While an eye for detail, good people skills and a knack for style is a necessity, academic qualifications are crucial. In the UK certain standards must be met before you are deemed fit for service and capable to deliver in a professional work environment.
There are several industry recognised qualifications for hairdressing and barbering which can be taken full-time, part-time or in a “learn on the job” format. Accreditations include certificates, diplomas and even degrees.
National Vocational Qualifications
A National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) is the standard accreditation in the UK and must be gained at level 2 or 3 in order to be recognised as a competent hairdresser. NVQ tests are both theoretical – in a coursework or exam setting – and practical; therefore, you must be able to demonstrate practical skills under a controlled setting. Level 3 NVQ qualifications cover specific hairdressing techniques in a more concise manner, such as styling, colouring, cutting and other essential creative skills.
Edexcel are one of the most highly respected examination awarding bodies in the UK and offer a wide array of BTEC Diplomas in hairdressing, barbering and related fields, and like NVQs, each qualification has various levels. BTEC diplomas are generally more theory based and require coursework and written examinations. In addition they are recognised by the UCAS tariff and, therefore, can be used as an alternative to A-levels to gain entry into universities.
While foundation degree and degree courses are generally not essential, they can be highly beneficial if you plan on running your own salon. Undergraduate programs in hairdressing and salon management can be undertaken at university level and often cover specific sub-topics in greater detail. For example, your place of study may run modules in hairdressing for film and television. Other related topics such as business and entrepreneurship can also be highly beneficial; however, practical skills must be gained on the side in order to partake in hairdressing.
Qualifications can often be split into more than one category to give you a broader understanding of hairdressing. For example, educational establishments may provide hairdressing courses that cover other parts of the beauty industry such as make-up and nails. This can lead to even more employment opportunities after completion.
Apprenticeship programs allow you to work and gain formal level 2 and 3 qualifications at the same time. In order to partake in an apprenticeship you must find out what schemes are available in your local area by checking the Apprenticeships page of GOV.UK.
Fundamentally the best route for you depends on your own circumstances and preferred method of learning. What’s available in your area and your personal finances is also a huge factor that must be taken into account.
This one year Level 2 Diploma in Hair and Media Make-Up is a qualification that has been specially designed to enable you to learn both aspects of hairdressing and media make-up artist. Within the course you will develop the knowledge and skills to prepare you for employment as a junior hair and make-up artist. Learners will have their hairdressing and make-up artistry skills assessed in a real or realistic working environment.
Modules studied may include:
- The art of dressing hair
- The art of photographic make-up
- Apply make-up
- Client care and communication in beauty-related industries
- Create an image based on a theme within the hair and beauty sector
- Client consultation for hair services
- Cut women's hair
- Shampoo and condition the hair and scalp
- Plaiting and twisting hair
- Colour hair
This full-time course will be timetabled over 21 hours per week ie - 15 hours of vocational classes, 3 hours per week employability training and 3 hours per week Essential skills English and Maths. You will be required to attend essential skills in Literacy, Numeracy and ICT if you do not have a GCSE in English, Maths and IT.
For further information please contact Judith Magill at email@example.com for Bangor and Denise McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org for Lisburn