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What does hairdressing involve?

Hairdressers carry out a variety of treatments on people's hair. The customer usually has an idea of how they want their hair to look, and the hairdresser gives them advice on whether the style will suit them or not.

When the hairdresser and customer have agreed on the style, the hairdresser works out which treatments they need to carry out to achieve the required look. They usually wash and condition the customer's hair first.

They might then simply need to cut and blow-dry or straighten the hair, or they might do other treatments. Some of these can completely change the look of a person's hair, for example, perms, extensions and colouring techniques.

Hairdressers often specialise after training in cutting either women's or men's hair and learn different skills depending on their speciality.
What skills will I need?

Hairdressers should have:
  • good listening ability to interpret clients’ requests
  • the ability to work quickly and accurately with their hands
  • an element of creativity and artistic sense
  • an eye for colour and form
  • the ability to chat with clients in an easy manner
  • a caring, positive attitude
  • a smart personal appearance and good personal hygiene
  • punctuality and the ability to stay calm when under pressure
  • stamina, as they are on their feet for most of the day
  • a willingness to learn new techniques and keep their skills up to date
  • an awareness of health and safety issues.


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