Why do hairdressing jobs start with sweeping a floor?

Published on: 8 Feb 2017

Many dream of a hairdressing career learning techniques in cutting, colouring and styling hair but often dislike the idea of having to start out with sweeping the floor.

If this sounds like the task that puts you off the most, then think again; because sweeping the floor can be the sure fire-way to gain important transferable skills for a hairdressing career, and is the perfect opportunity to gain the team’s respect when working in the industry.


Sweep start your hairdressing career

The fact is that all hairdressers start their career by sweeping the floor but it’s often the hairdressing assistant or apprentice who will have the main responsibility to sweep up after each customer. In larger size salons the responsibility to sweep up can fall onto many different members of the team including the shampooist, hairdressing assistant or apprentice, receptionist and graduate stylist. Whoever it falls down to most hairdressing jobs always start with sweeping the floor. This vital task falls hand-in-hand with the cleanliness of any salon and comes down to these two important factors: creating the right impression and the health and safety of the hairdressing environment.


Creating the right impression

It all boils down to professional image and giving the right impression when anyone enters the salon. Realistically, no customers, employee or visitor would want to return again to the salon if they have experienced walking over hair cuttings left on the floor. A clean floor speaks volumes about a salon and is one of the first things anyone will see upon arrival. Furthermore, cuttings of hair left on the salon floor will pose a big risk if not swept up straight away as anyone can easily slip on the hair and injure themselves. It’s easy to feel that this is an odious task however, there’s much more to sweeping the floor than meets the eye. Here we take a closer look at its importance.


Health and safety of the hairdressing environment

Here are the hard facts: all salon owners have a legal duty of care that falls under the Health and Safety at Work Act which is an Act of Parliament and the main piece of UK health and safety legislation. This legislation lays down wide-ranging duties on employers including hairdressing salon owners. Salon owners must protect the 'health, safety and welfare' at work of all their employees and anyone else coming into the premises, whether that’s customers, visitors or the general public, they’re required to not put anyone at risk by the way they work.

Yet, it doesn’t just come down to the employer or salon owner because all employees have a duty of care to create a safe, salon environment for everyone entering the premises whether as a customer or employee. This duty of care is a big reason why it is one of the first tasks that any new employee will carry out, when starting work in hairdressing.


A requirement in hairdressing

Most junior hairdressers, assistants or apprentices will start their study with a hairdressing qualification starting at level 1 and moving onto level 2. These qualifications require practical evidence, such as sweeping the floor, which demonstrates knowledge of health and safety and how to reduce risks. This task is the ideal opportunity to prepare trainees for hair services and how they can maintain their work areas.

But there’s no point sweeping the floor if the person sweeping it is frowning, scolding or unhappy in their facial impressions, here’s why…


Personal qualities count

The success of a career in hairdressing is based on the right actions and allowing personal qualities to reflect in your work and contribute towards the success of a team. Dedication, hard work and care for others are all hairdressing attributes that show when sweeping the floor. Sweeping the floor tells everyone that the hairdressing assistant or apprentice means business and that a clean, hygienic salon matters.

Nobody wants someone in their team who will pick and choose the jobs they do. In fact, sweeping the floor counts towards the team working successfully together and the smooth running of a salon. So knowing who’s going to sweep the floor and when, is one of the biggest factors in supporting the stylist to help ensure that the hairdressing appointments run smoothly and to time. After all, if an experienced hairdresser has to stop to sweep up in between every customer, it would delay the next appointment, and therefore look unprofessional.

The importance of starting out sweeping the floors in a hairdressing career doesn’t stop there; there are many skills gained from doing this simple yet important task. These skills are transferable, meaning they can be applied to any situation and any role. When transferable skills are used in the right way, they can help boost a hairdressing career onto the next level. Here are some examples of how sweeping the floor uses transferable skills and how these can be transferred across to other jobs:

·      demonstrate professionalism at work

·      evidence of following health and safety procedures

·      demonstrate good customer service

Many of these skills are transferred into business settings including beauty therapy, spa therapy and nails.


Not only are these many transferable skills gained through sweeping the floor, but the practical aspect demonstrates the following abilities:

·      ability to assist the stylist in hairdressing services

·      ability to work within a team                       

·      creating the right impression

·      use of safe practices

Here we have started to uncover many of the practical qualities, attributes and abilities that come directly from the simple task of sweeping the floor. We can safely say that this all-important task is a building block for starting out in hairdressing; it forms a vital component to building a foundation for a safe working environment for all hairdressers and to ensure their customers have the best service.