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Unlocking the Secrets: How To Become a Professional Hairdresser

Young hairdressing student working on a customer in a hair salon
The beauty industry is thriving, and professional hairdressers are in high demand.

Are you passionate about hair and beauty? Do you have a creative flair and a desire to make people feel confident and beautiful?

If so, pursuing a career as a professional hairdresser might be the perfect fit for you.

In this blog, we will delve into the rewards of becoming a qualified hairdresser, explore the vast array of career opportunities available, and provide valuable tips to help you build a successful hairdressing career.

What are the rewards of pursuing a career as a professional hairdresser?

Being a hairdresser offers a multitude of rewards that go beyond just working with hair.

Firstly, you have the opportunity to unleash your creativity and artistic vision, by transforming clients' looks and boosting their self-esteem.

As a professional hairdresser, you also have the privilege of building strong connections with your clients and becoming a trusted confidant. The constant learning and evolving nature of the hairdressing industry also ensure that you will never stop growing and honing your skills.

What are the career opportunities for hairdressers?

The beauty industry is thriving, and professional hairdressers are in high demand.

Upon becoming a qualified hairdresser, you open the doors to various exciting career paths. You may choose to work in a salon, where you can gain valuable hands-on experience and build a loyal clientele.

Ambitious individuals may aspire to become salon managers, where they would lead a team of talented stylists. Alternatively, you may venture into freelance work, offering hairstyling services for events, photoshoots, weddings, and even celebrity clients.

Some hairdressers also find fulfilment in education. These professionals share their knowledge and expertise by becoming trainers or educators in renowned beauty academies.

How to build a successful hairdressing career?

Explore these helpful tips that can set you apart from the competition and propel you towards a successful career in hairdressing.

Develop your hairdressing skills

Creativity and technical skills are fundamental in the hair and beauty industry.

Master the art of cutting, styling, colouring, and treating different hair types and textures.

Practise and refine your techniques regularly to ensure precision and consistency in your work.

Finally, seek feedback from your clients and mentors to identify areas of improvement and continuously strive to enhance your skills.

Specialise & stay versatile

Consider specialising in a particular area of hairdressing that interests you. Whether it's precision cutting, colouring, bridal styling, or working with textured hair, honing your skills in a specific niche can set you apart from other professionals.

However, it's also important to maintain versatility in your skill set to cater to a diverse range of clients and their unique preferences.

As you progress in your career, focus on building a diverse portfolio that showcases your expertise. This portfolio should document your best work: this might include different haircuts, styles, and colour techniques. A well-curated portfolio will demonstrate your skills to potential clients and employers, so it’s important to always keep it updated.

Maintain professionalism and hygiene

Maintaining a professional image is crucial in the hairdressing industry.

This means dressing appropriately, following hygiene standards, and keeping your workspace clean and organised. Demonstrating professionalism in all aspects of your work will not only impress clients but also contribute to a positive and reputable reputation.

In the long-term, this will forge strong relationships with your fellow hairdressers, makeup artists, photographers, and other professionals in the beauty industry. Collaborations and referrals can expand your reach and expose you to new opportunities down the track.

Provide excellent customer service

Exceptional customer service is the cornerstone of a successful hairdressing career. Treat each client with respect, actively listen to their needs, and strive to exceed their expectations — this will help you build strong connections with your clients, so you can earn their trust and loyalty.

Take qualifications in hairdressing

Enrol in a hairdressing course or apprenticeship program that provides comprehensive training and hands-on experience.

This will help you stay up to date with the latest trends, as well as the best new hairdressing tools and technology. Learning and embracing any advancements in the hair and beauty industry — such as working with new styling techniques, applying innovative hair products, and utilising digital platforms — can enhance your efficiency, creativity, and overall client experience.

Ready to get started on your career in hairdressing?

The hairdressing industry is ever-evolving, with new trends, techniques, and products emerging regularly. Acquiring the necessary skills, techniques, and knowledge is crucial to becoming a qualified professional hairdresser.

A hairdressing degree will help you stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends to remain competitive in the industry. It will also expand your current knowledge and industry-standard skills to help you offer the best services to your clients.

Melbourne Polytechnic's Hairdressing courses offer qualifications in Barbering, Hairdressing Apprenticeship, and Hairdressing Non-apprenticeship.