If you enjoy styling hair, becoming a hairdresser in the UK can be a rewarding career path. You can help people look and feel their best as a hairdresser through creating hairstyles that suit their personality and lifestyle.

To become a professional hairdresser, you can pursue a variety of paths. You can study full-time or part-time and obtain certificates, diplomas, or even degree level qualifications. Some of the vocational qualifications that you can consider are based on hairdressing or barbering. These courses will provide you with the necessary skills and information to succeed in the industry.

Understanding the Hairdressing Industry

What Does a Hairdresser Do?

As a hairdresser, you will be responsible for styling, cutting and colouring hair in order to achieve the desired style for your clients. You will also be asked to have to have a consultation with your clients first in order to understand their needs and to advise them on the ideal hairstyles for their face shape, skin tone, and lifestyle. You will also need to keep up with the latest hair trends and techniques in order to deliver the finest service to your clients.

Types of Hairdressing Specialties

You can select from a variety of specialties in the hairdressing profession. Some of the most well-known are:

  • Salon Stylist: As a salon stylist, you will be in charge of cutting, styling, and colouring your clients’ hair. You will also be expected to provide hair care and styling product advice and recommendations.
  • Barber: As a barber, you’ll focus on men’s haircuts and grooming. You’ll be in charge of hair trimming and styling, as well as shaving and grooming beards and moustaches.
  • Wedding and Bridal Hair Specialist: You will be responsible for producing elegant hairstyles for brides and their bridal party on their wedding day as a wedding and bridal hair specialist.
  • Colour Specialist: As a colour specialist, you will be responsible for creating beautiful hair colours and highlights for your clients.

Choosing a specialty will allow you to focus on a particular area of hairdressing and develop your skills and expertise in that area.

Education and Training Requirements

If you want to be a hairdresser, you must first complete specific educational and training requirements. These qualifications will differ depending on the sort of hairdressing you want to practise and the amount of experience you need.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Hairdresser

A NVQ Level 2 in Hairdressing is one of the most fundamental qualifications required to work as a hairdresser in the UK. This certification will teach you the basics of hairdressing, such as cutting techniques, shampooing, and scalp treatments. After obtaining this certification, you will be legally qualified to apply for a junior hairstylist position at a salon.

However, if you want to progress in your position and become a more skilled hairdresser, you might think about earning extra certifications. A Level 3 Diploma in Hairdressing for Cutting and Styling Technicians, for example, will provide you with the skills and knowledge required to operate as a senior hairdresser or salon manager.

Finding the Right Hairdressing Course

If you want to pursue a career in hairdressing, you’ll have to find the correct course. There are several courses to choose from, ranging from short-term training programmes to full-time apprenticeships.

When selecting a hairdressing course, keep your professional goals and the type of hairdressing you want to focus on in mind. If you want to work in a high-end salon, for example, you may need to enrol in a course that focuses on advanced cutting and styling techniques.

You should also consider the course provider’s reputation and the qualifications you will obtain upon completion of the course. Look for courses that are approved by professional groups such as City & Guilds or VTCT, as these credentials will be recognised by industry employers.

Gaining Work Experience

Gaining work experience is vital if you want to become a hairdresser This will assist you in developing your skills, increasing your confidence, and making you more appealing to potential employers. There are various ways to get hairdressing work experience, including:

Apprenticeships and Traineeships

An apprenticeship or traineeship is a fantastic method for gaining practical experience while also earning a recognised qualification. In a salon, you will work alongside experienced hairdressers to gain the skills and methods required to become a qualified hairdresser. Apprenticeships and traineeships are available at several levels, ranging from beginning to advanced, and can last up to three years. You will be paid while you learn, and your company will pay for your training.

Working as an Assistant in a Salon

Working as an assistant in a salon is another approach for gaining work experience as a hairdresser. This is an excellent way to get your foot in the door and start learning the fundamentals of hairdressing. You will assist with chores such as shampooing hair, mixing colour, and tidying up after clients as an assistant. You will also have the opportunity to take notes and get advice from experienced hairdressers. It may take some time before you are given the opportunity to work with clients, but if you are passionate and hardworking, you will be given greater responsibility over time.

Whatever path you take, it is critical to be proactive and make the most of your job experience. Here are some pointers to get you started:

  • Take notes and ask questions – don’t be afraid to ask for guidance or help from experienced hairdressers.
  • Observe and learn – pay attention to how other hairstylists work and attempt to pick up tips and techniques.
  • Practice – take advantage of any opportunity to put your abilities to the test, whether it’s on a mannequin or a willing friend.
  • Arrive on time, dress professionally, and be courteous and nice to clients and colleagues.
  • Network with other hairdressers and industry professionals, and stay up to date on the newest trends and techniques.

Starting Your Career as a Hairdresser

If you want to work as a hairdresser in the United Kingdom, there are a few things you should know beforehand. Hairdressing is a fulfilling and creative profession that allows you to work with a wide range of clientele while also expressing your artistic abilities. Here are some pointers on how to begin your journey in the hairdressing industry.

Finding Hairdressing Jobs

Finding a position as an apprentice or trainee at a salon is one way to begin your hairdressing career. This will allow you to learn from expert hairdressers while also gaining hands-on experience. Hairdressing opportunities can be found on job search websites, in local newspapers, or by calling salons directly. Make sure your CV and cover letter are tailored to the salon you’re applying to, and that you highlight any relevant experience or certifications you have.

Working as a freelance hairdresser is another option. If you want greater control over your schedule and to work independently, this could be a suitable option. You can increase your client base by advertising your services through social media, fliers, or word of mouth. Remember that you will need to invest in your own equipment and supplies, as well as be comfortable promoting yourself and running your own business.

Starting Your Own Hairdressing Business

There are a few things to think about if you want to start your own hairdressing business. To begin, you must register your company with HMRC and secure any relevant permits or licences. You’ll also need to invest on hairdressing chairs, scissors, and styling tools.

It is critical to have a business plan in place that details your objectives, target market, and financial goals. You must decide on your price structure and marketing plan, and you must be experienced managing your finances, which includes keeping track of spending and submitting taxes.

Establishing your own hairdressing business can be a fulfilling and successful career path, but it demands dedication, hard work, and a willingness to take risks. Before you begin, do your research and seek guidance from other hairdressers or business owners.

How much can you earn as a hairdresser?

The average salary for a hairdresser in the UK s £26,000. Entry level positions can begin at £20,000 – £22,000 and more experienced hairdressers can earn up to £41,000 + a year. How much you can earn as a hairdresser depends on a few factors including where you live, how much experience you have and which area of hairdressing you specialise in.