In this post, I will show you how to become a hairstylist in Nigeria . A hairstylist is a person whose occupation is to cut, dress, shape and style hair in order to change, maintain or improve a client’s image.
Hairstylists (also called hairdressers) shampoo, colour, comb and sanitize hair for their clients as well. As beauticians, they even diversify into manicure, pedicure and skin care.
The job of hairstylists requires a lot of technical know-how and skill because they have to judge their client’s facial features, head shape and body shape to know which hairstyle would be perfect.
Apart from skills, hairstylists need to have some managerial and accounting acumen to be able to estimate cost, retain customers and keep the business floating.
Also creativity, adaptability, tact, good interpersonal skills, a high standard of cleanliness and good customer service are essential qualities a successful hairstylist must possess.
Hairdressing is a very lucrative business anywhere in the world and particularly in Nigeria. The fact that the hair is the beauty crown of every woman is enough reason for them to pay good money to look good. Same goes for men who get haircuts frequently.
Hairstylists who break through into showbiz such as the movie industry and pageantry rack in big bucks every day! The business also encourages networking since hairstylists meet clients from all walks of life – doctors, lawyers, tycoons etc. it makes work interesting, and even more rewarding.
And the flexibility is cool since you can choose to work for someone or be your own boss and fix your own working hours or work by appointment mutually convenient for your client and you. The burning question on your mind now must be: how does one become a hairstylist in Nigeria?
Becoming a hairstylist in Nigeria is relatively easy as no degree or professional training is required. In fact, nothing really is required by any statute except a reasonable duty of care to clients. Thus, sound training is required. The fact that a hairstylist would deal with chemicals and powered equipment means that a person of average intelligence with at least secondary school education is sufficient.
To acquire the technical know-how and skills, a hairstylist may attend a vocational school like any of the Technical Colleges all over Nigeria approved by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), an organ of the Federal Ministry of Education. Aspiring hairstylists who intend to get employed would find the certificate issued at such vocational schools useful.
Further training at beauty schools would surely boost a hairstylist’s CV. On the other hand, styling skills may be acquired through apprenticeship and internship. This is less expensive and more practical. In fact, most hairstylists in Nigeria started as apprentices. The hands-on experience and the rapport with clients are great advantages for establishing one’s own salon.
Furthermore, for hairstylists who wish to get employed, they can apply at top beauty salons and get well paid. Meanwhile, for those who wish to get self-employed, capital is needed to get a favourable location, tools, equipment and machines such as scissors, brushes, wigs, extensions, hairdryers, mirrors etc.
Products such as shampoos and conditioners too. Loans can be sourced from banks and other places to put all these in place. However, one may start small from one’s home as is common in Nigeria. This would require either the client visiting the home of the hairstylist or more commonly, the hairstylists meeting the client wherever is convenient. This can be done steadily until enough income to expand is realized.
Cleanliness: A very good personal hygiene is necessary and must be learnt and maintained by hairstylists. The fact that the job requires close contact is enough.
I would never get a haircut from a barber who looks scruffy and has an extremely awful body odour no matter how good he may be. I may suffocate while getting the cut. This is more so for female clients who are easily irritated.
Also, it goes without saying that the salon or shop must be kept clean and tidy because it is the first impression clients get when they show up. An untidy salon with pieces of hair among other things lying here and there is a huge turn-off for clients. It is simple: poor hygiene doesn’t just kill you, it kills your business too.
Competence and good customer service: Truth is, you need not blow your trumpet yourself; your work will do that work for you. A hair well-made elicits comments from almost everyone and from there come referrals to you! Your service is your best advert.
So know your onions well and render the service excellently while at the same time, respecting and maintaining a cordial relationship with clients.
Sometimes, despite hairstylists’ competence, all that is needed to kill the business is arrogance and poor customer service. Your client is always right! Your customer is a king! Keep that in mind always.
It is worthy to mention when to expand the workforce of the salon or shop, as the case may be. Hairdressing is a business that quickly grows and as it grows, the manager should take cognizance so as to increase the staff. Most customers just want to get in, get their hair done and out they go with no time wasting.
Hardly would any customer come into a salon and seeing a long line of customers waiting to be attended to, still join in and wait. On the other hand, customers tend to visit salons where there are enough hands and service is dispensed timeously. You don’t want to lose customers to your competitors.
However, the size of the staff should not take precedence over competence: a good head is better than two bad ones.
Hairstylists are just as important as other professionals in Nigeria; they keep the world beautiful, one person at a time. Little wonder why Joan Crawford’s time-honoured wisecrack is still on point:
“I think that the most important thing a woman can have next to her talent of course is her hairdresser.”
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