Deciding what you want to do in life – who you want to be – can be a daunting task filled with tough decisions and major U-turns. But if you’re looking for a creative, sociable and flexible career in one of the happiest industries in the world, hairdressing is a great choice.

Every single day in hairdressing comes with the opportunity to unleash your creative potential. You get to work with different colours, braids, shapes and textures, and the amount of new products and equipment is actually insane! The possibility to be inventive is a daily reality in hairdressing that the majority simply don’t have in their 9 to 5 grind. Hairdressing isn’t limited to the salon, either. There is ample opportunity to express yourself in other areas of the profession, as these case studies show.

 The TV stylist – Adam Reed

Adam Reed

Working backstage for live TV, like The X Factor, requires listening to what the client wants and what the show execs want. It is not the place to showcase your creativity as you have a lot of people to make happy. You should never do it for

your own ego because it’s more about demonstrating your skill-set while being an outstanding communicator and creating hair with staying power. You need to be adaptable and really quick. A lot of the time the people you’re styling are going on live TV so you need to make them look their best as calmly and quickly as possible, so they can focus on their job.”

 The salon boss – Sophia Hilton 

Sophia Hilton

“When I went to west London to get my hair done I didn’t feel posh enough, and when I went to the east I didn’t feel cool enough. I created Not Another Salon, with its builder’s tea and Wagon Wheels, Game Boys and Play Doh, to remove the pressure and make you feel like you’re in an adult Disneyland.

“Salons can be a scary place. It’s intimidating to walk in anywhere new – especially a salon. I wanted to make it clear that we don’t care where you’re from or what your style is. My staff are beautiful, caring people who make everyone feel that the salon is for them; It’s a place for you to be you. Not Another Salon has an #AntiFactory ideology, we’re here for those bored of blow dries, disinterested in dip-dyes and sick of standard salons.”

 The avant-garde stylist – Anne Veck 

Anne Veck

“Avant-garde hair is an experimental treatment of hair that is often quite daring and revolutionary. It can be created through using traditional techniques and adjusting them in an unusual way or devising a completely new technique. Whether it’s a flourishing flower hair band, a bountiful beehive or a quintessential 50’s quiff – anything that makes your hair stand out is labelled as avant-garde.

“Avant-garde hair to me is like couture fashion, it can be totally absurd, clever or abstract, it’s a form of art. Like couture fashion, many designers are portraying the outrageous or dramatic and this is often diffused so the general public can wear the image in a more commercial way.”

 The hair loss specialist – Wil Fleeson 

Wil Fleeson

“I find hairdressing is upbeat, whereas trichology is intense and emotional, so it can be tricky to do both in the same day. I work as director of Trichology Scotland in a clinic on Monday to Wednesday and on the salon floor at Rainbow Room International on Thursday to Saturday. It takes around 18 months to two years to get a trichology qualification. If you are working at the same time it requires a lot of effort – you need to study about 20 hours a week and research on top of that.

“The drop off rate for studying trichology is very high, but the job is so rewarding it’s worth the commitment. It’s the best feeling being able to tell people what’s going on with their scalp and how you can work together to improve it.”

 The hairdresser for the homeless – Stewart Roberts, founder  Haircuts4Homeless 


Haircuts4Homeless is a community group where skilled hairdressers give their time free-of-charge to provide haircuts for homeless people in the UK. Set up by veteran hairdresser Stewart Roberts in November 2014, Haircuts4Homeless now has 49 sites with over 600 volunteers nationwide and has delivered over 35,000 free haircuts. In 2018, Haircuts4Homeless and Stewart became the face of The People’s Project for the National Lottery.

“Anyone who wants a career in hairdressing has to love communicating with people,” says Stewart. “Those living on the streets often feel they have no voice and are invisible. But as great listeners, hairdressers are the perfect people to engage and build their confidence. We are planning to launch a Haircuts4Homeless Training Academy, where we can teach homeless people hairdressing skills and help them get back into work.”

The Industry Montage

The Industry follows seven hairdressers on their different career paths – from a stylist working for Prada to a barber offering mentoring to kids in his Hackney neighbourhood. Watch now.

Want to know how to get started in hairdressing?   Click here for our user-friendly guide