Hair Colorist Training: How to Become a Hair Color Specialist

Becoming a Hair Color Specialist requires passion, practice and dedication. The art of coloring hair is more than just an art, it is also a science. If you’re interested in becoming a Hair Color Specialist, the best way to achieve your dream is to go through extensive training and practice in order to get certified as a Hair Colorist. There are many steps toward perfecting the multiple processes involved in developing the right hair color for your clients. In the end, business is about happy clients, and happy clients make a happy Hair Colorist!


A professional Hair Colorist will require an in-depth knowledge of temporary, semi-permanent and permanent hair coloring, as well as bleaching, lightening hair, and applying lowlights or and adding highlights. These are just the basics. With today’s unnatural hair color trends, like pink hair and green hair, knowing how to mix and apply the right colors is more important than ever.

As a Master Colorist and Wella Educator, I wish you the best on your journey to becoming a Hair Colorist! Here are the steps you need to take to become a licensed Hair Color Specialist.

1) Go to cosmetology school and get your license. The first step in becoming a Hair Color Specialist is to complete Cosmetology School. Each state has a different requirement. To becoming a Hair Color Specialist, you will need to complete about 1600 hours of schooling. Whether you’re studying to get your Cosmetology License in Kentucky or California, there’s no completing Cosmetology School without taking the State Board exam. Studying is key, as is practice. That’s where passion for your craft as a Hair Color Specialist comes in! Once you pass the exam, you’re ready to start your career as a Hair Color Expert.

2)  Find a salon that’s right for you.  Now that you have your license as a Hair Color Specialist, you can officially begin your search for the perfect salon that will provide you with a more intense training specifically in the area you want to specialize in. Every salon has a different training program. The majority of salons will have class once or twice a week which generally consists of one day for theory and the second day for models to practice on. A Hair Color Expert in training should expect to take part in these types of programs for about 2 years before coming on to “the floor” where they will begin building a clientele for themselves.

3)  Market yourself as a Hair Color Specialist. From maintaining your social media and blog to following up over the phone with your clients. Every step toward putting yourself out there as a Hair Colorist is a good one to take! It is important to keep a consistent image as a Hair Color Specialist, and make sure all content you share is in line with how you want your clients (and future clients) to perceive you. As a Master Hair Colorist and educator, I personally like to share images that inspire me in addition to pictures of my work, which you can see on my Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

4)  Continue your education. There is no better way to maintain your status as a Hair Color Specialist than by continuing your education. As a professional in the industry, it is important to stay on top of trends and always be on the cutting edge of new techniques. There are ample courses and training programs offered for this career path, all you have to do is your research!

I wish you the best of luck on your journey to becoming a Hair Color Specialist! I hope these tips were helpful.