Being a stylist is a super rewarding gig, right?
Think about it, you’re working one-on-one with people, establishing trust, and providing them with a service that brings them tons of joy, confidence, and a sense of well-being.
It doesn’t get more rewarding than that. Does it?
Actually—depending on what your values, passions, and goals are—it absolutely can!
Enter the idea of being a specialized cosmetologist who works with children. If you love working with kids, consider yourself super patient, and want more than anything to bring joy and confidence to the kiddos by using your established talents, becoming a kid’s stylist could be the perfect job for you!
The best candidates for kiddo stylists tend to be dedicated, determined, naturally good with children, great at communication, and are incredibly patient. If this sounds like something that makes sense for you, this gig might be right up your alley!
If we’ve piqued your interest, then you’re in luck—we’ve got a lot more info where that came from.
Read on to get a better understanding of what kind of requirements you need to meet to work with kids, some of the most commonly offered services, and some frequently asked questions about working with kids, too!
What You Need to Expand Into Offering Kid’s Services
Before we dive into this section, we want to make an important point—working with kids is a lot different than working with adults. It requires a lot of extra patience (well, for the most part—we’ve all had some difficult adult clients before, too), some tolerance, and of course, the willingness to get a little silly, too.
That being said, the overall requirements for styling and cutting hair for children is pretty much the same as what you’d need to style adults’ hair.
- A License: working with kids is no different than working with adults—in order to legally style and cut hair, you’ll need to be licensed to do so.
- An Understanding of State Requirements: Even if you have your license, every state has unique requirements for hair professionals in their states. They might even have specific kid-specific requirements, too. The best way to ensure you’re doing everything by the book is by checking in with your state’s specific requirements.
- A Firm Grasp on Sanitation Regulations: This applies to you no matter where you work—whether you run your own salon or you’re working in someone else’s. Keeping your area clean, sterile, and safe is always going to matter, but with kids, you’ll need to be extra careful! Little ones tend to let their hands wander and they’re great at collecting germs—transitioning into the world of kids’ styling means you’ll absolutely have to have a careful grasp on the sanitation and safety of your space. Learn more about sanitation and keeping your booth and tools squeaky clean here.
- Professional Liability Insurance: We know you've probably heard it from us before. But there is nothing more vital than protecting your license. Just because a child might not sue you, doesn't mean their parents won't if something goes wrong. Especially considering kids hair services, liability protection is more important than ever. Check out Elite Beauty Society's cosmetologist insurance here.
Services You Can Offer
Working with kids usually means that you’ll be working with mini clients who are 12-ish and under. Traditionally, the cut-off age for kiddo is about 13—when they’re technically considered teenagers (*insert ominous music here* that requires a whole other set of skills that we’ll dive into at some point!)
Transitioning into offering kid’s services means that you might be mixing up your repertoire of offerings—especially if you’re planning to transition to solely working with kids.
Check out a few of the services you’ll probably want to consider offering for kiddo clients:
- First Haircuts (with a lock of hair for parents’ keepsakes)
- Child’s Cut
- Wash, Cut, and Style
- Detangling Treatment
- Bangs + Trims
- Kiddo Styling
That being said, there are probably going to be a few things you won’t have on your kid-client-service list. Every stylist, their values, and their services are different, so remember, this is just an example of something that might not be on your service list for kiddos:
- Hair Coloring & Dyeing
- Perms + Relaxers
- Special Treatments
Remember, just because working with kids requires a toned-back menu of services, that doesn’t mean that you’re swapping out your awesome skills for a less-demanding job. Working with kids is a whole different ball game and it requires a separate set of unique skills. It takes a special person to work with kids in any way, but especially when it comes down to cutting their hair!
Frequently Asked Questions About Kids Styling Services
Working with kids is such a rewarding experience, but it can be kind of scary, too. Just by the nature of the gig, it’s likely that you’re going to have tons of questions about making the transition to offering kid’s services.
Luckily, we anticipated that. We included some of the most frequently asked questions about becoming a kids’ hairstylist. Check them out below and read up on some of our advice.
Remember, every stylist is different, and there are endless creative solutions to all sorts of kid-stylist-related problems—these are just meant to inform, inspire, and encourage you!
How Do I Price Kid's Hair Services
Working with kids is different in a lot of ways.
Technically, you’re working with less hair, it’s taking less time (usually), and you’re not offering services that should limit your daily number of clients. Typically, with kids, you’re able to work more clients in every day because of these factors, which, ultimately, would mean that you could charge a bit less than you would for an adult haircut. Additionally, it just makes sense that your services would be less expensive for a kid than they would be for an adult—they’re kids, after all.
That being said, there are factors you should consider when working with kids. For example, it might not always be a quick and easy job—some kids are nervous or scared when it comes to getting a haircut, so you might have to spend extra time introducing them to the process and getting them comfortable with you. Additionally, kids can be super wiggly and fidgety, which, as you know, isn’t the most ideal when it comes to cutting hair.
Try to factor in the amount of time you expect to spend on each kid client, think of your overhead costs, and offer a fair price. If you’ve got extra skills that set you apart, don’t be afraid to upsell yourself—always make sure you’re covering your costs while trying to balance a fair price for parents, too. This is going to be a little different for every stylist.
Can I Highlight or Color a Child's Hair?
Everyone has a different idea on when you should be able to color, highlight, or dye a child’s hair, but the general rule is you typically don’t provide these services to kiddos.
Why? Because children have finer hair, generally, and because it’s immature, it’s much more susceptible to damage. Additionally, chemicals can also cause problems for children’s scalps, hair, and airways. You’ll have to develop your own ethics and opinions on this one, but typically, children’s services do not include highlights and color.
What Do I Do if the Child is Scared or Squirmy?
It’s not uncommon for kids to be scared or squirmy for haircuts and styles—it’s just a kid thing and it comes with the territory of working with them. The best way to avoid any pre-cut jitters is to be silly, be direct, and show the child that you’re just here to help and have fun.
Be honest with your kiddo client—the haircut won’t hurt (it might tickle at some parts!), even though you have scissors nothing bad is going to happen and let them know that you’re really good at your job—oh, and it never hurts to guarantee them that they’re going to look super cool after their cut! If you have a wiggle worm for a client, just be extra patient. Try to explain—without scaring them—that for their haircut to be safe, they need to try to sit still!
Even so, go slow, be ready for wiggles, and don’t be afraid to take your time.
How Can I Be the Best Child Stylist Out There?
There’s probably infinite advice we could offer you on this front, but when it really comes down to it, child hair stylists are considered great when they just have fun with what they’re doing.
Working with kids can be a truly exciting and rewarding experience and the stylists who lean into their silly side and downright love what they’re doing typically make for the best stylists.
Do your job well, don’t take yourself too seriously, and try to love every minute of your gig!