Responsibilities of a hairdresser

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Sam Jones left school to train as a hairdresser at a local college in Wales. She is currently working towards an NVQ Level 1 in Hairdressing. At present, she helps in the salon with a range of jobs, from shampooing to making tea for the customers.

What does your training involve?

The work is split into theory and practical. On two days, we study Key Skills, including problem solving, working with others, IT and communication, which means working in a classroom situation and taking notes.

On other days we work in either the college's salon on site, or in its salon in Cardiff city centre. Sometimes, we practise on the other students and at other times we help out with the clients.

What are the main responsibilities of a hairdresser in the salon?

At this stage in the training we help with shampooing and drying customers' hair.We also sweep up, clean up and make drinks!

What is your working environment like?

The two salons run by the college are very modern and smart, with music in the background to create a good atmosphere. There are television screens in reception, often playing hairdressing videos. Everyone is very supportive and friendly.

Who do you work with?

In the salon, there is a team of trained stylists and other trainees like myself working under the supervision of the lecturers, who are also qualified hairdressers.

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

You have to be creative, hard working and good with people. You need to be able to handle money properly, so that you can process the payments for each appointment accurately.

Why did you choose this type of work?

I always wanted to be a hairdresser and used to love playing with people's hair. After hearing about the training from a careers adviser who came to my school, I decided to apply.

Do you use any tools or equipment?

Apart from the hairdryers in the salon, everyone has their own hairdressing kit, which they have to supply. It contains combs, brushes and scissors.

How do you see your future?

After I've taken my NVQ Level 1, I want to progress onto Levels 2 and 3 and then work full time in a salon or on a cruise ship. I have never been abroad and I like the idea of being able to work and travel at the same time.

What do you like about your job?

I enjoy the practical side of the work. You have a lot of responsibility, but, at the same time, the lecturers are on hand to advise you, so that is reassuring.

How will your training progress?

As a junior I will eventually be assisting the stylists and be continually taught the more skilled tasks, such as blow drying and colouring.

What are the particular challenges for you?

I have dyslexia and was in a special needs group from the age of six, so I've had to rebuild my confidence, especially in areas such as dealing with money and completing written work. I have a support worker to help me now though, and I find everything much easier to cope with.

What are the downsides to being a hairdresser?

The only dislike is a physical one – your arms and legs ache at the end of the day, but you do get used to it.

What other responsibilities do you have?

I do other tasks involved in the overall maintenance of the salon. These may include reception duties, answering the telephone, making appointments, stock control, sorting and supplying towels, gowns and other linen, cleaning, assisting clients with their coats and bags, and supplying refreshments for staff and clients.

Sam's route to becoming a hairdresser

  • Key Skills.
  • NVQ Level 1 in Hairdressing (ongoing).

Sam's hairdresser tips

  • Be honest and determined to succeed.
  • Work hard and always try your best.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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