I want to train as a hairdresser
With TV programmes like Cutting It and The Salon most of us think we know what being a hairdresser is all about- but itís not all glamour!

You will need to have lots of stamina since you will be on your feet all day, and you will need to be sociable and extrovert and enjoy working with people of all ages and backgrounds. You will also need to be fashion conscious and have an artistic and creative side.

There are fantastic opportunities for successful hairdressers. You could be working on a cruise liner or hotel, be involved in fashion shoots, have celebrity clients or even open and run your own salon!
hair by Andrew Price The Academy

Q. How do I start?
A. The first step is to get the right training. Unlike careers for which you need a degree you can train as a hairdresser at your own pace by undertaking the National or Scottish vocational qualification (NVQ/SVQ) the only nationally recognised hairdressing qualification in the UK.

You can even take a Modern Apprenticeship which means you can train in a salon while earning a wage.

Once qualified as a stylist, you can continue to gain qualifications to become a technician using more advanced cutting and colouring techniques. NVQ/SVQ level 4 or SQA HNC in salon management can provide the opportunity to progress onto management of self-employment. (AFRO)

Some hairdressers may specialise in traditional menís barber shop services or in African-Caribbean techniques such as pressing, braiding, plaiting and attaching hair extensions. After decades of decline, barbers are becoming fashionable again and this had led to a high demand of barbering courses.

Q. What are NVQs?
A. National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are doing qualifications. That means working and learning in a salon or training centre with progress measured through continuous assessment not by time serving or exams.

Q. How do NVQs work?
A. All NVQ qualifications are made of up separate units which set out exactly what a candidate must be able to do and to what standard. Each unit is like a mini qualification, representing a training target for building up credits towards a final certificate. NVQs/ SVQs in Barbering are also available at levels 2 and 3.

NVQ Level 1 in Hairdressing involves learning the basic principles of hairdressing, based on assisting qualified staff in the salon.

Q. What skills will I be learning as I go through my training?
A. The skills you will learn will depend on the course you are enrolled in. However if you are following the NVQ programme you will learning the following skills at the different levels:

NVQ Level 1
Contribute to:
• Shampooing, conditioning and drying hair
• Perming, relaxing and colouring hair
• Salon reception duties
• Health & safety

NVQ Level 2 covers the essential skills required by a hairdresser.

Level 2
• Client consultation
• Shampooing and conditioning hair
• Salon reception duties
• Basic styling and drying hair
• Basic cutting and drying of ladies and gents hair
• Basic perming, relaxing and colouring hair
• Shaving and face massage
• Support salon health & safety

NVQ Level 3 offers a broader range of units reflecting the work of senior salon staff.

Level 3
Responsible for:
• Improving client services
• Advanced fashion hair cutting, drying and styling
• Fashion colouring, perming and relaxing techniques
• Creative hairstyling techniques
And contribute towards:
• Training and assessing
• Financial management
• Maintenance of health & safety in the salon
• Promotional activities
• Teamwork and development

Specialist Awards are also available at Levels 2 and 3. They are short awards which enable candidates to focus on areas including colouring, colour correction, dressing long hair and hair extensions.

For more information on any of these topics or which NVQ is right for you, speak to your local Good Training Guide Academy.

Q. How much can I expect to earn?
A. The pay is not brilliant-especially at the beginning! Trainee hairdressers earn around the minimum wage, depending on age though if you take an apprenticeship you are likely to start on around £80 per week.

Fully trained stylists are likely to earn between £10,000 and £20,000, though at the top of the profession hairdressers earn £40,000 or even more depending on employer and /or location. However, donít forget that the hairdressing super stars like Trevor Sorbie and Andrew Collinge also started at the bottom!

Q. What hours can I expect to work?
A. Most hairdressers work up to 40 hours a week, usually between 9am to 5pm or 6pm. Most will work on Saturdays with a day off in the week. Some salons open late on one or two evenings. Part-time work is often available.

Q. How can I be sure I am making the right choice?
A. Depending on your age and where you live, you can choose between work-based training (when you work in a salon and attend college on a day-release basis) or Further Education training (when you attend a college at least two days a week and gain work experience in a salon).

If you are just leaving school and trying to decide if hairdressing is for you, Pre-Apprenticeship courses are available to help you make your mind up.

To reach the top of any profession requires a great deal of hard work, but just as important is the standard of training you receive. In the ever-changing, creative field of hairdressing, it is of vital importance that you receive up to the minute methods of training.

Get advice! Good Training Guide Academy advisors can give you unbiased advice on the how to choose the right course for you.

Q. How do I know if itís a good course?
A. All courses at Good Training Guide academies have been checked out so you know youíre getting the best.

Find out as much detail about each course yourself. Ask course tutors as many questions as you want.

You could ask:

• What previous students from the course have gone on to do
• How much access to equipment or facilities youíll have, for how long and how much it will cost
• What the tutor / student ratio is

Finally, best of luck!

T: 02392 85 53 68 E: info@goodtrainingguide.co.uk