Cert IV in Hairdressing

Certificate IV in hairdressing is designed to build on the previously obtained skills of Certificate III in Hairdressing. Occupational expertise in the hairdressing industry is a prerequisite for this course.

It is intended to build on your pre-existing technical skills and knowledge and develop into mastering of niche styles on the form of complex colouring and innovative cutting as well as an increased knowledge of practical training, leadership skills and providing support to colleagues. This course is a necessity for anyone who would like to refine their skills and who wants to progress in their career as a hairdresser and move onto other avenues in the hairdressing industry while building a dynamic portfolio along the way.

Certificate IV can be studied at various institutes within Australia so it is advisable to do your research before picking an establishment. Ensure that you choose a reputable institute and be sure to compare what is provided and the course prices as these can greatly vary.

Click here to read about cert II in hairdressing.
Click here to read about cert III in hairdressing via an Australian apprenticeship.
Click here to read about cert III in hairdressing via full time study.

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Real World Experience

Nothing beats the advice from a person who has walked in your shoes, so we asked some of our subscribers to give a little information about their thoughts and insights into what life really is like to be a hairdresser or stylist in Australia. Here is what they have to say:

“My day starts with setting up the salon, I put the music on and get the atmosphere going, I make myself a morning coffee and go through the appointment book to see what’s on for the day and plan my schedule, I’ll see on average thirty clients a week as opposed to our third year apprentice will see about ten per week.”
Kate – Perth WA

“I was pretty surprised to discover that being a hairdresser required a lot more skills than just cutting and colouring. I had to build up my clientele as well as work on my social skills as I’m chatting with clients all day long”
Felicity – Melbourne VIC

My best advice for anyone pursuing a career in hairdressing is to stick With It and never give up on your dreams. My apprenticeship was hard at first and I wanted to leave so many times but I kept with it and it finally paid off for me in the end. Now I have just started in a new salon that recently opened, I’m so happy and doing really well.
Olivia – Bankstown NSW

We would love to hear from you, so please become part of our community and share your experiences with our other readers. Your insights can be a valuable tool for others starting out in the industry and looking to hear from industry insiders, so don’t be shy, drop us a line today!

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Highs & Lows of Hairdressing

Hairdressing is a great career choice, being responsible for making your client feel truly beautiful while at the same time expressing your creative side can give you a career full of great personal fulfilment. Then you have one of “those” days, were everything seems to go wrong and you feel the complete opposite. As with any career, you experience times that are good and others, not so good. You may even at times ask yourself “What am I doing?”, or “Why am I here?”.

This is all perfectly normal and we’re here help you understand the highs and lows of being a hairdresser. To reassure you that it’s all part of the journey and something that we all go through at some stage.

One of the greatest highs of being a hairdresser is you get to work in a creative, dynamic environment where you get to experience something different every day. As a hairdresser you get to meet a lot of interesting people. You also have the power to not only transform the way your client looks but also how they feel about themselves. Each client in the chair presents a new challenge with their own unique wants and requirements. Exceed these and you will feel for yourself the greatest sense of pride and satisfaction that any career can give.

Hairdressing is also a very flexible career choice. There are plenty of work options available to suit your preference. From working standard salon hours, to taking appointments only on days that suit you or freelance and go mobile. Being a mobile hairdresser could be anything form visiting clients in their homes, being a session stylist on shoots or sets to travelling the world renting a chair in any destination you choose. As long as you’re willing to put in the hard work, all you need is your scissors, comb and sense of style.

Another perk is that you get to try an amazing variety of skills and techniques on a daily basis. For example you may give mostly haircuts, but also have some styling appointments, chemical services (such as colour, perms and straightening services). Some clients may even willingly encourage you to push the limits and are happy to be part of the process. Giving you not only great inspiration but an opportunity to add to your portfolio.

While working day to day as a hairdresser you’ll also develop people skills as you will regularly meet and engage in conversation with some very interesting people. Your social skills will become highly refined as you learn how to deal with some interesting personalities, you may even find yourself engaging in client psychology. Furthermore you have the opportunity to attend industry events which provide a fantastic opportunity to network and get in contact with like-minded professionals. These are real world interpersonal skills that are valuable to you not just as hairdresser, but any career path you may decide to pursue.

Employers in the hair industry see the benefit in upskilling and furthering the training of stylists in the salon. It is in their best interest to do so as it makes you more appealing to clients more valuable to the salon. Career development could include anything from small local training classes to interstate or even overseas industry events. Either way an employer’s investment in your future is in an investment in their own business.

Of course, as with any profession, there are the things that ae not so appealing, the lows. These make the profession more challenging, and should be considered before you decide to become a hairdresser.

While your decision to become a hairdresser should not just be about the money, it is an important to consider what effect can have an effect on how you may feel during the early stages of your career. When you’re starting things can seem very overwhelming. Not only are you dealing with being in a new environment, with new responsibilities, it can also feel like you are working very hard for long hours for a relativity small reward. That’s not to say that hairdressing can’t be a well-paid career, it can be once you break past this barrier, hairdressers have the potential to earn a very decent living. As you progress it can also be a very well paying career choice especially if you are career driven and always strive to be bigger and better.
Being a hairdresser is physically demanding, in fact as a hairdresser you’ll spend almost all of your time on your feet. This physical stress can lead issues such as sore feet and ankles, back aches, joint pain and fatigue. Often physical stress can lower the immune system making you more vulnerable to other undesirable conditions. You can learn more about fatigue and other occupational risk here.
While a lot of the time interacting with clients can be a rewarding experience, there are times you may need to deal with difficult clients. There is no pleasing some people which means you need to be extra careful when communicating with them. Even though as hairdresser, your intent is to get the best result for the clients. There are days when a difficult customer can catch you by surprise. Doubly you may be feeling flat or unwell, and having to deal with this additional stress can really get you down. Experience can play a big role in dealing with client issues.

Being a hairdresser you are taking on a big responsibility each time you work with a client. Let’s face it a cut or style, gone wrong is worst case scenario for both the hairdresser and client. Sometimes things don’t go as planned and despite the best intentions or efforts to minimise the issue, the client may still be left a less than desirable outcome.
As a hair professional you will no doubt be very particular about your hair, in the same way a lot of clients can feel the same about there’s. When they come to you for a haircut, colour service, or other procedure, they expect you to make them look their best. Accidents do happen, and hair does grow back, but this can spoil an otherwise great ongoing relationship with the client. It never feels good being made to feel responsible for an unfortunate situation.

Being a hairdresser can be very competitive. Each year there are any number aspiring and talented hairdressers who have just completed training. Many more are also upskilling and specialising in certain trends and products. This is not necessarily a bad thing as competition is good for the industry, however it means that your training as a hairdresser is never really over. There are always new techniques being developed as well as new products and processes that need to be learned to remain current with trends and styles.

The issue with this is that for clients there is no shortage of choice. You can even see your client base may slowly decrease as they discover other options. You will need to innovate and learn to adapt in order to remain the hairdresser or salon of choice. Good relationships with clients do go a long way, however even loyal customers are happy to switch if it is convenient for them, or if they think they getting a better quality service. It’s just the way things are and if you let this get you down or take things personally, you can easily become discouraged.
Lows aside, hairdressing is and incredibly rewarding career choice. Throughout your career you will experience some incredible highs and likewise some demotivating lows. The thing to remember is that understanding the issues you potentially face is not only useful for deciding if hairdressing is for you, but can also prepare you for dealing with typical setback you can face. Awareness is half the battle and sharing with other like-minded hair professionals goes a long way to dealing with the common issues you may face.

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Building your Brand

Why do some people excel in their careers and other stagnate? Some people are naturally more driven than others and some people just don’t know where to start. We have compiled a few point to keep you on the right path and striving for excellence.

Throughout the course of your career you will no doubt be drawn to a particular field that you enjoy or excel in, or maybe you are still looking for that niche area. But once you find it, run with it and own it, don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet, if you are good enough people will recognise your skills and you will be rewarded.

Set yourself mini goals as well as long term goals, ask yourself where you want to be six months and where will you be in 5 years and make it happen. Believe in yourself and put your strategies in place. Don’t let anyone hold you back or tell you not to strive for what you believe you ca achieve.

It’s not what you know it’s who you know, it’s a well-known saying and true to an extent but of course you won’t get very far in the hair industry without having the necessary skills and talent behind you. But networking and connecting with people is a must for any would be entrepreneur or career driven individual.
Expand you circle by going to events and conventions, this helps you to make new connections and don’t be afraid to talk to people and make new acquaintances, you have to really put yourself out there and sell yourself. But it’s also listen to people too, everyone likes to talk and have someone to listen to their story and you can learn a lot from other people’s experiences.
Keeping an open mind and Staying open to new opportunities that are presented to you, it might not be exactly what you are looking for at that given point but you just never know what it could lead to in the future.

Don’t stop learning, don’t make the mistake of finishing your studies and thinking that you are done with the classroom, you’re not! It’s so important to stay abreast of current trends and to never stop trying to better yourself. Don’t be afraid to go back to studying to gain more knowledge in a particular area.
Build you brand and focus on selling and promoting your business. The best place to start is ensuring you keep a strong presence on Facebook, twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms, however we would definitely recommend Instagram as a good place to start by showing current trends and posting your latest styles to keep your followers interested.

Get yourself online, a good website design will really show off your personal style and accomplishments, not only is this the façade of your brand but you can use it to build your clientele using search engine optimisation (SEO) to gain traction on google and other search engines and set yourself apart from your competition. These days websites don’t need to cost you an arm and a leg, sites such as Wix lets you build your own beautiful website at a fraction of the cost of going through a professional web design studio.

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Cert II in Hairdressing

Certificate II in hairdressing is designed as a pre-vocational qualification to provide the basic skills to becoming a salon assistant for people who have the necessary skills to interact and engage in the workforce with colleagues and clients alike. This course will provide you with an overall representation of the role of a hairdresser as well as some real-world aptitudes in hairdressing.

Certificate II can act as a pathway to gaining an apprenticeship to Certificate III in Hairdressing, although cert II is beneficial to some it is not a necessity for everyone. Completing a pre-apprenticeship can show that you’re a dedicated individual and that you are serious about pursuing your career as a hairdresser.

During the course you will participate in workshops and work on mannequins and clients alike as well as participate in written work and group discussions. You will be trained in practical skills such as writing your resume, preparing for an interview and enhancing your communication skills as well as practical tasks such as:

  • Applying Shampoo and treatments.
  • Blow drying.
  • Styling.
  • Applying colour.
  • Braiding.
  • Massage.

The duration of this course varies for different institutes but generally can be completed in three months and you may also be able to apply have some of these units credited towards your certificate III Apprenticeship.

Certificate II is known as a Traineeship or Pre-Apprenticeship.

Click here to read about cert III in hairdressing via an Australian apprenticeship.
Click here to read about cert III in hairdressing via full time study.
Click here to read about cert IV in hairdressing.

Continue Reading