Successful celebrity hairdressers are in constant demand, rub shoulders with the rich and famous, travel the globe and command sizable fees. Many become celebrities in their own right, securing book and magazine deals, guest spots on television and lucrative sponsorships. But few achieve overnight success. The vast majority have invested in extensive training and paid their dues working in salons. If you have a passion for the work, the talent to create outstanding styles — and if you are persistent, motivated and hard-working — you can succeed in this competitive world.
Things You’ll Need
Professional hairdressing equipment
Master your craft. Enroll at the best training school you can find — and afford. Practice on friends, neighbors and family members to help finance your training. Celebrity stylist Ursula Stephen built a freelance business in her basement before launching her celebrity career.
Pay your dues. Apply for trainee positions at upmarket salons. Be prepared to start at the bottom. If you work hard and demonstrate talent and creative flair, you will soon progress.
Broaden your experience. Take every opportunity to work with a range of hair types and different stylists. Keep up to date with trends, techniques and products.
Offer to work on test shoots. Build relationships with local photographers and work for free in exchange for professional shots of your work.
Showcase your talent by entering competitions. Specialist magazines and websites often promote competitions as a way to find and showcase new talent. Issue press releases to publicize your successes.
Build your portfolio, known in the industry as your book. Include 10 to 15 photographs of your work. Aim to show that you can work with a variety of hair types and put your own stamp on the styles.
Identify celebrities in your town. Contact their representatives and tell them about your work. A single job when, for example, the celebrity’s regular stylist is unavailable, can lead to more work.
Network by building alliances with makeup artists, fashion stylists and others in the industry. Befriend the receptionist at your local television station and get to know staff at all local entertainment venues. Use social networking platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to get your name — and talent — out there.
Obtain representation. Once you have built a compelling portfolio and developed a handful of clients, a managing agent will get your name in front of the right people — as well as helping you take care of the financial side of your business.
Tips & Warnings
If you are truly dedicated, be prepared to relocate to an area known for its celebrity population, such as Los Angeles, New York, Nashville or Miami.
Present a stylish, professional image. Clients rely on you to make them look good and are certain to be interested in your appearance.
Be discreet. Never share client information or photographs without consent and avoid engaging in celebrity gossip.
Do not party too hard or spend all your money. Most freelancers have lean periods and celebrity stylists are not immune.