Educational Requirements and Recommendations for Hair Stylists

Becoming a hairstylist isn’t something that happens overnight but instead takes training and practice with a dedication to your craft. Getting started in the hairstyling world may not seem straightforward, so to help you, we have put together everything you need to know regarding the educational requirements to become a hairstylist.

If you are already ready to start applying for hairdressing jobs, you may need help to ensure your resume is the best it can be. If this is the case, you can use ResumeHelp’s free hair stylist resume example, guaranteeing you to follow a professional and structured format.


Before we cover the training options for your specific hair styling career goals, you will need a high school diploma or equivalent to be eligible for the majority of programs. However, once you have this, you can progress into making your hair styling dreams a reality, and you don’t need a higher level of education.


It is recommended that you go down the cosmetology route when training to be a hairstylist. A cosmetology program will cover hair styling, makeup application, skincare, and nail artistry, ensuring you have a well-rounded knowledge of the beauty industry.

When choosing a place of study, make sure that your cosmetology program is state-approved; if it isn’t, your license will not be accepted and will make it a challenge for you to progress! Many beauty colleges offer cosmetology training, such as Evergreen Beauty College, but be sure to check out the highest-rated colleges in your area too!

To fully gain a license, you will have to take exams and will be required to partake in supervised practice. Your supervised practice will usually take place in a salon, and you will gain hands-on hairstyling experience. During this practice, you will start with the basics, such as shampooing and learning the importance of customer service and working as a team, a fundamental part of hairstyling!

If you don’t want to study an entire cosmetology program, you can opt to only study hairstyling. However, this will limit you if, in the future, you would like to broaden your services or become a salon manager, as you won’t fully understand each service offered. In addition, many hair styling programs require you to have studied cosmetology before applying. So we recommend starting your hairstyling journey with a cosmetology program!

Skill requirements

When you finish your training program, there will be an influx of job opportunities you would love to pursue, and you will have your resume template ready to use. However, it is good for you to delve into each job description to ensure you know what your potential employer is looking for in a candidate. Typical hairstyling skills are;

  • Attention to detail
  • Time management
  • Customer service
  • Knowledge of product descriptions
  • Experience cutting and coloring hair
  • Experience styling hair with heat
  • Team player
  • Creativity

You will have learned these skills throughout your training and supervised experience hours. Don’t be afraid to go into detail by using a cover letter to thoroughly present your skills and all your hairstyling knowledge!


Once you secure your first job as a hairstylist, you will face daily scenarios and tasks that will develop you as a professional hairstylist. However, if you love to learn new things and want to keep up with trends, it would be beneficial to keep up with regular training. You don’t have to undergo official programs (unless you want to change your hairstyling sector) but can attend masterclasses and intensive courses from industry experts.

Keeping up with training shows that you are continuously looking to grow and expand your skill set, which won’t go unnoticed by future employees and recruiters!