Jump to your Question
Natural Hairstylists Job Description & Education Requirements
Natural hairstyling is an increasingly popular and creative profession in the beauty arts and sciences. Many states are moving to adopt specialized licenses for this profession, suggesting that there may be an uptick in demand for natural hair care services. Read on to learn more about this unique skill.
A natural hairstylist typically works on African American or ethnic hair, in its natural beauty without heavy chemical processing or relaxing. Natural hairstylists typically do not shave, cut or trim hair, nor do they dye it or use other chemicals. A natural hairstylist will braid, wrap or twist hair either by hand or using a mechanical device. Either natural or artificial hair can be used.
A hair braider is a type of natural hairstylist who specializes in small intricate braids and twists over the entire head. They originated from African immigrants or African-Americans who passed the art form from generation to generation. It's a long-standing traditional form of natural hairstyling that is still immensely popular today.
A loctician shampoos and preps the scalp for the natural hairstylist, and also does palm rolling, rollers and pipes. Loctitians often specialize in dreadlock creation, management and care. Loctitians can also do updos and styling.
Average annual earnings for hairstylists would be around $26,790 before tips, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but some states have a higher expected salary. For example, a range of $29,590 to $47,520 can be expected near Vermont, Connecticut, Hawaii and Washington D.C. However, your annual earnings as a natural hairstylist depend heavily on whether you work for a salon or own your own business, which is common for entrepreneurial natural hairstylists. Earnings can also depend on your level of experience, how well you market yourself to build your client base (and keep them coming back), the market you work in, continuing education or advanced certifications you earn, and more.
If a natural hairstylist graduates from an accredited school they will have more options. A salon is an obvious choice, where there is an option to rent a chair or space, or open a self-employed specialty salon. Natural hairstyling is a growing field which means more and more opportunities will arise. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the states with the biggest draw for natural hairstylists are Florida, California, Texas, Pennsylvania and New York.
Popularity is growing with hairstyling, especially because it is such a new field. It is no longer attributed to solely African-American hair, so other ethnicities are getting in on the action. The United States has always been a melting pot of different cultures and diversity, and that will only increase in the future. What this means for natural hairstylists is more opportunity and demand.
The expectations for a natural hairstylist are very similar to a "regular" hairstylist, but one major difference is the amount of clients seen and time spent. There will usually be less clients in a day because each client will take longer.
The work day will begin by checking appointments and preparing for the days clients (including planning schedules and a lunch because it is important to rest muscles and prevent eyestrain).
Typically, a touch up will take about 30 minutes, and an entire head can take many hours depending on the intricacy.
At the end of each appointment, the natural hairstylist will discuss satisfaction with the client, give care instructions and set up the next appointment (not to mention take payment).
If the natural hairstylist needs to build clientele, a good option for advertisement is on social media channels. Another great option is referrals and follow up with prior clients.
It is recommended at the end of the day to clean up the workstation so that time isn't wasted on the next workday.
As with other hairstylists, it is recommended that natural hairstylists keep current with styles and trends. Find out what is popular and keep taking continuing education classes to learn new skills and advertise your specialty.
Gain experience in all hair types, but especially African-American hair textures. Although natural hairstyling is becoming popular in almost all ethnicities, African-Americans currently will be the majority of clients.
Build up hand strength and be able to use fine motor skills for long periods of time. The faster and more intricate the natural hairstylist is, the more in demand their work will be.
Stay in good health as standing for long periods of time will be required. Invest in good shoes.
Communication is a skill that is sometimes downplayed, but it is important to be able to clarify what clients want as well as pricing and payment options
Above all, have fun! Natural hairstyling is a unique skill that will really be able to show off the talent that has been gained through