We are facing an epidemic in hairdressing, less and less people each year are taking up hairdressing as their career choice. Collages intake rate on hairdressing is at an all time low and trying to find apprentices to join the salon is nearing on impossible.. but why?
Is it because you don’t want to be deemed thick or stupid? A stigma we cant seem to drop from the schooling system.
I personally experienced this when I told my 6th form teacher that I would be leaving to do an apprenticeship in hairdressing. His response? You could do so much more, look into different career options.
Luckily I didn’t and still don't care for the negative opinions of others. Failing to mention at 25 I opened my own salon, yep! At 25 you could open your own business not by spending years in uni but by being ‘Just’ a hairdresser.
We are in the generation of influences and social media experts which is great but what are you influencing people on? Don’t get me wrong I believe it can be a good career but what happens when Instagram is no longer the hip thing.. remember bebo? Yep we quickly moved from that to myspace.
My point is there is always something new and can these careers really be sustainable for another 15/ 20 years?
I am not talking you out of it, go with the latest fad but be clever with it. By being an influencer alongside being a hairdresser you can get people to trust and listen to you. If your serious about making money then it can create another stream of income for you.
We are also facing an epidemic in hairdressers dropping out and leaving the industry after being qualified for just a few years and I think its our job as an industry and the job of salon owners to keep everyone inspired and to promote what being a hairdresser is really like.
It truly is an amazing career and one that can take you anywhere in the world. It is a career that really repays you. The harder you work the more you get out of it, its also a career that changes and can take you through different directions you hadn’t even thought about. You will always be able to earn money, good money IF your willing to work for it, to put in the hours, to invest in yourself and your education.
Different Avenues this industry has to offer:
- Salon hairdresser;
My favorite of them all, and this option that will give you the most variety and continued training.
You get to work within a team, its not really work at all you hang out with your best mates every day, meet all different people from different walks of life who all have something to teach you. You become a therapist for a lot of people, you learn there worries, what there going through in life and for the hour or 2 that they are with you you get the power to change their day or life through hair and conversation.
You get to learn from other stylists, so everyday is a chance to progress in your career.The salon is your stage, you can wear what you want, you have the freedom to express your personality and individually through clothes, makeup & your hair. It is a break from whatever is going on in your own life, its a chance to immerse yourself in other people and in your art to forget all your own worries.You learn sales techniques, about money, about targets and goal setting about becoming disciplined and believing in yourself. As a hairdressser you are really running your own little business within the salon, so the better your business brain the better you will do.
It is all about finding the perfect salon for you to fit in there really is one for everyone. Whether you want to be the busiest colorist in town or want to get in to competitions look what each salon has to offer you on your journey.
Through salons you can enter competitions, you can be a part of stage & photographic work. Chances to win awards, to have your work published in magazines. To go into education and inspire other stylists coming into the industry.
- Mobile hairdresser;
Want to be your own boss, work flexible hours and fit work around your lifestyle. These things are all possible as a mobile hairstylist. You can visit different peoples homes, its more laid back and you can do it at your own leisure. Alternatively if you have the space you can make your own mini salon at home and get clients to travel to you.
Learn your skill and whether you want to backpack for a year or set up a base somewhere else in the world you will always be able to get a job and earn money being a hairdresser.
We touched on this slightly already but if you have a drive to be known, to have people listen to what you have to say then why not make what your known for your creativity, your passion.
Once your in the industry if you want a bigger challenge, or your business brain is taking over take the jump and open a salon or training academy! This comes with a whole different skillset, you will take a step back from hairdressing. Your staff need to be your priority, how are you supporting them in reaching there hair goals in there careers are you keeping them motivated, are they getting enough courses to feed there brains with knowledge to improve. You'll need to learn about Marketing, Money management and spreed sheets will be your new best friend!
Want to get out the salon and work alongside the rich and famous ?No problem, a session stylist is someone who works freelance or through agencies on photoshoots and catwalks styling hair. It is a hard industry to crack, with a lot of work being unpaid but of course if you want it bad enough you wont mind putting in the hours, emailing and working for experience to get there!
-Hair designer for TV & film
Its a different type of session work, instead of photoshoots your based on film sets or in TV studios
-Wig maker (theaters)
Another not so popular career choice anymore but one you can make a lot of money from. Whether you are making wigs for the theatre as characters or helping clients that have lost there hair, there are many avenues within this one you can go down.
You get to meet people from all industries and you walk alongside other creative people such as make up artists, photographers and stylists.
These are really just a few ideas that you can explore, there really are so many opportunities in this industry and its a really fun one to be a part of!
However nothing comes easy, no matter what the internet would have you believe. You will have to be a grafter, you will have to start at the bottom BUT we’ve all been there and the pay outs are so worth it. Being a hairdresser DOES NOT mean you were too thick to do anything else. It means you work hard, want to be creative, are a visual person and you choose a career you could jump straight into! Its one thing reading about our industry but see it for yourself;
My salon: thestrandltd Me: beckyhill1
Oh listen to the podcast How to cut it! It has really great interviews with hairdressers in all different avenues within the industry and it gives you a real insight into what it takes and what you can achieve!
Don't just read about it look for yourself.. Here's just a few inspirational people in the industry from session stylists, salon owners to the celebrity hairdressers here are a few you need to follow so get stalking !
Lee stafford Harriot stokes Tina outten