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Feeling down and deflated. Mature student wanting to become a hairdresser

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Scuzzlet1995

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Hi everyone hope you’re well.
I posted before about wanting to start a career in hairdressing. I’m 25 and have wanted this since I was 16 but unfortunately my mother literally bullied me into A-Levels, she even said she wouldn’t provide for me if I didn’t make the choices she wanted me to.

at the moment I work in a customer service role which I’ve grown to hate. Lockdown has given me the shove I needed, so I decided to pursue an apprenticeship. Even knowing what a drop in income it will be, I felt full of hope and rather optimistic.
I’ve reached out to a very well known and reputable academy (rhymes with fax) and honestly I just feel so so deflated. I’ve put my CV forward for the local vacancies on their website and so far I’ve literally just been ghosted.
I feel like no one will want me because I’m not a school leaver and that’s all people would want.
I’m hard working, patient, friendly and professional and I would literally give it my all.

Surely there’s got to be someone who wants a more mature student? Or am I wasting my time..

I don’t want to do the part time college route because I’d struggle to get time out of work (I work 9-6pm every day) and I don’t think it would really give me the proper hands on salon experience I need if I want any chance of succeeding.
I feel like companies are just humouring me with no actual intention of finding me an apprenticeship :(

could seriously cry tbh. I just feel hopeless.
 

Haircutz

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I think you’ll struggle to get an apprenticeship because as a mature student, they’d be obliged to pay you higher rate NMW and cover your college fees but you won’t be earning anything for them until you’re qualified which could take 2-3 years.
 

Scuzzlet1995

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I think you’ll struggle to get an apprenticeship because as a mature student, they’d be obliged to pay you higher rate NMW and cover your college fees but you won’t be earning anything for them until you’re qualified which could take 2-3 years.
thanks... that makes me feel ridiculously old and helpless even though I’m only 25. It appears life experience and maturity don’t count for anything in this trade :/

do you have any suggestions as to how else I could go about this?
 

BARBERsammi

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I think you’ll struggle to get an apprenticeship because as a mature student, they’d be obliged to pay you higher rate NMW and cover your college fees but you won’t be earning anything for them until you’re qualified which could take 2-3 years.
I think you’ll struggle to get an apprenticeship because as a mature student, they’d be obliged to pay you higher rate NMW and cover your college fees but you won’t be earning anything for them until you’re qualified which could take 2-3 years.
I agree with previous reply although you could possibly put yourself through college maybe? 25 is in no way too old to consider a career in this industry... I am 50 this year and still loving my job... I go on regular training courses and am often the oldest there but it really doesn't worry me at all... Don't give up.. You could try the training providers such at HOET and similar.. They may well receive government funding for mature students...Good luck x
 

TheDuchess

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Try getting a front of house role with a busy hair salon that offers apprenticeships. A good receptionist is a really important asset and your background is ideal. You might be able to find something part-time.

By working as a receptionist you’ll have a chance to learn more about the industry, your employer, the team and workplace culture and to see how apprentices are treated. Focus on being the best receptionist and most enthusiastic and committed employee the salon has. Be proactive on social media, learn to take beautiful photographs, create boomerangs and insta vids. In other words, be investable.

Once you have found your forever home salon, ask if your employer will support you in your journey. They might not be able to offer you a 2 year apprenticeship, you might have to demonstrate commitment by paying for a part-time college course yourself and asking for part-time receptionist hours to suit your course. If you’ve got what it takes to be successful you’ll be able to find models - the hairdressing team and salon apprentices may help.

you never know, get that first year out of the way and you may be able to get an apprenticeship for the second year of your training.

Good luck
 

RED STAR

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It’s not just your age that will go against you getting an apprenticeship - sadly the economic climate now in hairdressing is tough!
Many salons are no longer taking juniors - preferring to wash their clients hair themselves especially now we have to reduce the number of clients we see in order to keep to the social distancing rules.
Many salons - especially some of the big ones are struggling
It is also incredibly competitive as so many jumped into the industry via fast track courses meaning a saturated market.
Sorry to sound gloomy - but that’s my take on it for what is worth 🥴
 

Scuzzlet1995

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It’s not just your age that will go against you getting an apprenticeship - sadly the economic climate now in hairdressing is tough!
Many salons are no longer taking juniors - preferring to wash their clients hair themselves especially now we have to reduce the number of clients we see in order to keep to the social distancing rules.
Many salons - especially some of the big ones are struggling
It is also incredibly competitive as so many jumped into the industry via fast track courses meaning a saturated market.
Sorry to sound gloomy - but that’s my take on it for what is worth 🥴
Really feels like I should just give up. Such a shame as it had taken so much for me to pursue it and actually make the decision to take the plunge. It was going to be a massive sacrifice that I was ready to make... guess I really just fucked up in my life lol serves me right
 

Haircutz

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Really feels like I should just give up. Such a shame as it had taken so much for me to pursue it and actually make the decision to take the plunge. It was going to be a massive sacrifice that I was ready to make... guess I really just fucked up in my life lol serves me right
Give up? You’ve not really done anything yet. Are you always so easily defeated?

If you were really keen, you’d be exploring every avenue including @TheDuchess advice to work in a salon as a receptionist, instead of focusing on the choice of being an Apprentice or Nothing.

I retrained in hairdressing in my forties and paid for my course fees from my savings. The course was aimed at mature students with the average age of participants being early 30’s. Most of us paid the fees ourselves, a few qualified for reduced fees.

You don’t mention having a mortgage or children to support. What are you actually willing to do to break into the industry?

Several of my fellow students had to work evening and week-end jobs (cleaning, care work, hospitality industry....) outside of college hours to enable them to complete the course. They completed level 2 and level 3 that way. One friend spent 18 months volunteering on Saturdays and evenings in a salon after completing her level 2, bringing in models to work on, as well as her day job. Another salon heard about her and took her on and paid for her to complete her level 3.

Honestly, if you stay focussed on your goal, you will find a way.

Best of luck!
 

tierra2006

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I would consider the college route, I went two years ago at age 38, the college was only two half days and one evening, we had a working salon in the evening. I already did beauty therapy and had worked on a hair/beauty salon but I also did work experience in other salons. Don’t give up on your dream I have now applied for level 3 xx
 

Scuzzlet1995

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Give up? You’ve not really done anything yet. Are you always so easily defeated?

If you were really keen, you’d be exploring every avenue including @TheDuchess advice to work in a salon as a receptionist, instead of focusing on the choice of being an Apprentice or Nothing.

I retrained in hairdressing in my forties and paid for my course fees from my savings. The course was aimed at mature students with the average age of participants being early 30’s. Most of us paid the fees ourselves, a few qualified for reduced fees.

You don’t mention having a mortgage or children to support. What are you actually willing to do to break into the industry?

Several of my fellow students had to work evening and week-end jobs (cleaning, care work, hospitality industry....) outside of college hours to enable them to complete the course. They completed level 2 and level 3 that way. One friend spent 18 months volunteering on Saturdays and evenings in a salon after completing her level 2, bringing in models to work on, as well as her day job. Another salon heard about her and took her on and paid for her to complete her level 3.

Honestly, if you stay focussed on your goal, you will find a way.

Best of luck!
I actually do have a mortgage and bills to pay, that’s why I can’t drop out of my rather well paying job to go and be a receptionist part time with a semi wishy washy view to someone maybe giving me a role. I wanted a clear path, giving me the best chance to succeed. I’m just trying to be sensible. If I was younger and still living at home I would totally go the receptionist route, but it just feels too vague. I can see the idea behind it, but it just seems too whimsical. I was trying plan out a proper path into the trade.

i wish I could do the college route but I don’t think my employer would let me drop 2 days a week :( and then I don’t know if qualify for the funding for a college course either.
 

Haircutz

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Try focussing on the longer term, setting your goals and a plan for how to achieve them. Not just work, but life in general. There’s rarely a direct motorway route but often a mix of motorways, town and a scenic drive with stop overs, along the way. Give yourself options and accept setbacks.

From my perspective, you’re only 25 so you have years ahead of you to train for 3 or even 4 completely different careers.
Don’t write yourself off.
You can choose change at any point.

You don’t need permission or approval from others!

My middle son dropped out of Uni, was living in a grotty flat and working in a call centre type job at your age. He hated the job but worked hard, stayed with the same employer and moved to London. He’s always been a grafter and took risks and is now earning a ridiculous amount and has been headhunted twice. He also runs his own business on the side. I knew he’d be fine because he’s learnt to accept the setbacks, picks himself up and tries again.

Have you asked to work fewer hours? Can you work out how to sell your request to your employer that demonstrates the benefits to them? Lots of employees are working more flexibly since Covid with many continuing to work from home. More employers are finding that allowing flexibility increases productivity.
 

Solohair

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Hi there, I know how you feel. At the age of 40 I decided I wanted to do hairdressing and like you got swept along in a career in IT if all things. I made very good money in IT and far more than I have ever done in hairdressing so glad I didn’t do it straight from school. I applied straight from school and I was refused because I didn’t get a qualification in Art!! So at the age of 40 I went back to college. The course was three days a week for mature students and it was worth every penny. I had great fun and the training was excellent as they had a busy salon running with real clients so it was just like being in a salon. The first college I applied to turned me away as I was too old but the second one welcomed me with open arms. I’ve been hairdressing for 12 years now and have my own salon at home. It’s been great for fitting in with my family but so think seriously about it as you do spend so many hours on your feet for little money. The products are not cheap these days and I find the clients just don’t want to pay salon prices when you work from home despite it being a proper salon that I have set up. Whereabouts are you based as there may be some private hairdressing courses. Don’t rule out college as they may do evening courses. Good luck
 

Tinkerty

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Hi, just a bit of encouragement to not give up if you really want to do hair dressing.

I have loved hair since I was a little girl but as I was bullied at school I didn’t want to go to college as I was petrified of the same thing happening...I ended up in air exports and yeah the money was good, but it was soooo boring...after having my second child I was like sod this, so I found an apprenticeship at the age of. 29 was hard work, but due to the bad atmosphere between the salon girls I left after 5 months and did an evening course as I didn’t want to give up. I got myself in a salon helping out here and there and 3 years late I’m still there and I love every single day I’m at the salon. It was the best decision I made. It’s hard work, it's challenging at times and I’ve still got so much to learn but it’s exciting. And so worth it . Please don’t give up if You really want to do it. Good luck x
 

Scuzzlet1995

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Hi there, I know how you feel. At the age of 40 I decided I wanted to do hairdressing and like you got swept along in a career in IT if all things. I made very good money in IT and far more than I have ever done in hairdressing so glad I didn’t do it straight from school. I applied straight from school and I was refused because I didn’t get a qualification in Art!! So at the age of 40 I went back to college. The course was three days a week for mature students and it was worth every penny. I had great fun and the training was excellent as they had a busy salon running with real clients so it was just like being in a salon. The first college I applied to turned me away as I was too old but the second one welcomed me with open arms. I’ve been hairdressing for 12 years now and have my own salon at home. It’s been great for fitting in with my family but so think seriously about it as you do spend so many hours on your feet for little money. The products are not cheap these days and I find the clients just don’t want to pay salon prices when you work from home despite it being a proper salon that I have set up. Whereabouts are you based as there may be some private hairdressing courses. Don’t rule out college as they may do evening courses. Good luck
hi! Thank you so much for your reply. I know what you mean, i think I’m in a better position on a personal level now than what I was at school leaving age. I’ve matured so much. I really want to do this, I just can’t hack the job I’m doing anymore as whatever small amount of interest I had in it has now waned. My hairdresser has a salon inside her home, and I pay her full salon prices and I actually think it’s a much nicer more personal experience! So don’t feel discouraged because I’m sure there are many people like me who are willing to pay you full price. I’d definitely pay you the full amount! I’m from the northeast. Darlington to be precise. I’ve checked evening courses there seem to be none, they’re all day. Think im going to end up having to put in a flexible working request at work. But I’m terrified they’ll say no.
 

Scuzzlet1995

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Hi, just a bit of encouragement to not give up if you really want to do hair dressing.

I have loved hair since I was a little girl but as I was bullied at school I didn’t want to go to college as I was petrified of the same thing happening...I ended up in air exports and yeah the money was good, but it was soooo boring...after having my second child I was like sod this, so I found an apprenticeship at the age of. 29 was hard work, but due to the bad atmosphere between the salon girls I left after 5 months and did an evening course as I didn’t want to give up. I got myself in a salon helping out here and there and 3 years late I’m still there and I love every single day I’m at the salon. It was the best decision I made. It’s hard work, it's challenging at times and I’ve still got so much to learn but it’s exciting. And so worth it . Please don’t give up if You really want to do it. Good luck x
hello! Thank you for your reply I actually feel much more upbeat after reading it. The people who I know personally in the industry have said that it will be harder because of my age but not impossible. Plus there will be some people who prefer someone more mature. I REALLY want to do this, I literally can’t stop thinking about it and every day I wake up like “right, who can I ring/message/drop my CV into today” ... I went round the local town centre today handing my cv and cover letter out.
I’ve also applied for a part time college course as a plan B, but I’ll be devastated if my employer doesn’t let me reduce my hours. X
 

Tinkerty

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hello! Thank you for your reply I actually feel much more upbeat after reading it. The people who I know personally in the industry have said that it will be harder because of my age but not impossible. Plus there will be some people who prefer someone more mature. I REALLY want to do this, I literally can’t stop thinking about it and every day I wake up like “right, who can I ring/message/drop my CV into today” ... I went round the local town centre today handing my cv and cover letter out.
I’ve also applied for a part time college course as a plan B, but I’ll be devastated if my employer doesn’t let me reduce my hours. X
Good luck I hope it all works out for you. Even if it doesn’t happen right now don’t give up.don’t let anything stop you. I swear it’s the best move I ever made. X
 

AuroraLoves

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I was 27 and at an interview I was actually told I was too old and they wanted 16 year olds as they can pay less too. I went to college to train and wish I’d just done that in the first place. I was far older than most of the other students but it didn’t feel weird, it was still fun
 

Bianca1604

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My previous two salons would take on mature students all the time the bosses there saw them as a assessor because despite having to pay more when qualified they were so much busier than other newly qualified students because clients presumed they had more experience being older . Maybe you need a good header on your cv and explain why you think you’d be a assest to their salon also please remember this is our as a salon owner and a hairdresser busiest time ever working 7 days a week after Covid and despite putting job roles up up you might not hear back or it might be put back into the mind of some salon owners until the calm of the storm has settled.
Also their is competeion so don’t just think you’ll get it to last in this industry you Will receive a lot of constructive criticism so you need to take things a bit better
 

Seadea

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I think you’ll struggle to get an apprenticeship because as a mature student, they’d be obliged to pay you higher rate NMW and cover your college fees but you won’t be earning anything for them until you’re qualified which could take 2-3 years.
Hi everyone hope you’re well.
I posted before about wanting to start a career in hairdressing. I’m 25 and have wanted this since I was 16 but unfortunately my mother literally bullied me into A-Levels, she even said she wouldn’t provide for me if I didn’t make the choices she wanted me to.

at the moment I work in a customer service role which I’ve grown to hate. Lockdown has given me the shove I needed, so I decided to pursue an apprenticeship. Even knowing what a drop in income it will be, I felt full of hope and rather optimistic.
I’ve reached out to a very well known and reputable academy (rhymes with fax) and honestly I just feel so so deflated. I’ve put my CV forward for the local vacancies on their website and so far I’ve literally just been ghosted.
I feel like no one will want me because I’m not a school leaver and that’s all people would want.
I’m hard working, patient, friendly and professional and I would literally give it my all.

Surely there’s got to be someone who wants a more mature student? Or am I wasting my time..

I don’t want to do the part time college route because I’d struggle to get time out of work (I work 9-6pm every day) and I don’t think it would really give me the proper hands on salon experience I need if I want any chance of succeeding.
I feel like companies are just humouring me with no actual intention of finding me an apprenticeship :(

could seriously cry tbh. I just feel hopeless.
Hi there, I know how you feel. At the age of 40 I decided I wanted to do hairdressing and like you got swept along in a career in IT if all things. I made very good money in IT and far more than I have ever done in hairdressing so glad I didn’t do it straight from school. I applied straight from school and I was refused because I didn’t get a qualification in Art!! So at the age of 40 I went back to college. The course was three days a week for mature students and it was worth every penny. I had great fun and the training was excellent as they had a busy salon running with real clients so it was just like being in a salon. The first college I applied to turned me away as I was too old but the second one welcomed me with open arms. I’ve been hairdressing for 12 years now and have my own salon at home. It’s been great for fitting in with my family but so think seriously about it as you do spend so many hours on your feet for little money. The products are not cheap these days and I find the clients just don’t want to pay salon prices when you work from home despite it being a proper salon that I have set up. Whereabouts are you based as there may be some private hairdressing courses. Don’t rule out college as they may do evening courses. Good luck
Have you considered doing hair extensions ? You could do a short course and then maybe rent a chair one day a week whilst keeping your current job, then slowly build your business
 

Solohair

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hi! Thank you so much for your reply. I know what you mean, i think I’m in a better position on a personal level now than what I was at school leaving age. I’ve matured so much. I really want to do this, I just can’t hack the job I’m doing anymore as whatever small amount of interest I had in it has now waned. My hairdresser has a salon inside her home, and I pay her full salon prices and I actually think it’s a much nicer more personal experience! So don’t feel discouraged because I’m sure there are many people like me who are willing to pay you full price. I’d definitely pay you the full amount! I’m from the northeast. Darlington to be precise. I’ve checked evening courses there seem to be none, they’re all day. Think im going to end up having to put in a flexible working request at work. But I’m terrified they’ll say no.
Ah thanks for your kind words. Don’t despair as there is always a way. I was hoping you might be near to me but unfortunately not as I’m in Bedford as I would have been happy to give you some tuition. Some colleges do condensed courses and rather than NVQ they do Diplomas so check out your local colleges and the different courses they do. The colleges can teach you the basics and main principles but once you get working on clients then that’s when you learn the most as every head of hair is different. I was lucky that my college had a fully working salon with clients coming in so the experience I gained to be self employed was invaluable. Best of luck and really hope you find your way into hairdressing as I did x
 

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