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Alternative titles for this job include Hairstylist, barber

Hairdressers and barbers cut, shave, colour and style customers' hair.

Average salary (a year)

£19,500 Starter


£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a hairdresser

You could get into this job through:

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


You could take a college course that will give you some of the skills and knowledge you'll need to start in this career.

Courses include:

  • hairdressing
  • barbering
  • women's and men's hairdressing

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

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More Information


You could do an apprenticeship to get into this job, for example:

  • Hairdressing Professional Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Barbering Professional Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Creative Hair Professional Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship

These apprenticeships can take between 1 and 2 years to complete.

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

More Information


You might be able to start work as a trainee hairdresser or barber and learn on the job.

Your employer would expect you to take a part-time course to get qualifications, either at a college or in their own training school.

You may also be able to work freelance and rent space in a salon or barbershop, though you'll usually have to supply your own equipment.

More Information

Career tips

If your aim is to manage or open your own salon or barbershop, it may help to get some business qualifications alongside hairdressing experience.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in hairdressing and barbering from the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority (HABIA) and National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF).

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

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

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a hairdresser or barber you could:

  • talk to customers and discuss styling ideas
  • wash, cut and style hair
  • apply colours, tints, braids and hair extensions
  • trim and shape beards and moustaches
  • finish jobs using hair products
  • order stock, take payments and make appointments

Working environment

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

Your working environment may be physically active.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could:

  • become a senior stylist, barber or salon manager
  • open your own salon or barbershop
  • get qualified to train or assess student hairdressers or barbers
  • work freelance and rent space in a salon
  • use your skills as a hair professional in the theatre, film or television industry

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Hairdressing Apprenticeship at The Hair Lounge - Romford

  • Wage: £13,312.00 Annually
  • Location: HORNCHURCH

Apprentice Hairdresser

  • Wage: £13,644.80 to £24,390.08 Annually
  • Location: Truro, Cornwall, UK

Courses In England

Cert Hairdressing & Barbering L1

  • Provider: MID-KENT COLLEGE
  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Maidstone

Hairdressing & Barbering (Level 1)

  • Provider: STRODE COLLEGE
  • Start date: 04 September 2024
  • Location: Street

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