Did you know there are over a whopping 36,000 hair salons in the UK, according to Habia. Also, close to a quarter of a million people are employed in the hair and beauty industry.
With so many salons on the high street, freelancing and mobile professionals, this shows that we are a nation that takes pride in our appearance. If you’re going to put your hair into the hands of a barber or hairdresser, you want to be sure he or she is up to the job. That means learning a little about the profession, so you can judge which practitioner is a cut above the rest.
HOW TO FIND THE BEST HAIRDRESSER
Scarily, in the UK you do not need to have any qualifications to practice as a hairdresser or barber. The hairdresser who wields the scissors close to your scalp, and applies chemical lotions and potions to your lovely locks, may lack the skills and training required. In fact, they could be self-taught and not be qualified at all.
There is also no formal way to make a complaint about a hairdresser, and the chiefs of the profession themselves admit that this means many unpleasant “accidents” and incidences of poor service go unreported. (what to do if you experience a hairdressing horror)
- Registered: The hairdresser should be an SRH (State Registered Hairdresser) and be able to certifiably prove this status. State Registration for Hairdressers and Barbers is voluntary, but if they ARE registered you can be assured they hold qualifications and have been working professionally for at least two years.
- Qualified: Your chosen hairdresser can be deemed competent for the job if he or she can produce evidence of one of the several industry recognised qualifications for hairdressing and barbering.
- Up To Date: A hairdresser may be well qualified, but – just like the medical profession – hairdressing is an area which is constantly changing and developing. Techniques are continually refined and honed; new products appear on the market; fashion dictates new hairstyles evolving. A top hairdresser should, therefore, be able to demonstrate some degree of “Continuing Professional Development” – in other words, keeping up with the trends.
- Hygenic: Check that the Salon you are attending complies with health and safety regulations. In most areas of the country, this is a pre-requisite of the local authority’s bye-laws for registering as a business. The Hair Salon should be displaying a copy of the local Council’s certificate of registration.
For many, a visit to the hairdresser is a treat. It’s a chance to relax, unwind, and have a good old gossip! Any hairdresser worth his or her salt realises that lending an ear and being genuinely interested in the well-being of the client is all part of the job.
The only way you can be sure to find a hairdresser who “clicks” with you on a social and amicable level is to engage his or her services and judge the situation accordingly. If you don’t feel comfortable, you don’t have to go back next time.
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR VISIT
It’s a familiar story most of us can relate to: you go to a new hairdresser, explain what you want to be done, and end up being sorely disappointed with the result. So, how can you make sure you leave the Hair Salon smiling and satisfied?
Here are some tips from the hairdressers’ point of view… this is what they’d like you to know so that they can make your experience at their Salon as positive as possible:
- If you want a new style, bring a picture or sketch rather than try to explain what you envisage in words or gestures. Be prepared to listen if the hairstylist suggests adaptations to make them look more suited to you and your hair type.
- Don’t expect miracles and be realistic – there is no way any hairstyle can make you look several stones lighter, or a new colour make you look 20 years younger.
- There’s no such thing as a maintenance-free hairstyle – no matter how natural the look, it takes time and effort to maintain it. Let your hairdresser give you tips for home maintenance of your “do”.
- If you constantly demand changes in hair colour expect your hair to become damaged. Touch-ups are fine every six to 12 weeks, but drastic colour changes should be done only every four to six months.
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