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How do I Become a Hair Color Expert?

Article Details
  • Written By: M.C. Huguelet
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 16 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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If you would like to use your artistic vision to help others achieve a new look, you may want to become a hair color expert. The path to a job as a hair colorist begins with a cosmetology training course followed by a licensing exam. Once you have become a qualified hair stylist, you can begin working in a salon. Through extensive practice, up-to-date awareness of hairstyling trends, and appreciation of each client’s needs, you can push your cosmetology skills to the next level and become a hair color expert.

Before you can begin working as a colorist, you must complete a cosmetology training course. You may opt to undertake a certificate or diploma program or earn an associate’s degree in cosmetology. These courses, which are widely offered throughout the US, typically involve lectures and supervised technical practice. Many of them also require students to complete apprenticeship hours in a professional salon, an experience which can allow you to observe hair color experts at work.

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While certificate and diploma programs are generally less intensive than associate’s degree courses and can be completed in as little as nine months, they generally prepare you only to perform hair and nail care. Associate’s degree programs usually require more coursework, but provide you with the skills to style hair and to perform treatments like facials and laser hair removal. Whether you opt for a certificate, diploma, or degree, you should ensure that your program of choice allows you to specialize in coloring.

After completing your training program, you must become licensed to work as a hairstylist. Licensing procedures vary by state. In most cases, however, you will be required to complete a written test and demonstrate your cutting, styling, and coloring knowledge in a practical exam.

Once you are licensed, your quest to become a hair color expert will be fully under way. You can now seek a job in a hair salon. Often entry-level salon employees are given only limited responsibilities, such as doing basic cuts, but you can view this period as a valuable learning opportunity. Study senior stylists as they tint, highlight, or bleach hair, asking them about their technique and noting how the shades they have chosen work with their clients' hair color and texture. You may then wish to apply what you have learned by practicing on willing family members and friends.

As you prove your competency to your employer, your client base will likely begin to grow. The resulting hands-on experience is perhaps the most important developmental factor in your journey to become a hair color expert. To establish a reputation as a skilled colorist, you should listen carefully to your clients’ wishes while gently guiding them toward a coloring plan that will complement their complexion, facial features, hair type, and style.

Finally, to be a true color expert, you should make an effort to stay aware of trends and new techniques in hair coloring. You may consider attending occasional colorist workshops or master classes. In addition, you might spend time each month paging through fashion and style magazines, taking note of popular and innovate coloring trends.

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