Qualified hairdressers or stylists, shampoo, cut, colour,
perm, set and dry hair, using a range of hairdressing
products and techniques.
They have to be aware of health and safety, and understand the effects of the chemicals in the hairdressing products they are using. Hairdressers may also undertake reception duties.
Some hairdressers may specialise in traditional men's barber shop services or in African-Caribbean hairdressing techniques such as pressing, braiding, plaiting and attaching hair extensions.
New entrants begin by carrying out basic hairdressing tasks such as greeting customers, washing hair, making sure towels and supplies are ready for use, and keeping the salon clean and tidy.
Most hairdressers work up to 40 hours a week, usually
between 9am to 5pm or 6pm. Most will work on
Saturdays with a day off in the week. Some salons open
late on one or two evenings. Part-time work is often
The work may not be suitable for those who are susceptible to skin irritations or breathing problems, as the use of chemicals and frequent contact with water can irritate or cause these.
Some hairdressers offer a mobile hairdressing service, visiting customers in their homes. A driving licence and vehicle are needed for this.
If you want to be a hairdresser you should:
There are over 99,000 hairdressers working throughout
the UK. As well as in high street salons, hairdressers
could also work on cruise liners, in hotels, on armed
forces bases, in hospitals and care homes, or in prisons.
African-Caribbean hairdressing is a growing sector, as is
Once qualified as a stylist, hairdressers can continue to gain qualifications to become technicians using more advanced colouring, perming, assessing and remedial techniques. NVQ/SVQ level 4 or SQA HNC in Salon Management can provide the opportunity to progress into management or self- employment.
By taking the the appropriate further qualifications, it is also possible to enter teaching and lecturing and/or NVQ/SVQ assessing. See Lecturer: FE Teaching, and NVQ/SVQ Assessor/Verifer for further information.
Some hairdressers train in make-up
techniques and work within the television or film
industry, although opportunities in this area are limited;
others become platform artists, demonstrating their skill
to audiences of fellow hairdressers and students. Some
go on to train as trichologists, advising on scalp
problems, and others may become wig makers.
If you would like to know anything about Hairdressing that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
19 Balgores Square
Tel: 08707 666 996
Institute of Trichology
24 Langroyd Road
Tel: 08706 070602