Ask Miss Victory Violet

Ask Miss Victory Violet- A Career in Hairdressing

 Dear Miss Victory Violet,

 You’ve mentioned many times that you’re a hairdresser and I was wondering what made you want to pick this career and what are some things people looking into becoming a hairdresser might need to consider school or career wise.
What’s the best thing about it and what’s the not so great?

Thank you and God bless,
Nashville, USA

Hi McKenzie,

Great question! Yes, I’m a trained hairdresser and whilst I’m not doing that now since my move to London, I still really love it and know I’m going to miss a lot of aspects about it.

I decided to choose hairdressing after quite a few years of being uncertain with of my career path. When I first left school, I started doing a Bachelor of Arts and did a paper on Ancient Egyptian History, Anthropology and French. While I did enjoy the subjects, I found the University structure did not suit my learning style and I left after the first semester in the hopes of finding something else I’d enjoy more. Fast forward 18 months of working in retail, I decided it was time to go back to school and restart my career path.

I started looking at all the possibililites that were hands-on, creative and most importantly, didn’t involve a lecture theatre of hundreds of students. Hairdressing had been something I’d momentarily considered over the years but never given it serious thought. But, after thinking about how I did like to do my own hair, customer service and being social and creative, I enrolled in hairdressing school.

It suited me really well and I knew I’d made the right choice! Hairdressing training and education varies of course country to country but in New Zealand there’s two ways to start out- either get a apprenticeship which means learning on the job and can take 3+ years or doing a 2 year hairdressing course.

Personally, I knew that enrolling in hair school was the best option for me as I like to be fully emmersed in whatever I’ve chosen to do. However it’s important to remember that with any skill, you are going to need further training and you’ll always be learning. Too many students think that at the end of the 2 years, they can get a job as a Senior Stylist and they know everything they need to know.
I did a further 12 months of training in the salon I worked at after finishing my course and this was VITAL to me becoming the stylist I am today. I learnt different techniques, watched the stylists work and got hands on salon experience. If you want to work in a high-end salon, then this will probably be what you need to do too. Looking back to when I first graduated hair school, there was no way I was 100% prepared to be unleashed onto clients.
Sure, it does kinda suck when you have spent 2 years in school only to be stuck doing the assistant jobs and cleaning, but as long as you are still getting good training, you’ll be a better stylist for it.

So, what are the pros and what are the cons of a career in hairdressing?

-It’s a social job and the relationships you build with clients are really special.
-You get transform someone and give them a boost of confidence that they needed.
-It’s creative and hands-on, perfect for the kind of personality that would go crazy in a desk-job!
-It’s a skill that you can take with you anywhere or easily do part-time/from home if needed.

-You’ll be having to work most weekends and probably do late nights during the week.
-It can be psychically very tiring- you are standing on your feet all day and lots of hairdresser suffer from RSI.
-Dealing with the public can be draining. Most of your clients will be amazing but there will be some that will really try your patience.

All jobs have their positives and negatives and if you are really unsure, see if you can do some work experience in a salon for a few days to see if it’s really what you want to do.

I wish you all the best whatever you choose!

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3 replies »

  1. Wow, this was really fascinating to read! I loved the insight into the profession, and also into your own decision making.
    Just one little typo, I think you mean it’s very tiring ‘physically’, not psychically!

  2. That was an interesting read- I did wonder how you got into hairdressing.
    It’s also a pleasant surprise to discover you spent some time studying Ancient Egypt & Anthropology- my university degree is in Archaeology & Anthropology (with a particular focus on Ancient Egypt). Maybe our love of a feline flick is somewhat influenced by the kohl lines drawn around an Egyptians’ eye…?

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