If you’re thinking about becoming a hairstylist but are having second thoughts about spending all day in a salon, here’s some good news—it’s possible to combine your love of traveling with your craft. Choosing to run a mobile hairdressing business gives you more freedom and flexibility. This is extremely important if you aspire to become the next Neal Farrinah, Beyonce’s hairstylist for 13 years, as his job has taken him to various places all over the world. Being mobile also makes you stand out from the competition and opens up new avenues for learning and creativity. However, you’ll need to have more than a taste for adventure before pursuing this type of career. Join contributing writer, Kylee Davis, as we look at what you’ll need to become a successful traveling hairstylist.
Proper training and a cosmetology license
Sure, you can learn how to do different hairstyles watching YouTube videos, but unless you’re a licensed cosmetologist, booking jobs may prove to be a challenge. At the Academy of Hair Design’s cosmetology program, you get 1,500 hours of actual, hands-on education. Learning proper techniques from experts will enable you to deal with any type of situation or demand that may arise from your job. Whether it’s creating flowy hairstyles for a wedding at a beach destination abroad or keeping a Coachella performer’s tresses impeccable between sets.
The right bag matters
Being prepared means bringing the right tools everywhere you go, and the right bag to house your equipment. You’ll need a sturdy and roomy bag to keep all your essentials in. It should be just the right size so you don’t have to check it when flying somewhere for a job. There have been far too many cases of bags getting misplaced by airlines, and apart from being highly inconvenient, replacing your lost tools could be expensive. So unless you can afford to replace that $170 hairbrush or that $400 hair dryer without blinking an eye, keep your tools close to you at all times, especially when you’re on the go.
Tools of the trade
Every hairstylist has their own preferences when it comes to tools. It’s likely that one type of hairbrush may be indispensable for one, but an unnecessary expense for another. However, there are some things that should definitely be a part of your arsenal. For example, a lightweight but powerful hairdryer, a styling iron, a detangling comb, a medium-sized round brush, and butterfly clips for sectioning. You should invest in the best tools that you can afford. On the other hand, don’t worry if you don’t have the latest and hottest tools or hair products. Remember, you can have the most expensive ceramic curling iron, but if you don’t have the know-how or focus to create beachy waves minutes before your client struts her stuff on the runway, then what’s the point? Having skills is everything.
Updated travel documents
If you’re aiming to book jobs outside the US, having a passport is a must. If you need to renew your passport, don’t wait until the last minute to do so. Being ready to go should be your mantra as a traveling hairstylist. Keep in mind that it takes 4 to 6 weeks for your new passport to arrive via mail, so make sure that all your travel documents are in order just in case you suddenly get invited to be part of an up-and-coming designer’s style team at Paris Fashion Week.
Being a traveling hairstylist is one of the most rewarding and exciting ways to earn a living while exploring the world. Learn all you can and be prepared—the road to success is right there waiting for you.
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