A Job as a Hairdresser

Published on: 5 Mar 2016

Hairdressers work with clients of all ages, cutting and styling their hair. They use techniques such as blow-drying, colouring and perming. Some salons specialise in particular styles and clients, for example Afro-Caribbean hairdressing or traditional barber shop services for men.

Most hairdressers work 40 hours a week. They usually have to work on Saturdays. Many salons also open late one or two evenings a week, and some open on Sundays. Part-time work is often available.

The work can be physically demanding. Hairdressers spend most of the day standing, although they may be able to sit on a stool while cutting hair.

They mainly work in salons, but there are also opportunities to work as mobile hairdressers, visiting clients in their homes. Salaries range from around £8,000 to £30,000 a year, or more.

Hairdressers need to:

be good at working with their hands
be creative and artistic
have good communication skills
be able to work quickly and neatly
enjoy working with people
be interested in fashion and grooming.


Opportunities exist for hairdressers throughout the UK. There are salons in city centres, High Streets, shopping malls, local shopping developments, department stores, hotels and health clubs. Some employ just one or two people, while others have 20 or more staff. There are no minimum qualifications to begin training.

The right personal qualities are more important than examination passes. There are two main routes into hairdressing - through full-time employment and training in a salon, or by completing a college course. Adult entry is possible. During training, entrants may work towards NVQs/SVQs in Hairdressing. Courses cover advice and consultation with clients, shampooing and conditioning hair, a range of cutting and styling techniques, reception duties and product promotion.

Promotion may be possible to a managerial role. After gaining sufficient skills and experience, hairdressers may choose to become self-employed.


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