Becoming a Hairdresser

We recently took part in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session and one of the questions that came up was “how hard is hair school?”

Having been a hairdresser for over 20 years, it was nice to think back and remind myself about how it all started and it got me thinking it might be useful to share what to expect if learning hairdressing is something you want to do.

I can’t exactly recall the time I knew I wanted to become a hairdresser so it must have been when I was fairly young but I do remember playing with hair very early on and that I loved to create what I thought at the time were amazing hairstyles.

As I was coming to the end of High School, I knew hairdressing was what I wanted to do so I went to see our careers guidance teacher to find out what I needed to get into a college course. This was a defining moment for me because they told me that I didn’t have the ‘requirements’ to make it in the industry and that made me more determined than ever to make it happen.

A really great piece of advice for anyone, no matter what you want to do in your life is, when you know you want and you have your heart set on it, do it, and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise!

Hairdressing is a trade for life that can open up exciting opportunities all over the world and, as hair grows on average 13mm per month and most people have hair, you’re never going to run out of potential clients. The trick is making sure your skillset is good enough to keep them coming back time and time again and that’s where the training comes in.

Passing your exams in High School is a requirement for getting onto a college course so giving yourself the time you need to study is essential. It can be difficult when friends are asking you to do other things, especially when the sun’s out but trust me, there will be plenty of sunny days for you to enjoy in the future. Once the exams are completed and you open that envelope to find your results were just what you needed, the celebrations begin and so does your journey to becoming a qualified hairdresser.

After you get accepted onto a course, I highly recommend finding an apprenticeship with a reputable salon, who can help guide you through your time as a trainee stylist. Learning from those who have lots of experience is the best way to learn the trade, plus having an apprenticeship means you get to earn some money while you’re learning.

Achieving your Level 2 Hairdressing takes approximately 2 years and your Level 3, another 1-2 years on top of that but as with any trade, our industry is always changing with new trends, products and rules, so you will keep learning new things throughout your career.

Along the way you may choose to specialise in certain areas. I’m a colourist at heart so I decided to go further along that path and trained to become a Wella Colour Expert but you might be more interested in another field which is great because there are many other directions you can go in.

I’ve been so lucky to work with some fantastic student hairdressers over the years and I love to see them progress through their hairdressing qualifications and see their confidence grow. Many of the students I trained have gone on to become excellent stylists, some stayed with me for a number of years, some left to travel the world and others have set up their own businesses.

Becoming a hairdresser is challenging but incredibly rewarding. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to drop us an email with any questions you might have.

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