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How do I Become a Mobile Hair Stylist?

By Carol Francois
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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Anyone who wants to become a mobile hair stylist must be fully licensed as a hair stylist, and have both a reliable vehicle and an entrepreneurial spirit. A hair stylist offers a range of service, from hair cuts to chemical processes and unique hair styles. There are three niche markets for mobile hair stylists: the wealthy, people who are pressed for time, and members of the entertainment industry.

Identifying clients in these markets requires a combination of skill and business connections. Some professional stylists work in the entertainment industry to develop contacts for professional actors, actresses, and producers who may need a hair stylist who can come to the movie site and work. The development of a portfolio of work that highlights the stylist’s skills and satisfied clients is another way to enter these markets.

Every hair stylist must complete formal post-secondary education from an accredited community or career college. This program is typically 12 to 18 months in length, and provides the training necessary to style a range of hair types, identify skin conditions, and maintain sterile equipment. In addition to this training, all hairstylists must successfully complete a state-managed examination to obtain a hair stylist license.

Experience is very important for anyone who wants to become a mobile hair stylist. Building a client list is important to the success of any stylist, but is absolutely essential for a mobile hair stylist. Typically, a hair stylist rents a chair in an established salon, and then walk-ins and new clients are assigned to different stylists on a rotating scheduling. The stylist is expected to cultivate a relationship with clients so they will return to him or her in the future.

Once you become a mobile hair stylist, the opportunities to obtain new clients is more limited. You cannot use the reputation of the salon but must rely on your own skills, business advertising, and reputation to expand your business. For this reason, most mobile hair stylists have been working in the field for at least 10 years and have a well-established reputation and client list.

In addition to the development of a client list, investment capital is typically required to establish a mobile hair styling service. Funds are required to purchase a reliable vehicle, equipment, supplies, and advertising. Some firms use a professional answering service to book appointments, answer inquiries, and forward messages. These services are not very expensive, but enhance the professional reputation of the stylist.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon1005574 — On Sep 27, 2021

Although the source of this article is a bit old, it's funny to see how in 10 years, same questions are still up to date. With this Covid pandemic, at-home hair stylists and other mobile barbers are relevant more than ever.

By Charmagne — On Jun 04, 2011

Living in a big city, I got to see a mobile hair salon, not just a single stylist. Their clients were primarily the elderly and people who could not leave their homes easily. I know how great I feel when I get my hair done. I thought it was awesome this salon made it their main goal to go and help people that couldn’t come to them.

I have thought about becoming a cosmetologist myself. I would definitely want to be involved with a mobile hair salon like the one I saw. It’s not as fancy or expensive as a premier salon, but what a great way to help people.

By jellies — On Jun 04, 2011

I have a friend who is a traveling hair stylist and makeup artist for a theater group. It is a little different because he travels with the same group for shows. He is part of a team that works on hair, makeup, and costuming. He has been able to build a pretty cool portfolio that showcases some dramatic looks and talent.

He is moving to Hollywood after the current show is done touring. He hopes to become a traveling stylist to the stars. He’s got a knack for doing hair, and the potential to do well. But it’s such a competitive business. I hope his experience has prepared him!

By mantra — On Jun 03, 2011

My younger sister is a cosmetologist who is trying to break in to the mobile stylist business. She is trying to specialize as a wedding hair stylist. She built a pretty decent client base while she worked in a local salon.

She has also spent some time doing on-site styling for a couple close friends’ wedding parties. She was able to add pictures to her portfolio from these weddings. She is building a website. Word of mouth really seems the best way to build up your clientele for this kind of job.

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