What Does a Hairdressing Trainee Do?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 22 February 2020
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A hairdressing trainee assists certified hair stylists in various duties relating to hair care, grooming and styling. In addition to these duties, a stylist trainee may also be required to keep a salon neat and tidy, schedule appointments and answer product questions or even sell beauty products to customers. A hairdressing trainee may also be required to attend formal classroom training while gaining hands-on experience.

Hairdressing trainee positions are typically sought by individuals hoping to engage in a long-term hairdressing career. Often, these individuals intend to undergo formal hairdressing training and eventually become licensed or certified as a hairstylist. In many instances, previous enrollment in a cosmetologist program is necessary to simultaneously work as a hairdressing trainee. Many such positions are even gained through trainee job placement provided by a formal course or program.

Individuals working as a hairdressing trainee are typically expected to support full-fledged stylists in serving clients. Such includes scheduling appointments, greeting clients, providing refreshments and making sure that clients have a quality salon experience. A hairdressing trainee may also be required to shampoo and blow-dry a client’s hair, prepare clients for individualized treatments and clean common areas.


Some salons sell their own styling products or promote and sell other haircare products to clients. When this is the case, a hairdressing trainee is often expected to know the finer selling points of a product and be available to inform clients about them or answer questions about products, as needed. Some trainees may also recommend certain styling products to clients.

While many trainees are not yet licensed to work as individual stylists, some are recently licensed, but may be required to gain trainee experience before being allowed to work in a salon. Qualified trainees may be able to cut a client's hair or enhance a style with color, as well as perform other styling functions. Usually, such is done under the supervision of a more experienced stylist in an effort to assure that procedures are correctly performed and that the stylist trainee and client are comfortable with a trainee’s work.

Most people pursue hairdressing trainee positions as a method of career advancement. With careful research and career planning it is often understood that actual experience working in a salon is helpful to eventually become a good stylist. Working as a trainee can help give future stylists confidence and prepare them for working with different hair types and styles, as well as various salon requests.


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