5 Non-Traditional Jobs in cosmetology

While many cosmetologists leave school and go directly into salons, some may find themselves seeking out more non-traditional jobs.  If cosmetology is your passion but you can’t see yourself working behind the chair for 8-10 hours a day, there are many more careers that utilize knowledge and skills in cosmetology.  Here is a list of 5 non-traditional jobs in cosmetology:

Wig Maker

Wigs have been a staple in the beauty industry for decades.  With increased visibility on celebrities and in the fashion industry, quality wigs are more popular than ever.  Aside from wigs being a trendy accessory, they are also important for people who are going through chemotherapy, people who experience alopecia and hair loss, and people who are transitioning genders.  

Wig making does not require a license in the state of Minnesota, but it’s important to have skills in cutting, styling, and coloring hair.  Many employers will look for cosmetology licensure in prospective hires.  Therefore, it’s an excellent career to transition to if you’d like to continue using your skills in cosmetology and like detailed, customizable work.

Bridal Hairstylist

If updos and specialty styles are your passion, being a bridal hairstylist can be a fulfilling career.  As a bridal hairstylist, you will help make people feel beautiful on one of the best days of their lives.  Bridal stylists may work out of studios, but many travel and work on site.

Cosmetologists that choose to pursue this career can expect to work mostly weekends, with additional weekdays for bridal trials and consultations. Many will start early in the morning and work until about midday or afternoon. This can also be a great profession to get into if you need a shorter or more flexible schedule.  

Read an interview with Bridal Stylist Marissa Molnar here.

Product Ambassador

Feeling iffy about cutting and coloring, but love the industry and working with people?  A product ambassador position may be one of the jobs in cosmetology right for you.  Product ambassadors work with specific hair, skin, and nail product brands in order to promote and sell them to salons.  The primary responsibilities of a product ambassador are traveling to salons to educate, promote, and style the layout of products in the salon.

This can be a great opportunity to travel to new places for product education and demonstration events.  Many product ambassadors also get to try out cutting edge products before they are released to the public.

Mortuary Hair and Makeup Stylist

This may sound bleak, but mortuary makeup can be a rewarding career for those who have deep empathy and care for people.  Mortuary hair and makeup stylists (also known as desairologists) are responsible for using their cosmetology skills to make the deceased look the way their loved ones remember. In this way, mortuary stylists help the grieving family and friends by giving them closure and a chance to say goodbye. 

This career can be accessed through jobs in cosmetology school or through a mortuary science program.  This career requires a special type of person who has compassion, tact, and is comfortable around the dead.  Therefore, mortuary styling is not for everyone. 

Editorial Stylist

If you’ve got an eye for the latest trends and work well under pressure, an editorial stylist position may be just what you’re looking for. Editorial stylists are responsible for creating hair and makeup looks for photo shoots. This means prepping models, celebrities, or everyday people for editorial material such as magazine covers, ad campaigns, album covers and more.

Editorial styling requires a lot of creativity, flexibility, and the ability to think on one’s feet.  Stylists have to keep the subject matter and desired vibe in mind while cycling through several looks in a short period of time.  In order to break into the industry, it’s a good idea to build a portfolio of editorial looks.  Collaborate with local photographers or fashion designers and start creating some content. Taking an apprenticeship under an established editorial stylist is also a great way to get started. 

Read an interview with New York-based editorial hairstylist, Jennifer MacDougall here.

Starting Your Career

No matter what your personality or interests, the beauty industry is full of possibilities.  Introverts or extroverts; high energy or low energy; 50 hours a week or 10 hours a week, the world of cosmetology has room for all types. 

 At the Atelier, we celebrate our differences by focusing on small class sizes and flexible schedules.  Your unique personality is important, so we keep our class sizes small in order to get to know every student and their individual needs.  We provide flexibility in our schedules to provide accessibility to students who also work or take care of children while attending school. 

If you’re ready to start school to have one of these jobs in cosmetology, head over to our Programs page.  There you can read about our different programs, view our course catalog, and download an application. We can’t wait to get you started on your unique journey! 

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