A Stylist’s Guide To Becoming Independent


I was 21 years old when I began planning my own path to becoming an independent stylist. I was an apprentice for eight months and dove headfirst into booth renting with no clientele. Today, I am 23 years old, own a studio, have a steady, growing clientele and was able to hire my assistant. I want to share my struggles with you, as well as tips, and bust some myths about becoming independent.

When I graduated from beauty school, I went and trained at one of the most prestigious salons in my area. The training was detailed and strict, and the education was amazing. However, the closer I got to becoming a stylist, the more I realized I did not fit in with the style of a commission-based salon.

Despite peers saying that it was nearly impossible to rent a booth and build a clientele, I left and found a salon that allowed me to rent a chair part-time. Two out of the seven days a week, I was in the salon. The rest of the week, I worked a part-time job to help pay rent.

After two months of dedicating my life to social media, I grew a great list of clients, hired a personal assistant and was able to expand into my own suite rental. Once I mastered these tips, the growth kept going:

​Social Media

My goal was to post a photo every day of my work. By consistently posting quality work on your page, you’ll better attract new clients. Plus, consistent posting makes future clients trust your work and get excited to sit in your chair.

Vintage is one thing, dated is another –– and nobody wants that for their hair. Keeping up with the latest hair color, styling and cutting trends will make your work stand out from stylists that stay stagnant with their work.

Ask Your Clients To Repost Your Work

Finally, social media is definitely the biggest factor to growth. Having your clients repost your work is the modern word-of-mouth referral. One repost can reach even more potential clients and gain you more followers, as a result.

My hope is to let the stylist that is just starting out know that they can do it. Use these tips and go head-first into becoming independent and growing your business on your own. This industry is the best you could be in when it comes to creating your own career.

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Darcee Rogers

Darcee Rogers owns Ash Ave. Hair Studio. She is a Louisville-based hair stylist that specializes in blondes, extensions and pastels.


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