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How to Become a Hairdressing Tutor: Your Guide to Teaching Hairstyling Skills

May 7, 2024

Table of Contents

Are you passionate about hairdressing and eager to share your expertise with aspiring stylists?

Becoming a hairdressing tutor offers a unique opportunity to inspire and shape the next generation of hairdressing talent, blending your love for the craft with the rewards of teaching.

Whether you're a seasoned stylist looking to transition into education or already in the teaching field and want to specialise in hairdressing, this guide is your roadmap. Discover how to combine your practical skills with theoretical knowledge, ensuring your students not only master the art of hairdressing but also understand the importance of health and safety, customer service, and staying abreast of industry trends.

Key Points

If you don’t have time to read the whole article, here are the key points:

  • Click here if you’re looking for a job as a hairdressing tutor.
  • Educational Pathways: Requires a mix of hands-on experience, formal qualifications like a Level 2 or 3 NVQ in Hairdressing, and a teaching credential such as the Level 3 Award in Education and Training.
  • Professional Experience: Gaining industry experience through apprenticeships and salon work is crucial, as is building a personal portfolio to showcase expertise.
  • Teaching Competencies: Developing teaching competencies involves acquiring a teaching award, mastering lesson planning, and creating educational resources.
  • Specialising in Techniques: Mastery in cutting, colouring, and staying abreast of industry trends is essential for effective teaching.
  • Industry Navigation: Understanding specific industry qualifications, finding a niche, and managing administrative tasks are key to a successful teaching career.
  • Professional Development: Continuous learning, networking through social media, and securing relevant qualifications are vital for career advancement.
  • Securing Employment: Preparing a strong application, mastering interview techniques, and understanding the financial aspects, including qualification costs and salary expectations, are crucial.

Understanding the Role of a Hairdressing Tutor

As a hairdressing tutor, your primary focus will be on moulding the next generation of hairdressers with a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical skill. Your responsibilities go beyond mere instruction; they encompass health and safety education and a commitment to maintaining industry standards.

Core Responsibilities and Skills

Your duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing Lesson Plans: Crafting and delivering engaging educational content tailored to various learning styles.
  • Demonstrating Techniques: Showcasing hairdressing skills from basic cuts to advanced styling.
  • Assessing Progress: Regularly evaluating students’ skills, providing feedback, and adapting teaching methods to meet learners' needs.
  • Keeping Current: Staying updated with the latest hairdressing trends and techniques to ensure your teaching is relevant.
  • Mentoring: Providing one-to-one support to students as they practise and hone their skills.

Essential skills for a hairdressing tutor:

  • Communication: You need to clearly articulate concepts and give constructive criticism.
  • Patience: Giving students the time to learn and understand various hairdressing techniques.
  • Adaptability: Adjusting teaching methods to fit individual student needs and learning paces.

Health and Safety in Education

Key health and safety responsibilities include:

  • Safety Training: Educating students on the proper use and maintenance of hairdressing tools and chemicals.
  • Risk Assessment: Identifying potential hazards within the leenhance your credibility and them.
  • Emergency Readiness: Ensuring you and your students know the procedures for handling accidents or health emergencies.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Staying informed about and compliant with health and safety legislation relevant to hairdressing and education.

Educational Pathways

Before embarking on a journey to become a hairdressing tutor, it’s essential to understand the educational requirements and training pathways available to you. Your goal will be to achieve a combination of hands-on experience, formal qualifications, and a recognised teaching credential.

Relevant Qualifications and Certifications

To teach hairdressing, you need a combination of practical experience and formal qualifications. At a minimum, you should aim to achieve a Level 2 NVQ in Hairdressing, which forms the foundation of your practical skills. However, most teaching positions will require a Level 3 NVQ or an equivalent advanced professional qualification to demonstrate a higher level of expertise.

In terms of teaching credentials, a formal teaching qualification is a prerequisite. The Level 3 Award in Education and Training is an entry-level teaching certificate often pursued by potential tutors. It equips you with the necessary skills to teach your specialised subject area within academia or vocational training settings.

Higher Education and Vocational Training

While a university degree is not strictly needed to become a hairdressing tutor, pursuing higher education can broaden your knowledge and improve your prospects. Courses related to hairdressing, cosmetology, or even education itself can enhance your teaching abilities and provide a more in-depth understanding of the field.

Vocational training through colleges or specialised academies, like those endorsed by City & Guilds, is another standard route. These institutions provide the relevant NVQ courses and can also offer training for additional qualifications that support your role as an educator, ensuring that you are well-prepared for the realities of teaching in the hairdressing industry.

Gaining Professional Experience

Before you step into the role of a hairdressing tutor, it's vital to establish a solid foundation of professional experience within the industry. This experience will not only enhance your credibility but will also provide valuable insights and practical knowledge that you can pass on to your apprentices.

Apprenticeships and Salon Work

Undertaking an apprenticeship allows you to work closely with experienced hairdressers and learn the vocation on the job. As an employee, embrace every opportunity to hone your skills and absorb knowledge, from cutting and colouring to client relations.

  • Work Environment: Engage in a diverse range of tasks in the salon to develop a comprehensive skill set.
  • Employer Expectations: Be proactive and learn about the various management and operational aspects of running a salon.
  • Long-term Benefits: A stint as an apprentice serves as a compelling reference for potential employers and bolsters your teaching portfolio later on.

Building a Personal Portfolio

Your portfolio is a testament to your expertise and style as a hairdresser. It should display a breadth of work that showcases your versatility and mastery of different techniques.

  • Contents: Include before-and-after photos of your work, client testimonials, and any recognitions or awards.
  • Purpose: A robust portfolio demonstrates your skill level to both clients and potential employers and serves as a teaching aid for apprentices.
  • Updating: Regularly update your portfolio to reflect your most recent and high-quality work.

Developing Teaching Competencies

Before you embark on your journey to become a hairdressing tutor, it is essential to focus on developing teaching competencies. This process involves obtaining a recognised teaching qualification and sharpening your skills in lesson planning and resource development.

Acquiring a Teaching Award

To teach hairdressing professionally, you will need a relevant teaching qualification. A Level 3 Award in Education and Training is widely recognised and will provide you with the foundation needed for a career in teaching. This qualification ensures that you understand the roles, responsibilities, and relationships in education and training, how to deliver inclusive teaching and learning, and how to assess students.

  • Important components of the Level 3 Award:some text
    • Understanding the teaching role and responsibilities in education
    • Learning ways to maintain a safe and supportive learning environment
    • Planning to meet the needs of learners
    • Delivery of inclusive training that inspires and engages
    • Methods of assessing students' work effectively

Lesson Planning and Resource Development

Successful teaching is supported by meticulous planning and high-quality resources. Your ability to create comprehensive lesson plans is central to delivering structured and effective hairdressing training.

  • Aspects of lesson planning include:some text
    • Setting clear objectives and outcomes for each session
    • Sequencing learning activities to ensure progression
    • Incorporating a range of teaching methods to cater for different learning styles

For resource development, consider the following:

  • Development of visual aids, handouts, and practical demonstrations
  • Ensuring all resources align with current hairdressing techniques and industry standards
  • Utilising technology to enhance learning, such as interactive digital platforms

Specialising in Hairdressing Techniques

Before becoming a proficient hairdressing tutor, you must specialise in hairdressing techniques. Mastery in cutting and colouring is fundamental, as is keeping pace with the ever-evolving industry trends.

Cutting and Colouring Mastery

To excel in hairdressing, you need to demonstrate exceptional skill in both cutting and colouring. Cutting techniques vary from basic trims to complex layering, texturising, and razor cutting. It's essential to have a comprehensive understanding and expertise in:

  • Precision Cutting: Producing sharp, clean lines and shapes.
  • Texturising: Removing weight and adding movement within the hair.
  • Thinning: Controlling the volume and density of the hair.

Colouring also demands a deep knowledge base and practical proficiency. You should be adept in various colouring techniques, such as:

  • Foiling: Applying highlights and lowlights with foils for precision.
  • Balayage: A freehand technique for a blended, natural look.
  • Root Stretch: Blending colour from the roots to erase harsh lines.

Staying Abreast of Industry Trends

Keeping up with the latest trends is necessary to maintain relevancy in the dynamic field of hairdressing and barbering. To stay ahead, you should:

  • Attend Workshops: Participate in industry workshops to learn new techniques.
  • Follow Influencers: Engage with social media influencers who shape current trends.
  • Read Industry Publications: Subscribe to professional hairdressing magazines and online forums, here’s an example of a good publication.

Navigating the Hairdressing and Beauty Industry

Embarking on a career as a hairdressing tutor requires a thorough understanding of the industry's standards and identifying where your special skills fit best.

Understanding Industry Requirements

Within the UK, the hairdressing and beauty industry sets specific criteria and qualifications essential for anyone aspiring to become a tutor. A fundamental requirement is the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (DET), formerly known as DTLLS or the 7305 course.

This qualification enables you to teach at both hairdressing and beauty colleges. Before this, however, you're expected to have a solid foundation, which typically involves obtaining at least a Level 3 NVQ in Hairdressing or its equivalent in beauty therapy.

To further diversify your credibility, consider gaining additional qualifications in specialist areas like skincare, with the Level 5 Certificate being a notable asset. Your eligibility to instruct advanced courses, such as the Level 5 Extended Diploma in Hair and Beauty Management, will depend on both your educational background and practical experience.

  • Key requirement: Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (DET).
  • Additional qualifications: Level 5 Certificate in Skincare, NVQs.

Finding Your Niche

In order to make a significant impact and experience a rewarding teaching career in hairdressing, identifying your niche becomes vital. The vast scope of the hairdressing industry, from styling to colouring, offers various specialisations. Discover which area aligns with your expertise and passion—be it creative hair design, cutting techniques, or something else.

The beauty industry also offers a myriad of specialisms. Your penchant for skincare, make-up, or nail art could direct you towards the most suitable teaching field. Once you've located your niche, you should:

  • Gain substantial hands-on experience.
  • Keep current with the latest industry trends and techniques.
  • Earn a reputation for excellence in your specialised field.

Administrative Aspects of Teaching

As a hairdressing tutor, managing administrative duties is just as important as delivering practical skills. From course planning to ensuring quality assurance and accreditation standards are met, you'll need to handle a range of administrative tasks confidently and efficiently.

Course Planning and Assessment

You'll be responsible for designing your courses to cover all necessary content, fitting within a specified timeframe. Course planning involves outlining each session, selecting appropriate teaching materials, and setting the learning objectives and outcomes. When it comes to assessment, you need to create fair, relevant, and challenging evaluation methods. This can be done through a combination of:

  • Practical demonstrations to assess hands-on skills.
  • Written assignments that evaluate theoretical knowledge.
  • Quizzes and tests to monitor ongoing understanding.

Quality Assurance and Accreditation

To maintain quality assurance, you need to regularly review and update course content to align with industry standards. Ensure that your teaching methods are effective and accommodate various learning styles. Accreditation requires adherence to a strict set of criteria, so familiarise yourself with these requirements. They often include:

  • Meeting the National Occupational Standards for hairdressing.
  • Aligning courses with the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).
  • Regularly conducting self-evaluation and responding to feedback.

Professional Development and Networking

In pursuing a career as a hairdressing tutor, your ongoing professional development and the ability to network effectively are key to enhancing your teaching potential and industry connections.

Continuous Learning and Certifications

Your commitment to continuous learning ensures that you stay abreast of the latest trends and techniques in hairdressing. Seek out advanced hairdressing courses regularly to refine your skills. It's crucial to obtain professional certifications that not only bolster your credibility but also satisfy educational institution requirements.

For instance, a Level 3 NVQ in Hairdressing is often a prerequisite, with a possibility to further specialise with additional certifications over time.

Utilising Social Media and Professional Networks

In the digital age, social media stands as a powerful tool for networking and professional growth. Platforms like LinkedIn provide you with opportunities to connect with fellow educators, industry experts, and prospective employers.

Ensure your profile is polished and reflects your professional journey. Additionally, engaging in online forums and groups focusing on hairdressing can open doors to collaboration and may lead to advancements in your teaching career.

Securing Employment

To secure employment as a hairdressing tutor, it’s essential to prepare a standout application and master interviewing techniques. This will demonstrate your expertise and compatibility with potential employers.

Preparing a Strong Application

  • CV: Tailor your CV to highlight relevant hairdressing and teaching experience. Detail your qualifications, such as a Level 3 Hairdressing qualification, and any previous educating roles or mentorships you've held within the hairdressing industry.
    • Experience: Include at least one year of professional hairstyling experience.
    • Qualifications: List your specialist subject qualification at degree level and any teaching certifications, such as a PGCE or a Certificate in Education for vocational routes.
  • Cover Letter: Write a cover letter that reflects your passion for teaching and expertise in hairdressing. Be specific about why you want to work for the specific institution to which you're applying.

Effective Interviewing Techniques

  • Research: Before your interview, investigate the school or institution. Understand their values, dress codes, teaching methodologies, and history to align your responses accordingly.

  • Presentation: Prepare a short demonstration or portfolio showcasing your hairdressing skills and teaching methods. This will provide tangible proof of your abilities.

  • Q&A Preparation: Anticipate potential questions and prepare clear, confident responses. Reflect on your teaching philosophy and how it complements the employer's approach to hairdressing education.

Understanding Financial Aspects

Before pursuing a career as a hairdressing tutor, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of the financial implications, including the costs involved in obtaining the necessary qualifications and the salary you can expect to earn in this role.

Exploring Funding and Salary Expectations

Initial Qualification Costs:

  • Educational Qualifications: You're required to gain Level 2 and 3 qualifications in hairdressing, which may involve course fees. Prices vary, so research local colleges for specific rates.
  • Teacher Training: To teach, you will need at least a Level 3 Award in Education and Training (AET), with Level 4 or 5 being additional options. These also come with tuition costs.

Potential Funding Sources:

  • Government Grants: Investigate potential government-backed grants or loans that could help cover your training costs.
  • Employer Support: Some salons may sponsor your teaching qualifications if they aim to expand into education.

Expected Salary Range:

  • Starting Salaries: Upon becoming a qualified tutor, the starting salary could range from £20,000 to £25,000, varying with location and institution.
  • Experienced Tutors: With more experience, specialisation, or advanced qualifications, you could see your salary rise significantly, with experienced tutors earning up to £35,000 or more.

Useful Resources

Here’s a list of resources we’ve created that you should find useful in progressing your career in hairdressing:

Alex Lockey
Director | Bolt Jobs
Founder Alex Lockey is an expert in further education, learning, and skills sector. He leads cost-effective hiring solutions and is known for successful talent placements. Dynamic and driven, Alex seeks innovative solutions to solve sector hiring challenges.