What to expect from a career as a Hairstylist

Hairstyling (or hairdressing) is a career that never goes out of fashion, whether it’s working as a hairdresser in an existing studio, establishing a client base as an independent hairstylist or opening your own hairdressing salon. Hairstyling jobs are often viewed as glamorous, but a lot of hard work goes into staying on top of modern hairdressing trends, learning the latest techniques in coloring and styling and also learning the business skills necessary for client management. Hairstyling programs at Ontario colleges can prepare you for a successful career in the competitive beauty industry.

If you have a passion for hairstyling and are ready to put it to work for you, here’s what you need to know.

Hairstyling Courses

Ontario college hairstyling programs are typically one-year certificate programs. The programs are intensive, with plenty of training from industry professionals in on-site salon labs. Hairstyling courses include training in coloring and the latest trends in hairstyles, scalp and hair care, cutting techniques and many other skills associated with professional hairstyling. A hairstyling education involves more than just hands-on training, however – communication and business courses, professionalism training, and sanitation regulations are also part of the curriculum.

Typically, hairdressing courses will require students to complete an apprenticeship in order to be eligible to write the provincial certification exam to obtain a hairstylist license.

General Hairstyling Program Requirements

Hairstylist programs require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. A grade 12 chemistry credit and classes in colour theory are highly recommended.

Note: If you choose a hairstyling apprenticeship program, you will need to register with the Ontario College of Trades before enrolling.

Hairstylist Jobs and Salaries

Hairstyling careers typically run in one of two directions: some stylists will choose to join an established hairdressing salon while others choose to practice independently or start their own salon. Each method has its benefits, but for both options wage is largely dependent on the ability to build a steady clientele.

The majority of salon hairstyling jobs are paid hourly, with wages ranging anywhere from minimum wage to $20 an hour, based on experience. Hairstylists also often receive tips, which usually raises their hourly rate by a few dollars. Should you choose to work independently, wages will vary based on your cutting rates and your client base.

Ontario Colleges Offering Hairstyling Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of hairstyling programs at Ontario colleges.

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