Top 3 Ways to Start a Successful Beauty Career

If you have a passion for cosmetology, or you’ve been looking for a stable, sustainable career, you’re probably wondering how to get started with a beauty career. Making sure your career starts out on the right foot may seem like a daunting and intimidating task, but many hair stylists, estheticians, and nail techs have completed that task before.


Let’s take a look at the Top X ways to start a successful beauty career.

Before You Begin

Before we can talk about the different paths available to you, we need to talk about how you get on those paths. Regardless of whatever path you take, you need to have a few things in place before your beauty career can take off.

Build Up Your Portfolio

Though this might be difficult at the start, building your portfolio is perhaps the most important part of the process. Your portfolio is how you show prospective clients and employers that you’re skilled and capable. 


If possible, ask friends and family to let you practice your skills on them. Make sure to take pictures of your work for your portfolio, and maybe consider sharing them on social media. 

Learn Business Skills

If you want to advance to a management position, or eventually become your own boss, then you need some degree of business acumen. Even if you’re content with a well-paying job, learning some business skills will help you stand out from the crowd. 


There are numerous online resources where you can read up on the business side of the beauty industry, so make sure to do some research.

Practice Interviewing

With any career, you’ll need to learn some interviewing skills. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking a job interview is a simple series of questions, or a regular conversation. In fact, interviewing well is a skill that takes time, research, and practice.


Look up some common interview questions and prepare your answers in advance. Be prepared to discuss your portfolio, the job you’ve applied for, and the company you’re interviewing with. You’ll want to pay special attention to the company culture, since this will give you valuable insight into what your potential employer wants in an employee.


Once you’ve nailed down these points, you’re ready to get started with your beauty career.

Option 1: Franchise Salons

Franchise salons like Supercuts and Great Clips are everywhere. Though they may not have the prestige of being your own boss or working for the locally-owned salon, they come with more than enough benefits to make up for it.


A franchise salon will usually offer their personnel benefits packages and hourly rates. Many of them offer extra training and serve a long and diverse list of clientele. You’ll also have the added benefit of predictable hours. Working at a franchise is a great opportunity to expand your clientele and network while earning a steady income and building up your portfolio.


There are some notable drawbacks, however. Expanding your clientele may become tricky, as most clients at franchises are walk-ins looking for a quick-and-easy solution to their beauty needs. Moreover, it’s not uncommon to work late hours at franchise locations, as they have a tendency to extend their opening hours.

Option 2: Private Salon

Private salons take all sorts of shapes and sizes, so it’s difficult to speak broadly. Your local barber shop and the nail salon in the strip mall are both examples of private salons. As such, it’s important you ask questions during any job interviews and do research to make sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into. Everything from pay rates to training opportunities can vary greatly.


If you find the right private salon for you, there’s numerous opportunities for building clientele and fleshing out your portfolio. Private salons usually offer a wide range of services, meaning you can put all your skills to use. You might also gain an opportunity to learn how to operate a private salon.

Option 3: Renting a Booth

Though this is technically an option right out the gate, you probably don’t want to start here. The prospect may sound enticing since you’ll be your own boss and manage your own schedule, but there’s a lot you’ll need to take into account.


You need to raise enough money to pay your booth’s rent in order to turn a profit. Moreover, it’ll fall on you to provide your own equipment and find a way to further your education.


The possibilities with your beauty career are amazing, but you’ll need to get started somewhere! The best beauty careers start with a cosmetology degree, so feel free to reach out. Check out our program page to schedule a chat with an advisor today.