Beauty appointments today are no longer just about getting makeup done, or a haircut, or a mani-pedi. As hectic lifestyles and instant fixes are in vogue, it’s much more efficient to get all of this pampering done in the same place, at a single appointment.
And you as a cosmetologist can only benefit from jumping on this industry trend and expanding your repertoire—beyond just doing makeup—to include nail and hairstyling. Here’s why!
Cosmetology is an art and a science, combining creativity with precision and skill. Becoming a nail technician or a hairstylist fits neatly into that philosophy!
Nail technicians remove old polish, soften the skin of skin surrounding the nail area, cut, shape and buff the nails, then apply new coats of polish. Sometimes they also do hand or foot massages (that takes extra training though, and may mean extra pay too). They work with different types of polish, such as gel or regular, as well as other nail accessories that clients may want, such as nail art or fake nails.
For hairstylists, work comes in unique combinations of wash, cut, and dry. Some clients may come to you with a certain look they want to achieve, copped off a celebrity or Pinterest post. Others may leave their fate in your hands—in which case, you’ll have to do for the client what’s best based on their face shape, coloring, hair type, and personality.
With constantly changing beauty trends, there’s never a shortage of new techniques and trades to learn. Any aspiring cosmetologist worth his or her salt should constantly be on the lookout to improve present knowledge and perfect his or her craft.
On average, a nail technician earns $10.48 per hour (that’s $419 a week, $1,816 a month, and $21,790 a year.) A hairstylist earns about $9.99 per hour (roughly $399 a week, $1,598 a month, $19,180 a year). That’s on top of whatever you’re currently earning at your present beauty gig, and hasn’t yet factored in what you’ll get in tips!
There will always be people willing to shell out a little cash to achieve the look they want, and having more to offer increases your chances of being the cosmetologist that they invest in.
Adding to your repertoire can give you a competitive edge if you’re applying for work in higher-end salons or spas that offer one-stop-shop services to clients. Places like these will expect you to be capable of providing multiple services, and they’ll be able to compensate you accordingly and connect you with more affluent clients.
Many beauty classes also teach pricing and marketing, which will help you make the most out of your very marketable skills. More skills mean better-paying gigs, which means increased income, which means a more awesome quality of life and one step closer to your personal dreams for you!
If you’re confident about your own marketing and networking savviness, you could strike out as a freelancer instead. Bring the one-stop salon and spa to the client’s own home, on your own agenda!
- Own time: The best thing about freelancing is being your own boss. You choose how many clients you want to do (no more quotas!), or how many hours you want to work (no more being penned in by store hours!) per day. If you have kids, you can schedule your first client after they leave for school, and your last one an hour or so before they come home. If you predict certain slow hours within a typical day, you can use that time to run personal errands instead of standing on your shift in a salon doing nothing.
- Own rates: You choose your rates, and you can also choose to work more hours if you need more income, without having an employer take cuts from your pay. And who wouldn’t want to chuck waiting for a paycheck in favor of getting income on a day-to-day basis?
- Own rules: Your qualifications as a cosmetologist are yours to wield. Even if you decide to pick up and move to a new state or go backpacking across the country, you’re always going to have something going for you.
The beauty industry is a tough nut to break into, but if you already do makeup, you’ve already got a foot in the door. Learning to do nails and hair then opens more doors, and you can tap into entirely new demographics of male and female clients. Expanding your repertoire means you’ll never run out of things to offer any kind of customer.
It’s not just about the money, either. The pleasant, sociable people who work in beauty are often in a position to offer a listening ear to whatever’s on a client’s mind. You’ll never be in want of conversation and opportunities to socialize!
Many cosmetologists develop cordial and even friendly relationships with their clients, which is great for repeat business, better for networking, and best for filling your cup with meaningful human interaction.
It’s a cosmetologist’s privilege to experience the fulfilment that comes with knowing you’ve made a difference in someone’s day, and more importantly, someone’s self-esteem and how beautifully they see themselves.
The best way to add becoming a nail technician and a hairstylist to your list of accolades is to get certification and experience in a cosmetology program. This entails actual classes on the theories and techniques, then a certain number of hours of hands-on experience practicing skills on fellow cosmetology classmates.
Some salons will let you learn your skills on the job via an apprenticeship, but eventually, a formal certification is what you need to stand out—and stand on your own. Most high-end beauty salons and spas only hire certified cosmetologists. Further, a cosmetologist with solid qualifications can demand higher freelance rates.
You have nothing to lose by widening your horizons, and everything to gain.
Adding nail and hair styling to your list of services boosts your marketability as a cosmetologist, getting you ready for when opportunities for high-quality jobs and chances to make your own gigs come knocking!
Sow a few extra seeds, grow your repertoire, and reap the benefits—and while you beautify others, you beautify your own life too.
About the author
M is a happily married Filipino mother to three wonderful little daughters, ages: 8 years, 5 years, and 4 months old. Her daily life is a struggle between being the Executive Content Director for Project Female and deciding who gets to watch television next. She specializes in creating and editing content for female empowerment, parenting, beauty, health/nutrition, and lifestyle. As the daughter of two very hardworking people, she was brought up with strict traditional Asian values and yet embraces modern trends like Facebook, vegan cupcakes, and the occasional singing cat video.