Hair and beauty

The perfect career is in the eye of the beholder

Hair, beauty and nails therapy are diverse professions that can take you virtually anywhere and you could find yourself working in some unusual locations besides a high street salon. Many hairdressers and beauty therapists operate as self-employed freelancers, running their own businesses and visiting clients in their own homes; others find themselves working in spas, health farms, holiday resorts, film and TV sets and even the theatre. Some airlines offer in-flight hair and beauty treatments and most cruise liners will have a hair and beauty salon on board.

Hairdressing services are also required in prisons and on military bases, and both hairdressers and beauty therapists are required in hospitals and care homes to work with people who may be very ill, especially those who are losing their hair through cancer treatment or who need make-up to cover scars, burns and other injuries. Many people go on to work in sales, marketing, public relations and photography, while others choose to concentrate on the business aspects of running a salon rather than performing treatments.

There are five apprenticeships in this sector, offering routes into barbering, hairdressing, beauty therapy and nail services. Alternative routes exist for cutting the hair of men and women, while all of the apprenticeships offer different levels of technical training to suit general and more specialist professionals.

Interests and skills

Consider a career in hair and beauty if you enjoy making others feel better about themselves, as well doing something creative. Jobs can be undertaken in a variety of settings, and it’s common for professionals to run their own businesses.

School subjects

The school subjects that may prepare you for an apprenticeship in hair and beauty include:

  • Art
  • Business studies
Further reading

To find out more about apprenticeships in hair and beauty, visit: gov.uk/education/apprenticeships-traineeships-and-internships

Barbering apprenticeship

The Barbering apprenticeship is for those interested in cutting and styling the hair of men and boys (those who also

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Beauty therapy apprenticeship

A Beauty Therapy apprenticeship is about improving people’s wellbeing by making them look and feel better. Beauty therapy covers a

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Hairdressing apprenticeship

Hairdressing is a vibrant, fast-paced industry and provides a range of services to make clients look and feel better. On

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Nail services apprenticeship

The Nail Services apprenticeship covers a range of creative skills used in nail services, such as manicures and pedicures, applying

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Spa therapy apprenticeship

On a spa therapy apprenticeship you will learn to improve your clients’ overall wellbeing by providing a variety of body

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