Many of us might not have considered it, but according to recent statistics, hairdressing and cosmetology are increasingly becoming some of the most reliable, enjoyable and advantageous international careers over the coming decades.


“Beauty is global,” declares Brad Masterson, vice-president of Y Public Relations on behalf of the Professional Beauty Association (PBA). “There are stylists that travel the world for many reasons such as education for manufacturers as well as those that do editorial work on photo shoots and movies.”


Surprised? So are we. However, as Masterson emphatically illustrates, personal beauty care is a field in constant demand and that yields broad opportunity. From interesting and helpful contacts to a pricing structure ranging between tens to thousands of dollars per sitting depending on clientele, there is little stagnancy in this calling.


Moreover, some see beauty programs as the next financial boom. In its latest press release, the PBA points out that during the recent economic downturn, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the private sector slashed jobs at 4.4 per cent while employment-based beauty spas added 0.2 per cent. The salon industry effectively outperformed the national economy and is expected to grow by 31 per cent over the next decade.


“Beauty, specifically hair, is one service that people need to have taken care of, regardless of the state of the economy,” states Masterson about the field’s resistance to recession. “Many women in particular will forego other beauty treatments in order to make sure they can get their hair done. It’s the last thing they want to give up. In addition, as people have had to transition into looking for work, they want to freshen up and maintain their appearance to make the best impression possible.”

Before dreams of James Bond-ish jet-setting sweep you away though, understand that as with other professions, there are levels of training and expertise to be attained. Provinces list different graduating requirements for official designations and fees can range from $700 one-off classes to $15,000 for full programs. Moreover, many salons require post-education internships to glean facility techniques and specialities.

With diploma and scissors in hand though, the world could be a beautician’s proverbial oyster.

Options abound

• Many paths are available in hairdressing and cosmetology such as
freelance work, dedicated employment with a particular spa/agency,
working for photo shoots, film, television or even teaching.

• Furthermore, with benefits such as flexibility and optioning various
degrees of entrepreneurship, many young adults are increasingly leaning
toward the field without sacrificing a solid pay cheque.

• Masterson says those who shun seeing their children dedicate their
future to the world of beauty might want to reconsider. Aside from the
pride of “making people look and feel great on a daily basis,” it can
be an incredibly interesting, portable and — most importantly —
lucrative career.

• “People have had the belief in many ways that hairstylists don’t make
a lot of money. That may be the case for some (but) many actually earn
great livings and can make $37,000 to $63,000 a year if not more.
Additionally, there are many opportunities beyond working ‘behind the
chair’ that most people never realize, which can lead to bigger
salaries, travel, et cetera.”