How to Start as a Freelance Hairstylist

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If you played with the hair on your dolls, sisters, brothers and friends as you grew up, and are the go-to gal when someone needs her hair to look good, you have what it takes to start as a freelance hairstylist. A passion for designing hair with a keen business plan can provide a profit while you work in a profession you enjoy. In less than a year, you can open your own business and enter the creative field of beauty.

Attend cosmetic school to receive your license. Learn the basics in hair and skin care, makeup and nail application. Enter trade show contests in hair and makeup as a student applicant. Build a name for yourself within the trade with your innovative designs and creative styles. Finish school, then apply for and pass the state licensing test.

Replace your student equipment with more professional equipment. Buy more scissors and choose scissors for specialized functions, such as thinning hair. Pick up a strong blow dryer and several types of diffusers. Purchase different-sized barrels of curling irons. Add to your nail polish selection. Buy a professional bag, and buy several capes to cover your clients as you work on their hair.

Prepare the business basics. Apply for a business license from your local licensing board. Get an employer tax identification number from the IRS. Prepare a price list for services. Set up a website for your hairstyling business, and include the types of services you offer and the price list. Make business cards to hand out to everyone you meet.

Write up a financial plan. Open a business checking account. Set up an account to accept credit cards. Install software to keep track of client’s name, address ans phone number, the services provided and the costs incurred. Prepare a ledger to track income and expenses.

Decide on your type of clientele and market to them. Speak to several wedding photographers and ask them to recommend you as a stylist for their shoots, such as for a wedding or special occasion. Go to funeral homes and leave your price list and card to prepare the deceased prior to viewing. Ask friends and family members to recommend you for proms, Quinceanera celebrations and parties.


  • Advertise in small local newspapers. Drop fliers in bridal gown shops.


About the Author

Angelique de la Morreaux began writing articles for various websites in 2010. Her focus is in the legal, small business, beauty, holiday, culture, food, drinks and automotive categories. Morreaux holds a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences from San Diego State University.

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