James Green pursued his interest in hair and fashion to become a hairdresser in a leading salon chain. Now he works as a freelance hairdresser, travelling to different people's homes to provide hairdressing services.
How would you outline your role?
I offer a flexible hairdressing service to clients who find it more convenient to have their hair cut at home, or, occasionally, in their workplace.
What hours do you work?
My hours are flexible, but generally I work six days a week, from 10am to 8pm. Sometimes I can work as late as 10pm. I try to finish earlier on a Friday and Saturday, but it isn't always possible as this is a very popular time for people to have their hair done.
Who do you work with?
I mostly work alone and sometimes I miss the stimulation of having other colleagues around me. Recently though, I've teamed up with a freelance colour stylist and we share ideas whenever we discuss work.
What special skills or qualities do you need for your job?
Social skills are very important in this work. You have to be able to put people at ease, especially as you are working in their homes. You also need to be well organised, a good time manager and self-motivated so that you keep up to date with the latest styles.
Why did you choose this type of work?
I enjoyed working for a local barber on a Saturday when I was still at school. After a few years of working in salons, I was keen to avoid the regular routine and to have more personal freedom. I decided I wanted to be my own boss and freelance work seemed the ideal way.
Do you use any tools or equipment?
The basic tools are scissors, combs, brushes and a good hairdryer. I also need transport for travelling to clients.
What training have you done?
After some initial training with the barber, I joined an Apprenticeship scheme at a large salon chain. Eventually, I became a junior stylist in one of their salons and a senior stylist with another salon chain, where I continued in-house training until I finally decided to go freelance.
What are the particular challenges in your work?
You need to work extra hard to maintain a good client base – unlike working in a salon, you cannot rely on passing trade. I have some learning difficulties but these do not affect the running of my company or my work competency.
James's route to becoming a Freelance hairdresser
- Part-time work in a barber's shop.
- In-house salon training schemes.
James's Freelance hairdresser tips
- Listen to people.
- Be reliable and keep your skills up to date.
Did we help you? Please help us by telling us about your experiences e.g. interview questions and answers.