How to be a Successful Freelance Hairstylist

Working as a freelance hairstylist has some crazy cool benefits that you may not have thought of! Not only are you able to do what you love for a living, you could get paid to make people feel and look their best, and of course there’s always the opportunity to land a high-paying gig or client down the road!

As a freelance hairstylist, or a stylist that doesn’t work in a beauty salon, there are a few things that you may want to do to help find your success. You’ll need to market yourself effectively. This could be done through social media or even just by consistently doing great work! Focusing on excellent work could help build a strong network of repeat business and referrals.

As a freelance hairstylist, you’ll need to make sure that you are always out in the field applying your craft. Set a goal to be continually learning new techniques and trends that could help to keep you ahead of the curve in the industry. As with most other professions, the more you put into your craft as a licensed cosmetologist and freelance hairstylist the more you’ll often get out of it.

Do More as a Freelance Hairstylist in Film, High-Fashion, and Television

As a professional freelance hairstylist for television and film, you’ll want to stay flexible and roll with the punches as you strive to prove yourself and build a reputation as a hairstylist that’s professional and easy to work with.

2 women applying makeup on a production set

Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone in this high-energy, high-creativity career. Take a chance and try new looks and techniques to give your superiors something they’ll absolutely love and remember you for.

Getting Paid More as a Freelance Hairstylist

Give your clients an introductory rate. A lot of well-known hairdressers and freelance hair stylists get their start doing reduced-rate hair jobs early on in their careers. For instance, you could take on higher-profile clients that may either re-hire you or help you network and start off by telling them you’re going to give them a great introductory rate in order to earn their business.

This could not only help to set you apart from the competition, but it could be a great way to get your foot in the door and begin gaining a higher level of clientele that could also refer you to others at their level.

How Much Can You Charge as a Freelance Hairstylist?

Some hairstylists swear by setting rates very high from the get-go for their daily and hourly hair gigs. While sometimes setting your rates high may attract a certain clientele that is looking for an experienced and high-end freelance hairstylist, it may also scare away clients that you could have grown with and can be dangerous to your reputation if your experience doesn’t stack up against your hourly rates.

Some freelance hairstylists charge a flat fee for their work, while others swear by charging hourly with a minimum number of hours per gig. Other experienced freelance hairstylists say that they wouldn’t accept a flat rate for a day because hours on-set can go long and deep into the night – something running 12-16+ hours and making you work for a flat fee doing way more than you bargained for.

makeup kit with beauty products and tools for freelancers

Other things to consider are charging a kit fee since they are using their own colors, chemicals and equipment, these prices (while much higher than salon prices) are often justified. Also, as a freelance hairstylist, you’re often putting together specific looks for your client, meaning that there is a lot of customized processes that were thought through, specifically for this job, and your clients should know that.

Some Final Notes on Finding High-Paying Clients as a Freelance Hairstylist

Above all the things you could do out in the field as a hairstylist is, be nice. Be honest and work exceptionally hard at your profession. Not a lot of people get to work in their dream career and be out of the office earning a steady paycheck, so it’s important to work hard and take time to be grateful.

It’s important to remember that your reputation as a freelance hairstylist could follow you throughout the years. If you do your best, you’ll almost always be suggested in the future when they have an opening or need a great experienced freelance hairstylist.

A final thing to keep in mind is your hairstylist and cosmetology foundation. If you are serious about becoming a licensed hairstylist in Southern California, you’ll want to consider attending a well-known cosmetology school, like Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy in Orange County, CA.

We’d love to give you a free tour of the campus and show you why we’ve been one of the longest running cosmetology schools in California. Please call us at 833-841-4201 in order to start your journey into beauty today, or contact us here at this form.