We take a closer look at the profession with hairdresser Lindsey McKenzie
If you have been thinking about becoming a hairdresser, or perhaps just learning a few techniques before giving it a more serious consideration, the first question you may want to ask is this: How long does it take to train as a hairdresser?
“To complete all your levels in hairdressing can take three years,” says Lindsey McKenzie, who has been running her mobile hair-at-home business AnyHair, Anywhere for a number of years. “However, not everybody decides to do more advanced training, so you can actually complete a basic hairdressing course in 12 months.”
There are shorter courses out there but these will not give you an NVQ qualification. They are worth considering if you just want to build your confidence. Most people join shorter courses to see if they would actually like working with hair, before they commit to longer and more expensive courses. This way you can try your hand at a potential new profession, whilst building on your competence and confidence. “Getting salon experience before going freelance is crucial,” explains Lindsey. “Hairdressers face daily challenges so you will need the experience and competence.”
This brings us to the next question: What qualities make a good hairdresser?
“You certainly need to be a people person,” says Lindsey. “Listening to your client is crucial, and so is understanding what they want, reassuring them that you understand before you go ahead with the service. Having a patient, friendly approach, and talking to your client throughout this service, are all part of the job.
There is plenty to love about the job-after all, there are not many professions where you can transform a client’s look in an hour or two. A great hair cut, clever colouring, a quick blow-dry are just some of the ways a client can go from feeling like they have a bad hair day every day, to feeling beautiful and confident. One swish of the newly cut, coloured and styled hair will lift their mood and confidence in an instant.
“I love meeting new people and catching up with my regular clients,” says Lindsey, adding that if you go mobile, travelling around different places also has its charm.
And the most difficult aspect of the job?
“Definitely colour correction. A lot of clients ruin their hair by colouring it themselves, and it’s up to the professionals to sort this out. It can take hours to correct.”
So if you are entertaining some DIY ideas about a radical colour change, don’t. That Hollywood actress may look great on the silver screen with her raven black hair, but in the harsh light of your daily reality it may not work. When you then long for your long blonde locks that you had become bored with, getting them back may not always be possible even with professional help. Stripping the colour from your hair is a difficult process, which can seriously damage your hair, and sometimes the best option might be to cut your losses, and your hair. And wait a long time for it to grow out.
Lastly, to tip or not to tip?
“This is definitely a personal choice of the client. Usually if they are very happy with their hair, they insist on giving a tip. When I was working in a salon, I used to receive more tips from clients. This might be due to being on a lower wage when you work in a salon.”
Please contact Lindsey McKenzie for more details about ANYHAIR, ANYWHERE Mobile Hair-At-Home Service, and 12-week INTRODUCTION to HAIRDRESSING Community Learning Courses.
Tel: 07817 481 358
Facebook: AnyHair, Anywhere
Founder and editor of FitNet.
Previously gymnastics coach, massage therapist and personal trainer with 20 years of experience. Former gymnast and dancer.