Vicky Ballantyne is a partner and hairdresser at Method Hair in Labour in Vain Yard in Norwich. Fiona Muller went along to get an insight into the hair industry.

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Jobs24 Factfile: Hairdressing

Training

There are no minimum entry requirements. Some people start as unqualified assistants and progress with experience and training or study at college. College-based routes include work experience placements or work at an on-site salon. Some hairdressers progress to become senior stylists or salon managers, others become self-employed, setting up their own salon, renting a chair or visiting clients at home.

Timescale

Full qualification can take up to three years, but may be acquired sooner.

Local training

City College Norwich 01603 773773 www.ccn.ac.uk

Full-time and part-time level 2 and 3 courses as well as apprenticeships.

College of West Anglia 01553 761144 www.cwa.ac.uk

Full-time and part time level 2 and 3 courses, apprenticeships and short specialist courses.

Great Yarmouth College 01493 655261 www.gyc.ac.uk

Full and part-time level 2 and 3 courses, apprenticeships plus some short specialist courses.

Crop Shop Academy 01603 670002 www.cropshopsprout.com/academy

Apprenticeships, level 2 and 3 courses, refresher and improver courses.

JO Academy 01603 886969 www.joacademy.co.uk

Variety of day-release level 2 and 3 courses, apprenticeships, refresher and foundation training.

Sally Salon Services 01603 629223 www.sallyexpress.com

Short specialist courses in cutting, colouring and styling.

Elite Hair & Beauty Academy 01603 625200

www.nailandbeautytraining.com

Short specialist courses in styling, colouring and foundation courses.

Salary range

Salaries vary depending on experience and location of the salon. Qualified hairdressers earn around £230-£260 a week. Higher earners can make £360-£400 a week.

Belle Jones

The Advice Shop

Why is it a good profession to get into?

The best thing about hairdressing is making people feel good about themselves. People often come into a hairdressers as a way of having a bit of “me” time and it is down to the hairdresser to make the customer feel relaxed and happy. I think hairdressing is a job that is fulfilling - you are being creative as well as making people feel good about how they look.

I got into the industry through working at a hairdressers on a Saturday where I was offered an apprenticeship. I wanted to leave school and hairdressing was something that appealed to me. The industry is a stable one – in fact when looking at GDP, hairdressing is one of the factors that are used to determine how well the economy is fairing.

What does the work involve?

There is no such thing as an average day in hairdressing. I work 9am–6pm four days a week, but a day is filled with cuts, colour restyles and sometimes perms. I like the variety that my job throws at me.

My favourite part of the week is Saturday because it is always our busiest time. I like the fact that I am with clients all day and don’t have to do any paperwork.

I did an old fashioned apprenticeship to get into hairdressing which lasted three years, I then did one year as a first year improver and a year as a second year improver. My favourite part of hairdressing is colouring hair

What are the positives/negatives of this profession?

The job has loads of positives – meeting lots of people, the opportunity to use my creative skills and working with challenging people. On the downside there is the paperwork – especially the NVQ paperwork, which is especially tedious, and I guess the days are quite long too.

I think that you have to be positive to be a hairdresser. Tere are very few negative aspects to the job, but you need to keep happy and cheerful because you are providing a service to the public and need to be conscious of that at all times.

Is there much local demand for people trained in this area?

There is always a demand for hairdressers. Lots of people train to work in the industry but leave for various reasons. I personally worry that the standard of hairdressing will drop with people not staying in the industry and progressing.

Hairdressing is a profession where you never stop learning. Professional development is very important as you need to stay ahead of product development and trends and styles.

What would employers look for in someone applying for a vacancy?

When recruiting for Method Hair, I always look for employees with a positive cheerful manner and the ability to work well under pressure. When recruiting a trainee I look for good social skills. It is so important as a hairdresser to be able to build a rapport with the client – everything else can be learned.

When recruiting a stylist, I look for good quality of work and good communication skills. Before I recruit a new stylist I always get them to do a cut and colour on a model to see how good their skills are. Qualifications are important, but technical and communication skills even more so.

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