So your child has told you they’re thinking of becoming a hairdresser.

Do they know something you don’t?

A career in hairdressing has changed A LOT since you last looked and it’s no longer just about working in a salon. Today, hairdressers collaborate with designers at Fashion Week, are in demand as colour specialists, style for TV and film or travel the world as educators. Plus, hairdressing is one of the few professions where you can own and run your own business from a young age and yes, it’s possible to earn LOTS OF MONEY!

Sadly, we Brits tend not to think particularly highly of hairdressers and we don’t treat them with the respect they deserve. But we are wrong. Because hairdressing is a truly remarkable business and a Great British success story. Here’s why.

1.    Over £6.3 billion is spent in UK hair salons and barber shops every year, making it by far the biggest and most successful employer in the £28 billion-a-year British beauty industry*.

2.    It is a resilient and growing industry. Hairdressing has experienced 63% growth in the past five years, with 65% of high street salons surviving more than five years – higher than many other sectors**.

3.    Hairdressing is entrepreneurial and vibrant – there are currently 46,000 salons in the UK and 94% of them are independently owned***.

4.    It is particularly supportive of women and young people: 82% of salons are owned and run by females and over half the workforce is aged 16-34**.

5.    Hairdressing boasts double the UK average business owners aged 25 and under****.

6.    British hairdressing is universally acknowledged to be the best in the world. People come from literally everywhere to train here, from a short course costing a few hundred pounds to a master’s course with an international creative director costing thousands. No wonder the UK has been dubbed ‘the Harvard of hair’.

7.    It is not uncommon for stylists in busy salons to be earning six-figure salaries.

8.    Research by City & Guilds shows that two in five hairdressers declare themselves highly satisfied with their jobs, making hairdressing one of the happiest professions. That’s not surprising, considering the work culture is cool and vibrant and supports creativity and individuality.

9.    It’s a great time to start a hairdressing career. Brand new Trailblazer apprenticeships (developed by leading employers like Toni&Guy and the Princess of Wales’s hairdresser, Richard Ward) have transformed how the industry trains and tests its new recruits, combining the latest technologies and industry advancements with a new independent end-point assessment to ensure the highest standards of training have been met. Hair Professional (Level 2), equivalent to GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) – has been designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to work in a hair salon or barbershop – basically, your child will be job-ready!

10.  The industry is looking for new talent! As a sector, professional hairdressing businesses value the skills and attitude new starters bring in, and actively look to recruit and keep people seeking a long-term career path.

Discover more about routes into hairdressing here and meet some incredible real-life hair talents here.  

*British Beauty Council, The Value of Beauty report
**Local Data Company
***Office for National Statistics
****Hair & Barber Council

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