How to become a barber? 10 Tips to build your career in Hairdressing and Barbering

Barbering is one of the oldest customer service professions. People have always been concerned about how they look and hairstyles are an essential part of it. To keep your hair properly managed and trimmed a barber is a must. Although the modern day man or woman has many ways to cut and style their own hair, a visit to the barber shop is still sometimes the best course of action. To be very honest though, when you visit a barber it’s not just the haircut that you get, rather they provide you with a unique experience. Here we look at barbering as a profession and what you need to become a barber. So if you are passionate about styling hair and loads of hair products, check out this blog to realize your styling dream.

What does a barber do?

A barber cuts, shampoos, trims and combs a customer’s hair. Barbers often take customers by walk-ins or even appointments when they want to freshen up their look. Other services may include shaving with hot wax and lather treatments. To sum up the whole process barbers cut, trim or shave customers’ hair and beardshampoo hair following a cut or trim. The job also involves disinfecting or washing cutting equipment and keeping the workstation tidy. Depending on the customers needs barbers may administer scalp treatments or hair dyes to complete the customers visit.

Requirements for Barbering

Becoming a barber requires both educational qualifications and training. Here we discuss qualifications you must earn to become a barber in the UK.

Education

To become a barber the first step is to complete your highschool diploma. This enables you to enroll in barbers training programs. Attending a state-approved barber program helps you to get licensure to start your own barber shop. In these programs, barbers learn hair cutting and shaving techniques, industry best practices, sanitation, customer service, safety and preparation. 

Apprenticeship can work as a substitute for formal barbering programs. In an apprenticeship arrangement barbers earn hands-on experience working with real customers and experienced professionals while earning some pay as well. However, barbers completing apprenticeships still need to apply and maintain license to legally start as a professional barber.

Training

In most cases barbers possess proper training upon completing barbering programs. Some establishments may require work as an assistant or intern while new barbers can earn experience. Students will have many hands-on training opportunities when attending a state-approved barber school. Some salons may require barber’s to complete administrative tasks within work hours to learn the functioning of the whole shop.

On-the-job training is an important part of starting off as a barber. These trainings teach barbers about products and services the establishment offers. Sometimes this involves scripted advertisements for products and services used by the establishment.

Certifications

Specific certifications are not essential for becoming a barber, however licensure is. To hold a barbering licence the individual needs to be at least 16 years of age. It also requires completion of barber training programmes and passing the licensure exam. In most cases states can issue apprentice barber or master barber license according to experience.

Skills required for Barbering

Becoming a barber is not only cutting your customers hair. It’s about giving them a grooming experience that gives them time to unwind. This usually requires you to, as a barber, hear your clients out, allocate proper time for each customer and so on. We’ve listed here the basic skills required for becoming the best barber one can be.

1. Detail-orientated

Each customer that walks into your shop wants something different. No two heads are the same and neither is the hair on them. To satisfy customers you must first understand precisely what they want, so that you can deliver the closest results for them. Paying attention to specific small details enables you to achieve this with each and every customer. While making your job easier, being detail oriented makes the customer feel privileged and ensures loyalty to your shop.

2. Customer service

Whether you run a walk-in shop or schedule appointments, being customer service savvy is a must. Shops with reputable customer service gets promoted by word of mouth far easier than shops that provide premium services without satisfying customers. This suggests, customer service experience is as valuable as the quality of your services. 

3. Communication

Communication skills are important in any service oriented profession. However, it’s not only your ability to communicate your thoughts but also your ability to understand the customer. Being able to understand the customers needs and describing the process efficiently not only saves your time, but creates a positive experience for the customer as well.

4. Time management

Managing a barber shop can be hectic if you’re one of the popular shops on your street. The importance of time management can’t be stretched enough in any professional setting. It is no different for barbering. You need to be able to allocate a proper amount of time for each customer while also cleaning and maintaining the shop. Some barbers even attend house-calls, which require additional time for commuting. All of this is near impossible without managing time with professional efficacy.

If you want to know more about why you want to be a barber in the first place, here’s a video.

What it means to work as a Barber/Hairdresser

Barbering is one of the unique professions that share very little in common with regard to technicality and shop management. Here are 6 things you should expect and prepare for if you want to become a barber:

  • Extended periods of time spent standing and moving
  • Scheduling customers in person or over the phone
  • Close contact with individuals
  • Using hair-cutting equipment, like scissors, razors and what-not
  • Applying wax, hairspray and gel as required by the customer
  • Be your own boss, manage work schedules and keep your shop up and running in top condition.

How much salary a barber gets

Barbers may work part-time or full-time or in a mix of both. Salary varies significantly between small shop barbers and high end styling salons. It also varies with the barber’s experience and responsibilities. According to  Indeed annual average salary for barbers is £24180. Following the same numbers we found Neuvoo that puts monthly salaries at around £2,000.

How to become a barber

Becoming a barber requires that you complete certain educational and training requirements. You can become a barber with the following steps:

1. Complete your high school education

Formal barber programs require a completed highschool diploma. So don’t go thinking you don’t need to pass highschool to become a barber

2. Complete a barber program

Enrol in a barbering program after highschool. Each organization and country has a different number of hours needed to complete the training alternating between text knowledge and hard practices that enrich you with experience.

3. Take the licensing exam

To get the barbering licence you need to pass the licensing exam. To apply for the exam you need to show your training and high school diploma. Upon passing the exam you get your licence and now can call yourself a proper professional.

Apply for barber positions

After getting your license you can start applying for barber positions. Try applying to small shops as a beginner and work your way up. Send a polished cover letter and be prepared to give a demonstration if needed.

10 tips for hairdressing

Hairdressing is a demanding job and being a fresh pair of hands at work may seem daunting. There are good barbers and then there are barbers who are the best under any circumstance. To become the best it is not enough to just wield scissors but to make your customers feel welcome and taken care of. With this in mind we put together 10 tips for you to excel in your barbering career.

  • Establish strong technical skills. There way around putting in the required time to learn how to use equipment and manage hair cutting standards.
  • Never stop looking for inspiration. Being a barber requires more creativity than you may think.
  • Projecting energy and positive attitude not only helps your co-workers and employers. It also ensures customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Learn from your mistakes but don’t let it choke your hand at exploring new styles and techniques.
  • Create a customizable system. Each customer you get is different so you can’t just give everyone the same look. Look at you customers and give them a cut to match their physique, body type and facial structure etc.
  • Always bring your A-game work. Work hard and plan to exceed your own limits. Keep your workstation and equipment clean and safe.
  • Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are every stylists friend. Collect followers and tell your clients to post selfies or check-ins. Share your enthusiasm with your own account or your companies about everything related to hair. This creates a huge impact on your client and employer's impression of your dedication.
  • Make business cards and always keep a couple on your person.
  • Attend barbers or hairstylists gatherings or conventions. You’ll learn from the pro’s while also showcasing your own creativity and aspirations
  • Customers love flexibility. Keep your schedules solid for yourself, however give your customers a time suited for them so they can get their haircuts without feeling any time pressures. This will enable you to take the proper time you need to give a fantastic haircut every time.

Closing Remarks

In the past couple years the barbering industry has expanded by 45% with an average of 700 retailers opening all across the UK. The industry generated £7.5 billion turnover in the year 2017. This means being a barber is a sure shot profession if you can earn the necessary skill. If you’re an aspiring young individual interested in all-things-hair, don’t be late. Complete your high school or barber training diploma if you haven’t and start applying asap. Dedication and efficiency will make your career silky smooth inevitably. Statistics found at NHBF website.

Hairdressing and Barbering

The Hairdressing and Barbering course will introduce you to the profession which can never be replaced by automation and continues to be a lucrative career choice for many individuals.
August 27, 2020

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