A Cut Above
Successful hairdressers can take their pick from many top beauty jobs - preparing supermodels, working on magazines and photos shoots, or tending the locks of the rich and famous. What's more, with UK hairdressing regarded as the best in the world, there is ample opportunity to travel internationally and show off your skills abroad.
However, hairdressing isn't just about glamour. It requires hard work and dedication. The hours are long and sometimes unsociable, but the rewards more than make up for it.
After all, how many jobs give you the chance to be creative, try out new things and meet new people each and every day? And how many professions give you the very real chance to set up and run your own successful business well before your 30th birthday?
Is it for me?
Some people have known since childhood that they wanted to be a hairdresser. Others fall into it by accident. Others still turn to it after first embarking on another path in life - top hairdresser Charles Worthington first studied Architecture at university before becoming one of the top names in hairdressing. And The Salon star Adee Phelan was originally a painter and decorator!One thing's for sure, most of those who try it are bitten by the bug. Not to mention the thrill of doing a job that allows you to be artistic and creative. On top of that there is the best feeling of all - the satisfaction that your work has helped brighten up someone's day.
How do I get there?
UK hairdressing is rightly regarded as the best in the world. Much of this is to do with the high standard of our qualifications. Without these qualifications you're unlikely to get far. Even the top names who grace our TV screens with makeovers or the column inches of newspapers with beauty tips had to start somewhere. No specific qualifications are needed to become a hairdresser, but good GCSEs in English, Science and Maths are recommended. Colleges and employers also look for other qualities such as, communication and people skills, stamina, patience, enthusiasm, and reliability.
The standard qualification for hairdressing is NVQ/SVQ Level 3, which can be studied at most colleges. However, one of the most useful qualifications that can give you the all-round skills needed to be a success is the Modern Apprenticeship. Allowing you to train for an NVQ/SVQ in hairdressing, Modern Apprenticeships also allow you to work in a salon at the same time, thus earning a wage and gaining valuable work experience as early as possible.
If your ambition is to be a manager or a salon owner, or if you fancy yourself as the next Beverly Cobella or Andrew Collinge, then the Advanced Modern Apprenticeship, leading to NVQ/SVQ Level 3, is the first step on the career ladder. A Foundation Modern Apprenticeship, which leads to NVQ/SVQ Level 2, is also available.
Contact your local careers service for more information on Modern Apprenticeships, or check your Yellow Pages for training centres. Alternatively, visit the HABIA website at www.habia.org.uk