Hairdresser

hair stylist barber
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Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

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

As a junior hairdresser, you would:

  • Greet customers
  • Shampoo their hair
  • Do simple cutting
  • Make sure towels and supplies are ready for use
  • Keep the salon clean and tidy

As a senior hairdresser, you would talk to clients about how they want their hair done. You’d tactfully give them advice and suggest style ideas.

You would:

  • Shampoo and condition customers’ hair
  • Cut and style customers’ hair
  • So colouring, perming or straightening
  • Advise on minor hair and scalp problems
  • Make appointments and handle payments
  • Order materials
  • Make sure that hair products containing chemicals are used and stored correctly

You’d make people feel at ease so they enjoy being in the hair salon. You’d keep up to date with fashion and the latest hairstyles.

You could specialise in working with particular clients or techniques, for example:

  • Cutting men's hair in a barber shop
  • Pressing, braiding and plaiting Afro-Caribbean hair
  • Colouring and dyeing hair

Working conditions

Hours

You would usually work up to 40 hours a week, between 9am and 6pm. This would usually include Saturdays with a day off in the week. Some salons open late on one or two evenings during the week. Part-time work is often available. You could also work freelance.

Environment

You would work in a salon. You could also work freelance, either renting space within a salon or visiting customers in their own homes.

Travel

You could visit customers in their own homes

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

People behind the job

Meet real people who’ve done this job – hear their stories and the path they took to get there.

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Helping customers
  • Being tactful
  • Working with your hands
  • Being creative

Build your skills

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

You would need a Higher National Certificate (SCQF Level 7) or relevant work-based experience and qualifications such as a Modern Apprenticeship in Hairdressing and Barbering (SVQ Level 3).

You can enter some Hairdressing National Certificate or National Qualification courses (SCQF 2-6) with no formal qualifications but some courses ask for National 4/5 qualifications (SCQF Level 4/5).

You can enter Higher National Certificate (SCQF Level 7) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or relevant NC/NQ/SVQ qualifications.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Chemistry
  • Care 

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that demonstrate a good eye for visual effect, communication and customer care skills, such as Skills for Work Hairdressing (SCQF Level 4/5) or Retailing (SCQF Level 5).

It is helpful to have relevant work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Hairdressing and Barbering (SVQ Level 2/3) or be willing to work towards qualifications once in a job.