How to Become an Extensions and Hair Styling Expert

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Learning how to apply extensions and how to style hair can help you to get one of many jobs, including as an extensions and hair styling expert, hair stylist, hairdresser, or hairdresser’s assistant (depending on your experience with cutting hair), fashion stylist, photography stylist, and hair and style blogger or writer. You can also use these skills to complement your existing career as a makeup artist, stylist, or even personal image and beauty consultant.

Hair stylists are almost always guaranteed employment, as fashion and style are always in demand. In fact, experts suggest that job openings will increase by 13% by 2022. As an extensions and hair styling expert, you can also earn as much as $41,490 per year without a degree, while the average is around $26,460 per year.

Your Responsibilities as a Hair Stylist

Learning to be a hair stylist means learning to work with men and women of all ages, to create hair styles based on their preferences and needs. As a hair stylist, you might be responsible for a variety of tasks depending on your exact position, but these frequently include discussing needs with a client, deciding what styles to use based on hair types, discovering how healthy hair follicles are, evaluating the scalp, and choosing the appropriate products and hair treatments. You’ll then shape, cut, style, or dye their hair according to their specifications.

Cleanup, customer service, and ensuring that your client is happy, are also part of the job. Learning how to do extensions and hair styling is also a great skill for anyone in complementary fields, like fashion consulting, store consultants or assistants in stores with hair products, and in any situation where giving a makeover is part of your job.

How to Become an Extensions and Hair Styling Expert

You can also learn how to use extensions and style your hair for your own personal needs, whether you just want to make sure that you always look your best, or you want to apply your new hair styling skills to a blog or YouTube channel.

Essentially, hair styling is a skill that can take you into many different career paths, and each is rewarding, exciting, and unique. You’ll have to decide what you do with it based on your personal preference.

Skills You Need to Be an Extensions and Hair Styling Expert

If you want to be a hair stylist, you’ll need a specific set of skills surrounding hair cutting, hair types, and styles.

Understanding Hair Types

Recognizing different hair types based on the size and shape of the hair follicle is important for cutting, treating, and dying hair. For example, fine hair should always be cut dry, or it will clump. Knowing how to cut based on the person’s hair type is a crucial skill.

Knowledge of Products and Treatments

Products and treatments are a big part of your job, especially since many hair salons make the majority of their money by selling products. You have to know how to choose them for the client, how to use them, and how to get professional results. This includes soaps, conditioners, sprays, gels, hair dye, bleach, and more.

How to Become an Extensions and Hair Styling Expert

How to Cut Hair

Cutting hair requires practice, and usually a lot of it, but you can learn the basics and start practicing on yourself, wigs, and volunteers once you get good enough.

How to Wash Hair

Professional hair stylists wash hair before cutting and dying it, and you will have to master this skill. This also includes head massage, choosing the right products, and working with any scalp problems.

How to Apply Extensions

Learning how to apply extensions, choose the right extensions, and remove them is important because many people need them for certain styles, looks, and for filling out thinning hair.

Style Hair

You’ll have to learn how to style hair for events and for everyday life, including curling and straightening hair, adding volume, and much more.

Education Requirements for an Extensions and Hair Styling Expert

If you live in the U.S., hair stylists are legally required to take a cosmetology course and pass their licensing exam to earn their license in order to practice. However, beautician and cosmetology licenses vary from state to state. One example, is that in Indiana, you can get a license to braid hair, and do nothing else in the salon. In the U.K., you typically only need a license if you are running your own business.


A degree in the form of an associates or bachelor degree in cosmetology – hair/hairdressing allows you to learn hairstyling over a period of 2 to 4 years. This isn’t necessary unless you want to work at a very prestigious salon.


A certification in hair styling allows you to get started fairly quickly, and is a great option if you want to get started for yourself, or want to learn the basics before applying to an entry level position.


Most hairdressers and hair stylists start out in an entry-level position where they learn how to cut and dye from the other salon hairdressers. Even college graduates often end up in this position, because many salons have their own style and preferences.

How to Become an Extensions and Hair Styling Expert

Getting Started

No matter which route you choose to follow, you can get started right away pursuing your dreams. A certification is the easiest route to learning and getting started, and you can earn a certification, and then get started as an apprentice hair stylist, or go for your degree. If you don’t want to work at a large salon, you don’t even need a degree to get started, providing you can prove quality results. You can start out by taking our course so you can learn to be an extensions and hair styling expert, and become certified in your chosen career, which will help you with finding your dream job.


If you want to complement your career as an Extensions and Hair Styling Expert, Trendimi as other certificate courses for you, such as Beauty TechnicianGel Manicure & Nail ArtistPersonal Image & Beauty Expert and others. 

Be sure to subscribe to the Trendimi YouTube channel to see the next TrendiTips video here, and share your favorite extensions and hair styling on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter by tagging @Trendimi.

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  1. Wayden King

    October 5, 2016 at 4:55 am

    That beauty blog was my baby and my artistic outlet, but I truly believe that it was the BEST decision that I had made in order to allow my professional career to grow and thrive. Deleting my beauty blog had allowed me to be recognized as a working makeup artist and not just as a beauty blogger or a makeup enthusiast. Nothing is wrong with either of those titles, but again, my goal was to become a working makeup artist.

    • Trendimi

      October 26, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Hey there Wayden,

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      October 26, 2016 at 11:16 am

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    April 9, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Being a stylist is not an easy job. Upon reading all these tasks, I come to realise that the work entails a lot of preparation and training. Thus certification is vital. This article said it all. Very interesting to read. Thanks for sharing.

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