A Day in the Life of a Color Technician

Everyone looks forward to their day trip to the salon. Men and women alike come to color technicians to improve their appearance. From frosting to rinsing, customers put their hair in our hands; they trust and pay people like me to make sure they leave feeling like a million bucks.

Being a color technician involves becoming a customer’s confidant, offering the best hair care and color advice, and following as much instruction as possible. My chair is home to both coloring products and unsolicited advice. Many clients ask, “Would this color look good on me?” as often as they ask me for my favorite discount clothing store. Your color technician is someone you can rely on, both in and out of the salon.

I can also offer clients advice on the best shampoos, color treatments, and scalp care products. I’ve seen it all: split ends, dandruff, hair loss, grease, and I know what works. Customers trust me not to sugar coat my answers and find them relief at an affordable price.

Each day is different, but the work always involves creativity, professionalism, and the ability to handle constructive criticism. My job requires me to be able to give the customer exactly what they want, even if that means giving them lime green highlights that I know won’t do well over their natural brunette. I offer my advice at all stages, but the color choice is ultimately up to them.

Finally, my job also includes research into the season’s newest and most trendy hairstyles and color combinations, as there is inevitably one customer who says, “Do whatever you think.”

If you’re reading this article, it might be because you are interested in either learning more about color technicians, or maybe even becoming one yourself! There are a few things you’ll need help with before diving in.


Becoming a color technician isn’t necessarily a walk in the park. Depending on the state in which you plan to study, it is required that students take many hours of coursework in order to qualify for a cosmetology degree. For example, if students were interested in studying and working in the State of Iowa, it is required that individuals go to school for 2100 hours (usually 60 weeks). It is these long hours that allow a good color technician to do their job at the very best.

Pieces of Advice

Be confident in your work, and empowering to your customers. It’s important to keep in mind that your customers are probably getting work done that will drastically change their appearance. It’s your job to make their transition to a new look as smooth as possible. Be confident in your skills to successfully recreate your customer’s look, and be sure to pass that confidence onto your customer, who may or may not be still processing their new appearance.

Market yourself. Customer retention is everything. The service that you are providing to your customers is one that is viewed by many, so make sure to take every opportunity to market yourself. The cosmetology industry is all about referrals, so you better believe that the work you do today just might bring you new business tomorrow. The first step towards creating a name for yourself in the industry is to view every hair coloring experience as a method of portraying your best work.

Practice. Hair coloring trends and styles are ever evolving in our world today. It never hurts to practice on friends and family that are interested in changing the way they look. This time spent bettering your skills will be valuable to you as your career continues.