School’s Out: Getting the Right Start to Your Hair and Beauty Career

By Stephanie Lowndes on February 20th, 2019

Whether you have just left school or are preparing to do so, you could understandably be putting a lot of thought into what step to take next. If you have a beauty passion that manifests itself through habitual purchases of beauty products and magazines, you might already know what that step should be.

Yes, the prospect of a career in hair and beauty could be tantalisingly beckoning you. Still, how exactly you are supposed to prime yourself for this career route could escape you. Remind yourself that all of the beauty gurus you admire today started somewhere – and possibly in these ways…

Research what qualifications you might need to pick up

We’re not sure whether this news might delight you or fill you with despondency, but your time in education might not be over just yet. Yes, you could soon be following your friends currently poring over college and university brochures – but if you do so, you should make sure you choose the right course.

College or university life might be fun in itself, but you should ultimately embrace it as the means of picking up a valuable qualification for furthering your career. Exactly what course or courses you should take will depend on your desired job – or if you remain unsure about that field of work.

Let’s assume that you want to join a salon as a beauty therapist. You might need a Level 2 or 3 NVQ, or to have passed an equivalent exam. “I always look for NVQ Level 3 minimum in beauty,” Rachel Fox, founder of The Beauty & Blow Dry Studio, told But such qualifications will not only help you land a job, but they can also assist you with your insurance in the future. Take a look at our handy guide to industry-ready qualifications for more information.

Get some work experience under your belt

Certain qualifications might look good on paper, but they might not get you far if you lack the right practical skills. Fox has revealed that as well as the aforementioned NVQ Level 3 qualification or better, she looks for “good presentation, an excellent telephone manner and great customer service skills.”

How do you develop those skills? One potential path is embarking on an apprenticeship. This could be a good way of picking up on-the-job experience at a salon while also obtaining a qualification. An apprenticeship training agency could recruit you on an employer’s behalf and arrange your training.

However, you probably shouldn’t rule out gaining work experience by other means if it would seem apt for the job position in question. Alessandra Steinherr eventually climbed the ranks to become Glamour‘s Beauty Director, despite having initially needed to fight hard for work experience.

She recalled: “I wrote to every single magazine and applied for work experience. I got rejected by most – but I got two interviews and that’s all I needed – I was going to make it work.” She added that, for her industry, work experience remains “the way in”, because “you learn on the job.”

Krishna Montgomery, who founded the communications agency Monty PR, has similar advice for people who want to enter the world of beauty public relations. She has recommended: “Make sure your CV is word perfect. Try and get an internship at a company who you are excited by.

And don’t worry if you’re exceptionally keen to get both your work experience and your qualifications completed at once – we have cost-effective, tailor-made student insurance cover too, so you can learn, practice, and strive for perfection without worry.

Are you on social media? Make good use of it

If you are active on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you might have already extensively used those to showcase your beauty expertise. You could even become the new Patricia Bright, who is thought to earn over £200,000 each year from her YouTube channel, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Another good reason to dispense beauty advice on social media is that, once you’ve developed an enviably large following, you could take it with you as you start work at a salon. Still, there are various dos and don’ts of effectively using social media as an advertising tool in this context.

For example, whether you are at the helm of the salon in question or simply market it on behalf of the senior management, you should adhere to a tone of voice and communication style that reflect the brand’s image. Don’t be afraid to share popular but relevant hashtags, too.

Given their highly visual nature, such social media portals as Instagram and Pinterest could serve as powerful weapons in your beauty marketing arsenal. Nonetheless, you should make sure that your images are professional and high in quality; ignoring this advice could stain your company’s image.

Furthermore, when followers of your social media accounts post comments and send instant messages through those accounts, take note. Respond to those remarks to help foster continued engagement with your followers, to whom you could also promote social media-based competitions.

Want to run your own salon? Heed industry regulations

You might need to embark on a lot of research to verify that you are following your industry’s regulations. However, you shouldn’t skimp on such research, as violating these regulations and falling short of applicable legislation could compromise the safety of your operations.

By law, particular qualifications and training could be required in your case. We have already touched upon the subjects of qualifications and training, but you should also make sure you’re not forgoing any necessary licences. Financial considerations might come into play here, too.

Of course, as a school leaver, you might not exactly have stacks of money – but you should keep in mind that if you can’t afford to tick all of the relevant boxes on the regulations checklist, you can’t get down to work. It’s as simple as that – and those regulations could cover crucial health and safety matters.

However, you might still come across some surprising ways of saving money on this box-ticking journey. For example, there’s scope for saving money on insurance – even premium-standard cover. That’s the kind of cover you can get with Salon Gold.

If you are looking for cost-effective freelance and mobile hair and beauty insurance, we can bundle a range of crucial covers – including public liability and products liability – automatically into a package to which you could add options. Those could include covers for employers’ liability and legal expenses.

Stephanie Lowndes

Stephanie is a Digital Marketing Masters Graduate with extensive customer service experience gained in the retail and hospitality sectors. Stephanie is currently a Social Media and Email Marketing Executive at Salon Gold.

All articles by Stephanie Lowndes

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