A woman with bright, multicolored hair stands facing from the viewer. Photo by Jessica Dabrowski for Unsplash.

Going to the salon is one of the best ways to unwind, but when you’re considering it as a profession, you’re not likely to be letting your hair down on the job. If you think that a career in hair design, whether you’re a general salon stylist, a barber, or a color specialist, there are some things you should consider prior to enrolling in a program.

At Robert Paul Academy in Baltimore, our comprehensive cosmetology and makeup programs have helped thousands of people become professional hairstylists, but not everyone who enrolls succeeds. We know what it takes to become the best of the best in the beauty industry, and we want everyone who comes to our cosmetology school to be prepared for what’s in store. In this article, we’ll cover the questions that we recommend you ask yourself to ensure that this educational decision is the right move for you!

What To Expect From A Career In Hairdressing

When most people think of their hairstylist, they likely assume that the job is pretty straightforward: washes, cuts, colors, and the occasional updo or braid for a fancy event. But a day in the life of a hairdresser is far more variable and demanding than many may realize. 

Should you choose to pursue a career in hairdressing, you’ll need to be prepared for the responsibilities and qualifications that the job requires. From technical mastery of handling different hair types, to maintaining client relationships, to developing and refining business savvy, there’s a lot more that goes into being a hairdresser than taming flyaway frizzies. But the questions that follow should help you conduct an adequate self-assessment so you can be certain that you’re ready to submit that application for a salon job or to enroll in a certified beauty academy.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • What Level Of Social Interaction Do You Prefer?
  • Are You Okay With Continuing Education Throughout Your Career?
  • How Clean Do You Keep Your Home?
  • Are You More Detail-Oriented Or Spontaneous?
  • Why Do You Want To Pursue A Career In Cosmetology?

What Level Of Social Interaction Do You Prefer?

Whether you believe in the legitimacy of personality tests or not, you have to admit there’s a certain degree of truth to the idea that most people are either extroverts, introverts, or ambiverts — a sort of middle ground between the two ends of the spectrum. 

If you choose to go to beauty school with the intention of becoming a stylist, you’ll need to understand your preferences regarding social interaction. Going to an institute like the Robert Paul Academy requires you to remain socially involved and cooperative with others for a significant portion of your training. If you feel drained by interacting with other people and prefer to work alone most of the time, you might struggle to adjust to the teamwork and interpersonal elements that are so critical to a comprehensive hair design program.

By contrast, those who are more comfortable with social interaction are likely to thrive in a hair academy program. Whether you’re on the outer edge of ambiversion or a textbook social butterfly, your social skills will serve you well during your training as well as your future position in a salon or barbershop.

Are You Okay With Continuing Education Throughout Your Career?

If you think that only doctors and teachers need 

to continue to update their educational credentials throughout their careers, you may want to reconsider that idea. The most successful professionals in the beauty and hair industry 

regularly stay up-to-date with the latest innovations, business tactics, and trends in cosmetology. Whether it’s researching optimal ways to use new and specialized hair products or a formal session of coursework in hair braiding and advancing styling techniques, you have to remain on the cutting edge of your career industry to keep your skills as sharp as your scissors.

How Clean Do You Keep Your Home?

We’re all guilty of letting the chores fall by the wayside every now and again, but the general state of cleanliness in your home is a big indicator of whether or not you’ll be comfortable and competent in a hairstyling career.

A clean workspace is a productive workspace in many professional scenarios, and this is certainly the case if you’re a hairdresser or hair design specialist. From sweeping up hair trimmings to organizing bottles of product, there’s a surprising amount of cleaning and upkeep that goes into keeping a salon as pretty as its freshly pampered patrons. The good thing is that even if you’re not currently a neat freak, cleaning is a skill that can be picked up by anyone and at any time in life. The biggest factor in whether or not you’re actually good at salon-keeping seems to be the desire to maintain the right appearance and aesthetics for your workspace. 

Are You More Detail-Oriented Or Spontaneous?

The Beauty industry is full of creative types and free spirits, but spontaneity and impulsivity aren’t always the best qualities to have as a hairdresser. When you’re taking care of a client, they’ll almost always have a specific end result in mind, whether it’s a precise length of their layers or the hue of their face-framing highlights. Although creativity is important in this line of work, remaining detail-oriented is equally essential. If you let your imagination run wild, your clients may just run out the door. Remain vigilant and diligent in your tasks, approaching each hairstyling, haircutting, or hair coloring session as if it were a test. The “grade” of your performance, whether adequate or below-average, will soon become apparent in the ways your clients respond to the end results.

Why Do You Want To Pursue A Career In Cosmetology?

This may have been the first question you asked yourself when you began to contemplate going to hair school, or it may never have crossed your mind at all. Regardless, take time to consider (or reconsider) this question. Ask yourself what you’re truly passionate about, and decide whether your mores and values align with a career in cosmetology. If you value creativity, social interaction, meaningful relationships, working on a team, and learning new things throughout your career, then a career as a hairstylist may be the perfect route to take. 

You can start your journey to becoming a cosmetic professional by enrolling in one of our courses at Robert Paul Academy, or you can contact us today to speak with one of our beauty experts to get more information on our curriculum and educational philosophy. Although asking questions is a great way to get started, the only way to truly know if hairstyling is right for you begins by submitting your application to a beauty school. Get started today by visiting Robert Paul Academy online or in person at our Baltimore institute of cosmetic certification!