Tress chronicle

The lowdown

Back then, people would visit a local barber who used simple instruments like scissors and a comb to style or change your look. Today, hairstyles make or ruin one’s personality — you can either stun or shock! Hence, more and more people are willing to experiment with and reinvent their looks. For this, they turn to professionals for treatments that enhance and maintain their looks. Today’s hairstylist is very different from the erstwhile barber. He/she uses an array of instruments/ techniques ranging from combs and hairdryers to chemical processes to tint, colour, wave, curl, straighten and condition hair, as well as products to finish off a look. The job involves advising people on the latest hair trends and working on a look that suits them. To become a top-notch stylist, one should have the knowledge of modern hair management techniques and make sure that the clients get the best results. Many hairstylists also sell beauty products and are involved in the business aspect of a salon and may execute managerial duties.

10.30am: Reach salon and start work with clients
11am: If there are multiple salons, one needs to be in touch with all of them
12pm: Client meetings
1.30pm: Lunch
2.30pm: Get on to work
7pm: Leave for home
8pm: Sit down with the latest magazines and watch fashion channels to check out the international hair trends
10pm: Dinner

The payoff
One can start by working under a ‘branded’ hairstylist and earn Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 per month. After about three years in the industry, the salary at a good salon can be Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 40,000 a month. Exams conducted by salons for promoting a hairstylist can cost a lot, in the bracket of Rs. 70,000 to Rs. 80,000. You can earn big money if you have your own salon and have made a mark in the field

* Good communication and observing skills
* Creative bent of mind 
* Ability to learn quickly
* Cleanliness and personal grooming
* Keep abreast of the latest trends in the fashion world

Getting there
No specific qualification is required to become a hairstylist but joining a good institute to learn the art and science of hairstyling would certainly help. Hairstyling is all about creativity but cosmetology is a vast subject that includes chemical composition of scalp and skin, hair colouring etc. Thus, if you have basic knowledge of chemistry and maths, it would make him/her more skilled

Institutes and URLs
* Habibs Hair Academy, New Delhi
* Tony & Guy Academy, Mumbai
* L’Oreal Professionel International Hairdressing Academy, Mumbai
* Academy of Skill & Knowledge, Schwarzkopf Professional

Pros and cons
* A famous hairstylist gets to work with celebrities
* Good money for work that doesn’t take much time
* It can be very tiring as one needs to be on one’s feet for long hours
* Customers can be unreasonable
* One needs to constantly upgrade their skills

Since the Indian market is growing by 25% to 30%, the scope of a lucrative career in this field is increasing -- Habib Ahmed, chairman and managing director, Habibs Hair and Beauty and Habibs Hair Academy, New Delhi


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