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NEED TO KNOW: What it Takes to be a Killer Hair Assistant

Any aspiring stylist will tell you that you learn more in a year of assisting than in all your time at beauty school. That being said, if assisting a great hairdresser is the pedigree you need to make it big in the beauty biz, then landing the right gig and rising to the occasion is crucial for your education and growth as an artist.

Mane University

Trust us when we say we know how hard it can be to get that big break, but don’t sweat it! We’re hair to help all our mane masters in-training. We sat down with a few of our Mane University educators and some of the industry’s most in-demand stylists to pick their brains on what it means to be a killer assistant! So be sure to check back each week for this exciting 5-part series, where we’ll break down the tools you need to succeed in the hair industry.


“The key to being a good hair assistant is having the ability to think ahead. Don’t just rely in your boss to tell you everything,” says celeb hairstylist and owner of Kimble Hair Studio, Kim Kimble. Her advice for acing this on the daily? “Put yourself in their shoes and try to think for them.” 

Similarly, Christine Symonds, who is behind the manes of Kaley Cuoco and Scar Jo, agrees. “You need to be able to anticipate the next move. Whether that’s handing over a bobby pin, grabbing a towel or greeting a client, you should always be thinking about what the stylist is going to ask for next.”

gold hair accessories

As for truly understanding your role on becoming the ultimate support system for your stylist, Sally Hershberger Salon’s Ryan Trygstad (and our #mcm) takes it a step further. “Being a good assistant means being a good caretaker AND a people person. I find the best assistants are the ones that actually care!” No kidding! He explains, “this business requires a lot of give, so if you don’t love people and caring for them, being a good assistant probably won’t come naturally.”

Bottom line, when you and your mentor are working together in sync, only then can you really start to focus on your craft. Sofia Vergara’s go-to girl, Mane Master Kylee Heath nails the definition of your mission: “an assistant’s job is to make the entire process more fluid.”

Mane University

Hungry for more career counsel?

Check back next week for more insight on what it means to be a killer assistant.

AND Join us at Mane University to master your craft and bring your business to the next level!

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