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Becoming an Editorial Hairstylist: Everything You Need to Know


fixing hair for interview

Source: Golubovystock |

Have you ever dreamed of seeing your work splashed across the pages of a magazine or in a captivating fashion campaign? Welcome to the thrilling world of editorial hairstyling, where precision meets artistry, and salon hairspray is your secret weapon for crafting unforgettable looks that defy gravity and inspire trends. Transitioning from the familiar comfort of the salon to the fast-paced energy of editorial shoots presents challenges and unparalleled rewards. Buckle up, seasoned stylists, and prepare to unlock the secrets of this exhilarating domain as we explore everything you need to know about becoming an editorial hairstylist! 

Master the Fundamentals

Before conquering the editorial frontier, make sure you have a rock-solid foundation. Sharpen your cutting, coloring and styling techniques. On this journey, precision will be your guide and versatility your ultimate ally. Embrace diverse cutting methods, from razor-sharp bobs to intricate braids, and unlock the magic of transformative color, mastering everything from bold balayage to delicate highlights. Hair comes in all forms, textures and thicknesses. Honing your ability to tailor your approach to each unique canvas will set you apart in this highly competitive field.

Chase the Cutting Edge

Staying ahead of the curve is essential for editorial stylists. Fashion trends ebb and flow, and hairstyles are often their most captivating accessories. Immerse yourself in high fashion to give yourself a competitive edge. Examine fashion magazines, lose yourself in the whirlwind of runway shows and become a regular on industry websites. But don’t simply observe. Translate the hottest trends into hairstyles that are on-trend, wearable, innovative and uniquely your own. Go beyond the expected, and let your creative vision shine!

stylists doing hair and makeup

Source: Dmitry Dikushin |

Go Beyond Technique

Editorial hairstyling thrives on collaboration. Imagine your vision brought to life through the lens of a talented photographer, a fashion stylist’s artistry and a makeup artist’s magic touch. Each person is a crucial puzzle piece, and open communication and seamless teamwork are crucial. 

Here are a few other ways to build your career as an editorial hairstylist that don’t include cutting or coloring: 

  • Building a Powerful Portfolio: Your portfolio is your calling card and a curated exhibition of your editorial prowess. Don’t just focus on recreating trends. Showcase your creativity and ability to push boundaries. Collaborate with aspiring photographers and models to bring your hair photography ideas to life. Experiment with different lighting setups, flattering angles and model poses to capture the essence of your style.
  • Mastering Time Management: Editorial shoots are often fast-paced and demanding. Develop a keen sense of time management, and prioritize tasks like prepping hair, collaborating with the team and adapting to unforeseen circumstances. Staying calm and organized is crucial if you want to succeed in this field.

Make the Leap from Salon to Set

Feel like you’re ready to take the next step? Here are a few ways to get your foot in the door as an editorial hairstylist: 

  • Assisting: Shadow established editorial hairstylists to gain invaluable experience and industry connections.
  • Freelance Work: Start small, offering your services for independent shoots or collaborations. Over time, you’ll build a solid portfolio and reputation.
  • Competitions: Participate in hairdressing competitions to gain exposure, showcase your talent and attract industry attention.
  • Networking: The editorial world is built on connections. Attend industry events, connect with photographers, stylists and other hairstylists on social media and actively network. You never know who might open your next door.
  • Being Prepared: Prepare for anything! Editorial work demands a wider arsenal of products than your typical salon kit. Invest in quality hair supplies, like long-lasting texturizers and high-hold hairsprays that withstand the rigors of set life. Be prepared to adapt your techniques and product choices to diverse hair types and styles.

Transitioning from the salon to the set requires dedication and may come with a steep upfront investment. However, the potential rewards — creative freedom, industry recognition and the thrill of seeing your work come alive — are well worth it.

hairstylist fixing client hair

@barbercaldas via Instagram powered by Squarelovin

Step into the Spotlight

The path to editorial hairstyling is paved with passion, dedication and continuous learning. Mastering your technical skills is just the beginning. Cultivate collaboration, build a stunning portfolio, embrace adaptability and communicate effectively. Network relentlessly, be prepared for challenges and always stay ahead of the trends. Above all, remember the magic you hold in your hands. So, unleash your creativity and embark on your editorial hairstyling adventure!


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