Barbers cut, trim and style customers’ hair, beards and moustaches.Job Category:
What you will do:
As part of your daily tasks, you could:
- welcome customers and find out what they want
- give advice on hairstyles and grooming
- cut and style hair
- shave, trim and shape beards and moustaches
- provide scalp, face and neck massages
- clean and sterilise equipment, like combs, razors and clippers
- take payments, keep records and make appointments
- keep up to date with new styles and techniques
- Barbering techniques
- Knowledge of hair types and the right products to use
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
As well as:
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills) – barbers must pay attention to detail when cutting hair, shaping beards, and providing grooming services.
- active listening skills and emotional intelligence
- the ability to work well with your hands
- sensitivity and understanding
- the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills) – being able to work well as part of a team is valuable in barbershops and salons, as you may collaborate with other stylists or professionals.
- the ability to work on your own (drive)
- excellent verbal communication skills
- customer service: developing good customer service skills, including being polite, attentive, and responsive to customer needs, is crucial in the grooming and salon industry.
- hygiene and sanitation: understanding and practicing good hygiene and sanitation procedures is essential to ensure the health and safety of both clients and barbers.
To become a barber, there are no specific GCSE subjects that are mandatory. However, certain subjects and skills developed during your GCSE years can be advantageous for pursuing a career in barbering. Barbers are responsible for cutting and styling hair, maintaining grooming equipment, and providing excellent customer service. Here are some GCSE subjects and skills that can be valuable:
- Mathematics: Basic math skills are useful for measuring hair lengths, calculating haircut pricing, and managing financial aspects of a barbering business.
- English: Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, are essential for interacting with clients, discussing their preferences, and documenting customer records.
- Art and Design: Courses in art and design can help you develop a creative eye and aesthetic sensibility, which are important for creating haircuts and styles.
- Science: While not mandatory, a basic understanding of hair biology and chemistry can be beneficial for understanding hair types and hair care products.
You could get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- freelance work
You could take a course to help you get started. In the UK, for example, courses include:
- Diploma in Barbering
- Level in Hair, Beauty and Aesthetics
You can do a hair professional intermediate apprenticeship, or an advanced apprenticeship for creative hair professionals.
You may be able to start work as a trainee barber in a barbershop and learn on the job.
Your employer would expect you to take a part-time course to get qualifications, either at a college or in their own training school if they have one.
You may be able to work freelance and rent space in a barbershop, though you’ll usually have to supply your own equipment.
Working Hours and Environment:
A typical week consists of 37-40 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings/weekends on a rota
You could work in a barbershop, at a client’s home or on a film set. Your working environment may be physically active.
Career Path & Progression:
With experience you could become a senior barber. If you take further qualifications, you could move into training or assessing student barbers.
You could also open your own barbershop, either independently or as a franchise.