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10 Start-Up Business Tips for a Freelance Hairstylist

10 Start-Up Business Tips for a Freelance Hairstylist

So, you’re thinking about becoming a freelance hairstylist? There are a number of reasons to freelance – flexible hours, freedom to choose the work you do and the chance to be your own boss. But there are also ‘cons’ – no guaranteed wage, no sick pay or holiday pay and all the behind administrative work you may not have considered.

Going it alone is a huge commitment and whilst the rewards may be great, so is the risk!

There are many factors to consider before you make the leap but with a little expert advice, you can be sure you’re not leaping blind!

Here are 10 ‘tips’ for starting a freelance hairstylist business.

freelance hairstylist

Is it for you?

Before you commit to life as a freelance hairstylist or makeup artist, you need to be sure that you have what it takes. You need to be motivated and passionate about what you do. Without a ‘boss’ encouraging you to work hard, you may find you’re taking it a little easy. You need be able to manage your time effectively and have the confidence to get up and go!

Spend some time with a freelance hairstylist or freelance makeup artist, do your research sp that you can go into the unknown with the confidence to know that that you’re up for the challenge and can put in the effort needed. As your own boss, it won’t happen unless you make it happen.

Any hairstylist or makeup artist needs to be sociable, but as a freelancer having the gift of the gab is even more important! You’ll need to be able to converse with all manner of people – clients, businesses, suppliers and the tax man, to name a few so make sure you feel able to hold your own and come across as a successful and trustworthy stylist! It’s OK if you’re nervous to start with, you’ll soon get used to it and the more confident you are with your skill-set, the more confident you’ll be, speaking to your clients.

You’ll also need to be pretty thick-skinned, flexible and reliable! Clients will expect you to respond quickly and professionally and sometimes, you’ll have to deal with dry spells. This doesn’t mean you’re no good or that all hope is lost! It takes time to build up a business, so be patient and try not to take the slow months personally.

freelance hairstylist


Before you even consider going it alone, it is essential to make sure you have all the relevant qualifications. In order to really stand out, you’ll want to be able to offer more than just the basics, so train. Train. Train!

You can ever know too much and you can never be too qualified. With the ever-changing trends, you need to keep learning and keep practicing throughout your entire career. Our online course is ideal for keeping your know-how topped up, as we’re constantly updating our tutorials.

Train From Home

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We offer many courses that will give you that little bit more and give you the edge over a competitor and they are all Habia endorsed! Without colleagues to inspire you, it can be easy to lose touch with what’s in fashion, but by attending courses, or keeping in the loop with our online course, we can keep you on top of your game and help you stay on top of current trends to make sure you’re able to offer exactly what your clients want.

As a freelance hairstylist, you might find that you miss working with other people and this is another reason training can be a wonderful help. Our online course includes Live Webinars, so even when you’re training at home, you can still enjoy a fun, classroom environment when you feel like it.

If you have a speciality – braidsblow-drying, gorgeous updos, or bridal hair – work it! Perfect it and make it yours!

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Behind the Scenes

As a freelance hairstylist or makeup artist, much, much more comes into play than being a hairstylist in a salon…

Don’t underestimate the administrative work you’ll need to put in (and if you need help in busy years, invest in an accountant!).

You’ll need to make sure you have the necessary insurance, you’ll need to keep your taxes in order, you’ll want a website, you’ll need to invest in advertising and you’ll have to manage your own time/bookings/cancellations.

To have any chance of succeeding, the ‘behind the scenes’ work is crucial. And to avoid any hefty tax bills, you’ll want to make sure you are fully prepared and keeping your records accurately!

You’ll need to make time for correspondence with clients. This will probably mean that you don’t get to work regular hours and instead with have to allow time in the evenings to deal with all the often boring, but essential stuff.

freelance hairstylist

Getting Started

The most important thing, initially, (once you’ve made sure you’re fully insured and have all the necessary equipment/training) is actually getting business. So how do you do that?

Figure out your ‘brand’. Even as an individual it’s important that you present yourself as a business with a consistent style. Get your business cards out there and be sure you’re targeting the correct audience on social media and beyond.

Attend wedding fairs and chat to wedding vendors, contact local bloggers and be seen at events. Volunteering to help out on magazine shoots and at events when your first starting out can really help you get your foot in the door.

You’ll need to have a strong portfolio of work for clients to even consider hiring you, so come on our 4 day course for a professional portfolio shoot, or arrange your own.

Use social media to your advantage! In today’s technological age, you need to have a real online presence in order to build a client base. Think about offering incentives to begin with, discounts or even freebies and collaborations when building your portfolio.

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When starting up as a freelance hairstylist, there will of course be a financial impact. You’ll need to invest in equipment, without a salon as a base, you’ll need everything. This is always going to be a big expense, so minimise it as much as you can by shopping the sales and using professional discount codes.

You’ll also need to be insured – Create Beautiful Hair students get a great deal with Balens! Read more about that here…

Advertising can be a big help too, when done right, but one of the best forms of advertising is having your own website with a regular blog which you can then share on social media. Google ads can also be great, but think about your competition. If you’re in London or another big city, you may find that your ads get swept away by big names. In a smaller town, you’ll have better luck.

It’s always a good idea to try and take into account your finances during down time. Put money aside, when you can, so that you are financially secure enough to weather the quieter months and at the beginning, whilst your building your client base.

freelance hairstylist

Making it Work

Do your research! Find out what similar stylists are charging – don’t go in too high but don’t under-price yourself either.

You may need to be conservative to begin with in order to attract customer but you need to make sure you’re covering your own costs. You’ll have no chance at success if you’re losing money month after month.

Think carefully about promotions you’re running. Discounts and incentives are a great way of bringing in clients but make sure the numbers work before you commit!

Making a Name for Yourself

Personal connections are everything! Social media needs to be one of your main focuses as does face to face interaction at events.

You need to have a clear and impressive online presence, so try to get clued up on how it all works. You will need be posting online regularly and with a consistent ‘theme’.

Network with other stylists. Ask clients for reviews and ‘shout outs’ online. Word of mouth is great (and free!) but can be a little slow so don’t rely on this as a means to get yourself known.

Advertise. Network. Be visible! Offer your services at events to gain access to a large target audience. Think carefully about the type of client you want to attract and focus on them. Place fliers and business cards in places you know your target market will see them.

freelance hairstylist

Building a Team

Being freelance doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go it alone completely. If you can afford it, hire someone who can help build your brand or work with others when the opportunity arises. As your work takes off, you may want to find someone help with your taxes and hire an assistant to make your day to day life easier.

It probably won’t be necessary to have a team of people at the very beginning but think about how best you can utilise the expertise of others and offer your help so you can call in those favours later!

freelance hairstylist

Finding Jobs

Don’t expect the work to come to you! Not to begin with at least. You need to get out there and hunt it down! You could consider registering with an agency who will help find you work but be careful about the associated cost. Be sure that the money the agency could bring in, covers the cost to you.

Be Brave!

It may feel like a huge risk and a scary prospect BUT think of the benefits. As long as you are savvy and do your research, you’ll likely be a success! You’ll get such job satisfaction knowing that YOU are in control. Your success will be solely down to you.

Keep Your Cool! Our Tips for Avoiding Over-heating on the Job

Keep Your Cool! Our Tips for Avoiding Over-heating on the Job

We hope you lovely lot are all out there enjoying this gorgeous summer sunshine as much as you can! But even if you’re working away, don’t forget to keep up with your self-care to keep yourself healthy and well in the heat.

So much of what we do as bridal hair and makeup artists concerns how the bride is doing and so it’s not uncommon that our own needs fall by the wayside as we’re staying on top of everything else. However, when it’s hot, you must take extra care to look after yourself – an ill bridal hair and makeup artist is not a good one and as a self-employed person, as so many of us are, we can’t afford to take days off to get better! Prevention is the best medicine, so during these summer months when things get hot on the job, be sure to follow these top tips to stay on your A game…

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Summer Brides Wedding Hair and Make Up Inspiration 2018

Summer Brides Wedding Hair and Make Up Inspiration 2018

We’re in the midst of wedding season which means an influx of summer brides wanting the perfect hair and make up for their Big Day and it’s our job, as the experts, to help them make the right choice.

Your bride will want to feel confident, comfortable and beautiful and her hair and makeup will go a long way in achieving that. There are many things to consider when helping her choose the final look and while the style of hair and make up needs to fit the feel of the wedding it also needs to be true to the bride’s natural style. She will want to look like the best version of herself and look great in all the wedding photos too, so you’ve got to create the best of both worlds! Even if she wants a natural style, it has to be defined enough to work on camera.

Experimentation at the trial run is key to finding a look they love and they may even end up opting for a style they would never have considered before! So listen to what they want, try it out, but don’t be afraid to offer your opinion too. It’s important that you find out where they’re getting married, the style of dress, details they want to show off, what they consider their best feature and parts they may want to hide to help you figure out a look they’ll love. Don’t push it though. At the end of the day, remember that they are the star of the show, so don’t overrun their ideas if it’s something they really want. It’s your job to make them feel a million dollars!




The last thing summer brides want to worry about on their wedding day is overheating! So a high bun can work as a fab suggestion for a summer bride that will keep her feeling fresh all day long.

Whether your bride wants an elegant style or a more relaxed vibe – you can style it to suit either. Top knots high on the head are great if your bride has a backless dress or detail she wants exposed. If your bride is on the shorter side, they add height and lengthen the neck – super flattering.




If your bride is having a hazy summer wedding and wants to look beautifully relaxed, this is a lovely style of up-do to suggest, but be aware that these relaxed and ‘effortless’ styles actually take a fair bit of work to get spot on and make stay in place, so be sure you’re well practised.

Allowing a few delicate strands to fall loose, gently framing the face, adds to this soft, romantic look.

Incorporate real flowers as your bride’s accessory (affordable and beautiful! Have them ask their florist to wire the blooms for ease of use) or keep it all-natural.

This look is so versatile and can be kept neat or truly messy whilst still looking stunningly summery. Cleverly placed pins using Pam’s ‘up and over technique’ make this look achievable for all hair types.

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If your bride wants to keep her hair off her face but still have the hair down look, this is the look to suggest. It can be chilled and relaxed like the up-do or super intricate. If your bride is undecided, give her an up-do that can be un-pinned for a fresh night time look! She can dance the night away with a whole new style.




Get to know your bride, if she spends her life with her hair down, she won’t thank you for pulling her hair into an up-do. Curls and waves are the perfect style, she can have beautiful wedding hair whilst feeling like herself. Defined Hollywood waves or loose, natural curls – you can make this style suit any bride.

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summer brides



I’m sure you’ve been asked a million times for Boho braids, they really are a true wedding classic. They’re effortlessly chic and on a hot day, they’ll keep the bride looking and feeling cool! The best thing about braids is that they suit all hair types – long, short, straight and curly. You’re unlikely to have to tell a bride that this won’t work for them!

Keep them loose, romantic and soft or give them edge by keeping them structured. Deconstructed plaits are the BIG thing this summer – perfect for adding flowers or other adornments. You can really give your bride an extra something with a expertly placed accessory. Another selling point is the gorgeous waves your bride will be left with once they’re removed so she can go off on her honeymoon looking great with zero effort.

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summer brides



Another wedding classic and ideal for a summer wedding. Liaise with your bride and her florist to choose flowers that match her bouquet, to help tie the whole wedding theme together, or pick a few wild flowers for a personal touch. The great thing about flower crowns is that they can completely transform any style and create many different looks. Understated or big and bold, this is the perfect summer brides wedding accessory.




One of the best styles for keeping hair off the brides face and neck and one that will last all day and night, when done right! As with other styles, your bride’s crown braid can be as neat as you want or completely deconstructed. You can in as many accessories as your bride wants or can be kept beautifully simple. Leave curls cascading and combine it with a crown braid on top for a twist on the half up/half down style. So many options mean you’ll keep any type of bride happy!

Beautiful Makeup for Summer Brides…

Get Your Summer Bridal Makeup Down…



Summer brides need a lovely, natural glow but they are often worried that they will need a  heavy face of make up on a hot day to achieve that, if their skin is anything less than perfect.

Fortunately, a buildable, tinted moisturiser offers a light alternative with coverage. If your bride wants to look organic, let those freckles show, a la Meghan Markle! Natural and flawless. With a little skill, it is possible to achieve the same look with a full foundation. Your bride can be reassured that she can look light and effortless while feeling comfortable with a heavier coverage.




With cleverly and carefully applied bronzer in all the right places, you can make your bride look sun-kissed. Add contour and highlight, but in moderation and blend, blend, blend! Less is more with this look. If your bride has chosen a high bun or top knot, this makeup look will keep her looking elegant and radiant.




Make your summer brides glow for her wedding day. Dewy makeup keeps your bride fresh-faced and looking like the best version of herself. If your bride doesn’t usually wear lots of make up, a dewy face can help her feel comfortable while still looking like a goddess. Select make up that’ll keep her glowing all day so she won’t loose her shine.

summer brides



Another great look for a bride who doesn’t wear much make up or is worried about heaviness. Great for a casual wedding or if your bride is opting for a bold, detailed hairstyle. Make her skin your focus, you want a beautiful base and natural eye colours to compliment her eye colour. Don’t feel you need to avoid fake lashes, individual lashes can look very real whilst still adding that something extra. Make your bride looks like she’s radiating love and happiness.




This look really needs your expertise – be sure you help your bride select a shade that flatters her skin. A bright lip can add a pop of colour without having to go overboard with the makeup. With the right choice, it can suit any bride, age doesn’t need to be an issue. A bold lip can be a great look for a mature bride.




The classic smoky eye is a wedding staple but for a summer wedding, add a little twist! If you have a brave bride – go ALL out. If she’s a little more hesitant but still wants to introduce come colour, suggest a coloured eye-liner.




Light pinks, barely-there nudes and rosy cheeks create a beautifully, uncomplicated ethereal look. It is the ultimate summer wedding look. Boho-braids are a perfect match. A dash of highlighter in the inner eye add a real pop while keeping the whole look effortless.

Meghan Markle’s Bridal Hair & Makeup – The Look We’d Love to See!

Bridal Makeup for 2018: The Create Beautiful Hair Favourites

We all love a royal wedding and with Harry and Meghan’s big day coming up fast we can’t stop thinking about that all-important bridal hair & makeup.

Will she be keeping it relaxed and natural with her signature messy bun and smoky charcoal eyes? Will she follow in Kate’s footsteps and opt for a romantic half up half down do (complete with tiara, of course!)? This gorgeous girl can do no wrong when it comes to hair and makeup, so whatever it ends up being, we know she’ll look incredible.

But that doesn’t stop us dreaming ‘what if Pam Wrigley got to be the royal hair stylist?’…

Whilst we adore Kate Middleton’s chic style, there’s no denying that Meghan does things just a little bit edgier.

Wearing ripped jeans for her first public appearance with Harry and even opting for mis-matched earrings at one royal engagement, she’s certainly shaking things up a bit at Buckingham Palace and we totally dig her for it. This just makes the bridal hair and makeup predictions all the more exciting – will she go traditional like all other royal brides before her or are we going to see something completely new?

She can certainly carry off both beautifully, but here are the looks Pam would LOVE to see Meghan rocking down that aisle:

bridal hair

Meghan’s Bridal Hair


If Pam had the chance, she would embrace Meghan’s cool style, allowing her to really shine through as herself and not just go along with royal trends:


“I would love to style a messy low bun for Meghan. Loads of texture, gorgeous root lift and making the most of her natural wave.”


Despite becoming a princess, Pam would also choose to steer Meghan away from the more traditional tiara and again, make the added sparkle her own:


“I’m crossing my fingers Meghan won’t go for the usual tiara! As a finishing touch, I would pin in some fabulous sparkly diamonds for extra gorgeousness. There are so many beautiful things you can make with diamonds that a tiara just seems so ordinary.”

bridal hair

Meghan’s Bridal Makeup


When it comes to Meghan’s bridal makeup, it would be hard to go wrong. That radiant, dewy glow she’s so well-known for comes naturally (she attributes that to internal mouth massage and Manuka honey with EVERYTHING), so we’re already working with a lovely base.


“I’d love to give Meghan fresh, fabulous makeup – dewy and gorgeous with golden highlights on the cheek and a barely-there blush. Perfect for a late spring wedding.”


But just as with the hairstyle, Pam would make sure to keep Meghan’s look just a little bit edgy:


“For her eyes, I think perhaps a soft golden shimmer on the lid, with a bit of an eyeliner to give the look a bit of an edge. And for the lips: a bold version of nude, if there is such a thing!”


The trick, of course, is to bring out her best features and make sure she looks as good on camera as in real life. Pam says:


“With all the cameras, she might need a bit more oomph. Smoky charcoal grey would definitely do the trick! I’d also go for individual lashes – nothing too much, just subtle definition and same for the brows: gently does it!”

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How would you style Meghan Markle for her big day?

Going Pro? Here’s How to Price Your Bridal Hair & Makeup Services…

Going Pro? Here’s How to Price Your Bridal Hair & Makeup Services…

If you’ve completed one of our courses, you’re now a fully accredited bridal hair and makeup artist – congratulations! The next step, is getting out there and going pro with your services.

You’ve got the talent, you’ve learned the techniques from multi-award winning bridal hair and makeup artist Pam Wrigley so now all you need is to get those clients booked and start working.

The first step is to read our blog ‘Mastered Bridal Hair? Time to Get Paid! Our Top Tips on Going Pro’ where we take you through everything you need to know to get your bridal hair and makeup business up and running. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to go. But hang on – time to get paid? That’s all very well and good, but how on earth do you even begin to figure out how much to charge?!

Valuing your bridal hair and makeup services (or any self-employed service for that matter) is a tricky one: too high and you’ll never get booked, too low and you’ll put clients off as well! And aside from that, there’s the old problem of your own self-worth at play. Are you really good enough to charge that much for your work?

If you’re ready to work but pricing your bridal hair and makeup services is leaving you stumped, read on…

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Once you’ve trained with Create Beautiful Hair & Makeup Training and continued learning at home with our online bridal hair course, you can rest assured that your skills are up to scratch enough to go pro, if you’re willing to take the plunge.


It’s a scary prospect going ‘full time’ if you’re new to the industry but through hard work and perseverance you will get there!


Knowing how much to charge for your services is a tough call. Looking at comparables only works if you really know who to compare yourself to and more often than not, it’s hard to see your own talent from an outside perspective.


So where do you start?

Cost-based Pricing

At the very least, your pricing needs to cover your expenses and then have enough on top so that you’re making a profit too. Putting together a comprehensive makeup kit and buying all the hair products and styling tools you need is expensive, there’s no way around that and it also needs to be maintained. Aside from the kit itself, you also need to take into account the time you might spend working on a look outside of the wedding and trial, your travel costs, your own appearance (which needs to remain professional and well-kept at all time for a good impression) and of course any other business costs such as extra training, setting up a website, paying for your blogs to be written and advertising.

This may be overwhelming to see written out like this, but it’s better to do it now rather than later so that when you do start working, you don’t find yourself at a loss! Take some time to really think through what all of your business costs are and add them up to figure out your monthly needs. When you’ve done that, calculate how much you need to earn on top of that to make good and then divide the total between a realistic number of monthly clients to see how much you should be charging.

bridal hair & makeup

Value-based Pricing 

But of course, pricing yourself doesn’t (and shouldn’t, past a certain point) be only about making ends meet. Your pricing should also reflect the value of your services. The value of you and your time. This is where people start to struggle, as how can you objectively put a price on your own skills?

It’s difficult, but something that you’ll have to get used to as a self-employed bridal hair and makeup artist. Don’t sell yourself short and make clients think that your services aren’t worth much, but at the same time, don’t price yourself out of the market! It’s important to get this as right as you can from the get-go.

It’s in this instance that looking at comparables can be useful, so do your research. Start looking at other, established bridal hair and makeup artists working in your area and if you’re just starting out, price a little lower. It is really important to look at others near your location as where you are in the world will affect the price people are willing to pay. Don’t price your services at London heights if you live in a rural town and likewise, don’t sell yourself short if you live in a big city.

bridal hair & makeup

Don’t Price Too Low

A big mistake that new bridal hair and makeup artists make is pricing themselves too low.

Although it’s great to offer a competitive fee, a price tag that is way lower than the average will put people off. Believe it or not, if you value your services low, then so will your clients. When it comes to hair and makeup for their big day, brides don’t want a bargain – they want affordable and within their budget, but not cheap, as even if you’re incredibly talented it is likely that people who don’t know you will equate low pricing to low skills.

Also, even if you were able to pick up clients with low pricing, would this be feasible for you to work with and live off? As mentioned above, the cost of a hair and makeup kit is quite high so the fee you charge must cover this and your time. If you want to make it as a full-time hair and makeup artist, you’ve got to price your services realistically and it needs to be this way from the word go. You can increase your prices at a later date, but when you’re just starting to make a name for yourself, hopefully a lot of your work will come through word of mouth from happy clients referring their friends to you and the likelihood is that they will be interested in your services because they can afford the price their friend paid.

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Know Your Fees & Be Upfront

Once you’ve figured out how much you want to charge, stick with it and make sure that you know your fees off the top of your head – no client wants to ask you how much something costs only to have you need to think about it. This is very unprofessional, unless it is a special request in which case you would be within your rights to say you will work it out and get back to them.

There’s no need to be secretive about your pricing, so go ahead and have a ‘prices’ page on your website where you lay out exactly how much your services cost, or at the very least a range or ‘prices from’. Most brides have a budget that they need to stick to, so leaving the money conversation to the end is pointless and can be a waste of time for both parties. Find out what the client wants and tell them how much it costs – simples!

bridal hair & makeup

Know What Your Price Includes

Hair and makeup – check. But what else? Does your fee include false lashes? Presumably so. How about hair extensions that you won’t get back? How much is the trial run? That needs to be separate too, but will the cost come off the final price if they book with you?

As a bridal hair and makeup artist, your job extends beyond making a bride look pretty on her big day and so do the costs. The time you spend with the bride is only the beginning – there is also travel time, setting up time and you may even be required to hang around for the reception (for an extra cost). When you take on a wedding, that’s you booked for the full day, even if the hair and makeup itself only takes a couple of hours, so keep that in mind and also remember to consider all the extras.

bridal hair & makeup

It’s OK to Work for Free


Obviously you’re not going to give your time away for nothing once you’re actually taking bookings, but working for free on projects or events that will further your skills or better your portfolio is worthwhile doing.

Before you take on paying clients, you want to be as confident as possible so offer to do hair and makeup for friends and family as practice. It’s also worth getting in touch with magazines, brands and other hair and makeup artists who inspire you to offer yourself up as an assistant – you never know what might come out of that and if you do well, this can often lead to paid work in the future.

It’s always good to keep your portfolio fresh too, so participate in photo-shoots with great photographers and models purely for the gorgeous images. Beautiful photos on your website and social media is one of the best ways to grab the attention of prospective clients, so every opportunity that comes up to do this, go for it!

Dealing With Difficult Clients – The Bridal Hairstylist Business Guide

Dealing With Difficult Clients – The Bridal Hairstylist Business Guide

As a bridal hairstylist or makeup artist, most of the people you’ll encounter will be happy, excited and in good spirits, which is part of what makes the job great! However, just as with any job out there, you will come across a client every so often who makes life difficult.

With a wedding coming up or on the big day itself, tensions are often running high and the mission to create the best hair and makeup that someone has ever had, under strict time constraints, is certainly a challenge. At some point, it is almost guaranteed that dealing with difficult clients is something you’re going to want to know about.

It might be that your bride-to-be is super stressed out; maybe she’s got her heart set on a look that just isn’t possible to create with her hair type; perhaps she hasn’t got a clue what she wants but whatever you’re doing just isn’t it….or it could just be that she’s not all that nice! Whatever the reason for the trouble, it’s up to you as the professional in that situation to diffuse the problem quickly, calmly and effectively.

dealing with difficult clients

You may describe yourself as a ‘people person’, as most of us who get into being a bridal hair stylist or makeup artist partly do so because we love the sociable aspect of it, but that doesn’t necessarily make you the best at dealing with tricky situations or complaints. If this is something that plays on your mind as one of your greatest work-related fears, we’re here to help!

There are ways that you can cope with a business confrontation and even keep the client, if you play your cards right…

At the end of the day, so much about making it in this industry comes down to positive reviews through word of mouth, so whatever happens, you want your clients to all go back to their friends having had a good experience.

This doesn’t mean that you always have to sit back and take it if things get tough, but having the emotional, psychological and professional toolkit to bring high tension back down to earth is key. It is very unlikely that you’ll ever come face to face with anything really confrontational, but it’s always good to know how to keep things on an even keel.

Just as you need to be equipped with all sorts of styles and techniques for creating a huge variety of bridal looks, you also need to be ready for all situations and know how to keep your head cool.

dealing with difficult clients

Be Prepared For Anything!

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dealing with difficult clients

Take Complaints Seriously, But Not Personally

When dealing with difficult clients you’ve got to keep your feelings, and your ego, at bay. As soon as you get emotionally caught up in a problem, keeping your cool and maintaining professional equilibrium gets much harder; so if you receive a complaint from a client the first thing to do is to step out of it meaning anything about you.

If your client is unhappy with her hair or makeup or anything else for that matter, this does not have to reflect on you as a person and it doesn’t make you bad at your job. Rather than taking it personally and taking a confidence hit, which then in turn might well lead to you going on the defensive, try to avoid justifying your position and instead control the situation by offering a solution with a happy ending.

dealing with difficult clients

Practice Reflective Listening 

Listening to a client’s upset and replying with ‘I understand, but…’ can lead to further frustration from your bride, as the ‘but’ clearly tells her that you are not understanding what she is so wound up about. Instead of this, reflective listening allows the client to feel as though you really do understand what they are saying rather than just offering an almost impersonal response and if you haven’t got it quite right, it gives them the chance to be clear – which can often make things much easier! Miscommunication has an awful lot to answer for.

To practice reflective listening when dealing with difficult clients, what you need to do is interpret your client’s words and body language and respond by reflecting what you have understood back to your bride, politely, which then allows for them to say ‘yes, that’s right’ or ‘no, let me try saying that in a different way’.

Communication is Key…

Nail Your Bridal Trial run with these top tips…

Keep Calm and Carry On

Keeping calm is of course extremely important when it comes to dealing with difficult clients, so this needs to be your first priority. The point we made above about not taking complaints personally will really help with this, so go from there.

People will often mirror the emotions of the other person, so if you get angry it’s likely that your client will get angry too, but if you remain calm, courteous and respectful it is far more likely that they will tone down to do the same.

Behaving in a rude or disrespectful way is always going to reflect very badly on you and your business, so refrain from name-calling, finger-pointing or saying or doing anything that might be used against you.

Your best bet is to keep a calm, professional yet assertive tone and keep it friendly. Falling prey to emotion in tense situations is all too easy, but if you’re reading this now then hopefully if and when the time comes you’ll be a little more prepared! Have empathy, try to understand where they are coming from and always aim to respond with kindness.

dealing with difficult clients

Lose the Fear

Fear of what might come of a negative review can lead to big problems when dealing with difficult clients.

If you’re facing confrontation when dealing with a difficult client, you wouldn’t be the only bridal hairstylist in the world to panic and instantly start imagining all the terrible things that might come of this.

As long as you remain calm and professional at all times, you’ve got nothing to worry about. It is only when a customer feels poorly treated that they’ll go off on a rampage, so if you do your best to resolve whatever the problem is and leave them feeling heard it’s likely that they will calm down very quickly. It may even turn out that it reflects well on you, if you play your cards right!

dealing with difficult clients

Prevent Problems Where Possible

It is always better to avoid problems altogether by being clear and honest from the get-go, rather than trying to fix it later. If you’re presented with a client who is demanding you do the impossible, then make sure you explain right from the start that you won’t be able to do that and why.

Offer some positive advice and let them know what you can do with their hair, maybe suggest getting some clip in extensions in order to achieve the look they’re after.

Don’t ever lead them to believe you can offer something if you can’t.

This point also applies to situations such as if you’re running late or your assistant hasn’t turned up. Tell them as soon as you know – call and give a heads up if you’re going to get there half and hour later than planned and always apologise in this scenario! It is more likely than not that your bride will be fine about it, but she will almost certainly be upset if you just don’t show when you say you will.

bridal hair

Good Record Keeping

Keep your clients happy.

After the trial run make detailed plans of the wedding hairstyle and/or bridal makeup you have created. It is not enough to take photos on the trial. Photos only show the finished result, when it comes to re-creating the perfect style on the wedding day you need to remember how you got there. You’ll need to remember every detail from the trial run, from exactly what hair prep you used, to what products you used and whether you need to cover her ears.

Have a look at Pam’s wedding planners and make sure you get every detail right.

wedding hair

Communicate Clearly

Try not to mince your words or blurt out things you don’t mean when dealing with a difficult client. Think things through carefully before opening your mouth and above all else, do not ‘react’!

Be clear about everything right from the start.

From pricing, to times to the way things are going to pan out on the day, lay it all out so that your client can’t misunderstand. Before saying anything to them, make sure that you have a clear idea of everything you’re doing too – winging it does not work well when you’re a bridal hairstylist. Get your head around it all first so that when you’re giving vital information, it is accurate.

Clear communication is a valuable skill in all areas of life, so you can start practicing this right away – don’t just wait until you’re faced with a problem.

dealing with difficult clients

Always Do Your Best Work

No matter how you feel about a client, it is your job to always do the work work you can. Remember that you’re being paid for a service, so put your all into it! If you know that you’ve done your very best, then if you are faced with a complaint you will know wholeheartedly that you could not have done it any differently when dealing with difficult clients.

Always have a good chat to your client before you start trying styles out on them and remember to keep an eye on their body language throughout, as often this speaks louder than words. Some brides are quite shy about telling you what they do or don’t like, so keep asking questions as you style to give them the opportunity to speak up before it’s too late.

dealing with difficult clients

Don’t Be Afraid to Say Goodbye

Sometimes dealing with difficult clients just isn’t worth it. If you’ve done your best, you’ve tried to resolve a problem and you’ve remained professional but your client still isn’t happy, it’s not the worst thing in the world to cut them loose. It doesn’t happen very often but sometimes a bridal hairstylist and a client just aren’t right for each-other and it’s better to nip it in the bud than wait until the going gets tough.

There’s no need to be rude about it, you can just say that you feel as though you can’t give them what they’re after and maybe you could even make a recommendation of another bridal hairstylist they can get in touch with that might be able to help. Sometimes it’s better to say goodbye to the client and the work than fight for something that just isn’t meant to be.

Bridal Makeup for 2018: The Create Beautiful Hair Favourites

Bridal Makeup for 2018: The Create Beautiful Hair Favourites

Now that we’re well into the swing of 2018, it’s time to start really getting to grips with the bridal makeup trends that we’re going to be seeing a lot more of and the looks that you need to know if you want to be that bridal makeup artist that every woman wants to book for their big day!

A small number of your brides will request a ‘natural’ bridal makeup look, but as a bridal makeup artist you’ll have to keep up with current trends.

Smoky eyes are big, full lashes are gorgeous, and beautiful brows essential for all but your more mature brides. Fashion is always changing and although to the un-trained eye it may not appear all that different, it’s the subtle nuances and being on top of the hottest trends that will really set you apart from the rest.

Make sure that you have the very best bridal makeup looks up your sleeve for 2018, with this list of some of our favourite styles for the year ahead

bridal makeup

Is your makeup game on point?

Dust off those brushes and get up to scratch on our intensive 2 day bridal makeup course

Go for Grey 

For many brides out there, although they love a striking smoky eye on a night out they don’t really see it as a viable option for their big day. Until now, the answer to that has usually been a lighter version in neutral taupe and beige hues but for 2018, the browns are out and the greys are in.

A soft grey shadow is such a flattering tone on almost any eye colour and skin type and it is undeniably sexy, without being too obvious.

Keep it diffuse with lots of blending and pair it with a pale pink lip and glowing skin to keep it looking fresh.

bridal makeup

Super Dew 

We’re all familiar with glowing skin, but 2018 has just knocked it up a notch! It’s more than just a hint of highlighter now, with this dewy base trend looking less like a subtle shimmer and more like an out-of-the-gym health kick. We’re not talking that sweaty, frazzled style though – think goddess on a hot summer’s day.

Try adding a dab of gold powder or a particularly gold highlighting cream mixed into the foundation. We love the new highlighting powder by Illamasqua ‘Beyond Deity Powder’ for a lightweight, iridescent shine.

bridal makeup

A Bold Lip

Who doesn’t feel like a stronger woman for wearing a powerful red lip?! If your client happens to be one who never wears vibrant lip colours then her wedding day is probably not the time to start, but if she has that bold streak and loves to apply a vibrant lipstick for an important meeting or hot date night, then it’s time to introduce some of that confidence as she walks down the aisle.

As a bridal makeup artist, it’s part of your job to get to know your bride at her trial run and find out what she really wants, not what she thinks she should have. If she’s not averse to giving it a go, try a bright red lip in a hue that suits her skin tone (match the red, blue or neutral undertone of their skin to the lippie).

bridal makeup

Strategic Highlighter

Highlighting and contouring is nothing new, but adding a pop of quite obvious white highlighter to the inner corners of eyes and across the brow bone teamed with otherwise ‘barely there’ bridal makeup is a fresh take on it.

This is a step away from that natural glow that highlighting is often used to achieve and a step towards a deliberately ethereal edge that really makes the eyes stand out.


Metallic Eyeliner

Skip the black and brown liners and instead, opt for a metallic sweep along the lash line for a contemporary change.

Keep those lashes looking thick by building up a neutral tone (two shades darker than the skin tone) along the lashes and in the eye socket before finishing off with a gold or silver liner.

bridal makeup

Strong Brows

Noticeable brows have been a thing for a while now, and this is set to continue for 2018 bridal makeup trends.

There are a number of options to go for with this: strong and defined, natural and feathered, or precise and tapered. Whatever you and your bride choose, the key is to keep it deliberate. ‘Natural brows’ does NOT just mean leaving them to do their own thing, just like ‘no makeup makeup’ actually involves…well…a fair amount of makeup.

bridal makeup

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Wedding Hairstylist Must-Haves: Tools & Products You NEED in Your Kit!

Wedding Hairstylist Must-Haves: Tools & Products You NEED in Your Kit!

wedding hairstylist can only do so much without an amazing kit to help create those gorgeous styles, but with so many choices of products and tools out there it can be hard to know where to begin. Messing up on buying those all-important essentials can be a costly and time-consuming error, so aside from your pins, grips, tail comb and padding, we thought that we’d share a few of Pam’s absolute must-have items to set you on the right track.

Wedding Hairstylist Products

TIGI Catwalk Curlesque Curls Rock Amplifier

For curls that rock, look no further than this incredible product – a firm favourite of Pam’s for smooth, frizz-free curls with perfect definition that lasts.


Boots Essentials Curl Cream

Price isn’t always everything: This product has been around for ages and for a bargainous £1.99, you really can’t go wrong – so stock up! This curl crème is ideal for smoothing out curls that are a bit more stubborn than your average.

Dust It by Schwarzkopf

Dry shampoo isn’t just for bad hair days, it’s also brilliant for creating beautiful volume at the roots and great texture throughout. If you’re struggling to get a grip to stay put on extra silky hair, a quick dusting of this should sort you out. Although this is an awesome product, it’s not so brilliant on dark hair as it can show up in an ashy tone. Label.M Brunette Resurrection Style Dust is Pam’s go-to alternative for brunettes and raven haired beauties.

wedding hairstylist

Elnett Professional Hair Spray

Note the ‘professional’ here – you are a wedding hairstylist after all! This is not your standard Elnett hairspray that you can pick up from chemists and supermarkets. Unlike the highstreet product, which has a tendency to be a bit too wet and crispy for flawless styling, this pro version is available at most beauty wholesalers. Go for regular for a natural looking hold.

Wedding Hairstylist Tools

Babyliss Pro Heated Rollers (x2!)

Pam always uses Babyliss Pro heated rollers on the Create Beautiful Hair Bridal Hair Courses to create the dream foundation for any style. They’re easy to use, quick to heat up and cool down and they will give every style the perfect volume and root lift from the get-go.

Buy two kits and always bring both with you – this way you’ll never not have enough rollers and you can be heating more up as you work. If you need extra, individual rollers, you can buy those too.

Diva Wands

Creating all sorts of different curls and waves is a cinch with your trusty tongs and wands, but which size should you get? Pam always recommends that her students invest in 19mm & 25mm tongs and 25mm-13mm wand. Diva wands are an excellent brand and as an added bonus, they all come with heat proof gloves which is an invaluable bit of kit for a wedding hairstylist.

GHDs or Coroliss Straightening Iron

Quick and easy ringlets for flower girls or the tool of choice for smooth and sleek styles, there’s a reason that GHDs are so popular – they really are fantastic! Coroliss is another, lesser known brand that makes superb straighteners and these are actually Pam’s number one choice and what she uses on her own brides.


Boar Bristle & Nylon Hair Brush

A regular, plastic brush won’t cut it if you want to keep your styles perfect and free from flyaways. Whether you go for a classic Mason Pearson or a budget (but almost as good!) version by Sonia Kashuk or Denman, make sure that it’s aa boar bristle and nylon mix, for the smoothing and detangling action in one.

wedding hairstylist

Fishing Tackle Box

Not strictly a tool but definitely something worth a mention – where are you supposed to keep all of your black, brown and blonde pins and grips? In a fishing tackle box of course!

This is one of Pam’s top tips of the trade and how she keeps all of her bits and bobs really organised – a must when you’re keeping to a strict wedding timetable.

Pam Wrigley’s Tips on How to Stay Busy During the Off-Season

Pam Wrigley’s Tips on How to Stay Busy During the Off-Season

It’s part and parcel with being a bridal hair and makeup artist that there will be, more often than not, an off-season at some point during the year. For most of us, and many other businesses out there, this is during that lull after Christmas and New Year when suddenly all of the excitement of Party Season calms down and there’s not an awful lot going on.

For newbies in the business, this can be catastrophic. Having just got off the ground as a bridal hair and makeup artist only to be plunged back into the land of no-work is not something that anyone wants and understandably, this is one of the biggest fears we hear about when our lovely students are thinking of taking the leap and going pro.

Over time, as you become more established within the industry, you’ll find that off season isn’t so terrible (there are weddings and many other events on all year round, after all!) but for those of you a little afraid of what off-season might bring (or rather, might not bring) we’re got some expert tips for you from the Create Beautiful Hair founder, award-winning bridal hair and makeup artist Pam Wrigley…

How to stay busy during Off-Season:


Manage Your Diary

It might be a little late for this one now, but for 2018 make it a New Years Resolution to plan ahead and manage your diary with the Off-Season in mind.

Although you might not have many brides getting married in the early months of the year, springtime is very popular for weddings so book in loads of trial days for the time you know things are going to be quiet.

By doing this, you’ll not only keep a semi-steady flow of income and stay limber with those hair and makeup skills, but you’ll also be less likely to have a trial day clash with a day that you could be earning bigger bucks for on an actual wedding day or other job which are more likely to come about in summer.

Don’t be shy about suggested dates for the trial to your clients – they need to have it at some time, so why not when it benefits you?


Shop the Sales

Now here’s something we can ALL enjoy! Make the most of the amazing deals you see popping up post-Christmas and stock up on all the supplies you know you’re going to need for the rest of the year.

Yes, this can be expensive but it’s worth it in the long run if you can make a saving – and usually you can make a BIG saving!

Start coming up with a list now of all the bits and pieces you could do with so you’re ready to pounce as soon as the sales start.

Check Out Our Christmas Wish-List…

Take a Course

As a bridal hair and makeup artist, you’re only ever as good as the amount of time and effort you put into honing your skill, so use the quiet time of year to get your techniques up to scratch and learn all of the hottest new looks for the year ahead.

With all of the CBH courses now Habia endorsed, joining us on any of our 1 day, 2 day, 4 day or online courses will gain you invaluable CPD points, making you all the more qualified and desirable to higher end clients and amazing jobs.

Find out more about how earning Continuing Professional Development points can benefit you here.


Stay in Touch

Don’t allow a lull in work to equal a lull in communication with other suppliers and professionals in the industry. Having great contacts really can make an enormous difference to a burgeoning career, so make an effort to keep in touch with any photographers, wedding venues, other hair and makeup artists, event planners and whoever else you meet on your travels.

If you’re worried about pestering, get in touch with something they’ll want to hear about! A blog can be a great tool, not only for boosting your online presence and reaching your relevant target audience, but also for talking about and linking to other suppliers in the industry and having them do the same in return.

Want a blog but don’t have time to write it? Get help from an SEO blogger who’s an expert in the wedding industry!

The Ultimate Bridal Hair and Makeup Artist Christmas Wish-List

The Ultimate Bridal Hair & Makeup Artist Christmas Wish-List

You’ve been working so hard all year on becoming a bigger and better Bridal Hair and Makeup Artist that the team here at Create Beautiful Hair think that it’s definitely time to treat yo’self!


With Christmas coming up, there’s no better time to start putting together a wish-list of all the things that you’ve been coveting for your hair and makeup kit in the hope that Santa (or maybe someone closer to home!) will have it waiting for you under the tree on Christmas morning. Failing that, you’ll be super organised and ready to get the best deals as soon as the January sales start!

If you’re left with your head spinning when you start trying to think about the stuff you could really do with, then hopefully our Ultimate Bridal Hair & Makeup Artist Christmas Wish-List will help you narrow the options down.

With over 25 years experience working in the wedding industry, our founder and head trainer Pam Wrigley REALLY knows her stuff when it comes to getting the best tools, products and extras and with the opportunity to get them as presents…you might just be lucky enough to get some of the really fancy things too!

Bridal Hair and Makeup Artist

The Gift That Keeps on Giving!

Don’t forget, we have Create Beautiful Hair gift vouchers available to buy NOW from our online shop. Start dropping some serious hints now and you could be joining us on one of our HABIA certified courses in 2018, with award-winning bridal hair and makeup artist Pam Wrigley.

The Ultimate O set by Cloud 9 (£70 off!)

They’re pricey, yes, but these incredible rollers are hard to beat and this fab kit includes all the extras you need to get going with some really gorgeous big, bouncy curls! We love The Ultimate O Set – even more so now that there’s £70 off!

Heating up to 130 degrees in a near-miraculous FOUR SECONDS (wow!), these innovative and award-winning rollers use ‘cooltouch technology’ which channels the heat directly into your hair, meaning fabulous hot curls and no burnt fingers! A must-have for any bridal hair & makeup artist this Christmas.

Bridal Hair and Makeup Artist

Danielle Dressing Table Mirror

A great bridal hair and makeup artist kit needs more than just fantastic tools and products to create those beautiful wedding looks – you also need all the right extras to make your job easier and your client’s experience as good as it can be.

With Pam Wrigley’s 25 years of experience working as a bridal hair and makeup artist, she’s narrowed her kit down to the best of the best. This Danielle dressing table mirror is something that she never goes on a job without: it’s a great size to help her work, it’s not too heavy, it looks sleek and professional and it’s not crazy expensive either.

Bridal Hair and Makeup Artist

GHD AIR Nocturne Dryer

If you’ve attended our 1 day blowdrying course, you’ll now be on the hunt for the best hairdryer to add to your kit to create those gorgeous blow dry styles you’ve learned!

The GHD is known for excellent quality hair styling tools and the AIR Nocturne Dryer stays in line with this. Drying hair up to 2x faster than your average dryer for a smoother, sleeker finish and less heat damage and a fantastic ergonomic design for maximum control and ease of use, this is a must for all hairstylists.

Bridal Hair and Makeup Artist

Brow Wow by Cosmetics a la Carte

With perfect brows being the frame of the face and the finishing touch to any makeup look, it’s important that you choose the best brow palette to use on your clients.

Pam loves Cosmetics a la Carte and has used this brand for many years in her time as a bridal hair and makeup artist. The ‘Brow Wow’ palette is designed to help you create divine shape and contouring for full, elegant, defined brows. There’s 5 different colourways to choose from too, so you’ll be able to get one for every skin tone and hair colour.

Bridal Hair and Makeup Artist

NARS Velvet Matte lip pencil collection

The ideal bridal hair and makeup artist Christmas gift, coming in a cute gold zip up pouch, these award-winning lip pencils are a favourite amongst many top makeup artists out there.

In the kit, you’ll get two existing red toned pencils and two limited editions, making this a one-time-only kind of deal! We love the ‘Spell Bound’ colour (a shimmering pink beige) which is such a dreamy shade for brides.

Bridal Hair and Makeup Artist

MAC Snowball Lip Kit

Keeping it festive, MAC are offering this fabulous lipstick kit with 4 stunning warm-toned hues suitable for the party season and all year round for your clients wanting a really glamorous pout!

These limited edition, full-sized matte shades are just wonderful and the matching colour caps are a lovely touch too.

Bridal Hair and Makeup Artist