Hairstyling: A Fun Career in Giving People Confidence

Hairstyling has always seemed so glamorous to me. The posh salon with the fancy coffees served by perfectly coiffed assistants while you wait for your stylist to call your name.  Then, you sit in that chair, the cape goes on and THAT’S when the magic happens.   

I mean what could be better than having the power to transform people, even if it is just through doing their hair?  Is there a better gift to give someone than self-confidence?  Not in my opinion. 

Some people say that your smile is the first thing people notice about you, but this year, when those smiles have been covered with masks, I think it’s a pretty safe bet to say that your hair is what really gets you noticed. 

Katrina Pereira started her hairstyling career over ten years ago and even a whole decade later, through a global pandemic and multiple government shutdowns, she still loves her profession and can’t imagine ever doing anything else. 

“I’ve always been so happy being behind the chair,” Katrina says.  “Every day is different.  I love my job and wouldn’t change it for the world.” 

Now as an outsider looking in, I’ve always felt that hairstyling would be a super stressful job.  I mean one wrong colour choice could ruin someone’s whole look and I think we have all had a bad haircut or two that made us realize that one wrong slip of the scissors can wreak havoc on a person’s self-esteem.  Katrina, however, doesn’t stress at all.  “Making sure the client is happy I would say is my biggest stressor, but if you are confident in what you are doing, it doesn’t really feel that way.” 

Katrina took a private college program and believes that what she learned in the classroom gave her the foundation she needed to feel confident in pursuing her apprenticeship which ultimately led to her obtaining her hairstyling license.  

“Always educate,” she emphasizes, “Education is key.  Don’t ever think you know it all because you don’t.  There is always something new to learn and a new trend to follow.” 

For this reason, Katrina has always worked in a salon setting learning from her peers; she likes the hustle and bustle of a busy salon and loves working behind the chair. 

But, there are so many options when it comes to hairstyling.  You can travel the world, you can be a personal stylist, you can open your own business, you can work on movie sets or in television, do sales for a product line or manufacturer or even choose to work in an upscale salon like Katrina does. 

The choices are endless, and the days are always different.  It’s rewarding to be able to add a little spring to a client’s step by transforming their look and it’s a career that you don’t have to take home with you at the end of the day. 

Katrina laughs and admits that it’s true that hairstylists are frequently treated like part-time therapists, often learning intimate details of their clients’ personal lives but, she enjoys being someone her clients trust and feel safe confiding in, just another job perk in her opinion.   

So, when it comes to characteristics of what makes a good hairstylist; from Katrina’s perspective, it’s that you need to be a people person.  “You really need to want to get to know people.  Not only what they like but who they are.  The best hairstylists need an outgoing/friendly personality to make their clients feel at ease and welcome in your chair.  You need to be a good listener; so you can really understand what a client wants to ensure they leave happy.”  

Katrina’s advice for longevity in the business is to stay true to who you are.  “The only competition you should have is with yourself.  With every client your goal should be to knock it out of the park and keep them coming back.” 

It’s a career where your skills directly impact your income; the happier your clients are, the more referrals you will get, the busier you will be which ultimately leads to a bigger paycheck. 

A career in hairstyling pays well and is also a “feel good” job.  Clients always leave your chair feeling better than when they came in.  Usually, their happiness is with the style you’ve created for them, but often it’s the kindness and encouragement you provide that will keep them coming back for more.