Forget merely cutting, styling and colouring: hairdressing is an art form which requires a deep knowledge of colour and design and love for people.
Your hair says a lot about you. Before you even introduce yourself; the style and colour of your hair can tell a person a lot about your personality. For many of us, our hair is a huge part of our lives. As the old saying goes:
‘If you look good, you feel good.’
If you have your hairdresser on speed-dial, you know that going to the hairdresser can make you feel like a million bucks.
We often take our hairdressers for granted. Have you spent some time actually thinking about life as a hairdresser? At my last appointment, I found myself asking some of these questions: What exactly does a career in hairdressing involve? How do you become a hairdresser and what are the career options for someone who wants to become a hairdresser? Don’t their feet die from standing all day? How do they manage to hold a conversation for so long with so many people?
The Art of Hairdressing
Hairdressing is a technical profession involving the cutting, styling, and colouring of both men and women’s hair. Hairdressers are often employed in salons and hair studios but they also have the option of working from home as private or personal hairdressers. Some hairdressers travel with people who need hairdressing services (like celebs and very important people) or can work in settings such as film and television, preparing hair for magazine photoshoots and other events.
Hairdressing, as a profession, has been around for hundreds of years. In modern society, hairdressing is a particularly relevant profession. In general, hairdressers cut, curl, trim and colour hair. In a society which places a huge emphasis on appearance, hairdressing is a profession which can be incredibly creative and rewarding. It involves being understanding to the client’s needs and desires, as well as understanding the client’s type of hair. A hairdresser will typically be someone who loves people and has a creative nature, since it’s important to be able to envision a certain style or colour.
Being a hairdresser is more than cutting a few strands of hair and having a funky style. Hairdressing is a technical skill which requires you to have a unique understanding of hair types, styles, chemical processes and the latest hair trends.
If this is something that excites you, here are a few more reasons you might want to consider becoming a professional hairstylist:
While many of your clients will know exactly what they want, you will meet a variety of people who are happy to let you be as creative as you wish! These are the dream clients who are open to anything. In addition, on a daily basis you can develop techniques for cutting and colouring hair. This can help to revolutionise the hairdressing world. Think about all of the most recent hair obsessions: balayage, ombre, sombre’s and undercuts…
Hairdressing is a profession that allows your creativity to flow. Your job is to help your clients to get the look that’s going to work best for them so that they can leave feeling confident and happy. Using your hairstyling knowledge for a person will help you to become more creative in your daily work life, and help to increase interest within your day.
It goes without saying that many people who go to the hairdresser will enjoy a good chat with their stylist, on top of having their hair styled and cared for. As a hairdresser, your job will involve making sure that your clients are happy and comfortable by engaging with them and talking to them. If you enjoy meeting new people and having a conversation, hairdressing will certainly be a very fulfilling job for you. Not only will you be helping them to feel better about themselves on the outside, you will also be helping them to feel better on the inside, by allowing them a chance to de-stress and feel heard. You have the opportunity to meet and make many new friends as a hairdresser.
Unlike many careers, hairdressing affords you some flexibility. Many professional hairstylists work as freelancers, which enables them to privately style client’s hair in the comfort of their own homes. Depending on where you decide to work, hairdressing also affords you the opportunity to travel and have fun! If you become a hairstylist for movie sets or magazines you have the opportunity to travel and work unusual hours. There is often a need for stylists who can be a little bit more flexible and go to a person’s home instead, so this can be a great opportunity to either work flexibly or to gain some extra work outside of your day-to-day salon job.
One of the key reasons a person decides to become a hairdresser is to pursue their career dreams of creativity and hair design. Perhaps while growing up, you were always eager to experiment with different hair styles or colours and loved playing with your friend’s hair. Pursing a career as a hairstylist requires a passion for creativity and hair. It requires you to be committed to making people happy and understanding what they require (you’ll need to be a good listener).
You will need the desire to push the boundaries and a keen interest in the latest hair trends and styles. If hairdressing is a dream you hope to pursue – you will be going into a career which is rewarding and inspiring. Not only can you help others to achieve the looks they want, but you’ll also be able to achieve your own personal career goals and work in a position that you absolutely love.
Sign me up! How can I become a hairdresser?
Dermatech Training Institute in Cape Town offers both practical and theoretical training in hair, health and skincare.
They offer a full-time, three-year course which will enable you to qualify as a professional hairstylist.
- Start as a learner by enrolling at Dermatech.
- Become an apprentice at a salon and start earning a salary.
- Qualify by taking a trade test.
The course integrates theoretical and practical training throughout your studies. The first year will be focused on theoretical knowledge with the following two years being more practical and training based. This will give you the opportunity to put your theoretical knowledge to practice and to gain some experience and hours to add to your CV and to prepare you for your trade test.
Click here to see a full breakdown of the courses for each year.
In order to qualify as a professional hairdresser, you will need to complete a trade test. This test happens at various times during the year and is conducted by the Services SETA at any approved trade test centre. Trade test assessors are assigned to evaluate the qualifying hairdresser who will perform a number of hair treatments in order to qualify. You will need a certain number of hours/years’ experience and training in order to be accepted to take this test. This test is generally only taken once the three years of studies has been completed.
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Hairdressing is an art which involves many years of experience and theoretical practice. Is this a career you wish to pursue and you have the drive and desire to fulfill a dream of living a creative and challenging life? Check out this awesome video, about the new wave of interest in hairdressing, to get inspired!
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