54 - any hope realistically?

Silverclarity

New Member
I'm 54.
Level 2 barbering passed 2015.
Level 2 hairdressing passed 2017.
After doors being slammed in my face, gave up trying to get experience /job in salon or barbers. Not done anything for couple of years.
Used to be a press photographer and directorate PA.
Would still like to pursue hairdressing.
Is it pointless?
Is it ageist industry?
 

ronray

Well-Known Member
I'm 54.
Level 2 barbering passed 2015.
Level 2 hairdressing passed 2017.
After doors being slammed in my face, gave up trying to get experience /job in salon or barbers. Not done anything for couple of years.
Used to be a press photographer and directorate PA.
Would still like to pursue hairdressing.
Is it pointless?
Is it ageist industry?
I don't see why your age is an issue. Your training is fairly recent. The only thing I'd say is that most salons are usually looking either an apprentice to drvelop skills or a fully qualified hairdresser who have completed level 3. When you say "doors slammed in your face" what kind of rejection have you had? Any feedback?
 

Haircutz

Super Moderator
Staff member
So you’d be happy to give a press photographer job to someone who is quite good at taking pictures on their iPhone?
It’s not an ageist thing, it’s a lack of experience thing.
Very few hairdressers with just a Level 2 will be offered a salon job on the basis of their potential. Salons simply can’t afford to subsidise someone still learning. Realistically, you won’t have enough knowledge and experience to manage a full column unsupervised and you’re probably competing against others that already have their level 3 and additional colour correction/hair extensions etc. training and experience.

You need more experience.
Start by offering cuts and colours on a mobile/at home basis and look at getting some extra training, particularly in colour correction as colour training at level 2 is woefully inadequate. Hairdressing wholesalers generally offer good value colour courses run by the colour houses.
 

Silverclarity

New Member
So you’d be happy to give a press photographer job to someone who is quite good at taking pictures on their iPhone?
It’s not an ageist thing, it’s a lack of experience thing.
Very few hairdressers with just a Level 2 will be offered a salon job on the basis of their potential. Salons simply can’t afford to subsidise someone still learning. Realistically, you won’t have enough knowledge and experience to manage a full column unsupervised and you’re probably competing against others that already have their level 3 and additional colour correction/hair extensions etc. training and experience.

You need more experience.
Start by offering cuts and colours on a mobile/at home basis and look at getting some extra training, particularly in colour correction as colour training at level 2 is woefully inadequate. Hairdressing wholesalers generally offer good value colour courses run by the colour houses.
Sadly, reporters are given iphones now to take 'snaps' as most professional press photography roles have been axed in a money saving drive. I myself was made redundant twice from the press, first in 2006 and then again in 2009.

If you read my post, I said I had been looking for 'experience' in a salon. I had in fact offered my services for free in exchange for a chance to watch, assist and help out. I was blatantly told by one salon , when I went to apply for an apprenticeship they were advertising, that I was too old. Apprenticeships are open to everyone, regardless of age - so my statement that the industry is ageist is founded on factual personal experience.
 

Silverclarity

New Member
I don't see why your age is an issue. Your training is fairly recent. The only thing I'd say is that most salons are usually looking either an apprentice to drvelop skills or a fully qualified hairdresser who have completed level 3. When you say "doors slammed in your face" what kind of rejection have you had? Any feedback?
I have been in to several salons that were advertising for apprentices (which are supposed to be open to any age). Two actually told me to my face that I was too old and the others just didn't get back to me.

I have offered my services for free (helping out, making tea, sweeping up, washing hair), in order to observe, but have been turned down flat.

I did consider doing the level 3, but based on my experience with salons so far, don't want to waste money training.
 

Keeleysimo

New Member
Have you thought about doing a few refsher course s and thensetting up mobile? Rather than salon based? Get your experience up then try again with salons? Dont be defeated bang on enough doors one will open eventually just stuck with it x
 

Keeleysimo

New Member
Or when youve got a little mobile client base maybe rent a space or chair to work from?, i unstand its hard to get experience if no one is willing to give you a chance so id personaly stick two fingers up and do my own thing x
 

ronray

Well-Known Member
I have been in to several salons that were advertising for apprentices (which are supposed to be open to any age). Two actually told me to my face that I was too old and the others just didn't get back to me.

I have offered my services for free (helping out, making tea, sweeping up, washing hair), in order to observe, but have been turned down flat.

I did consider doing the level 3, but based on my experience with salons so far, don't want to waste money training.
It amazes me that someone would turn down free help! . We're always looking for assistants!

I'd live to have a more mature member of staff, I'm fed up of the under 18 year olds who want to be millionaires (wrong industry ) but don't want to work for it.
I definitely think you need to keep trying especially if you're willing to work voluntarily.
 

TheDuchess

Well-Known Member
I'm a beauty therapist and I have a 48 year old apprentice. Discrimination by age is illegal and any manager that doesn't know this is not working to the VTCT standard. I'd reframe your experience, you've found bad companies wanting cheap skivvies, lucky you that they didn't offer you an "opportunity".

Contact every hairdresser in town, first find out if they have employees or self employed chair renters. try each chair renter for work experience for a few hours a week. Ask for 4 hours.

Apply for part-time work as a receptionist. Build your career as front of house, you'll soon find yourself lending a hand in exactly the way you imagined.

Don't forget that all companies want to build a great team and that means that they need to look for cultural fit. If you go for a face to face interview make sure you look like you fit in. Notice details like bags, shoes, earrings and nails and customise your look to the salon brand.

Try getting yourself in front of the right person - maybe book a hair appointment with The Director of a salon you'd love to work in. Work the conversation round to apprentices and work experience - see if you can make an opportunity for yourself. I've been asked by a client for a job in this way and I said yes! It's also how I got my break in the industry as a beauty therapist. I "wooed" the therapist who I was desperate to work with over several months. Finally I offered her a bit of help, pitching my offer as a friend - she was so grateful. I never mentioned work experience...
 
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