There are a variety of reasons why people decide to get into hairdressing. For many it’s a lifelong passion that started in their early childhood; for others, it's a change of direction, based on something they've always been interested in, and want to explore further. But while there are lots of reasons why people decide to do, it, there are a few benefits that they'll all hope to have in common. Way Out West look at the top five.
How people spend their money can change with generations, and even fads and trends, but there’s little doubt that people will always spend money on hairdressers and barbers. Even in a low economy, or at time when people are personally a bit short on cash, people will always need their hair cut, and will even tend to be willing to pay quite a lot to do so, be it out of simple necessity, or something they see as a suitable luxury expenditure.
In 2017, hairdressers might even be one of the few professions in Northern Ireland to benefit from an economic downturn, as the value of sterling slumps. Back in 2009, The Observer ran a story about how ‘Donegal businesswoman Joanne Rodden drove for three hours on Friday morning through the dark, ice and snow just to get a haircut.’
Her reason? ‘Hairdressing tourism’, caused by sterling being weak against the euro, and salons in Northern Ireland therefore being cheaper than those on the other side of the border. With the current economic situation, and increasing weakness of sterling, could we soon see something similar?
For anyone hoping to challenge in other high street industries, such as coffee shops, cafes, restaurants or even fashion shops, there is always the difficult problem of overcoming big name franchises. But while big international companies can make it hard for local newsagents or independent coffee shops to survive, hairdressers don't face such a dominant figure; it’s a career path that encourages independently owned businesses, and local success.
High up on the list of reasons for why people get into hairdressing is a pre-existing passion for it, meaning that when they do, they’re in an environment they enjoy and can be creative in - it's something they're qualified in, but also genuinely want to be doing. There's also the added bonus of generally being in a friendly, relaxed environment where people skills are usually paramount, so it’s no surprise that hairdressing is considered one of the happiest jobs in the world.
Variation and a chance to meet the stars
Working in a salon is no longer the only way or place to be a hairdresser. Weddings and major events, and even celebrity clients, mean people hire hairdressers to come to different venues and even into their own homes. Celebrity clients add a certain glamour to the profession, but these weddings and big events can also give you flexibility and room for creativity in your working schedule.
On top of this, lots of hairdressers also work from home in general, either in the evenings, or while they’re setting out and before they have their own salon.
People will invest in you
The nature of the hairdressing industry, which involves training, apprenticeships and natural learning on the job, means that it's a profession where people tend to look out for one another, and support younger people coming through. As such, there are plenty of opportunities for anyone entering the profession, and there’s no shortage of examples on how to make your way in the business.
As well as people investing in you, there’s also the chance that if things work out for you in hairdressing, you will have the chance to invest in yourself – after all for many hairdressers and barbers, the prospect of opening your own salon or shop is the ultimate goal!