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 brands, for example, Fanola, also provide education for hairdressers with online tutorials but these are more for upskilling over 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 fele 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.
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 a bit less than $20 an hour. Apprentices start at around $8 an hour but we promise it’s not the low forever! Senior hairdressers can earn up to $52,000 annual salary.
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 58,200 people by 2022. How to learn hairdressing can be as simple or complex as you want. Enjoy the flexibility of this career and share your experiences below!