The hairdressing and beauty industries are expansive, encompassing more roles than you may expect. Professionals in this industry have such varied roles as special effects makeup artist, barber, tattooist, image consultants to high-end wig makers. What is for certain is that in this industry you’ll need large amounts of creativity and flair, as well as practical abilities and a passion for keeping up-to-date with the latest beauty trends.
A career in the hairdressing and beauty industry could see you work in a variety of settings, including film, live music, TV, theatre and photo shoots. This is a highly rewarding sector, especially if you enjoy interacting with people. You’ll get to see the happy reactions customers have to their new hair colour or latest body art everyday – the possibilities are endless!
So, if you’re a natural talent at a those insta-style winged liner looks, have a passion for getting those beachy waves just right or want to style up-and-coming celebrities, a career in the hairdressing and beauty industry may be the perfect fit for you.
Work experience is a great opportunity to refine your skills and make valuable contacts in the hairdressing and beauty industry. Employers in this industry value work experience – it will help you build confidence when practising your talents and give you a chance to interact with others that is crucial in a customer-facing role. Salons and beauty studios commonly offer placements that last anywhere from a couple of weeks, or as part of a training course, to give you a full insight into the inner workings of the industry. As well as work experience, creating a portfolio of your work (whether online as an Instagram page, or physically in a folder), will stand out to your potential employers as they will easily be able to spot your talents.
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An apprenticeship in hairdressing and beauty will have you involved with clients from the beginning. Not only will you be involved with all aspects of the salon or studio, from washing hair to painting nails, but you’ll also be able to work towards earning a qualification whilst you do so. An apprenticeship in the hair and beauty sector means you’ll be earning a salary while getting experience that will make sure you get a head start in your career.
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Most degrees involved in the hairdressing and beauty industry are at a foundation level (some offered are full honours degrees too). This means instead of the typical three-year course offered at most universities, a foundation degree in a hair and beauty related subject lasts about one or two-years in length and are designed to give a breakdown of the more theoretical elements behind the sector.
These degrees are created with the idea that you learn about the hair and beauty industry in more depth – focussing on the behind-the-scenes factors involved. Subjects taught can range from collaboration with advertisers and designers, how to work with celebrities or performers, and even getting information about the latest beauty related technical innovations. A degree in hairdressing and beauty will advance your skills and expand your horizons of the business as you prepare to enter the industry.
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Once you have obtained your degree, a range of opportunities will be opened to you – from roles in theatre and TV studios styling celebrities, to managing your own salon. In addition, there are opportunities in this industry for graduates of various degree backgrounds as graduate roles in sales, management and administration are crucial to the success of many hair and beauty businesses.
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There are other routes into the hairdressing and beauty industry, for example, creating an online portfolio or your talents on social media will show employers that you are excellent at what you do – after all, that’s how all the big influencers get their start in the industry these days. However, many employers require you to have a specific qualification in order to be work there. If you do not have one of these, it is recommended that you speak to local colleges, training providers or potential employers to see what they can offer you.
The hair and beauty industry is waiting for you – start looking for your role!
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