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

Average salary (a year)

£14,000 Starter


£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on a rota

How to become a hairdresser

You could get into this job through:

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


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

More information


You can do an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in hairdressing.

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

More information

Further information

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

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
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a junior hairdresser, your tasks may include:

  • greeting customers
  • shampooing and conditioning hair
  • simple cutting
  • making sure towels and supplies are ready for use
  • keeping the salon clean and tidy

As a senior hairdresser you'll talk to clients about how they want their hair done, give them advice and suggest style ideas.

Your tasks may include:

  • cutting and styling
  • colouring, perming or straightening
  • advising on minor hair and scalp problems
  • keeping client records, making appointments and taking payments
  • ordering materials and promoting sales to customers
  • keeping up to date with new trends, techniques and products
  • making sure that hair products containing chemicals are used and stored safely

Working environment

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

Your working environment may be physically demanding.

Career path and progression

With experience you could become a senior stylist or salon manager. With suitable 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.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Hairdressing Apprenticeship

  • Wage : £117.00 Weekly
  • Location: Worcester WR1 2PN

Apprenticeship Hairdresser

  • Wage : £117.00 Weekly
  • Location: London W4 3RS

Courses In England

Foundation Hairdressing - VTCT Award in Hairdressing

  • Start date: 01 September 2020
  • Location: Middx

Hairdressing - Diploma in Hairdressing Studies - Level 3

  • Provider: EKC GROUP
  • Start date: 01 September 2020
  • Location: Dover

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