The Indian salon industry is growing in double digits, but still one of the challenges which most of the salons face is the lack of skilled staff. A lot of salon chains have started their own salon venture and academies in order to fulfill requirements for their growth apart from being of help to existing hair and beauty institutes. To tackle this issue, hair institutes are mushrooming all over India and more and more aspirants are enthusiastic about being a part of the hair and beauty industry.
Education in the hair industry is more than technical training. One needs to be better with their digital skills, soft skills, fashion sense, and more. So, it is not merely the technical aspect that will get an aspirant ahead in this industry. The hair dressing courses need to include other skill sets to make it a holistic training. This is a gap that needs to be filled but yes, the younger lot is understanding that ensuring their skill set has many components for their career graph to move upward.
It is common for somebody who has decided to take up hairdressing as a career, do the basic and immediately get on the job, instead of taking up a refresher or an advance course. Ideally, he or she should study further to learn about the techniques in detail. They say learning on the job is the best, however, in a technical field like hairdressing where trends are constantly evolving, it is imperative to upgrade skills and knowledge about the industry and learn more. Professional hair care product companies, such as Schwarzkopf Professional, help a person to upgrade their skill and knowledge. The scope is not only to upgrade a hairstylist on the latest haircuts, colour and styling, but also teach them the latest fashion trends that come directly from the fashion capitals of London, Milan, Paris, New York and Shanghai. These courses can be done without spending a lot of time and money.
After completely an extensive hairstyling course and getting credible experience by working in a salon, the scope does not end there since it is not mandatory for you to cut hair at a salon only! A fair amount of opportunities are available such as one can specialise to be a ‘Session Stylist’, which is only editorial work, one can be a part of a professional hair care company as an expert, be a consultant for salon, specialse for fashion weeks and so much more!
To understand the challenges faced, we first need to recognise that which is holding a hairstylist back. Primarily, it is education. It is true that one of the constant challenges the industry faces is of lack of basic academic education, though today it is much better than when our generation of hairstylists started. We still need to approach education institutes and share with them the real information on the hair industry, avenues to look out for after one has completed a hair course, and more. Did you know that a hairstylist has fashion sense and can predict the fashion trend ahead? For it, one needs to research and keep abreast with the latest fashion constantly. As this is not a subject in most of the institutes, stylists seldom care about it. He or she also has healthcare knowledge. Ideally a hairstylist should be half chemist to understand about deficiencies in hair and skin.
Moving forward, I really do hope the hairstyling course would not only revolve around the technicalities, but other aspects including fashion and beauty. Also, other soft skills should be incorporated in the course to ensure that the Indian hair industry is at par with the international counterparts.
Also, mandatory standardisation of the courses within the top hairdressing institutions is crucial. This should take care of assessment procedures both in theory and practicals to ensure radical changes in our industry.