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Hair

Hairdresser

Hairdressers cut, style and colour clients' hair to create the look they want.

Annual Salary

£14,000 to £30,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; on a rota

1%
Future employment

There will be 1% fewer Hairdresser jobs in 2025.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

As a junior hairdresser, you'll:

  • welcome customers
  • shampoo and condition hair
  • cut simple styles
  • make sure towels and hair products are well stocked
  • keep the salon clean and tidy
  • make appointments

As a more senior hairdresser, you'll:

  • talk to clients about what they want
  • suggest style ideas
  • cut and style hair
  • colour, curl or straighten hair
  • give advice on minor hair and scalp problems
  • take payments
  • order stock and promote products to customers
  • keep up to date with new trends, techniques and hair products

Working environment

You could work in a salon, at a client's home, at a health spa, at a store, at an adult care home or on a cruise ship.

Your working environment may be physically demanding.

You could get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
College

You can take a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Hairdressing.

You may be able to combine these courses with other subjects like beauty therapy, make-up and nails.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
For more information
Apprenticeship

You can do an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in hairdressing, or a creative hair professional advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information
Work

You may be able start work as a trainee hairdresser in a salon and learn on the job. Your employer would expect you to take qualifications part-time, either at a college or in their own training school.

More information

Career tips

You may be able to work freelance and rent space in a salon, though you may have to supply your own equipment.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in hairdressing from the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority and National Hairdressers' Federation.

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With experience you could become a senior stylist or salon manager. With further qualifications, you could also move into training or assessing student hairdressers.

You could also open your own salon.

Other options include wig making, training in make-up techniques and working in the theatre, film and television industries.

The Hair and Beauty Industry Authority (HABIA) has information about choosing hairdressing as a career.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • active listening skills
  • the ability to work on your own
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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