Hairdressers help people to look and feel their best.They may be asked to curl, wave, perm, bleach, tint or dye a customer's hair, or merely to cut and style it.
Each appointment begins with a consultation with the customer, to find out what they want done to their hair and offer potential options. They may suggest a hairstyle compatible with the client's physical features, or determine the best style from the client's instructions and preferences.
To complete the appointment, hairdressers advise patrons on how to care for their hair, discuss any problems and recommend appropriate hygiene and styling practices. Before starting on the next customer, they always clean and sanitize their hairdressing equipment.
As styles continually change and evolve, hairdressers must also continue to upgrade and learn new skills to keep up with new trends, products and styles. This training may involve travelling to attend conventions and hair shows, or taking short courses at private styling schools.
Traits & Talents
Finger dexterity, hand-eye coordination and depth perception are all invaluable qualities for a successful hairdresser. You need to develop the ability to visualize or conceptualize in order to accurately interpret your clients' requests. Creativity, an aritistic flair and an interest in fashion and beauty are also necessary characteristics.Communication and interpersonal skills are almost as important as the ability to provide a quality haircut in this people-oriented profession. You should be able to converse freely and easily with your clients and be able to provide honest, knowledgeable advice about hairstyles and hair-care products. As you will be dealing with all sorts of people, it helps if you are outgoing, tolerant and respectful in order to develop solid relationships and a wide-ranging client base. Customer satisfaction is key to success.
Although the majority of hairdressers are employed or self-employed in salons and barber shops, they may also find work in training schools, hair replacement clinics, retail environments or as a stylist in the entertainment industry. Salons generally offer clean, pleasant surroundings with good lighting and ventilation, and the use of chemicals is commonplace. There is a great deal of flexibility in the work schedule, since many salons are open days, evenings and weekends to serve their clients. The work can be physically demanding, as hairdressers are constantly on their feet.
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