Nav: Home | Inst. | Burs. | Careers
Hairdressers render a service to clients by washing, cutting, perming, colouring, tinting, curling and styling their hair.

Hairdressing is an artistic, glamorous job which provides scope for talented men and women, with prospects of attractive remuneration after training is completed and full qualifications are obtained.

Good hairdressers are highly skilled, talented and artistic people, with a knowledge of many subjects including: cosmetology, science, hygiene and business management. They do not only have to know the trade, but also need to be alert, sympathetic, understanding and able to converse with a varied cross-section of the public.

Hairdressers cut and style hair according to customer requests. The tasks differ according to the requirements of their clients. They may first have to study a client's face, hair and scalp before deciding on a style and treatment. They also trim, shape, shampoo and tint or bleach hair. They give scalp treatments and massages, and permanent waves.

They also trim and style beards and moustaches and sometimes advise customers on personal grooming and cosmetic aids available. Some hairdressers fit and style wigs. Hairdressers need to keep up-to-date with the latest trends in hairstyles and cutting techniques.

Hairdressers work indoors in salons that must meet certain sanitation codes. Hairdressers who manage or own salons have the responsibility of ordering supplies, keeping records, receiving clients, hiring employees and keeping the salon clean.

Hairdressers' tools and accessories include: scissors, clippers, razors, combs, brushes, tweezers, towels and hairdryers, various solutions, bleaches and tints, cleaning and sterilizing equipment.

Hairdressers who own or manage salons also work with appointment books, employee schedules and various financial and clerical forms. Hairdressing salons are usually pleasant and attractive so as to appeal to the public. Normally each hairdresser is assigned to a work area, which has a customer chair and an area where equipment such as combs, rollers and hairdryers are kept.

Satisfying Aspects
- the chance to become self-employed
- working with people
- helping others to improve their appearance
- the opportunity to be creative

Demanding aspects
- working long hours, including Saturdays
- standing for many hours
- trying to satisfy difficult customers
- the rush before holidays
- slack periods

A hairdresser should:
- be at least 16 years old;
- be tactful and courteous;
- enjoy working with people;
- be patient and even-tempered;
- be creative and persuasive;
- present a neat, well-groomed appearance;
- have hand and finger dexterity and good eye-hand coordination;
- have good vision;
- be healthy and have physical stamina.

School Subjects
Grade 10 Certificate is the minimum entry level requirement
National Senior Certificate is preferred, especially for training over a shorter period

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: None

Hairdressing education and training are regulated by the Hairdressing and Cosmetology Services Industry Education and Training Board, a statutory body accredited under the Manpower Training Act. There are several options open for prospective hairdressers, such as to be trained by qualified hairdressers, or to study hairdressing at a FET?college full-time, eg Port Elizabeth, Northlink, South Cape, KZN Coastal, Tshwane South, Vuselela, Flavius Mareka etc and then become learners, or work for themselves.

Learnership has been proved to be the best route to go, but there is a limited number available and not everybody is able to find a position.

Duration of course: 3 years

- hair salons
- hotels and departmental stores
- film and television industry
- unisex styling salons for Performing Arts Councils
- self-employment, with enough experience and capital, can start own business

Hairdressing Salons, which employ learners

Any College for FET in your area with a hairdressing department

The SA Hairdressers' Employees Union
P O Box 10614
Johannesburg, 2000