5 Traits of a Great Stylist

As a kid, you may have dreamed of becoming a hairstylist. This dream may have started early while cutting your doll's hair, playing with a neighbor's hair, or styling your sister's hair. While passion is a good start for a career in hairstyling, you will need more than that to become successful, so read on to see what it takes to become a good stylist and get high-paying hair stylist jobs.


5 Traits of a Great Stylist

How to Become a Stylist


The journey to becoming the best hairstylist is not as easy as people make it look. If you have been researching "how to become a stylist," here are some steps you can take to turn your dreams into reality:

  • Earn the necessary education

  • Pursue an internship

  • Build a portfolio

  • Stay updated on fashion trends

  • Get experience through freelancing or becoming a mobile hairstylist

  • Connect with other fashion industry professionals

5 Unique Traits you Need to Become the Best Hair Stylist

1. Communication Skills

A lot of people think having communication skills is synonymous with being a good conversationalist. While that is part of it, communication also includes listening. The best stylists always pay attention, listen as clients explain what they want, and ask clarifying questions to clear up any confusion and prevent misunderstandings.


You will also need your listening skills when serving your clients — as it is no secret that clients like to talk to their stylists about their personal lives. You can demonstrate empathy by listening and continuing the conversation. Make your salon a safe space for your clients!

2. Kindness and Tact


The key to offering professional advice to your clients is to do it in a kind and honest manner. You are the expert and oftentimes, your clients will ask you for advice. When sharing your opinions, always validate their thoughts, consider them, and deliver your recommendations with gentleness. Always strive to find a middle ground when working with your clients — they will respect that more than anything.

3. Adaptability

Because a stylist's day could be full of surprises, skilled hair stylists can be distinguished from average ones by their ability to adapt to change and keep up with demands. A professional stylist should be able to handle requests for hairstyles that could be challenging and remain composed in the face of shifting trends and equipment.


As a good stylist, you must always rise to the challenge of meeting your client's requests. For instance, some clients may have very detailed requirements for how they want their hair. You never want to be in a situation where you are unable to provide a service. Expand your wheelhouse and stay adaptable.

4. Qualifications and Technical Proficiency

The best hair stylists are usually fully qualified cosmetologists who are technically proficient and know the ins and outs of the numerous tools and techniques required. To become the best hair stylist, one must strive for continual learning. This is the most important skill of a good stylist because all the honesty, adaptability, and the best communication skills in the world cannot compensate for a bad haircut. In fact, several places, including Illinois, require certified cosmetologists to complete continuing education requirements before renewing their licenses.

5. Trust and Reliability

It might be difficult to let someone know that the cut they want will not enhance their appearance. Everyone aspires to have the newest Hollywood look, but it's your professional responsibility to provide candid comments when a client asks for a look that doesn't complement their characteristics. Giving advice in gentleness is almost always welcomed. The more you provide honest feedback and work with your client on what style would work best for their face shape, look, etc., the more they will rely on you in the future.


It is also essential to be honest about costs. People don't mind paying for services but getting an unexpected bill at the register is annoying and embarrassing. Why jeopardize a good client relationship with hidden charges? If you provide improved or additional services, be upfront about the price.

Want to develop the skills necessary to become the best hair stylist? At Hollywood Institute of Beauty, we are committed to training you to meet your full potential.