Assistant Hairdresser

Assistant Hairdresser

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Nelson M

00:00:02 My name is Nelson Enrique Morales. I am an assistant to become a stylist. When I came to London I came to study English and then I decided to stay because my Mum, she’s been here for about 18, 19 years so I went to work in a restaurant in a kitchen. So I didn’t last too much because I didn’t really…it was too busy.

00:00:29 So I went to enjoy in a salon, in a salon I used to work, they had a kitchen and I saw all of the clients like beautiful hair so I thought, “Hold on, I don’t want to make sandwiches all my life.” I went to speak with the manager of the salon so I’m really interested to become a stylist. At the moment she started like she was, I was, like, kidding or something but she told me, “Yes.”

00:00:59 So, from here I now passed all my training to become a stylist. Got a passion to it. Always I had…I used to like rock music. I used to have really long hair and I used to do drugs and concert like getting crazy, mad, fights. So, that was my life for nearly three years in London. In 2005 when [a brother of mine] came to London for three months to visit and when he saw me with long hair like he was like a really embarrassed.

00:01:36 Because he never knew what I was doing in London. He told me, “Nelson, what are you doing to my Mum? You know, my Mum has been telling me that you are not in really good steps and she doesn’t want to tell you.” That made me feel really, really unhappy.

00:01:55 And one night we went to my Mum’s house, they were talking so I just went into the room and my Mum was crying so I asked, “What’s going on. Something is wrong?” And then my brother told me, “Nelson, I’m going to leave tomorrow and it’s going to be really sad for me to leave you like this.”

00:02:23 So, we went to my room again and I told him, “Ok, if you are leaving tomorrow, so tonight you want me to sleep. Why? Because you are going to help me destroy everything. Ok.” So, we spent the whole night like, scratching DVDs, thousand of DVDs, all the posters from the wall and everything, everything, like, we had like 10 bags of black bins in the street. Unbelievable.

00:03:02 He was my inspiration to change my life. When I was in that kind of living life rocky stuff, I never thought… even about four years ago I never thought I was going to be here sitting. In 20 years time I would like to be in my country definitely, open my own salon in my country. All what I want is a house, and my Mum.


Nelson came to the UK to learn English. After a spell working in a kitchen, he trained to become a hair stylist. His family is a very strong influence on him and he describes his brother as "my inspiration to change my life" when he moved on from the drug scene in London and turned his life around.

More information about Hairdressers and barbers

Check out 4 videos about this career

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average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

26%  male  74%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

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Hairdressers and barbers shampoo, cut, colour, style and treat hair.


There are no minimum academic requirements for entry, although some colleges require candidates to possess GCSEs/S grades. Training is provided off- and on-the-job and lasts up to three years leading to the awarding of NVQs/SVQs at Levels 1, 2 and 3. Apprenticeships leading to an NVQ/SVQ at Level 3 are also available.


  • Discusses customer requirements, analyses hair condition and other relevant features to define and advise on hair style;
  • Washes, conditions, bleaches, tints or dyes hair and provides any necessary basic scalp treatments;
  • Cuts and trims hair using scissors, clippers, razor and comb;
  • Combs, brushes, blow-dries or sets wet hair in rollers to style or straighten;
  • Shaves and trims beards and moustaches;
  • Collects payment, arranges appointments and cleans and tidies salon;
  • Maintains client records and keeps up-to-date with new products, styles and techniques;
  • Ensures hair products are stored and used appropriately and observes relevant health and safety factors;
  • Demonstrates, sells and recommends hair care products to clients and advises them on hair care.
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