How to become a Hairdresser

Hairdressers cut, style, colour, straighten and permanently wave hair and provide clients with hair and scalp treatments. In most salons, the senior hairdressers and the more advanced apprentices cut and style hair. Apprentice hairdressers undertake routine tasks in the initial stages of employment, assisting senior hairdressers with preparing clients, shampooing, applying and removing simple hairdressing treatments, and sterilising and maintaining equipment. As apprentices gain experience they carry out more complex tasks under supervision.

Personal requirements for a Hairdresser

  • No allergies to hair products
  • Pleasant personality
  • Good communication skills
  • Able to work under pressure
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Patient
  • Some creative flair
  • Attention to detail
  • Able and willing to follow instructions

Education & Training for a Hairdresser

To become a hairdresser you usually have to complete an apprenticeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. You can also become a hairdresser by completing a VET qualification. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.


Duties & Tasks of a Hairdresser

Hairdressers:

  • Talk to clients about their requirements
  • Cut hair using clippers, scissors or razors
  • Shampoo, condition and rinse hair
  • Provide services such as colouring, bleaching, applying treatment, permanent waving (with chemical solutions), straightening and tinting
  • Dry hair and style it using brushes, combs, straightening irons and other equipment
  • Shave and trim beards and moustaches
  • Advise clients on hair care
  • Block (shape), clean, colour, adjust, curl and cut wigs and hairpieces
  • Attend hairdressing seminars and training in order to keep up to date with new products and techniques
  • Operate a cash register and computer
  • Perform reception duties such as answering telephone calls and making appointments
  • Sell retail products
  • Maintain client records
  • Clean the salon, work areas and equipment.

Tasks

  • Shampooing hair and conditioning scalps.
  • Shaving and trimming beards and moustaches.
  • Providing advice on hair care, beauty products and hairstyles.
  • May clean, colour, cut and style wigs and hairpieces.
  • Styling hair into dreadlocks and braids and adding hair extensions.
  • Cutting hair with scissors, clippers and razors.
  • Arranging appointments and collecting payments.
  • Cleaning work areas and sanitising instruments.
  • Colouring, straightening and permanently waving hair with chemical solutions.

Working conditions for a Hairdresser

Hairdressers may be employed in women's, men's or unisex salons. They spend most of the day on their feet and are usually required to work staggered shifts to fit in with salon business hours. They have a high level of public contact, so they need to be well presented.


Employment Opportunities for a Hairdresser

Most hairdressers are employed in hairdressing salons, usually working with four to six people. Some work in large department stores. Hairdressers may also be employed as stylists for television, film, theatre or advertising agencies. Those with good retail skills (selling products or additional treatments) are particularly in demand. Many hairdressers, after a number of years working in the industry, set up their own businesses, enter into partnerships or teach hairdressing.


Specializations

Hairdresser

Hairdressers cut, style, colour, straighten and permanently wave hair and provide clients with hair and scalp treatments. In most salons, the senior hairdressers and the more advanced apprentices cut and style hair. Apprentice hairdressers undertake routine tasks in the initial stages of employment, assisting senior hairdressers with preparing clients, shampooing, applying and removing simple hairdressing treatments, and sterilising and maintaining equipment. As apprentices gain experience they carry out more complex tasks under supervision.

  • Average age
    Average age
    34 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Moderate
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    85% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    41 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,025
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Medium skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    51% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    66,700 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.5%
    NSW: 30.8%
    NT: 0.6%
    QLD: 21.4%
    SA: 7.9%
    TAS: 2.4%
    VIC: 24.5%
    WA: 10.9%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 7.9%
    20-24: 15.5%
    25-34: 27.9%
    35-44: 20.4%
    45-54: 17.8%
    55-59: 4.8%
    60-64: 3.1%
    65 and Over: 2.5%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 6.8%
    Bachelor degree: 1.4%
    Below Year 10: 0%
    Certificate III/IV: 77.9%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0.2%
    Year 10 and below: 4.9%
    Year 11: 2.2%
    Year 12: 6.5%
    Years 11 & 10: 7.2%
Is the information on this page correct? Request update

Become a member

Already a member? Login Forgot password?

Join the conversation