My Job: Hairdresser

Vicky Ballantyne is a partner and hairdresser at Method Hair in Labour in Vain Yard in Norwich. Fiona Muller went along to get an insight into the hair industry.

Why is it a good profession to get into?

The best thing about hairdressing is making people feel good about themselves. People often come into a hairdressers as a way of having a bit of “me” time and it is down to the hairdresser to make the customer feel relaxed and happy. I think hairdressing is a job that is fulfilling – you are being creative as well as making people feel good about how they look.

I got into the industry through working at a hairdressers on a Saturday where I was offered an apprenticeship. I wanted to leave school and hairdressing was something that appealed to me. The industry is a stable one – in fact when looking at GDP, hairdressing is one of the factors that are used to determine how well the economy is fairing.

What does the work involve?

There is no such thing as an average day in hairdressing. I work 9am–6pm four days a week, but a day is filled with cuts, colour restyles and sometimes perms. I like the variety that my job throws at me.

My favourite part of the week is Saturday because it is always our busiest time. I like the fact that I am with clients all day and don’t have to do any paperwork.

I did an old fashioned apprenticeship to get into hairdressing which lasted three years, I then did one year as a first year improver and a year as a second year improver. My favourite part of hairdressing is colouring hair

What are the positives/negatives of this profession?

The job has loads of positives – meeting lots of people, the opportunity to use my creative skills and working with challenging people. On the downside there is the paperwork – especially the NVQ paperwork, which is especially tedious, and I guess the days are quite long too.

I think that you have to be positive to be a hairdresser. There are very few negative aspects to the job, but you need to keep happy and cheerful because you are providing a service to the public and need to be conscious of that at all times.

Is there much local demand for people trained in this area?

There is always a demand for hairdressers. Lots of people train to work in the industry but leave for various reasons. I personally worry that the standard of hairdressing will drop with people not staying in the industry and progressing.

Hairdressing is a profession where you never stop learning. Professional development is very important as you need to stay ahead of product development and trends and styles.

What would employers look for in someone applying for a vacancy?

When recruiting for Method Hair, I always look for employees with a positive cheerful manner and the ability to work well under pressure. When recruiting a trainee I look for good social skills. It is so important as a hairdresser to be able to build a rapport with the client – everything else can be learned.

When recruiting a stylist, I look for good quality of work and good communication skills. Before I recruit a new stylist I always get them to do a cut and colour on a model to see how good their skills are. Qualifications are important, but technical and communication skills even more so.

Source Thursday, July 12, 2012 9:00 AM

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