Explore: Hair and beauty

Managing Director

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Pedro I and Johnny Othona

00:00:01 Pedro: I’m Pedro I, I’m a hairdresser. I’ve been hairdressing since I was 16 years old. I’ve been in the industry for 13 years.

00:00:08 Johnny: My name’s Johnny, I’ve been hairdressing since I was 16.

00:00:11 Pedro: We’ve actually owned our own business for the last year and a half.

00:00:15 Johnny: We always wanted to have a business together. I think there’s only so much you can do within a company. There is times when you have to spread your wings and fly. My father is the kind of character who felt that you should always work for a living so as a child I did everything. I was a builder’s assistant, I was a butcher’s assistant and the one thing that I did which I enjoyed was a barber’s shop and I worked in a barber’s shop for Saturdays and that kind of led me towards becoming a hairdresser.

00:00:44 Pedro: I never really had a vision of exactly what I wanted to do as a child and I think that’s possibly quite a common scenario to be in. When I went to school dyslexia wasn’t really something which was understood. I found it frustrating to read and write so my main subjects that I liked was maths and art. And I think purely it’s just because they didn’t involve the things that I struggled with. I actually chose to be a chef and I applied to college and I went for one day and I didn’t like it and the next day I became a hairdresser.

00:01:21 Johnny: I was an apprentice so I worked within a salon within a unit servicing clients, shampooing, conditioning. Really the backbone of the salon to help the salon service the clients the way they deserved to be serviced. So, my training period was quite long. I trained for three years and then towards the end of our training, shall we say, there was a programme where you trained to do certain exams and then you qualify and you become a stylist within the company. And myself and Pedro, it just so happened that our journeys met at that stage. As soon as you get through these tests and you’ve finally passed, it’s almost like a sense of relief because you’ve hit like a stepping stone, you almost feel like you’ve completed something, you’ve achieved something, and that, for me, was the pinnacle of my training and I’m sure the pinnacle of your training. But, on my very first day when I qualified, I’ll never forget it. I got there half an hour early, shoes polished, outfit ironed, hair done, half an hour early. Where I was used to taking like three or four hours to do this hair cut which is perfect and really, really clean and, you know, all of a sudden I had to do it in 45 minutes. For me it was like, I had like three clients back to back. But I just remembered I was so physically, I was like, “Please, take me back to staff training, I’m not good enough, I can’t do this.” Throughout your career you’ll always have, you know, benchmarks and that was like, I’d say, one of my biggest learning curves.

00:02:46 Pedro: Our paths have been very different. I chose a very kind of managerial route, you know, so there was kind of, be a manager or be a creative director. You know, so, my focus has always very much been on numbers but Johnny’s focus is very much, you know, on creativity.

00:03:05 Johnny: I love, I love our craft, I love what we do. I could cut hair at one o’clock in the morning, at seven o’clock in the morning. It wouldn’t bother me. And I think that once you find something that you’re passionate about, I don’t think there’s anything to stop you. I think, I remember a couple of times when I was training where I’d go home crying because I’d had enough. You know, I couldn’t take it, I wasn’t good enough, I’m never going to be good enough. But, you know, the door has to open again tomorrow and you have to get up and you have to do it again. And that’s, there was a very, very clear part in my path which was very difficult for me personally.

00:03:40 Pedro: Whenever we look at scenarios which could possibly knock our confidence, I think we always remember that we’re learning from every single scenario that we’re coming across in life. It’s kind of, it makes you grow and it makes you learn and I just think if you have that attitude towards, you know, your career and your life then I think you can only ever move forward.


Pedro is dyslexic but this wasn’t recognised when he was at school so he found school quite frustrating. He has worked his way up through the industry to become joint owner of the Sejour hairdressing business. “I think we always remember that we’re learning from every single scenario”.

More information about Hairdressers and barbers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

28%  male 
72%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? 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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