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How to Become a Freelance, Self employed, Mobile Hairdresser

You may also want to read our page on 'Completing Your Self Assessment Tax Return for Hairdressers' and 'How to Become a Hair Stylist'

A career in hairdressing is a popular choice as often it is often referred to as the happiest job. So what does it entail, how do you become a hairdresser, and how do you go freelance?

As a hairdresser your day to day duties can include:

  • Shampooing
  • Cutting
  • Colouring
  • Perm

However some chose to specialise in for example African-Caribbean techniques or men’s barber shop services.

As a trainee hairdresser you would begin by carrying out basic tasks such as:

  • Receptionist duties
  • Washing hair
  • Making sure supplies are ready for use
  • General upkeep of the salon.
  • Entry Routes

There are two main entry routes into hairdressing these are:

  • Attending college and gaining your Level 1-3 NVQs (SVQ’s in Scotland) in Hairdressing.
  • Becoming a salon apprentice and learning on the job whilst attending college once a week.

As a salon trainee you would get paid a small salary. This may be a preferable route if you’re over the aged of 19 as from August 2011 tuition fees will applicable for NVQs.

For more information on Apprenticeships, please call the National Apprenticeship Helpline on 08000 150600 or visit

City and Guild Awards are also available. These are short courses to build up your specialist skills in areas such as:

  • Colouring
  • Dressing long hair
  • Hair extensions
  • Women’s haircutting

Some universities offer foundation degrees in Hairdressing these are designed in partnership with employers to make sure students gain all relevant knowledge and skills. However these courses do cost, and if you are under 19 following path of NVQs is much more cost effective

For more information on entry level courses please visit HABIA

Advanced Qualifications

Once you’ve gained some experience as a hairdresser you may want to further your skills. These courses are particularly helpful if you’re considering going freelancing. Higher level qualifications include:

  • City and Guilds Level 4 Higher Professional Diploma in Salon Management – this enables you to be effectively become your own boss
  • Ba (Hons) Salon Management

Going Freelance

There are numerous benefits of freelancing, for example the freedom and flexibility to work for as many different types of client as you like as well as the obvious benefit of increasing your take home pay. In fact our freelancer take home pay calculator shows you how much you can expect to take home as a freelancer.

As a hairdresser it may see daunting going at it alone. However the Freelance Hair and Beauty Federation will help guide you in the right direction.

Finding work as Freelancer Beautician

When training to become a Beautician you would have had the opportunity to start building your portfolio and perhaps even your clientele. It’s not necessary to work in a salon before freelancing; you just have to be good at marketing your skills! Here are some suggestions on how to market yourself:

Setup a website. It only needs to be simple you don’t need to be an html expert. Websites such as webs will make it a walk in a park for you. The website needs to be information rich about the services you offer, a price list, the areas you cover and contact details.

Place an advert in your local newspapers this can be very affective as it targets your specific areas, in addition usually newspapers have a website you can advertise on too. Often when you buy space on one you they offer you space on both.

Place an advert in local shops, local newsagents etc, usually have a space for adverts in their windows – these can be cheap and run week by week, giving you the advantage of removing them whenever you feel like.

Advertise on Gumtree, This is free! Gumtree has a specialist section for beauticians, to make your advert stand out you could offer discount on your first treatment on do a bundle of different treatments for a set price.

Use Wahanda, you can set a profile up for free and advertise your services. Previous clients can also review your services, helping build trust in your brand.  In addition you will have your own unique Wahanda blog, which is useful in building up your profile.

Having made the decision to give it a go, whether full or part time and whether to set up as a sole trader or limited company, you’re going to need a wide range of tax and accountancy advice and support in the early days when setting up as a freelancer.

The most daunting thing about going freelancing for most people is the thought of having to engage with an accountant. At first glance it’s easy, you go down to your local high street accountant who quotes you anything from £250 - £600 plus VAT to do your end of year accounts for you.

This sounds great, however what happens if you want to speak to your accountant for advice throughout the year on things like:

  • Expenses
  • Tax allowances
  • Take home pay
  • How much you should put aside for your tax bill
  • Should you register for the Flat Rate VAT scheme
  • Would going limited be beneficial
  • Can I do work other than project management through my business
  • If you have a life plan and wish to go travelling what’s the most tax efficient way to run your business.

Each time you pick up the phone it is likely you will get charged, in fact every time your accountant sends you a letter you may charged and you may even get charged if you call to query your invoice! So by the end of the year you could easily be looking at a bill of over £1,000. 

You may also want to read our page on 'Completing Your Self Assessment Tax Return for Hairdressers' and 'How to Become a Hair Stylist'

You may like to download:

You may also find the following pages helpful, if you’re thinking about making the move to self employment.

Why Clients Choose Easy Accountancy

Easy Accountancy offers a low cost, fixed fee accountancy package with all clients receiving their own dedicated, friendly, approachable accountant.

All of our accountants specialise in providing accountancy services to the self-employed, freelancers, sole traders, small to medium sized limited companies and private individuals. All accountants are employees of Easy Accountancy and we never outsource or offshore work.

Our low cost, all-inclusive fixed-fee accountancy service includes unlimited access to your own dedicated accountant throughout the year and covers all your business and personal tax affairs needs.

All our accountancy services include:
  - Unlimited access to your accountant
  - Ongoing advice on how to manage your business
  - Proactive tax advice throughout the year
  - Updates and reminders so you'll never miss a deadline
  - Free bookkeeping software

As a sole trader our fees start at just £30 + VAT a month, for this you receive the above plus:
  - Completion of your Self-Assessment tax return
  - Advice on how much Income Tax to pay
  - Guidance on National Insurance contributions

As a limited company our fixed fee packages are bespoke to your needs, however typically you’ll receive the above, plus:
  - Completion of your year end accounts*
  - Completion and submission of your annual return Companies House
  - The director/s Self Assessment tax return
  - Payroll bureau
  - Dividends and corporation tax computations

We’ve saved our clients up to half on their accountancy bills – if you’d like a quote, click on the quote me button to the right of this page. Alternatively, call us on 0500 234111 / 01442 275767 or email

*If you would like us to complete your company year end accounts we simply ask that you have been a client of Easy Accountancy for one year or have made 12 monthly payments.