There's more to a hairdresser's life than simply cutting hair - one has to be outgoing and creative Requirements: A hairdresser needs to have an outgoing personality and know how to communicate effectively with customers. Styling hair is a personal thing. It is important to talk to customers and know what they want. Customers will keep coming back if they think you are a good match for them. Hairdressers are fashionable people who understand what looks good. They should also be keen on staying abreast of the latest fashion trends. Qualifications: Unlike Japan and Europe, Hong Kong has no professional qualifications for hairdressers. Many people start off as apprentices. Some big international salons offer training courses for people who are interested in joining the industry. The certificates issued by such salons are accepted around the world. Average Salary: Apprentices usually start at HK$6,000 to HK$7,000, but some customers give tips. An experienced hairdresser is paid largely on a commission basis and they made at least HK$10,000 a month depending on the number of customers they have. Prospects: Apprentices or juniors do not get to cut hair. They usually spend their day washing and drying hair, cleaning up the salon and assisting the hairdressers. Apprentices learn and pick up tips through their chores. It takes about three years for an apprentice to become a hairdresser. The main job is cutting and styling hair, but a hairdresser also needs to develop their own client base. There may not be too many customers to work with at first and developing a client base may take two to three years. But once that is done, you are fully established as a hairdresser. Long-term prospects: Experienced hairdressers may get a chance to do hairstyling for fashion shows, commercial shoots, television shows and movies. There are also opportunities to become a teacher and teach hairstyling techniques. Opening your own hairdressing salon is also an option. Where to apply: Hair salons, club houses and saunas with hairstyling services, as well as television stations and film studios. A day in the life of a hairdresser The working hours of a hairdresser depend a lot on appointments with customers rather than the opening hours of the salon. Sometimes it can get very busy with lots of appointments and other times it is more relaxed. Apart from customers who book by appointment, there are also walk-ins. When the salon is less crowded, hairdressers spend their time styling hair with co-workers to practise and instruct juniors.