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Hairdressing has a practical role in the everyday world of personal appearance and hygiene, and also plays an important therapeutic role in supporting individuals’ self- esteem and confidence. It also may help to relieve the effects of illness, and can aid recovery.

The hairdresser works in diverse environments including large, medium, small, or mobile salons, client homes and in product companies and training institutions, film and television productions, theatre, wig work, hair replacement, technicians, session stylists and product research and design. He or she may offer a wide range of services, including cutting, colouring, styling, chemical reformation, and special hair treatments. Alternatively, the hairdresser may specialize, for example by becoming either a men’s or ladies’ hairdresser, or a colourist.

Work organization and management, communication and client care, the ability to analyse hair types and conditions, and to work safely and to manufacturers’ instructions, are the universal attributes of the outstanding hairdresser.