Fringe benefits


The hair and beauty industry constantly requires new talent to satisfy trend-conscious clients.


The hair and beauty workforce needs to be focused and have an eye for visual and creative detail not to mention excellent interpersonal skills including the ability to gauge a customer’s mood, to know when to be cheerful and chatty or when clients just want to relax in peace. Employees in this industry play a really important role in the business of making us all look good and feel confident.

Young people can start planning a career in hairdressing and beauty from the age of 14, as many schools in England offer the ‘Travel 2 learn’ programme as a GCSE options. If you’re sure you want to go into hairdressing or beauty, undertaking a course as early as this will mean you’re ahead of the competition when it comes to applying for college courses or finding employment. Having started earlier, you’ll have developed basic skills quickly and you’ll be able to move on to learning advanced skills sooner.

To become a hairdresser you do not necessarily need to go to college as you can train ‘on the job’ in a salon but some employers may pay for you to attend an extra-curricular college course to train you more quickly.  It is vital that recognised hairdressers have studied for the basic Level 1 Award, Certificate or Diploma in An Introduction to the Hair and Beauty Sector.

Entry requirements for beauty are very similar to those for hairdressing. Beauticians can be trained in the salon but due to the vast array of treatments available – ranging from different types of waxing to fake-tanning to nail art and extensions – most beauticians train at college, full-time, before applying for jobs. To become a fully qualified beauty therapist you must complete a Beauty Therapy qualification at level 3 at a college of further education.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself making cups of tea and booking clients in for appointments at first – it’s a really important to learn the art of great customer service this way. You may think you already know how to ‘talk to customers’, but it is a skill which needs to be perfected and not all young people find it easy to converse naturally with someone they don’t know.

Once you have the relevant training and some experience under your belt there are many job opportunities, if you have the talent, drive and ambition to do well. You could work in a salon, run your own mobile business or work in hotels, spas or on cruise ships. You could also work in the theatre (makeup, wig making) or in the television, film or music industries! Before you know it you could have your own, exclusive hair care and makeup range on the shelves at Boots!

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About Lynette Daly

Lynette is the publishing editor of Moving On magazine. Moving On is devoted to helping young people make good choices for their future – education, qualifications and careers. Moving On really wants to motivate you! Our articles cover a range of topics to inspire and give ideas. Our magazines are delivered free to all schools, colleges and sixth forms in England and is also available online.

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