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A men's hair stylist is a man or woman who specializes in cutting, shampooing, dyeing, and styling hair. Professional stylists can help men decide on fashionable haircuts and create the appropriate looks. Many stylists suggest and sell products to keep hair healthy and looking its best. A men's hair stylist usually works in a barbershop or hair salon, seeing walk-in and appointment-based clients. Some ambitious and successful stylists work with celebrities or other individuals who need to look good in the public eye.
Common services provided by a men's hair stylist include trimming hair and beards, shampooing and coloring hair and adding highlights. Professionals also apply gel and other hair products to achieve certain looks. Stylists often offer expert haircare and styling advice, and may sell specific products in their barbershops or salons so that people can maintain their desired look at home. In some salons, men's hair stylists apply facial skincare products to help improve clients' complexions and accentuate their hairstyles.
An individual might seek the service of a men's hair stylist to help him establish or maintain a specific look. He may reference a photo in a hairstyle book or a magazine and request a similar cut. Some people, however, visit stylists without certain designs in mind, relying on the professionals' experience and skills to create attractive haircuts. Stylists are usually very familiar with popular hairdos and attempt to stay in touch with current fashion trends.
A license is required to work as a men's hair stylist in most states and countries. In order to obtain a license, an individual must first complete a training program at an accredited cosmetology or barber school. The length of barber school programs can vary, but most classes take about nine months to complete. Students attend lectures, read about tools and techniques, and practice their skills on dummies and volunteers. Upon completion of a program, an individual is usually awarded a certificate and granted the ability to work under supervision and pursue licensure.
New stylists prepare for their licensing exams by cutting hair under the guidance of experienced workers. Most states and regions administer written exams to individuals after they have completed a set number of supervised working hours. Some locations require practical exams as well, wherein stylists are required to cut a volunteer's hair to the satisfaction of licensers. Once a person receives a license, he or she is allowed to practice independently in barber shops or hair salons.