A popular way to train to become a hairdresser is to start as an apprentice or assistant in a salon. Tasks are likely to include helping on reception and shampooing hair whilst having the opportunity to learn from the stylists that you work with.
This route enables you to get the experience that you need and be able to work your way up to being able to cut hair by yourself.
While no specific qualifications are essential, grades A-C in the core GCSE subjects are likely to be required. Any qualifications you do get will ultimately boost your chance of getting a job. There are plenty of hairdressing courses that are available to work towards through colleges with or without work placements.
NVQs are available at a range of levels depending on your experience. Once you have completed one, you might want to start working towards the next level. Courses are available to take you through your hairdressing profession, focusing on colour technicians, styling and salon management.
If you have already started working at a salon as an assistant, then some courses are available to complete through a workplace assessment. Your Salon Manager should be able to give you some more information about this route.
If you are keen to work and train at the same time then an apprenticeship route might be the best option for you to gain an NVQ. You can contact your local college and they can help you to find an apprenticeship scheme for you.
City and Guilds also offer more information about hairdresser qualifications.
Experience within the hairdressing industry is a real bonus. Hairdressing can be quite competitive so your qualifications, training and experience will help to set you aside from others, improving your chances of getting a job and clients.
Some qualifications are structured as apprenticeships so your qualification will be split between working in salons and at college. In salon training has its obvious benefits, giving you the chance to experience real life situations and hair!
The chances are that you will be gaining experience and practising techniques whilst studying towards your qualification.
Once you have completed a training course that you have worked towards and gained your hairdresser qualification then you are likely to be able to explore further routes for working either at the salon you have been training in or at a new salon.
So, if you are looking to become a hairdresser then find the best route to train for you.
Qualifications and experience will always set you apart and improve your prospects going forward so look for opportunities to practice the techniques that you learn and gain experience to ultimately make you an experienced and qualified hairdresser.