Is getting into the hairdressing industry is as easy as completing a hairdressing course? The hairdressing industry is surprisingly complex, with many different requirements and aspects that influence what decisions you make. What’s the simplest route to becoming a professional hairdresser?
Becoming a recognised professional
It should first be mentioned that you do not technically need a qualification to become a professional hairdresser. However, this should be taken with a grain of salt. Not having at least a vocational NVQ speaks volumes in terms of your experience.
In order to get the NVQ, you need to either study at a college or commit to work experience. These both have their pros and cons.
If you go to a college or do a course, you likely won’t be earning while you learn. However, you would most likely study other subjects such as beauty, makeup, or nails. If you are looking to become a diverse and multiskilled industry professional, this is the best way.
Many hairdressing businesses will offer paid work experience. Of course, the benefit of this is not needing to work alongside your training, making it much more sustainable. If you’re looking to work solely as a hairdresser, this might be the option for you. Most on-the-job training will give you the chance to gain the vocational NVQ in hairdressing, but not the similar trades.
If your workplace does other beauty trades, they may still only provide a qualification for hairdressing. However, your experience can still be used to shorten a college course in those other trades.
Starting a business
Creating a hairdressing business is difficult because there are limits to options you would have with other trades.
As a sole trader, your business belongs to you, as does its earnings, debts, and future decisions. If you decide to become a sole trader, you have the option of being hired out to varied clientele. You could work for a shop as your own business. You can even forego working in a hairdresser, and work for clients at your home address with your own tools. The only limitation you face here is the scale of your business.
If you decide to start a limited company, your company will be its own entity that belongs to you. This means that you’re an employee under your own company. Debts and earnings are owned by the business, under the management of shareholders. This kind of business is meant for a larger scale, but you can still set one up as an individual.
Depending on the qualifications you have once you’ve started a business, you might change your mind between these two. The NVQ levels 1-2 are a demonstration of your skill as a hairdresser, whereas level 3 is a statement of your ability when managing a salon.