If you’re really keen on a career as a hairdresser the first thing to do is to get some work experience. If you’re still at school, you can work as a junior in a salon on Saturdays, in the evenings or during school holidays or you can start your career on a hairdressing apprenticeship.
Once you have some experience and have decided that hairdressing really is the thing for you, you can consider doing a hairdressing apprenticeship as a well-structured way to continue your training. To be an apprentice you must be 16 or over, eligible to work in England and not in full-time education.
An apprenticeship is not a qualification in its own right – it is a framework set up to provide comprehensive training for would-be hairdressers, with the main elements being knowledge-based and competency-based, i.e. there’ll be some theory and some practical aspects involved in your apprenticeship.
There are two types hairdressing apprenticeship – intermediate and advanced. The Government has a dedicated website you can go to which tells you how to apply for hairdressing apprenticeships. You can contact the National Apprenticeship Helpdesk for more information by phoning: 0800 015 0400. You can also go to Habia’s website for loads of really good information on hairdressing apprenticeships.
As a hairdressing apprentice, you’ll work as a salon junior, assisting senior staff while training as a junior stylist. You main duties will include booking appointments, shampooing, conditioning, drying and styling clients’ hair and learning how to mix and apply hair dyes, tints and colourants.
You will learn how to apply hair and skin tests for new customers and the effects chemicals have on the hair and and skin and the principles of colouring hair. You’ll also learn about promoting products, perming or relaxing different types of hair.
Advanced apprentices go on to develop their cutting and colouring skills and can go on courses and enter competitions to further their skill and knowledge. For more info on hairdressing visit our main page on hair and beauty.