Just Starting Out - What To Do?


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New Member
Sep 1, 2010
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Hey all - I'm Leo and new here :)

*Sorry for the long post* lol

Basically, i've been working for years as a health care manager. Whilst i enjoyed this once upon a time, i no longer enjoy the work, as the health care profession has changed so much in the past few years. I'm now looking to go into hairdressing (something i've wanted to for a while now).

As i'm on a pretty good salary, being a manager, i know i'm probably about to take a massive cut, especially if i have to start off as a junior. The pay cut isn't a huge problem, as i'm in a position to not need to work (as my husband can support us, financially). On the other hand, i don't want to be sweeping the floor on **** wages for years as a junior (especially at at the age of 24). I know folks got to start somewhere, but the thought of some 18yr old college leaver ordering me around to make cups of tea, makes me cringe. I also understand i will no longer be a senior manager and therefore have to put up and shut up, if i want to learn anything - which i'm happy to do. I did 6 months work as a salon junior when i was 16 and although i hated the bunch of bitches i worked with (they were catty and mean, it was awful) i actually really loved the job itself. If the staff had been different, perhaps i would have stayed in the career until i got my level 2. Oh well, can't dwel on the past, only the future! :)

Anyway, now you've got a bit of background from me, what do you guys think is best? Should i go to college full time for a year, part time and work in a salon or go to a private trainer? I have to say i'm unsure about the trainer. She IS qualified and has passed students before. But on the basis of going in 9 - 5 every tuesday, and being qualified to level 2 standard in 6 months, is making me unsure. Surely 6 months isn't enough? or is it? I have no idea.

Anyways, anything you lovely folks can offer would be great...

Leo x
I would advise in salon training. It's the best way to get experience but as you say it won't be Fun at first. Finding somewhere to take you on is another matter. In Scotland college is only funded til you are 19, meaning your employer will need to fund your training. Also if you are not on a government funded training scheme, you are entitled to min wage. So you are on a disadvantage from the start. I'm not being negative but just trying to make you aware.

In the meantime why don't you get work experience in a salon on your day off?
I think the only way in is to do full time college and volunteer in a salon on your days off. Nobody can take 24 year old juniors these days. The salon exp is vital as there are thousands graduating from college each year with an NVQ2 that cannot get jobs because they have no salon experience and are unemployable because of that.
Please beware the superquick training, employers know it is rubbish and doesnt work. You need time to practice, and 6 months is not enough. You would be totally out of your depth in salon with only 25 days training.
Thanks for replies both of you. I understand what you both mean, and it's very frustrating either way.

Just out of interest, what do you guys think to those intensive courses offered in London? The 6 weeks NVQ level 2 course? I've been reading the London hair academy website and you go in Monday - Saturday and do 9am - 6pm of intensive training in cutting, colour, shampooing etc...you get an NVQ 2 at the end of it, so I know they are legitimate and accredited. The only reason i ask is because I don't want to spend years going from the bottom of a career ladder again. Me and my partner were hoping to apply for adoption in the near future and obviously taking 3 years out on low pay isn't ideal. But on the other hand, I'm unsure if an employer would take a 6 week intensive course seriously, even if it is from the London hair academy. I don't understand what training is acceptable and what training schools are yay or nay, within hairdressing.

*big sigh*

Leo x
No, employers think these courses are rubbish. Nobody can learn an entire trade in such short time. Please bear in mind that most NVQ2 holders are very basic skill wise after 2 years college. It takes a long time to master the skills, there is no quick route to stylist I'm afraid. And salon owners will spot when people try to lie about their experience.
Hey , i totally agree with Persianista.
I have worked in salons since i was 13 years old , i completed level 1 and 2 at 16 after school in two yrs while working in a salon then i waited 2 yrs and done my level 3 so i had the experience. I would say i was no where near a competant stylist when i left college at 18 , yes i had the skills but it takes time to build up your confidence and own personal style that seperates you from the next person .
I would say full time college and work in salon on your days off , but i dont agree with these 6 month courses , how stupid . With this trade you never ever stop learning , even after 8yrs hairdressing working from sat girl to senior stylist and now freelance i am still learning something new all the time :)
Hope you get on well , if you want it enough you will be fine x
Hi,i would def not go to college,you need to train in salon,but it would be very hard work and you would be told what to do my younger people,making the tea the works lovely,that still happens when your qualified.If money isnt an an issue and i was you,i would look at, training with vidal sassoon intensive courses,they are very very pricey but you couldnt train anywhere better.One of my clients daughters was the same as you tried working as a
trainee but found it very hard i think cause she was older so her parents payed for her to train at allan d in london,it might of been a 3 month course,she then did that and once finished started as a junior stylist.you could maybe work on a sat in a salon whilst training,they could
offer you a job once you finshed just a few ideas,hope you find something
that works for you :)

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