How Long Does It Take to Become a Hairdresser? [3 Important Things to Consider]

Sep 2, 2021

For those with a passion for hair fashion and hair care, becoming a hairdresser is an important option to consider. If you’re thinking about becoming a hairstylist, however, you might be wondering how long does it take to become a hairdresser? While this is an important factor to consider, you should also take other factors into account.


To help you make this important decision, we’re going to discuss not only how long does it take to become a hairdresser, but also why becoming a hairdresser might be the best choice for you and what you’ll need to succeed in this career.

1. Why to Consider Becoming a Hairstylist

In terms of job prospects, hairstylists and similar professions (like barbers and cosmetologists) have a relatively stable career field. Though you can expect fairly strong competition, a continuing need for hairdressers will ensure continued chances for employment.


The median wage (not counting tips) for hairdressers in 2020 was $13.74 an hour, though this number can vary based on experience, location, and other factors. Some hairdressers own their own salons, in which case they’ll make more money, but work longer hours.


Hairstylists perform hands-on work with clients’ hair. They’ll perform services like cutting, coloring, shampooing, and styling. If you enjoy working with people and their hair, a career in hairstyling might be the right choice for you.

2. How to be the Best Hairdresser

Though anyone with a passion for hair care can learn the skills required to style hair, there are a few skills you can add to your repertoire to become the best possible hairdresser. Naturally, you’ll need good people skills since you’ll interact with clients almost constantly on the job. To put you a step above the rest, you’ll really want to polish up your conversation and communication skills so clients never have a hard time talking to you.


You’ll also want to learn some business management skills to help run the salon where you work. This will be essential if you ever intend to own your own salon, but they’ll put you a step above the rest at the beginning of your career.


To better assist clients, it’s also a good idea to keep tabs on and familiarize yourself with the hair care products and brands available on the market. This will help you advise clients on the best products for their hair, and help you sell these brands on the job.

3. What You Need to Become a Hairdresser

Now that you’re more familiar with some of the skills you’ll need, we’re more prepared to answer how long does it take to become a hairdresser. The short answer is simply “It depends.”


The long answer is that it depends on which pace is most comfortable and practical for you. As a fulltime student at Chattanooga College, you can complete their cosmetology program in as little a year. If you need to take more time for work, family, or self-care, you can choose a slower schedule.


Once you’ve completed a cosmetology program, you can take the licensing examination for your state. Usually, these examinations consist of a written theory portion and a practical portion. In the state of Tennessee, you’ll have to complete the theory portion with a passing grade before you can schedule your practical portion. Once you pass both examinations, you can apply for your license. Once your license is approved, the state board will mail it to you.


From there, you simply need to find a hairdressing job, and you’ll officially be a hairdresser! This whole process will take at least a year, assuming you’re able to schedule your examination for right after you complete your hairdressing program.


If you’re looking to become a hairdresser, it should reassure you that there’s no one, set timetable. While this may seem daunting at first, it’s actually a big benefit for you. You get to set your own schedule and get things done on your own time. You can finish your schooling within a year, or in as much time as you need.So, hopefully we’ve answered your question of how long does it take to become a hairdresser.

If you’re not sure how long you’ll need, feel free to reach out and sign up for a no-obligation advisor meeting!