final test hairdressing

We often talk about the intensive training and tests our hairdressers’ go through to join our team. Now we’re going behind the scenes to share exactly what that means! We’ve already talked about our vardering process with Trevor, but with two new stylists’ undergoing their final test this week it’s the perfect time to speak to Trevor and his Artistic Director Tom about what happens at these tests:


What is a Final Test?

Tom: After completing 4-6 weeks of our vardering programme, a prospective team member presents 11 models to Trevor and myself, with their salon team watching for support. We will then take about an hour in total looking through all the looks together, and discussing suitability and cleanness of work. We then deliberate between ourselves and with the salon educator, before deciding whether the prospective team member has passed.


What do you mean by suitability and cleanness?

Tom: Suitability is whether the haircut suits the face shape, bone structure and personality of the model/client. Cleanness of work is checking how well the hair has actually been cut to pick up on any little inconsistencies. We check the balance of the haircut and the sharpness of the lines.
Trevor: Before I check each cut I always ask the model to be honest with me, and to explain how their hair was before. Quite often the moment I walk into a test I know if it’s a pass or a fail. I judge it initially not on technique but on suitability. If the model looks good then that’s really the most important thing. They have to look and feel happy about their new haircut. If I see a big change that obviously impresses me more than just taking a few millimetres off. An example of how I check a one length bob is I start by seeing if both sides are the same length. That sounds so simple, but it’s a really common mistake. Then I ask the stylist to also check and tell me if they feel they’re exactly equal. I know the answer already, but I like to test their honesty, confidence and their eye. If there’s ever any little problems to pick up on then I’ll have already spotted it (or if I miss it Tom will have)!

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