Career info and qualifications of a hairdresser

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Carol Granger is a style director of a hairdressing salon. As a graduate in fine arts, she chose hairdressing as the outlet for her creativity and now specialises in Afro Caribbean styles. She likes working with a variety of people.

How would you outline your role?

I work on the creative, rather than the business side of the company, giving consultations on cuts and styles to suit each individual client.

What are your main responsibilities?

I meet clients to assess their needs and then I work with other members of the team to ensure the right look is achieved, using techniques like braiding, relaxing, perming and hair extensions.

What hours do you work?

We work shifts of either 10am to 6pm, or 12 noon to 8pm.

Who do you work with?

I work with colour technicians, junior and senior stylists and apprentices.We are a very integrated team.

What special skills or qualities do you need for your job?

You need to be outgoing and resilient enough to take criticism. It's also essential to have strong people skills.

Why did you choose this type of work?

I found the creativity involved in hairdressing very attractive. Working with other colleagues in a team also appealed to me.

What training have you done?

The company offers continuous opportunities to update skills and learn new techniques through courses and workshops. I have Assessors and Training Awards and I train others to do human hair extensions.

Do you use any tools or equipment?

We have to supply our own equipment, for reasons of hygiene. Mainly, we use scissors, brushes, hairdryers and hair extension guns.

What do you like/dislike about your job?

It can be physically tiring, but you do get used to being on your feet. The hours are long and you have to be prepared to work on Saturdays, but there's nothing I dislike about the work. It's so varied. At the moment I am doing some work with the Bristol Old Vic theatre, styling hair for the actors' performances, which I find really stimulating.

How do you see your future?

There are so many different avenues to follow, such as photography or magazine work. I'd like to stay on the creative side – doing session styling, or working as a clothes stylist or make-up artist.

What are the particular challenges in your work?

Interpreting people's needs and desires can be challenging. It is important to maintain high standards at all times.

Qualifications of a hairdresser

  • GCSEs and A levels.
  • Degree in Fine Arts.
  • Apprenticeship in hair salon.
  • NVQ Levels 2 to 4 in Hairdressing.
  • NVQ Assessors and Training Awards.

Carol's hairdresser tips

  • Be positive and work hard.
  • Always keep an open mind and be prepared to learn new things.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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