How to get a job in hairdressing

Welcome to the latest instalment in our Be ambitious in 2017 series. Today we're looking at the creative and social world of hairdressing.

Why hairdressing?

Hairdressing is one of the most mobile and portable professions out there. Jobs can be picked up all over the world if you're a skilled hairdresser. All you need are some basic tools, a mirror and a comfy chair for your client. And as long as humans continue to express themselves by how they wear their hair, a good hairdresser will always be in demand.

Be at the top of your game

It's no surprise that there are certain personal attributes and qualities that will put you ahead of the pack as a hairdresser. Chiefly among these is being a good listener, and hearing what your client wants from you.

It's important to understand the aesthetics of your work so the hair suits the client's facial features and shape, bone structure, complexion, body type and personal style (from Damien Carney in "10 Secrets to Becoming a Successful Hairdresser").

If your client loves their new do, they will be back. This is a sure way of ensuring repeat clients. A good memory is a great asset. People love a hairdresser who remembers exactly how they did their hair two months ago. It's not uncommon for these clients to follow their regular hairdresser from salon to salon.

On a more technical note, good hand-eye coordination is important, as is a methodical and careful approach to working. Hairdressing disaster stories happen when a hairdresser is sloppy or careless.

Hairdressing apprenticeships...

They are out there and can be found if you're willing to do the work looking for them. This means going from salon to salon and asking if they'd be willing to take you on as an apprentice. Many salon managers started their careers as apprentices themselves and so will appreciate your situation and your initiative. Start with salons that you admire. Another option is to hop on to jobs websites such as and search for hairdressing apprentice.

Get ahead

Your chances of being offered an apprenticeship will increase if you've signed up for some formal qualifications. TAFE NSW's Certificate III in Hairdressing is a good starting point as it doesn't have any entry requirements. It's also a popular pathway for the Certificate IV in Hairdressing or the Diploma of Salon Management. Download our free course guide here for info on all hairdressing courses.

Be confident

A client places a great deal of trust in the skills and creative abilities of the person holding the scissors, clippers and mixing colours. The confident hairdresser who consistently delivers great results will always be in demand.