Hair colour technician
Sally Ebdon is a colour technician in the salon a large hairdressing chain. After extended work experience and an Apprenticeship, she trained for a further two years colour and cutting techniques and now specialises in colour.
How would you outline your role?
I ensure that the best techniques are used to give each client the look that suits their lifestyle and colouring.
What are your main responsibilities?
I see between ten and twelve clients each day. Each appointment starts with an in-depth consultation, which involves finding out more about the client, looking at magazines and giving advice. Once we have decided upon a style, I mix colours and apply them using different foil techniques. While the colour is developing I start on the next client.
In addition, I offer other hairdressing treatments, such as relaxing, straightening and perming hair. I also carry out stock checks as necessary.
What hours do you work?
I work part time. On Thursdays I work from 9.30am to 2.30pm. On Fridays I work 9.30am to 6pm, and on Saturdays 9am to 5pm. I teach on Mondays, from 6pm to 9pm.
What is your working environment like?
The salon is very modern and clean. We usually have televisions switched on showing the latest collections and different styles. There's a very friendly and sociable atmosphere.
Who do you work with?
The other members of the team are the stylists and the trainees who do the shampooing, assist with colouring and generally help out.
What special skills or qualities do you need for your job?
Creativity is important and people skills are essential. You have to be friendly, efficient and hard working. It's also very important to manage your time properly and to be punctual.
Why did you choose this type of work?
I find colour work more creative and more technical than cutting. I enjoy the work as I find it stimulating.
What training have you done?
Like many of the larger salon chains, we have our own in-house training. It takes six weeks and covers all of the techniques. You cannot work on the salon floor until you have completed it. I'm still learning though. You have to continually update your skills so that you can offer all the latest styles.
Do you use any tools or equipment?
I use the standard hairdressing tools – scissors, foils for colouring, combs, brushes, section clips and hairdryers.
How do you see your future?
Eventually, I would like to work abroad. The good thing about this kind of work is that you can do it anywhere and you can also work freelance.
What do you like or dislike about being a hair colour technician?
The hours seem really long when you first start, but you do get used to them. On the other hand, it's very varied work, every client is different and I enjoy working as part of a team.
What are the particular challenges in your work?
A client might have a clear idea in their mind of the style they want, but cannot communicate it properly, so you have to be able to interpret what they are saying very carefully. Sometimes it's just not possible to do what a client wants with their hair, so you have to find a compromise that still works for them.
Sally's route to becoming a hair colour technician
- Work experience leading to an Apprenticeship.
- In-house salon training.
Sally's hair colour technician tips
- Persevere and be prepared to work hard.
- It's important to build good relationships with your colleagues.
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