Hairdressers and barbers are professionally trained to cut and style people's hair.
Usually working in a salon, they often work on a shift basis that can include weekend and early evening work, reacting to general customer demand or taking specific bookings from regular clients. Hairdressers who work in a salons can be either 'salaried' employees or self employed professionals who 'rent a chair' -sharing a proportion of their takings with the business.
Starting out as a hair stylist will likely see you on a minimum wage, though completing your training and gaining experience could see you earning somewhere in the region of £16,000 per year. New-starts, trainees and apprentices undertake tasks such as shampooing, washing off colours, sweeping hair, cleaning the salon, assisting the stylist with mixing up colours, taking telephone calls, booking appointments and taking taking payments.
As you increase in experience and qualifications you will become more involved in managing your clientele, cutting, colouring, hair-up, styling, and training assistants and apprentices. As the industry diversifies, both barbers and hairdstylists might need to keep up with the expanding health and beauty industry by learning and offering additional 'spa' type treatments and services.
Barbers specialise in male grooming and offer additional services such as shaving and cutting beards and moustaches.
There are more branches for the hair stylist career path than you might think. You could work towards your owning and running your own salon or think about work on cruise ships. You could be self employed and do home visits for different types of clients - people who find it difficult to get out for example. Perhaps you you like the show atmosphere and want to work as a session stylist for the modelling industry, or in stage stage show productions - or how about working in further education to train the next wave of professionals?
Top hair stylists can earn around £30,000 a year whilst running your own business or salon, or providing bespoke hairdressing services to high profile clients or organisations. This top-tier work can yield higher rewards based on how successful and in demand you are. To get to this you will need creativity and flair with talent - both in your craft and for self promotion.
See the 'Career pathway' and 'Learn More' links on the Hair & Beauty page for local courses or check with your local college or Hair Stylist (for apprenticeships). The LHAA also has some good information and tips about becoming a hair stylist / dresser / barber.
No specific entry requirements but college courses and apprenticeships are a great way to obtain and demonstrate your developing skills and will make it much easier for you to land a starting position.
- Customers service and money handling skills
- Ability to make clients feel at ease
- Passion and interest in the industry
- Commitment to honing and continually developing your skills
£12,000 to £30,000