Hairdressers generally work in salons where they cut, style and dye clients' hair. Salons vary by location and clientele: They range from franchised national chain locations that focus on fairly standard hair cutting and care, to individual studios known for the presence of a well-known hair professional. In some cases, hairdressers may travel to work with their clients, especially when they offer up-dos and hairstyling for special events such as weddings.
Hairdressers are expected to be able to execute a variety of styles and cutting techniques while keeping abreast of current trends and developments in the industry. The educational requirements for hairdressers usually includes secondary school vocational coursework or technical training. In many cases, a hairdresser will receive some sort of license or certification at the completion of this training, and that documentation will be required by their employer. Additionally, upscale salons, boutiques and studios may require prior work experience before hiring a hairdresser. In the case of these higher-end employment opportunities, an experienced hairdresser may be expected to have an established list of clients to bring over to their new employer. They may also be expected to start out washing clients' hair and doing blow-outs before they move into being a full-time hairstylist or into having a dedicated chair in a given salon.
In addition to the continuing education requirements, hairdressers must also be familiar with and able to execute more expensive hair-care services, such as perms, highlights, hair sculpting and full hair color makeovers. Because of the close contact between a hairdresser and their clients, hairdressers should enjoy working and interacting with a variety of personalities. Employers expect their hairdressers to have a personable, professional appearance and will want them to be able to interact with clients in an easy, conversational manner. Hairdressers generally are on their feet for long periods of time, and can work normal business hours, or they may have night and weekend shifts depending on their place of employment.