Block Dimensional Hair Color

Have the confidence to create!

No one likes hearing the words- “Remember, anyone’s replaceable!” It’s a little scary when you realize that applies to cosmetology as well as thousands of other jobs out there. To some it may not be a big deal, but to those that want to expand their horizons it most certainly is!

We can’t deny the fact that there is a hair salon on every corner and dozens of new stylists are joining the rat race every day. The only way to survive in this kind of industry is to be the best. Sure, you can make money without being the best stylist in town, but it will never become the salary or reputation that you desire. If you’re okay with making a mediocre paycheck that’s fine, everyone has different goals in life.

You’re either going to be the one clients run to when another stylists screws up their hair, or the one clients complain about at EVERY appointment with EVERY hairstylist they will EVER have after you (I’m not exaggerating! πŸ™‚ ).

 Here are a few things to consider:

  • There are well over 800,000 cosmetologists in the U.S.
  • Only about 1,500 of them are American Board Certified Colorists.
  • That means less than ¼ of 1% of cosmetologists are certified colorists!
  • 99% are probably considered to be easily replaceable.


American Board of Certified Haircolorists

Experience counts!

Hopefully the facts gave you a little light bulb and you’re ready to know more! Any goal is hard to set and take into action but if you know what the rewards are it’s much easier. There are so many benefits to becoming ABCH certified and I am more aware of them everyday.

If you’re at a stale point in your career it’s probably time for a challenge. For those of you that don’t have it in you yet, you may want to read How to Become an Expert in Cosmetology & Beauty.

5 Reasons to Become a Certified Haircolorist


1. Confidence in yourself and your career.

  • Knowledge is power, the more you know the better you feel and so will your clients.
  • Have you ever started a new project or tried a new technique that you are clueless about? We’ve all had that feeling of uncertainty when we’re not sure how to do something….talk about a huge confidence killer!
  • When you feel good about your skills you will feel that way about your career as well.


2. Set yourself apart from the rest.

  • What makes you any better than the stylist next to you or at a salon down the street? Some of us may feel that we are better than others but does the public know that? Anything you can do to set yourself apart from the majority is a good move.
  • Clients seek me because I’m a board certified colorist, if they don’t know you then how else will they know you’re amazing at what you do?
  • This applies to any job in any field, going above and beyond to get training and certifications WILL pay off!


3. Credibility with clients and other professionals.

  • Fellow stylists will trust your opinion because you’ve done the work to get where you are. If someone needs help with a formula your knowledge will be respected and taken with confidence.
  • When your clients know that you can help others it will only give them more peace of mind. Before long they will be walking in and saying… “Just do what you think is best.”…every time.
  •  We all know how difficult it is when a new client doesn’t seem to trust our skills. Before I got certified I felt like I had to talk about what I’d be doing and why to somewhat convince a client to chill out and have some faith in me. Now I just say, “I’m a certified haircolorist”, you have nothing to worry about :). What a great way to get to the point and get started! Your job is to make them look beautiful, not explain WHY you’re able to do so.


4. Recognition for your vast knowledge and expertise.

  • You may be asked to teach others and give classes on your specialties or perform in a hair show.
  • When someone calls your salon to book an appointment you will be recognized as “the stylist to go to for color”.
  • If you want to work in a more prestigious salon…they will recognize your accomplishments and welcome you with open arms!


5. Build your skills & your business.

  • Becoming an American Board Certified Haircolorist will give you national advertising and more referrals than you can imagine.
  • You will not pass if you don’t know color forwards & backwards….that means you will only be perfecting and advancing your skills after the course and exam!
  • Your career will grow simply from doing the work to become certified, any extra work you put into it is only a plus!
  • Anyone can search for a certified haircolorist online HERE.
    Celebrity Hairstyles Magazine Jessica Simpson

    One of the many places you can find your name advertised with the American Board of Certified Haircolorists!

    Hair Winners New Styles Magazine

    Another magazine featuring ABCH ads!

About The Author


Professional Hairstylist | American Board Certified Haircolorist | Makeup Artist | Beauty Blogger

20 Responses to 5 Reasons to Become a Certified Haircolorist

  1. Justine says:

    The website is not up. Is this still something that I can do?

  2. […] an American Board Certified Haircolorist is no walk in the park…you will need to dedicate a lot of your free time to preparing and […]

  3. […] stylist doesn’t have to be a certified haircolorist to be good at color. Although certification is the ultimate guarantee of experience, another […]

  4. Juliana Fausnaugh says:

    Hi. I want to get certified, but I would like to find workshops to help my pass the exam. We’re you able to find any? Thank you so much.

  5. […] have a trusted haircolorist or a reliable reference from a friend….you can find an American Board Certified Haircolorist in your area on […]

  6. […] a certified haircolorist it’s difficult when a client questions my suggestions or training,Β they are seeking me for […]

  7. […] KENRA Color basics can be used with just about any hair color line. If you want to be a great haircolorist you must first know the basics like the back of your hand. This information is simple, so it is […]

  8. […] important to know the basic hair fundamentals if you want to be a great haircolorist. You learn a lot of this is cosmetology school, but most people don’t remember everything. […]

  9. I think this is my path for 2016. I’ve been a licensed hair professional since 1991, and I’ve always been good at color!

    • Erika says:

      That’s great!First, you should check the schedule to see when the next exam is in your area. The D.C. area exam was in October, and I started taking the ABCH prep course in April(just to give you a timeline of how long it takes to prepare). Click here for the ABCH Exam Schedule!

      You don’t have to take a prep course, but I think it makes a huge difference. I’d like to offer one via webinar, but I haven’t had the time to put it together yet. So, if there’s no ABCH class near you feel free to ask me questions when you have them!

      Here’s a link for some things you’ll need to prepare for the exam and the mannequin you need for it(you can’t buy just any mannequin…this one has 4 different quadrants for each of the techniques you’ll demonstrate):
      Certified Haircolor Products

      • Hello Erika- I have already checked. There are no testing centers in my area (Seattle, WA), but there is in Atlanta, and my father lives there, so a visit would be nice during the same time (such a long flight). Also, I REALLY dislike L.A. and also, the later date for the Atlanta test is better. πŸ™‚

        Do you think the Study Portfolio or the Practice Exams were a better resource?

        Thanks for the links- I also did see the mannequin that I’ll need but what are the two back quadrants of that head like? I can only see the front 2 quadrants (the gray side and what looks like the dyed black side).

        Thanks again!

        • Erika says:

          You definitely need the study portfolio. The class I took was for 6 months, and we had a practice exam at the end. I felt like the purpose of the practice exam was to show us that we weren’t fully prepared even though we thought we were(so you can set up at your house as if you would be doing the exam).

          Personally, I realized that my swatch board would not stand up on it’s own. The stand that I got from Michael’s Crafts was too small for the weight of the board, and that would have made it look like I did not full prepare for the exam. Small things, but important because you want to focus on the techniques…not your station set up. I’ll make a list of things they don’t make clear in the study portfolio that you will need.

          The special mannequin has 3 brown sections and 1 gray section. You will leave one(front left) as it is, another(front right) you’ll highlight, and the third(back left) you’ll lighten to look like it needs to be retouched. At the beginning of the exam the proctors will check your highlights(also done as if they need to be retouched) and they will check your all-over lightened section. They are looking for perfection(I used a highlighting board and did very thin sections for the all-over)…evenness of color is a must. There is also a certain number of foils for the highlighted section…I think it’s 12-15. Your mannequin prep is part of your score.

          For the exam you will retouch the highlighted section…perfectly. You will have to retouch the previously woven hair only on the “regrowth” and lightly feather through. This is the proper way to highlight even though very few people do it. This is where practicing at home a lot will help…most people don’t because they think it’s simple. Time yourself and do it over and over again…at least half of the group that I was testing with did not finish in time. That’s pretty much an automatic fail.

          The all-over retouch section and the gray blending section will have a few different possible techniques. You’ll draw out of a box to determine which techniques you’ll do on those sections. I got an easy and a hard one(easy in my opinion are the techniques that take less time, hard techniques take longer).

          • Yes, it does seem that all is needed to succeed here. I want to pass the first time, so it’ll be great to be as prepared as possible. I do know someone nearby who I might ask to mentor me while I prepare. Maybe I can assist him or do some mannequin work and have him look at it. The only part of what you’ve said here that concerns me is that the highlights must be retouched perfectly. I don’t even know how that’s possible, so I have much to learn here. Well, I DO want a challenge, so that’s great! How do you suggest practicing at home? Using gel or conditioner? I don’t want to purchase a whole case of mannequin heads πŸ™‚ Also, I agree that “easy” = less time consuming.

            • Erika says:

              It is possible to retouch highlights perfectly. Of course….it’s okay if a few strands don’t get retouched.

              You just need to pick up the previously highlighted sections of hair when you weave your slice. I know it seems tedious, but it’s easy compared to the entire exam.

              You can use conditioner at home. First you’ll need to use lightener to prep the mannequin. That’s part of the exam. I’m working on some information to help people with the exam prep!

              • Thank you for that perspective. I don’t do many foil services, so perhaps that’s why it seems like that’d be difficult for me. I won’t know till I practice more, though πŸ™‚

                • Erika says:

                  It’s okay, you may only have to foil one section of the mannequin for the exam. It just depends on which tasks you draw when you get there. Two sections will be the same for everyone, the other two have 4 possibilities. Some are harder than others. You’ll draw two options and that’s what you’ll have to do for the exam. You might get lucky and simply have to retouch one of the sections! Perfectly, of course :).

                  I can’t remember the exact number of foils required for the highlighted section, but I think it’s 9-15. No more, no less. The book gives measurements for sections and weaving. I just practiced on the weekends, and timed myself. The perfection with foiling that’s expected for the exam is not exactly the same as what most people do in the salon. Mastering their requirements proves that you will highlight the hair properly while showing sensitivity to previously lightened hair.

      • Juliana Fausnaugh says:

        Hi. Where did you go to find out where to take the prep course/ workshops to prepare for the exam? Thank you.

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