How to Learn Hairdressing & Become a Hairdresser in Australia - AMR Hair & Beauty

How to Learn Hairdressing & Become a Hairdresser in Australia

Oct 10, 2019Rachael Grant

Hairdressing is one of the greatest professions out there. Styling hair is creative, it involves a high level of job autonomy and innovation. It involves working with people on a daily basis, and a chance to progress to owning a salon and being your own boss.

Young people who are drawn to the job typically dedicate quite some time to research on how to learn hairdressing. The options can be overwhelming with the option of many paths to take. Some are not so clear once you start considering which training is the best to become a hairdresser.

There are several ways you can approach your new career skills. These include online video classes and on-premise training with cosmetology schools or attending an experienced hairstyling academy.

Certain hair care brands provide education for hairdressers with online tutorials but these are more for up-skilling rather than certification. After you complete a certain amount of classes, finalise the apprenticeship, and pass an exam, you will earn your license to start practising the job professionally.


Soft Skills for Professional Hairdressers

Before you decide which school to attend, make sure that you are a person who is happy and loves to listen. You will work with a number of different personality types and will sometimes feel like a counsellor rather than a colourist.

You will need sophisticated people skills and the ability to communicate kindly, yet firmly. If you want to work at your own place, you need to polish your business skills, too.

Although, hairdressing certificates usually include developing your entrepreneurial and communication acumen. Some of the best lessons are usually learned on the job by proactively seeking small learning opportunities in every interaction.

Practical learning work starts as you do your apprenticeship and it almost never ends. You will have your whole life to learn how to accommodate a variety of client demands. Despite the challenges of novelty, changing fashion, and different styling techniques which you must balance with never-ending client wishes, hairdressing is a very rewarding job.

Once you fall in love with the profession, each subsequent smile on the clients face will strengthen your initial choice. So, how to learn hairdressing at home, online, or at full-time training school? 

The Pathways to Becoming a Hairdressing Professional

As a general rule, you will need to check the laws in your state. Most Australian certified hairdressers own a Certificate III in Hairdressing, classified as SHB30416 in the national vocational training. Apart from taking mandatory courses, you can participate in a number of electives, such as relaxation massage or hair planning lessons.

There is plenty of versatility and it is good to think about the essentials you need to complete first. You can always add new classes and certificates later. Senior Australian hair professionals hold a Certificate IV in Hairdressing, which includes advanced sales and consultation skills.

Keep in mind that course packages usually cost less than single courses. Therefore, plan well. Let's explore some of the paths you can take to get the certificate you need in more detail.


How to Learn Hairdressing Skills at Home

Homeschooling for a hairdresser includes taking video classes to learn basic hairstyling techniques, such as colouring and washing. Afterwards, trainees advance to cutting hair, complex colouring and colour correction techniques. Finally, they get to specialise in wigs, hair extensions, keratin treatments, and trichology. The process is about the same at formal hair academies.

Some cosmetology schools include barbering training in the same course. However, in order to be officially accredited, you need to obtain the national certificate, which is, initially, Certificate III in Hairdressing or above. Barbers get the corresponding Certificate III in Barbering. Combination classes for multiple skills are possible, as well.

Before you apply for a home study course, check the requirements and the qualifications you will get when you are done. Not all study curricula provide the same lessons. There are numerous informal online classes to learn specific hairdressing skills, but they won't get you the recognised certificate. Some courses will still also require mandatory practical sessions too, so if you live rurally, it might be worth further investigation.

If you work and are unable to attend full-time classes in an accredited educational facility, you may consider partially learning hairdressing from home and supplementing the video content with practical work that will get you the qualification.

How to Learn Hairdressing and Get Your Certificate III

There are two main pathways to learn hairdressing. You can learn at a fulltime academy or via an apprenticeship. Regardless of the steps in each course, the learning content is the same. If you complete the training at a vocational academy, you are more likely to be an attractive candidate for an apprenticeship in professional beauty salons.

Getting the certification is not the only way to work as a hairdresser, but it will certainly increase your employment prospects. Almost 80% of qualified hairstylists do have one.

A certificate III will enable you to provide a full range of services in a salon. Some trainees take a different path by obtaining alternative certificates, for instance, SHB20216 Certificate II in Salon Support and then progress to the next level. Certificate II trains you to become a salon assistant.


What Does a Hairstyling Apprenticeship Include?

As you can see, there is no exclusive way to complete your studies. Practical work such as an apprentice will teach you how to:
  • Book clients, manage the salon schedule, and process payments.
  • Give advice on styles, colours, and hair care.
  • Provide washing and conditioning treatments.
  • Straighten and curl hair with a variety of techniques.
  • Use assorted tools for haircuts, such as scissors and clippers.
  • Braid hair, fix hair extensions, make weaves and dreadlocks.
  • Handle and maintain wigs and hairpieces.
  • Apply barbering skills, including shaving and trimming facial hair.
  • Maintain hygiene in your salon, as well as keep your tools clean

During the training, you can test which skills suit you best and direct your education towards a specific set of services. You can then advertise as your specialty e.g. Blonde colourist or extension specialist.

Thinking of your client base as you train brings major rewards later when you discover that you have already made a name for you and developed a community of colleagues.

You can also start building your portfolio to showcase your skills and work, as well as attract new clients via an innovative new platform for hair professional called Glosty

Rewards of a Hairstyling Career

How much do hairdressers make?

It depends on many factors. If you work hard, use premium products, and hone your talent, you will be at the upper end of the scale in a couple of years. Initially, you will be able to earn around $20 an hour. Apprentice pay may even start around $13 an hour but we promise it's not the low forever. On average, qualified hair stylists earn around $60,000 annual salary. Senior hairdressers can earn up around $100,000 annual salary. You can read more here on full time and part time hairdresser pay rates in Australia.

As with any service job that involves working with people, hairdressers do have some pretty crazy or funny stories to tell. The number of trained hairdressers in Australia is estimated to grow to 79,600 people by 2024.

Continuous Learning

One of the ways to stay motivated with your profession is to continue the process of learning throughout your career. You can learn something new or improve your knowledge in something you already know.

Here at AMR, we have a training academy to offer you learning resources, info on product launches and master classes in the hair industry to increase your skills and build up your confidence. With continuous learning you can increase your work enjoyment levels while also catapulting your career.

For example, to get that perfect balayage or silver fox look, there has to be knowledge in what you are doing as well as the products involved. That's because essentially you are mixing and playing around with chemicals. Having that extra bit of education, you have a duty of care and responsibility for what you are doing to and applying on your client. We must be vigilant for the safety of others and ourselves in order for our businesses to grow, so that's why it is imperative to go and attend the classes and understand the product.

So with that in mind, we must better ourselves and strive to learn from the best to gain know-how of the ins-and-outs of hair colouring and styling techniques. It would also be a little awkward if you had a potential client come up to you with some hair or beauty related inspiration, but because of not having the experience or knowledge behind it, you have to turn them away and potentially lose that customer forever by giving them to the competition.

Hair training session in salon

Image: Vena Love performing a colouring service at the Fanola Metallics, Paints and Vivids Workshop

Yes, education can be costly at times but I urge you to consider it as an investment. It is worth it. Having the right teacher to show you the way is vital as a teacher is someone who ignites the fire that fuels a student's thirst for knowledge, curiosity and wisdom.

To be educated and knowledgeable in your field, you must know what you are doing and be confident in your craft, and with that will evoke trust from your client. With the trust that they put in you, they know that they are in good hands and once you get a good customer, great feedback will come. Once you get great feedback, word-of-mouth will spread and that means your clientele will grow.

Staying Ahead of Competitors

Having education under your belt gives you the upper hand from your competition as this will show your potential clientele who you have been taught by, your wide range of product knowledge and what kind of skills and techniques you have learnt along the way. This will allow your clientele to understand that they are paying value for money.

At AMR, we have extensive products that we sell online and in our in-house stores and what we want to do for our customers is to offer education and tips on what we are selling and how to use it.

We want to offer our customers support and education with the products that we offer. Hence why we come up with classes and product launches to do that. We endeavour to find the best of the best of professional trainers from around the globe, nationally and internationally.

Expert hair stylist in action

Image: Lorna Evans creating a beautiful classic fingerwave and upstyle at her workshop on hair model.

Lorna Evans' upstyling models from a training class

Image: Lorna Evans' upstyling masterpieces from her workshop.

Training and Classes at AMR

We have had international guests Eva Lam and Vena Love for the Fanola Metallics, Vivids and Paints Masterclass, Jennifer for Kiara Sky and most recently James Miju for Fanola.

Our home-grown national guests include Janet Nguyen for Fanola Metallics, Vivids and Paints Masterclass, Lisa Howson Founder of LashXcel and Lorna Evans for an upstyling workshop.

All these wonderful educators have either done a workshop, masterclass or Vlog at our academy and have come in to showcase their skills and extend their knowledge to us with their experiences in the hair and beauty industry.

We also have free product launches where you will get a firsthand sneak peak on the brand and products that we are offering before it hits our stock floor and website. There is a demo shown at the event by an educator and also goody bags involved - who doesn't love a goody bag?!

At AMR, we offer day and night classes in different fields to cater to your profession or simply if you're curious and just want to learn.

If you're interested in keeping up-to-date for future launches and classes click on this link AMR Training Academy or join us or on Facebook at AMR Training Academy.

Enjoy the flexibility of this career and share your experiences below!

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