classes you are investing your time and money into are worth your investment and will help further your skills and your career. To save you time and stress, I have compiled a list of the 5 best hair styling courses online.
The International Association of Professions Career College offers a 6-week part-time course in salon ownership. One of the biggest trends in hairstyling right now is the move away from traditional commission-based salons. This means that most hairstylists these days are independent contractors. Essentially, whether they rent a space or just a chair, being a modern-day hairstylist requires you to be your own small business.
Gaining knowledge of the business end of hairstyling is critically important when it comes to understanding your finances, your inventory, profit margins, pricing, and more. This online course is designed to give you all the tools you need to run your own salon business successfully. This course covers critical topics such as:
- Hair Salon Basics: You will learn about the different types of hair salons, salon personnel, the importance of retail sales and products, and what services you may consider offering.
- Proper Start-Up Information: You will get an understanding of how to choose a specialization and what options you have when legally forming your business. This course also focuses on the importance of a business plan and proper financing.
- The Ins-and-Outs of Salon Business: This course goes into great detail about all of the daily factors that are crucial to a successful hair business, including:
- How to price services
- How to properly pay yourself and staff
- Financial management
- Personnel and employee management
- Typical salon operations
- Marketing and Client Relationships: Everything from your website to customer service to growing your hair business is covered in this comprehensive course.
The Hair Salon Owner Certificate Course is a course I would highly recommend for all beginners and even experienced hairstylists. Even if salon-ownership is not something you have seriously considered, there are many critical topics discussed and taught in this class that are vital to the success of every hair styling job, not just ownership.
Online Makeup Academy offers an incredibly in-depth and hands-on course delivered to you online! The Pro Hairstyling Course includes a professional kit filled with professional tools such as a curling iron, combs, clips, extensions, and even a mannequin to complete your assignments on.
This course is designed to help you specialize in bridal, updo, and fashion-focused hairstyling. Bridal and formal styling is a highly competitive and exciting component of hairdressing, and it requires a lot of practice as well as continuing education. This extensive online curriculum covers both the theoretical concepts of styling as well as technical step-by-step looks.
This course is done at your own speed and in your own time. This allows you to work at your own pace and truly take the time to develop a mastery of each section. This course is broken down into 6 modules that introduce you to different kinds of styling specialties.
- Introduction and Hair Styling Theory: This course will discuss the different types of hair, the importance of product selection and usage, as well as why it is important to practice on your mannequin.
- Braids: This section teaches you step by step how to create six different styles utilizing braids.
- Classic Updos: In this module, the course will walk you through very traditional, signature styling techniques from blow-drying to Hollywood waves, the perfect ponytail, and hair straightening techniques.
- Bridal: The bridal section of this course will teach you how to properly conduct a bridal trial appointment, how to work with brides, and more than 10 bride favorite hairstyles.
- Film and Fashion: Styling hair for magazines and film is very different than styling hair for any other event. This module covers classic and era-specific hairstyles, as well as artistic hairstyling and editorial hair.
- Marketing: Finally, this course takes the time to teach you the best ways to market and sell your services. It covers service pricing, advertising, and how to succeed with a styling specialty.
What’s unique about this online course is that while the course itself is online, with each module, you will receive assignments to complete and submit. A tutor will provide feedback and comment on your submitted work, so you are sure to be able to understand the material and progress through the course with success.
This is a very thorough and well-planned course that is great for beginners who want to carve out a niche in styling as well for more experienced stylists who are looking for a way to add more services to their menu.
Trendi Mi has an extensive catalog of courses in many different careers. Their Extensions and Hairstyling Expert course is a complete step-by-step online course designed to teach everything you need to know about specializing in hair styling and working with extensions as well as other hairstylist skills and specialties.
This course consists of 10 full modules that cover just about everything you could think of involving hairstyling and extension work. This class is designed to take you from wherever you may be in your hairstyling career to expert status at your own pace and from the comfort of your own home. This course covers a range of topics in addition to styling, including color, cutting, and men’s hair.
This class is incredibly detailed and thorough and has a price point that makes it accessible to hairstylists at every level. Extensions and updos are becoming more and more popular and mainstream, and these are essential skills for every hairstylist to have. This class includes modules on the following topics:
- In-depth history and theory of hairstyling: This course will teach you the science behind hair type, structure, and the scalp. You will also learn how to treat hair and properly use products. The first 4 modules cover everything from hair color and shape, how to professionally wash hair and the history of hair and fashion.
- How to use your tools: This course dedicates a whole module to how to use and select your tools properly.
- Professional Styling Techniques: In this professional course, you will learn how to straighten hair, curl hair, create waves, use rollers, and the art of blow-drying.
- Men’s Hair: Styling men’s hair is an important skill set to have when looking to work as a film, fashion, or editorial hairstylist.
- Updos: Upstyling is a broad specialty that allows for many career opportunities. In this course, you will learn essential foundations for styling updos, preparation of hair for updos, tool selection, and many different step by step updo tutorials.
- Extensions: With extensions growing in popularity, this class offers a great introduction to the various available types of extensions and how to select and install them. (Check out the best tricks for hair extensions in that article!)
- Popular Haircuts: This course covers the most asked for and popular haircuts and styles, including the pixie cut, a round bob, and long layered haircuts.
What’s unique about this course is that it touches on the broad spectrum of hairstyling services. I highly recommend this course for beginners who need to further sharpen their skills after attending hairdressing school and for more advanced stylists that are looking to expand their service offerings. This course is well rounded, well planned, and affordable.
The Michael Boychuck Hair Academy is an online academy that specializes in advanced education for hairdressers. There are four course curriculums to choose from, starting with the Hair Styling course.
This course is 50 hours of in-depth knowledge focused specifically in styling hair. Included in your enrollment is a mannequin head to work on while taking the class and to continue to practice the techniques for mastery.
This course teaches basic hair styling foundations and theory but is mostly focused on teaching specific styles step by step. This is a great course to study and learn popularly requested styles or to add more looks to your portfolio. You will learn techniques as well as styling tips and tricks within these lessons.
Some of the looks and styles that are taught in this online course include:
- Princess Bow Hair Style
- Renaissance Bun Hair Style
- Mermaid Braid Hair Style
- Vintage Hair Style
- Fantasy Braid Hair Style
- Runway Braid Hair Style
- Halo Braid Hair Style
This course also covers other styling techniques such as:
- Blow-dry styling techniques
- Straightening techniques
- Classic bridal styling techniques
- Editorial and Photography styling
- Red carpet styling techniques
- Men’s long hair styling
This online hair styling academy has something for every hairdresser. The Hair Styling course is a focused and detailed online class perfect for anyone interested in making styling their specialty. This course is excellent for beginners and more experienced stylists. I highly recommend this class because it has a great mix of foundations, techniques, and step-by-step instructions for specific looks.
The International Career Institute offers both a diploma and advanced diploma program in hairdressing. Their complete hairdressing course covers almost every aspect of hairdressing. The program is designed for anyone looking for top-notch styling education in an area with little to no regulatory practices, as well as for any licensed stylist looking to enhance their skills and broaden their career options,
This course not only covers styling techniques and sanitation practices, but it also includes many categories that are essential in salon management and inter-personal skills vital to working alongside other stylists in a salon.
The diploma level course is 24 weeks while the advanced diploma is a 31 week course. Both options are designed to work at your own pace, and you are allowed up to 3 years to complete the curriculum.
What’s unique about this course is that it touches on and addresses all of the many ways you can succeed in a career in hairdressing. It is in-depth, well-rounded, and a great way to introduce yourself to hairstyling, prepare for hairdressing school, or to enhance your hairdressing education and give yourself a leg up on other stylists in your area.
This course offers 15 units of study covering:
- Preparing clients for salon services
- Co-ordinating salon services
- Removing chemicals from the hair
- Appointments and client schedules
- Selling products and services
- Diagnosing client’s hair and scalp conditions
- Treating hair and scalp
- Cutting hair
- Dressing and styling hair
- Permanent wave and chemical services
- Hair Coloring
- Salon team coordination
- Maintaining a clean and efficient workplace
- Communication in the workplace
- Client reception and consultation
The International Career Institute offers a broad and impressive course for hairstylists at any level of expertise. I highly recommend this course if you are considering hairstyling as a career or are interested in the many other career paths in hairdressing, such as management, sales representative, or salon coordinator. This class is sure to sharpen your skills and prepare you for a successful hairstyling career.
How Long Does It Take to Be a Hairstylist?
How long it takes to become a hairstylist will vary depending on where you live and where you intend to work. It will also depend on how much time you can commit to your hairdressing education during the week.
For example, if you live somewhere that requires 1500 hours of training, you may choose to complete your training full-time and could be ready to take your exam in a year. However, if you are already working or have a family, you may choose to pursue your career as a hairstylist part-time, and you would train for 18 months to 2 years.
The journey to becoming a hairstylist will be different for everyone. Still, it is important to remember that as a hairstylist, continuing education is critical to continued success and career growth. Trends, techniques, and technology change regularly.
Highlighting services are a great example of this. For a long time, hairstylists were taught to highlight hair using a plastic cap. That is until foils were introduced, and full foil and partial foil services started to be offered everywhere. In the last 5 years, balayage and hand-painted highlights have become the go-to highlighting technique available.
To stay relevant, successful, and in demand, your education as a hairstylist is never complete. After completing your courses you can then start your own business and like in any other area you have to keep up with the trends and learn the steps to start your journey. To have an idea of the steps you have to take to start your own business, you can take a look at the 10 steps to start your own nail technician business. And apply those steps to start your own hair styling business.
In keeping up with trends just look at how hair styles themselves have changed over time, and you can understand why it is so important to take hair styling and online hairstyling courses; it is a sure-fire way to stay marketable and busy as a stylist.
How Do You Attract Hair Clients?
When you start your career as a stylist, you are going to need clients. Building a book of clients takes time and effort, but there are a few ways you can make sure to attract quality clients that will become your best form of advertising.
Social media has become one of the fastest ways to attract clients for hairstylists. Having an online portfolio that shows off your work and your specialty is a powerful way to let people know what you can do and to offer inspiration.
Social media allows you to reach clients that are looking for the services you are offering without having to know them or meet them in public. Utilizing social media is one of the most effective marketing strategies for a hairstylist.
Make sure you are using quality hashtags that your ideal client is searching for and posting before and after pictures to pique the interest of potential clients.
Connect With Connected Businesses
A great way to grow your hairstyling business is to help someone else grow their business. Many businesses lend themselves to the need for hairstyling services. Getting to know your local business owners is an excellent way to make sure that you are the hairstylist they will recommend.
For example, bridal shops and wedding venues are always working with brides and bridal parties. When a bride is selecting her dress or her wedding details, she will also be looking for recommendations for hairstylists, makeup artists, florists, etc.
Local gyms and wellness studios generally have large bathrooms and shower areas where people spend a lot of time trying to style their own hair. What better place to leave some business cards for your impressive styling services?
Get creative and build relationships with other complementary businesses that are able to refer your dream clients right to your chair.
One of the oldest and still most successful ways to build a clientele is by meeting people and handing out your business card. Make sure your card states your specialty and is clear in the services you offer.
When you are out, look around for your ideal client. If you are a blonde specialist, for example, look for the blondes in the room. Introduce yourself and compliment their hair. A great way to do this is to say, “Hi. I love your blonde hair. It’s beautiful. If you ever need anything, I would be happy to help you.” After the introduction, hand the client your business card.
This sounds much more intimidating than it is, and after a little bit of practice, you’ll be surprised by how many cards you will be handing out, and how many clients will be calling you.
Word Of Mouth
Referrals are the gold standard of attracting new clients that will stick with you for a long time. Its good practice when you are just starting out trying to attract new clients to offer a referral program to anyone who’s hair you do.
Friends are always asking each other for recommendations and tend to trust the opinion of their peers at a higher level. One of the ways you can offer a referral program is to provide a free product or a small discount to your client and a friend when they refer a new client to your services.
Another way is to offer a free full service after a specified number of referrals. For example, a complementary color or styling service after a client has referred 5 friends that receive a hair service with you. However, you structure it; word of mouth referrals are a great way to attract new, long-term clients.
There are many ways to attract new clients. Some other options include volunteering your services to charity events and runway shows, advertising in local papers and at local events, and working with real estate agents to add small welcome baskets from you for new residents to your community.
Hair Styling Careers Have Many Options
Becoming a hairstylist is an exciting career path. With so many specialties to choose from and many different roles you can choose, working as a hairstylist is rewarding, fulfilling, and never dull. Even if you are already a practicing hair stylist, you may be interested in finding different positions within the styling community.
Online education makes mastering the art of styling hair easier than ever and accessible from anywhere. Whether you are just starting out as a beginner or have years of experience, there is always something to be learned in the pursuit of mastering your craft. Online hairstyling education is flexible, affordable, and allows you to take the time you need to learn every aspect of a style, haircut, or technique.
Continuing your hairdressing education will guarantee you a long and successful career styling hair. Whether you are looking to specialize in one particular service or dream of opening your own salon one day, there is an online hairstyling course designed just for you.