How to Be a Freelance Stylist


Work as a freelance stylist doing hair, makeup, and clothing for local individuals as well as for models, celebrities, magazine photo shoots, commercials, music videos, theater or movie sets. Stylists usually work in a salon, spa, or for a stylist company, but you have the option to freelance and choose your own clientele, handle the marketing yourself, bring in more money and set your own hours. Freelance stylists also have the benefit of traveling to exotic locations around the world.

  • Start by getting the proper education and training. Get your education from an accredited school of cosmetology, fashion, or styling. Many stylist and fashion schools that give you training also give you direction for how to find success as a freelancer by showing you how to market yourself and start your own business.

  • Become licensed in your chosen field. An official cosmetology, hair, makeup or fashion consultant license gives clients the assurance that you have been properly trained and have met the requirements for licensing.

  • Build your stylist portfolio with pictures of your clientele. Clients will be professional customers as well as friends. To start your portfolio, style your friends and family at little or no cost to them so you can have the final results photographed for your portfolio. Ask your clients if they are willing to be photographed and have those images shown to future clients.

  • Start your stylist career by working for a company part time, full time or as an intern so you have valid work experience and professional references for your resume. Contact local stylist companies and salons accepting entry-level stylists. The clients you work with through these companies may also give you references by word of mouth, which ultimately gets you more stylist jobs.

  • Create a stylish website for yourself that will include your professional resume, work experience, education and training background and stylist portfolio. Some employers have a Web site you can put your information on, or you can make your own site with some basic skills. Choose a style of Web site that matches your personal style, whether that is modern, edgy or practical.

  • Begin marketing your work by getting listed in directories for your personal stylist goals, whether that is for hair, makeup, or for fashion. Start with printed directories in newspapers and magazines as well as Internet directories of other stylists working freelance.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stay up-to-date on current styles and trends and incorporate those in your marketing agenda and business model. Show current trends on your Web site and in your portfolio.

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