TONI&GUY international creative director Cos Sakkas gives his advice on making the most of your apprenticeship.
Being an apprentice in any industry is hard work. However, these simple tips should ensure you enjoy your time as a hairdressing apprentice and ultimately become a confident and professional stylist.
1. Take advantage of as much education as you can. Regular training in the salon is free so grab it with both hands. Trade exhibitions such as Salon International, offer free shows on various stages where you will see the latest trends and techniques being presented by some of the most talented teams in the industry.
2. Events such as Hair Club Live and Fellowship for British Hairdressing are an informal way to watch inspiring names present their new collections and styles in an up-close-and-personal format. Hair Club Live is held in cool, trendy places where you can see up-and-coming hairdressers for just £5. It’s all about having fun while you learn.
3. Make sure your training programme has got a timeline and a structure so you can see your progress.
4. Ensure you learn as many techniques as you can – you want to grow into a confident and competent hairdresser who can work on all aspects of hairdressing, not just what is popular now. You need to learn all the foundations in cutting, colouring and styling so you never have to turn away a client.
5. Training often means repeating the same technique over and over again, so to prevent getting bored, approach it in a different way. Work on different textures and lengths and be as varied as you can. This will mean you can work on all hair types and will keep the training interesting.
6. Understand what your goals are and how to achieve them.
7. Keep focused on the end result – to become a qualified hairdresser.
8. If your team are doing anything outside working hours make sure you volunteer to take part.
9. Approach the hairdresser you admire the most in the salon and offer to assist them as often as you can. Watch the techniques they use, ask them for advice and interact with them whenever possible. Having a mentor will aspire and inspire you.
10. Build relationships with stylists in the salon so you feel like an assistant rather than floating around waiting to be asked.
11. Watch as much as you can when you are in the salon – it’s amazing how much you learn by just watching other people.