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For those who are honing their craft of being a professional hairdresser, these books on hair styling are packed full of knowledge, tips, and industry insights. Even veteran stylists can learn from these books so they’re great to have on hand at the salon or at home.

We’ve compiled a list of hairstyling books that will help you build your skills and understanding of how to work with a variety of hair types.

Of course, finding the most noteworthy books required that we use a discerning eye.

If you want to deepen your knowledge of hair styling, coloring, and cutting, then you need something that has stood the test of time and won’t give you false or sketchy information.

This is especially important if you want to learn more insights on your own or need some accompanying books for your hairstyling studies. It can be hard to trust everything on the Internet so turning to established hair books is a smart choice.

As for our criteria, we needed to include books that were well known in the hairdressing world. They needed to be approachable for newcomers while still including knowledge that would be useful for professionals in the field.

They also needed to include information about the many different types of textures and lengths out there. This means addressing curly hair, men’s hair, and all-natural hair. We also had to make sure that the authors of these books actually knew what they were talking about!

So here you are with a few books to keep on hand while developing your craftsmanship and design aesthetic.

Best Pro Book: Milady Textbook

The Milady Standard Cosmetology book has over eight decades of insights in it. Even today, it is still considered an authority on beauty and wellness, making its way into salons all around the world.

Over time, the Milady textbook came to be used by cosmetology students for its useful information and reference material. It’s a go-to for the foundational principles of cosmetology and hair care while including bits and pieces from industry leaders. Along with the vast knowledge, there are hundreds of photographs to inspire readers and provide some visual aids.

A handful of authors contribute to each version of the textbook, making it a stellar roundup of industry intelligence and wisdom. This is an essential resource for those who are seeking cosmetology licenses or are already certified. It’s a useful book to have on hand while studying but even post-graduation, it’s an educational resource that should stay with you.

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  • Hundreds of photographs
  • Contributions from industry leaders
  • World-renowned authority on cosmetology


  • Many editions

Best Home Book: The Complete Book of Hairstyling, Charles Worthington

Charles Worthington is known around the globe as a leader in hairstyling, winning several awards for his work and contributions to the hair industry. His Complete Book of Hairstyling is considered a hair bible for many hairdressers.

The book includes plenty of insights tips and hints from Worthington himself that he learned throughout his years as a stylist. Today, his salon business is booming and has become one of the top resources for hair care and salon-quality products.

What’s especially great about his book is that it is totally approachable for newcomers, making it one of those books to keep on hand while pursuing hairdresser school. This is 304 pages of hair care, upkeep, and styling as well as tutorials on achieving the perfect look.

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  • Internationally recognized author
  • Used in many hairstyling courses
  • Affordability


  • Convoluted content

A Century of Hairstyles, Pamela Church Gibson

Looking for a fabulous book to grace your vanity while you’re getting ready for the day? A Century of Hairstyles will ensure that you never run out of inspiration.

The writing will take you through the most pivotal cuts and styles of decades past as well as snapshots of some of the most popular hairdos. Besides touching on dozens and dozens of styles, the book also includes unique information and details on widely recognized hairdressers such as Vidal Sassoon.

Author Pamela Church Gibson definitely knows what she’s writing about; she teaches beauty and fashion courses at the London College of Fashion. Published in 2014, this is still a useful reference book to have on hand either at home or in the salon. It’s a great way to get clients excited about trying something new!

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  • Men’s and women’s cuts and styles
  • Industry insider author
  • Iconic snapshots


  • Minimal pictures

Hair, Sam McKnight

Sam McKnight isn’t just the author of Hair; he lives and breathes hair on a daily basis. For over 40 years, he’s been styling everyone from Hollywood’s elite to the socialites of New York City to Paris Fashion Week models. His work has been featured over 100 times by leading fashion publications.

He’s a big deal, to say the least, and his book includes an introduction from designer Karl Lagerfeld. Hair covers the most epic and iconic hairdos of McKnight’s career, including celebrity looks and hairstyles worn by international models.

Besides styles, McKnight writes about cuts and color, exploring the possibilities and reminiscing on his favorite looks.

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  • Professional collaboration
  • Beautiful, inspiring images
  • Perfect salon reading material


  • Price

There you have it; here are four books on hair styling that cover everything from bobs and bangs to 1950s pin-up styles, men’s grooming, and so much more.

Even those who aren’t professional hairdressers or hair enthusiasts will take to these books. Any of these would look great in a salon or just as some at-home inspiration.