Bridging the Gap: The Fellowship’s Finishing School Prepares Next Generation of Hairdressers

The Fellowship for British Hairdressing is proud to announce the return of its innovative Finishing School program for the second year running, designed to bridge the gap between education and employment in the hairdressing and barbering industry. This comprehensive program, led by some of the industry’s top professionals, aims to enhance the commercial awareness and employability of aspiring hairdressers and barbers.

Building on the success of last year’s program, the Finishing School offers a unique blend of technical skills, business acumen, and essential soft skills. Students received advanced training in cutting, styling, and colouring techniques, as well as crucial lessons in client communication, time management, and salon operations.

“The finishing school totally encapsulates our mission to grow emerging talent,” says Ashleigh Hodges, the newly appointed Fellowship President and one of the program’s esteemed educators. “It’s going right to the root of new talent and opening their eyes to the opportunities our industry has to offer from the moment they qualify.”

The program features an impressive roster of award-winning stylists, colourists, and men’s hairdressers. Michelle Griffin, another key educator, emphasises the value of this exposure: “Being taught by successful, award-winning professionals showcasing their unique skills and journey into education is priceless.”

Simon Shaw, Global Artistic Director of Wahl and visionary behind the Finishing School, notes, In each day of the finishing school, whether that be cutting, colouring, styling or afro, we add a commercial aspect to it so that when they go into the salon, they’re better prepared.”

The Finishing School goes beyond traditional hairdressing education by incorporating essential business and interpersonal skills. Students learn about marketing strategies, client retention, financial management, and salon operations, preparing them for the realities of the industry.

“There is so much more to being a hairdresser than doing hair,” Hodges explains. “Doing hair is our craft, looking after the client is our job. The soft skills are invaluable to getting the students to understand this and put it into practice.”

Jordan Heyes, a key educator in the program, highlighted the program’s focus on digital skills: “As an industry expert for social media, I led sessions on building an online presence and brand identity. We engaged in practical exercises, including curating a fictional brand as a team. The ‘Content Creation Bootcamp’ was a key component, where students learned insider tips for creating attention-grabbing online content and incorporating their brand identity into advertising. It’s everything I wish I’d known before diving into the world of social media.”

The program culminates in a presentation day where students showcase their newly acquired skills and confidence. “The presentation day at the end where the kids’ parents and grandparents show up is a standout moment,” Simon shares. “The amount you see them grow and develop within a week is incredible and truly rewarding.”

The Fellowship Finishing School represents a significant investment in the future of the hairdressing industry, offering students unparalleled access to top-tier education at a fraction of the cost. As Michelle notes, “ My advice to the students was to perfect the finish of their work to the highest standard and their worth will be endless.  Having a luxurious finish to your work sets you apart from the rest and only enhances your reputation.