Hairdresser assistant

A hairdresser assistant


Hairdresser assistants clean the hair of clients, apply hair conditioner and dying treatment in a beauty salon. They apply shampoo, rub scalp and rinse the hair. They may also do scalp treatment, bleaching, tinting, and massaging for their clients. Shampooers use specialized lotions, shampoos, conditioners, and other hair care equipment, according to their client’s needs and preferences.

The duties of a hairdresser assistant include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing shampoo services to clients by massaging their scalp and shampooing hair, then rinsing the shampoo out with water
  • Cleaning up after each client leaves the salon by disposing of empty shampoo bottles and other debris
  • Cleaning and sterilizing tools and equipment such as blow dryers and curling irons used in hair styling services
  • Helping hairstylists create new styles by cutting hair using scissors or clippers
  • Applying temporary color to hair using a brush or spray bottle
  • Performing basic maintenance tasks such as sweeping up hair cuttings and dusting chairs for new clients
  • Selecting appropriate styles for clients based on their age, hair type, and desired length
  • Communicating with customers about their appointments, including scheduling follow-up appointments and reminding them of upcoming events such as weddings or proms
  • Taking pictures of clients before their hair is styled to document the transformation after services are completed

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to hairdresser assistant:

hair salon assistant
assistant of hairdressers
hair salon attendant
hair stylist assistant
hair dryer

Working conditions

Hairdresser assistants typically work in hair salons. They may work in small salons or in large salons with many stylists. They may work in a booth rental salon, where they rent a space from the salon owner and are self-employed, or they may work for a commission, where they are paid a percentage of the money their clients spend on services.

Hairdresser assistants typically work full time, and some may work evenings and weekends to accommodate their clients’ schedules. The work can be physically demanding, as stylists are on their feet for long periods of time and may have to lift heavy equipment. The work environment is usually fast-paced and can be stressful, as hairdressers must be able to handle multiple clients at one time.

Minimum qualifications

Hairdresser assistants are typically required to have a high school diploma. Many hairdresser assistants choose to pursue a cosmetology program to learn the skills they need to work in a salon. Cosmetology programs typically take nine months to complete and include both classroom and practical instruction. Courses in cosmetology include hairstyling, nail care, skin care, business practices and safety and sanitation.

Hairdresser assistants receive on-the-job training from their employers. This training may include learning how to use the salon’s equipment, how to clean and organize the salon and how to interact with clients. They can also receive training from their previous employers.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Hairdresser assistant is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Hairdresser assistant career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to hairdresser assistant.

hair removal technician

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of hairdresser assistant. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of hairdresser assistant with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

life coach
body artist
massage therapist
wedding planner
rooms division manager

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of hairdresser assistant.

  • Hair colouring: The theory and practice of colouring a hairstyle and various process steps and types such as bleaching, highlights, and balayage.
  • Hair: Human hair, its composition and interaction with various chemicals, environment factors and health issues.
  • Hair products: The qualities and applications of various styling products used on different types of hair, such as curling creams, hairspray, shampoos, and conditioners.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of hairdresser assistant.

  • Work ergonomically: Apply ergonomy principles in the organisation of the workplace while manually handling equipment and materials.
  • Treat scalp conditions: Use specialised lotions, shampoos or equipment to treat scalp or hair problems such as hair loss, hair damage, dandruff or psoriasis.
  • Maintain equipment: Regularly inspect and perform all required activities to maintain the equipment in functional order prior or after its use.
  • Use equipment for hair care: Use tools to cut, trim or shave hair, such as scissors, clippers, razors and combs.
  • Wash hair: Use shampoo to clean clients’ hair and scalp, use hair conditioners to create volume or make hair more smooth and shiny and afterwards dry the hair with a blow dryer or a towel.
  • Identify customer’s needs: Use appropriate questions and active listening in order to identify customer expectations, desires and requirements according to product and services.
  • Maintain customer service: Keep the highest possible customer service and make sure that the customer service is at all times performed in a professional way. Help customers or participants feel at ease and support special requirements.
  • Work safely with chemicals: Take the necessary precautions for storing, using and disposing chemical products.
  • Dye hair: Dye hair using a special solution to change its colour.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of hairdresser assistant. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Sell hair products: Sell various styling products used on different types of hair, such as curling creams, hairspray, shampoos and conditioners.
  • Order supplies: Command products from relevant suppliers to get convenient and profitable products to purchase.
  • Greet guests: Welcome guests in a friendly manner in a certain place.
  • Give massages: Provide clients with head, hand, neck, facial or full body massages.
  • Monitor stock level: Evaluate how much stock is used and determine what should be ordered.
  • Maintain work area cleanliness: Keep the working area and equipment clean and orderly.
  • Advise on hair style: Make recommendations to customers about suitable hair styles, based on their preferences and your own professional judgment.
  • Provide directions to guests: Show guests the way through buildings or on domains, to their seats or performance setting, helping them with any additional information so that they can reach the foreseen event destination.
  • Maintain professional administration: File and organise professional administration documents comprehensively, keep customer records, fill in forms or log books and prepare documents about company-related matter.
  • Administer appointments: Accept, schedule and cancel appointments.
  • Recommend cosmetics to customers: Recommend and provide advice on cosmetic products based on the customer’s personal preferences and needs and on the different product types and brands available.
  • Listen actively: Give attention to what other people say, patiently understand points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times; able to listen carefully the needs of customers, clients, passengers, service users or others, and provide solutions accordingly.
  • Help customers with hair problems: Offer solutions for or ways to deal with hair problems, such as gray hair, hair loss, hair damage or greasy hair, or scalp problems such as dandruff or psoriasis.
  • Show social competences: Ability to interact effectively with other people.
  • Process payments: Accept payments such as cash, credit cards and debit cards. Handle reimbursement in case of returns or administer vouchers and marketing instruments such as bonus cards or membership cards. Pay attention to safety and the protection of personal data.
  • Stay up-to-date with fashion trends in hair style: Keep abreast of current and future fashion trends, especially in hair styles.

ISCO group and title

5141 – Hairdressers

  1. Hairdresser assistant – ESCO
  2. Hair Stylist Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More – Climb the Ladder
  3. Featured image: Photo by Lindsay Cash on Unsplash
Last updated on November 12, 2022

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