- Work in a social environment, using your skills to cut, colour and style clients' hair
- Can be physical work, on your feet all day, but often within a creative team environment
- Opportunities to set up your own business
As a junior hairdresser, your tasks may include greeting customers, shampooing hair, simple cutting, making sure towels and supplies are ready for use, and keeping the salon clean and tidy. You could specialise in working with particular clients or techniques, like in a men's barber shop or pressing, braiding and plaiting Afro-Caribbean hair.
As a senior hairdresser, you'll talk to clients about how they want their hair done, give them advice and suggest style ideas. Day-to-day duties:
- Cut and style hair
- Colour, perm or straighten hair
- Advise on minor hair and scalp problems
- Keep client records
- Make appointments and take payments
- Order materials and promote sales to customers
- Keep up to date with new trends, techniques and products
- Make sure that hair products containing chemicals are stored safely
You could work in a salon, at a client's home, at a health spa, at a store, in a hotel, on a cruise ship, at an adult care home, on a film set or in a prison.
To be a hairdresser, you'll need the creativity to design and interpret hairstyles, customer service and people skills, an understanding and tactful approach, an awareness of fashion and current trends, and willingness to learn new hairdressing techniques and methods.
There are no set requirements. You may be able start work as a trainee in a salon with no formal qualifications and learn on the job. You employer would expect you to take part-time qualifications, either at a college or in their own training school.
You can also do a Hairdressing college course, with the added ability to possibly combine these courses with other subjects like beauty, make-up and nails.
You could get into this job through an apprenticeship in hairdressing.
With experience you could become a senior stylist or salon manager. With suitable further qualifications, you could also move into training or assessing. You could also go freelance, travelling to clients' homes.
Other options include wig making, training in make-up techniques and working in the theatre, film and television industries.