Hair and photographs courtesy of Emily Hunter,  Jason Hall and Greg Kennedy.  Browse the Gallery for specific image credits.

Joining a salon

However you may be recruited to a salon, employers will often regard your first 3 months or so as a trial period, during which you will have the opportunity of demonstrating that you will make a reliable and dedicated member of the salon team, before committing to an apprenticeship and to putting time and effort into your training.

As a typical small business, salons generally do not employ separate greeters, coffee makers, cleaners, towel and gown launderers, shampooists or reception staff and, as stylists' time is most productively spent on servicing clients, those mundane jobs become the responsibility of the apprentices.  However, the importance of those jobs should not be under estimated as they are all vital to the day to day running of the salon.

During your pre-apprenticeship trial, it may seem like those jobs take up most of your working day but there is a reason for this strategy.  Everyone has the ability to learn new skills but before employers invests in your training, they will want to see that you always present yourself well enough to make a good first impression to clients, speak nicely, behave safely and responsibly in the salon, that you are enthusiastic about any job you are asked to do and that you begin to use initiative by carrying out some jobs as the need to do them arises.

Client care, attitude and a good work ethic are all just as important as technical expertise to becoming an employable hairdresser.

​Once the commitment is made to your apprenticeship, you will receive regular training sessions by the salons' own stylists or trainers and some or all of these training sessions may be in the evening, at in-salon night schools.

You must take every training opportunity offered by your employer, by providing models and by demonstrating enthusiasm to learn.