What it takes to be a great hairstylist

When you were a kid, were you always cutting the hair of your dolls or even siblings? Did you ever cut your own hair and the hair of your friends? Personally, I can remember cutting several of my friends’ hair, thankfully I have vastly improved since those days.

You can go to school to learn the skills of a hairstylist; the school can channel the passion but it has to be in you in the first place. You will not become a great stylist without passion for hair and your industry. All the top hairstylists in Nanaimo and around the world create unique and creative hair, however they all have five similar traits which contributed to their success.

Ability to Listen

On your way to becoming a great hairstylist means listening to your clients in more ways than one. As a stylist you will be told a wide range of information and not all of it will be related to the client’s hair. Many of your clients will share their ups, downs, and dramas of their lives with you, but the most significant act of listening you’ll experience as a stylist is during the initial consultation with your client, you need to identify what they consider the hair of their desires. Yes it is important to listen to all that they have to share, but ensure you clarify exactly what they want and any issues or concerns with achieving their goal. Before you make any preparations to begin on their hair, it is imperative that you have communicated clearly and are on the same page. I have known some stylists to even write down a client’s vision.

Making Visions a Reality

A key element of a successful hairstylist is keeping on top of the latest trends, and the truly great stylists have the skill to integrate those trends into their clients’ personal style. At the same time, being a slave to fashion can be so cliché. Your elevated taste and killer eye for design should let you set a few trends of your own. At the end of the day, it’s important that you can not only create a vision but execute it as well!


This is a trait that I look for in all stylists regardless of their reputation. If a client wants a style that you believe will not work for them, you must communicate in a tactful manner the reasons why you believe it is not the look for them and help them choose a style that would look better. A great stylist understands how a hairstyle will work and wear in the long term and can identify whether it’s a good fit for their client. It’s one thing for your client to be happy with their new look when they’re walking out the door, but it’s another thing entirely to make sure they’re just as happy a month later.

Throughout the consultation process ensure your client is aware of the costs of a particular service, nobody wants to get to the end and have the enjoyment of a stunning hairstyle ruined by not understanding the bill.

Technical Skills

All the honesty, creativity, and listening skills in the world can’t make up for a bad haircut. Being a good stylist means committedly learning the ins and outs of several techniques — and staying hungry for more education and training once you leave school. Something that here at KG Hair Salon we activily encourage. We are great believers in “practice makes perfect”. You must make sure you’re familiar with a number of techniques and tools, that you work on building stamina in your hands, and hone your ability to keep your energy up while working on your feet all day.


Adaptability is the crucible in which the first four requisites come into play. An excellent stylist is unfazed by changing trends, new tools, client visions that come way out of left field, and the millions of tiny inconveniences that somehow fill everyone’s lives.

I am seeing a trend where some hairstylists are narrowing their field of expertise and specialising in colouring only or only doing hair extensions. You never know what your day will bring you, so it’s imperative that you’re confident that your creativity, vision, and skill can all come into play to help you achieve a stellar result and a happy guest — no matter what pops up.

Do You Have These Traits?

If you possess one or more of these traits and are willing to hone them to the best of your ability then you could be a member of the team here at KG Hair Salon.

Get in touch and we can chat to see if you are a fit.

May 2nd, 2019