Job Description:

Hairdressers cut, style and colour clients' hair to create the look they want.

Job Category:
Art & Fashion

What you will do:

As a junior hairdresser, you’ll:

  • welcome customers
  • shampoo and condition hair
  • cut simple styles
  • make sure towels and hair products are well stocked
  • keep the salon clean and tidy
  • make appointments

As a more senior hairdresser, you’ll:

  • talk to clients and suggest style ideas
  • cut, style and colour hair
  • give advice on minor hair and scalp problems
  • take payments
  • order stock and promote products to customers
  • keep up to date with new trends, techniques and hair products


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of hair, how to colour hair and which products best suit the clients needs
  • customer service skills
  • 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
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • good team spirit – the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • active listening skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a hairdresser, you typically don’t need specific  subjects, but a good general education and certain skills and attributes can be beneficial for this career. Here are some subjects and skills that can be helpful:

  1. English: Strong communication skills, including both written and verbal communication, are essential in the hairdressing profession to understand client needs and provide instructions effectively.
  2. Mathematics: Basic math skills are useful for tasks such as measuring hair dye and calculating pricing.
  3. Art and Design: Courses in art and design can help you develop an understanding of aesthetics, colour theory, and creativity, which are important in hairstyling and colouring.

Post School

You could get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role


You could take a course at college that will give you some of the skills and knowledge to do this job.

In the UK, for example, courses include:

  • Diploma in Hairdressing
  • Level in Hair, Beauty and Aesthetics

You may be able to combine these courses with other subjects like beauty therapy, make-up and nails.


The following apprenticeships may be relevant to this role:

  • Hair professional
  • Advanced and creative hair professional


You may be able start work as a trainee hairdresser in a salon and learn on the job. Your employer would expect you to take qualifications part-time, either at a college or in their own training school.

Career tips

You may be able to work freelance and rent space in a salon, though you may have to supply your own equipment.

With experience and an interest in business, you could move up to manage or own your own salon. If this is your aim, it may help to gain some business qualifications alongside hairdressing experience.

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 salon, at a client’s home, at a health spa, at a store, at an adult care home or on a cruise ship. Your working environment may be physically demanding.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience you could become a senior stylist or salon manager. With further qualifications, you could also move into training or assessing student hairdressers.

You could become self-employed or open your own salon.

You may be able to use your skills as a hair professional in the theatre, film or television industry.