How to Build a Hairstylist Portfolio Before You Have a Job

Starting out in any field can be a challenge. Often, employers are looking for several years of prior experience despite whatever degree, certification, or license you may have earned.

There’s a well-known saying that applies in this situation, which essentially asks how you get a job without experience and how you get experience without a job.

But then, all hope isn’t lost. As long as you’ve completed the education and training to work in your chosen profession, you can still build up relevant work experience. The catch is that the pay may be negligible at first. Hairstylists comprise a vocation that requires a significant amount of practical experience before joining the workforce and transforming customers’ hair.

You may need to start by working for free or relatively inexpensive rates. For example, while you may have to get an unrelated job to help make ends meet, take advantage of your spare time to practice your craft on family, friends, friends of friends, and maybe even wigs. Seek out volunteer opportunities at assisted living facilities or hospitals. Be sure to take high-quality pictures of your work and add it to your portfolio.

This is also the time to invest in superior tools to ensure your work is exceptional. When money is tight, it may be painful to start accumulating key pieces like a premium pair of scissors or clippers, but high-caliber shears from sites like Scissor Tech Australia won’t only get you equipment that’s guaranteed to last, but will help you to do amazing work.

With the proven effectiveness of social media, you can still market your expertise as you build your portfolio. Once you get a significant following on social media, many people will begin to reach out to you, and your skills will be in high demand. Established salons will be excited to bring you on board when there’s a promise of a steady stream of clients coming to you.

Even if you’re still in cosmetology school, there’s no time like the present to start taking as many pictures of your work as possible. You have to practice and continue to hone your skills anyway, so you may as well document the flattering results. The goal is to get a job in your profession as soon as you can after graduating, so be sure to use both your class and spare time wisely.

High-quality photos are crucial, but you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a camera or a sophisticated photo editing application. Today’s smartphones are so technologically advanced that their cameras are capable of taking lovely pictures. Your work should be the selling point, not your advanced editing skills or how the lighting captures the model’s face.

Portfolios matter. Applying for a stylist position without one will jeopardize your chances. If you haven’t managed to create anything that highlights your skills or experience, then you may need to hold off on the job hunt temporarily as you gather photos of your work. Take this opportunity to create content you’re proud of, and then apply to potential employers with confidence.

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