A career in hairdressing

Hairdressers cut, colour and style hair. It’s a creative career that requires an eye for detail and an understanding of past and current trends. You’ll learn hairdressing techniques to create different styles, and build your knowledge of hair and skin types and how they react with various products.

Hairdressing is a highly flexible career. You might work from home, join a salon, start your own business or work as a stylist in the magazine, television or fashion industries. Some hairstylists, called barbers, specialise in cutting men’s and boys’ hair, including shaving and trimming beards.

An important part of hairdressing is helping clients feel relaxed, and communicating well with them so you’re clear about what style they want. That means you’ll need to be friendly, polite and a good listener, and enjoy talking to people.

How do I train?

Trades training is flexible. You can:

  • Do a pre-trades programme, then get a job and apprenticeship
  • Get an apprenticeship straight away and study while you work

Many people start with a pre-trades programme at a training institution. This will give you the hands-on experience and theory you need to prepare you for work. If you qualify for one of our scholarships, you can study for free – and we’ll help you find work when you finish.

If you already have experience in the trades or are ready for working life and happy to study while you work, you might look at going straight into an apprenticeship. We can help you make that decision, and we might even know someone who needs an apprentice like you.

How do I fund my training?

There are a few ways to get your fees paid – but they’re not all the same. 

Only available to Māori and Pasifika learners, the MPTT scholarship doesn’t just cover your course fees, it gives you the most well-rounded support to get a job in the trades. 

Find out how the MPTT scholarship compares to other funding options.