Apprentices in the competitive field of hairdressing gain hands-on experience performing hair and scalp treatments for clients. Hairdressing apprentices typically join a salon or vocational college straight from school and learn a variety of skills. Hairdressing is a growth industry -- the employment of beauty workers is forecast to increase by 20 per cent until 2018.
In the initial stages of her job, duties might include helping professional hairstylists or beauty salon managers with client preparation and the application and removal of simple hairdressing treatments. Apprentices also help hairdressers with shampooing as well as sterilising and maintaining equipment. As they gain more experience, they can complete more complicated tasks.
Apprentices in the later stages of their apprenticeships are able to cut and style hair using razors, clippers and scissors. They also shampoo and condition hair, permanently wave hair, bleach hair, dye or tint hair and style hair using straightening irons, brushes, combs and other equipment. These professionals can even shave and trim beards and moustaches. In addition, they can clean, adjust, cut and curl wigs and hairpieces. Hairdressers must be able to recommend products and treatments after assessing a customer's hair condition, draft client record cards, order supplies and clean their salons and equipment. They also need to operate a cash till and perform reception duties, such as answering telephones and scheduling appointments.
Hairdresser apprentices must have strong verbal communication skills, because they are responsible for greeting customers, speaking with clients about topics of general interest and advising clients about their. Because they often work with members of the public, they must present themselves well. These professionals should be able to work well under pressure, have patience, be creative, have an eye for detail and possess good hand-eye coordination. In addition, an apprentice should be willing to follow instructions and take direction from a supervisor. They must be organised and have good problem-solving skills.
Hairdresser apprentices can find work experience opportunities in beauty salons that serve women, men or both sexes. They can work in health spas, barber shops, hotels, private clubs, health care establishments, health spas or hairdressing salons. They must be willing and able to spend most of their day on their feet. They also must be able to work staggered shifts that accommodate the salon's business hours, which might include evenings and weekends.
A hairdresser apprentice typically has GCSE or A level qualifications. You can also study to be a hairdresser full or part-time at college. Students can choose to complete hairstyling apprenticeship programmes that usually last two to three years, or they can complete a vocational school hairstyling course combined with on-the-job training. After graduating from an approved training programme, hairdressers can apply for a licence. They are also likely to attend seminars and advanced training courses to keep their skills updated.