Hairdressing / Barbering
A hairdresser/barber is a person whose occupation is to cut or style hair in order to change or maintain a person’s image. This is achieved using a combination of hair colouring, hair cutting, and hair texturing techniques. Alongside this, hairdressers and barbers must have customer service skills as consulting with clients is a fundamental part of treatments.
The requirements to work in the hairdressing industry are different country to country. There are also different requirements depending on exactly where you work (such as in a salon or working as a freelancer on private clients).
FREELANCE OR EMPLOYED?
The hairdressing industry is largely employment based, with the majority of hairdressers/barbers working full time in salons.
Working as a freelancer you course rent a chair in a salon and bring in your own clients, or work mobile visiting clients homes, or where your clients visit your own home. Freelancing provides you with the flexibility of working the days and hours you like as you get to choose the work you do, the downside is it can sometimes be quite unstable – you may have work every day for 2 weeks and then have nothing for a month!
Working for an employer such as in a salon can be a lot more reliable, but obviously this means sacrificing flexibility. The best way to overcome this is to perhaps look for both types of work – maybe working in a salon while also doing private clients after working hours.
Most freelancers find that bookings from past clients pay a huge part in regular work, so don’t forget to network as much as possible and have your business cards handy!
WHAT DO I NEED TO WORK IN THE UK?
In the UK the basic requirement to work freelance is to have public liability insurance to cover any injuries to clients, or damage to your kit. When working in a salon, there are no legal requirements for you to have any specific qualifications, however most salons will require you to hold a qualification such as an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) in order to prove the standard of your skills. London Hair Academy offers an NVQ Level 2 Hairdressing course and an NVQ Level 2 Barbering course which provides you with these qualifications. If you already have the skills in hairdressing or barbering, LHA also offers courses for current hairdressers and current barbers to assess and fast track you to a qualification. If you already have your qualification(s) but have been out of the industry for a while, LHA has a Fast Track Hairdressing Refresher course to bring you up to speed with the latest techniques and get you back into the industry.
NOW I HAVE THE BASIC TRAINING – WHAT’S NEXT?
Hairdressing and makeup are very practical and creative skills which are constantly changing and developing. Once you have learnt the basics and are working within the industry, don’t forget to keep up to date. This is why it is crucial to keep completing Continuous Professional Development (CPD) to ensure you learn the latest techniques. It is also important to diversify your skills. For example, if you have trained in women’s hairdressing, we would recommend also training in other areas such as barbering, makeup and hair styling to ensure you can cater to as many clients as possible. The London Hair Academy and the London MakeUp School has over 70 different Hairdressing courses and Makeup courses to choose from.