A hairdresser generally works in the commercial sector, offering a range of services and treatments to the hair for individual clients. There is a direct relationship between the nature and quality of the service required, and the payment made by the client. Therefore the hairdresser has a continuing responsibility to work professionally and interactively with the client in order to give satisfaction and thus maintain and grow the business. Hairdressing is closely associated with other parts of the service sector, and with the many products that support it, normally for commercial purposes.
Hairdressing also has an important therapeutic role in supporting individuals’ self- esteem and confidence. It also helps to relieve the effects of illness, and can aid recovery.
The hairdresser works in diverse environments including large, medium, small, or mobile salons, client homes and in product companies and training institution, film and television productions, theatre, wig work, hair replacement, technicians, session stylists and product research and design. He or she may offer a wide range of services, including cutting, colouring, styling, chemical reformation and special hair treatments. Alternatively, the hairdresser may specialize, for example by becoming either a men’s or ladies’ hairdresser, or a colourist. Irrespective of this, work organization and management, communication and client care, the ability to analyse hair types and conditions, and to work safely and to manufacturers’ instructions, are the universal attributes of the outstanding hairdresser. In a mobile labour market, the hairdresser may work in teams, or alone, or in both from time to time. Whatever the structure of the work, the trained and experienced hairdresser takes on a high level of personal responsibility and autonomy. From safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the client through scrupulous attention to safe working, to achieving exceptional effects for special occasions, every treatment matters and mistakes are largely irreversible.
With the globalization of visual imagery, the worldwide market in hair and beauty products, and the international mobility of people, the hairdresser faces rapidly expanding opportunities and challenges. For the talented hairdresser there are many commercial and international opportunities; however, these carry with them the need to understand and work with diverse cultures, trends and hair types. The diversity of skills associated with hairdressing is therefore likely to expand, with the WorldSkills Competition reflecting the skills and attributes of the most outward looking and talented entrants to the sector.
WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017
WorldSkills São Paulo 2015
Su Gyeong Kim
Airul Firham Che Amran
WorldSkills Leipzig 2013
Jin Hee Kweon
View all Hairdressing photos on Flickr.
The WorldSkills Standards Specification specifies the knowledge, understanding and specific skills that underpin international best practice in technical and vocational performance. It should reflect a shared global understanding of what the associated work role(s) or occupation(s) represent for industry and business.
If you want to work as a hair stylist in the United States, you will have to attend a cosmetology program that has been approved by the state in which you want to work. Many states also stipulate that anyone working in this field have a high school or equivalency diploma.
Some high schools offer programs in cosmetology to their students. If yours does not, or if you already have a high school or equivalency diploma, you can attend a program at a vocational school. These programs usually last at least nine months, but some may be almost two years long. Many grant an associate degree upon completion. Some programs offer classes in languages in addition to English.
To find a program, you can do a search on the American Association of Cosmetology Schools' (AACS) website. Look for one that offers a specialty in hair. According to this non-profit organization that represents cosmetology, skin, nail, barbering, and massage schools, tuition costs between $6,500 and $10,000, depending on whether the program is located in a rural or metropolitan area. Tuition in rural areas is lower than it is in metropolitan ones. You will also need to pay for your tools.
Before enrolling in a program, it is essential that you find out whether it is approved by the state in which you want to work. If you attend a program that is not state-approved, you will not be able to get a license and, subsequently, will be unable to work as a hairstylist. If you have any question's about a program's credentials, contact your state's licensing board. Find a list of them on the AACS website.
While specific coursework may differ depending on the program you choose, certain classes are typically part of every school's curriculum. Here are some courses you should expect to take:
- Sanitation and sterilization
- Hair cutting and shaping
- Hair analysis
- Hair and scalp disorders and diseases
- Hair extensions
- Color methods
- Permanent Waving
- Salon management
A hair stylist's professional development doesn't end with the initial training he or she receives. To keep up with current trends, you will have to continue to take courses throughout your career.