first steps after graduating cosmetology school

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  • posted august 5, 2019
  • author evans hairstyling college
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beauty students class photo in front of mural saying "today is a good day for a good day"

cosmetology school is a wonderful time! with instructors on-hand to answer any questions, fix mistakes, and provide valuable insights to help you hone your skills it allows you to focus on being the best cosmetologist you can be.

that ability to focus on nothing else changes quickly once you graduate with a license to practice cosmetology.

we’ve written about life after cosmetology school before. here are a few practical tips to keep in mind for when you venture out into the world with your new degree in tow, and a desire to provide the best service possible.

continue networking

beyond your friends and family, your greatest resource at this point will be your fellow classmates, teachers to help you get a leg up on your career. work to maintain contact with the people you’ve spent the last year working beside honing your cosmetology skills.

your classmates and teachers are the ones that know your capabilities best, and if you probe them for job and business opportunities you’ll stay fresh on their mind when something opens up.

our favorite way to stay in contact is by creating a group on facebook, linkedin, or some other social media. if you start this group or are apart of it put in the effort to foster a culture of sharing successes, opportunities, and keeping up with each other. if nothing else, this group will be a source of encouragement as you make a name for yourself in the cosmetology business.

charging for services

working in cosmetology is a fulfilling and rewarding career.

after graduating, people will come out of the woodwork to ask you about your newly acquired skills in cosmetology. some may even ask for some free services, or deeply discounted rates with the rationale that they want to help you get experience.

don’t do this! create a realistic price list, and stick to it. charge people what your time, experience and expertise is worth. friends and family should understand that the beginning of building your clientele is the hardest time to make ends meet. when you have more clients, you will be in a much better position to give discounts and favors to loved ones.


even if you get a job with a salon, life outside of school has one key difference; money. get comfortable using software like quickbooks to create prices and keep track of transactions or one of it’s free alternatives. if purchasing software is too much, then even tracking jobs in a spreadsheet using a free tool like google docs is a good place to start.

getting paid at the end of a job feels great, but remember that now that you’re running a business there is a lot of that money required to paying overhead. some of the things to keep in mind are:

  • taxes
  • rent
  • equipment upgrades
  • marketing and advertising
  • product

you’ll soon grapple with these ongoing expenses and come out on top, but don’t make the mistake of ignoring any of them until it’s too late.

stay positive

you’re doing what you love, it’s all these extra things about business that can get in the way of enjoying life cosmetology school.

keep a positive attitude and continue learning a little at a time and soon you’ll have built a clientele that is happy, thriving and a pleasure to work with. with the added bonus of paying your bills too!