Working in a hair salon isn’t the only career path for a hairdresser or extensionist. Sure, it’s the perfect place to start to refine your skills and gain valuable experience, but there are many other avenues to explore that may be more suited to your lifestyle and personal goals. In today's blog, we delve into 8 career options for hair stylists to consider who may want a change of pace from the salon environment.

Mobile Hairdresser

Mobile hairdressers decide their own working hours and do not operate in a fixed setting like a salon. Instead, they often travel to their client's houses, chosen locations or even work from the comfort of their own homes. Being a mobile hairdresser allows the freedom to choose your own travel limits, services, prices, and hours however it's worth remembering that a lot of home hair clients prefer evenings or weekends to fit around their own work schedule. Another advantage to being your own boss is that you get to keep 100% of your takings rather than just a cut or commission. 

Photoshoot Or Session Hair Stylist

A session hair stylist's main role is to prepare models' hair for fashion shows or photoshoots, they normally stick around even after the hair is finished to make tweaks and to keep the hair in perfect place during shooting. A brief is usually given by the co-ordinator of the event as to how the hair and makeup should look so there isn’t always room for creativity. The hours are long and the pressure is high in this hairdressing career however the travel and networking opportunities are excellent and the pay is very good. This profession is perfect for any confident hair stylist that enjoys a fast-paced, social environment that’s different every day.

TV, Theatre, And Film Hair Stylist

Tv and film hair stylists play an essential role in showbiz. They are responsible for bringing the character's aesthetics to life working closely alongside makeup artists and stylists to achieve the final look. One day you could be working on a period drama using hair extensions to create historical hair pieces and the next on a sci-fi movie crafting space buns and intricate braiding. For highly skilled, creative hairdressers this career can be extremely fun and rewarding but you must be willing to travel (sometimes internationally), work long hours, and work under pressure. Film hairstyling is super social and has many perks as you get to work alongside some big names in the industry making great connections, as well as it being one of the highest-paid hairdressing careers out there.

Bridal Hair Stylist

If romance and celebrations are your thing, then bridal hairstyling is for you! You get to be one of the most important parts of a bride’s day and provide her and her bridal party with the hair they have always dreamed of. The early starts may not be for everybody but it also means an early finish as most weddings in the UK take place before 2 pm, by which time you will most probably be well on your way home. Attention to detail, excellent organisation skills, and reliability are must-have traits in any bridal hairdresser, it's also useful to have your own car as most wedding venues are not as easy to reach via public transport. If you're interested in becoming a wedding hairdresser check out Cliphair's annual bridal campaign for more information and inspiration.

Hair Content Creator Or Hair Influencer

Content creation through social media and blog writing is extremely popular amongst those in the hair and beauty industry. Not only does it help to expand your audience bringing in new clientele but it can lead to collaboration opportunities and paid partnerships. As you are completely your own boss it is your decision which brands to work with, what styles you want to create, and most importantly when you want to work so it's super flexible and creative. The only downside is it can take a while to earn a full-time wage from this so most hair-based content creators combine this career with working in a salon or another hairdressing profession. Here at Cliphair, we are always on the lookout for talented hair extensionists to showcase our products on their channels, to get involved send us a DM here.

Avant Garde Hairdresser

Avant Garde hairdressing is one of the most creative careers a hair stylist can work in, being artistic and open-minded is an absolute must for this job. You will work with many hair brands to create cutting-edge looks that will challenge the opinions of others and inspire new imaginative trends in your industry. Excellent knowledge of colour, cutting, and hair extensions is required for success in this career as well as bravery, confidence, and the ability to receive constructive criticism. To find out more check out our blog: “Avant-garde hair for true futurists”.

Hairdressing Educator

Teaching the future generation of hair stylists is a challenging but rewarding career that can be done in multiple locations including colleges, academies, salons, and live events. The pay and hours can vary widely depending on what you are teaching and who you are working for. An educator that teaches the entire hairdressing curriculum will usually work in the same place with the same class of students until they have qualified whereas other educators choose to teach specific courses like advanced cutting, hair extensions, or bridal styling.

Marketing, Product Development, And Customer Service

Not all careers in the hair industry require physical hairdressing; it is possible to start something completely new and put all of your knowledge into a more behind-the-scenes position at a hair-related company. Here you could use your real-life experience to create new products, generate technically sound digital content to educate consumers, help to build the brand's authority, and give honest advice to customers on hair-based queries. It’s a fantastic way to delve into a new career without losing your hard-earned experience as a hairdresser, by simply using it in a new and exciting way.   

How Do I Start A Career In Hair?

To become a qualified hairdresser, you will need to complete either an apprenticeship in a certified salon or academy or a college NVQ diploma. Typically this takes around 2-3 years, but to become truly confident in all aspects of hairdressing it is advised to continue to work in a salon for at least 1-2 years after passing to refine your skills and experience with real-life customers.


Whichever path you choose in your hairdressing journey there’s one thing that’s for certain, for all its challenges it truly is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding jobs out there. It’s totally possible to continue to work in a salon but also try your hand at any of the above alternatives at the same time until you find your dream hairdressing job!

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