Professional hairdressing apprenticeship

The level 2 hairdressing professional apprenticeship is the perfect training programme for those looking to launch a bright hairdressing career, whilst gaining experience, practical skills and an industry recognised qualification while working at a hairdressing salon.

Female hairdresser blow drying her client
Course overview

At a glance




20 months



About the course

This qualification is designed to reflect the needs of the modern hairdressing industry. Our hairdressing apprenticeships are delivered in a professional salon environment and led by a team of industry experts. We’ll provide in-salon training to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to get ahead in the world of hairdressing, such as:

  • Cutting hair
  • Styling and finishing hair
  • Colouring techniques

Throughout the apprenticeship we’ll also help you to build the kit needed for your development and progression as you move through the different stages of the programme including blockhead units and hairbrushes.

Is this course right for you?

This apprenticeship is ideal if you have a passion for hairdressing and want to develop the skills needed to be a successful and talented hairdresser.

It is a great programme for those new to the industry, for those already working at a junior level within a salon or barber shop or those who have some experience but who want their professional competencies validated by a formal qualification.

Our most successful apprentices are good team players with a desire to learn and develop new skills. They generally have creative flair, vision, and customer communication skills to both inspire and interpret customer’s hairstyles and grooming regimes.

The apprenticeship works really well for those who wish to learn and earn within a live salon environment, and apply new skills within a workplace, rather than college, environment.

When you are a Realise barbering apprentice, the learning is in your hands. You can use everything you learn at work, it’s very hands on!

When you are a Realise apprentice, the learning is in your hands. You can use everything you learn at work, it’s very hands on!

Sean, The Mardy Barbers

Emma Peel from Nottinghamshire was awarded a Level 2 Barbering Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships are a great way of learning and soon you will be putting yourself out there more than you ever have before!

Emma Peel, Richo’s Hair and Beauty Boutique

Joth Davies -

We have found Realise to be the most professional company that we have ever dealt with for our apprenticeship needs.

Joth Davies, Owner of Savills Barbers

When the opportunity to complete my Level 3 qualification came up, I jumped at the chance.

Jill Bastable, The Little Hair Studio

What you’ll learn

As a hair professional there are core skills you will need to have to be able successfully work within this sector. You’ll complete a series of learning activities covering:

Safe working practices

Your hairdressing apprenticeship will equip you with the skills and knowledge required to work safely and effectively in a salon environment. In your course, you will learn about industry standards and the importance of health and safety in the workplace, as well as how to minimise risks to yourself and others.

Client care and consultation

As a salon junior, you will learn how to consult with clients to determine their individual needs, and how to provide them with the best possible service. You will also learn how to build positive relationships, and how to deal with any complaints in a professional and efficient manner.

Shampooing and conditioning

You will learn how to shampoo and condition hair using a variety of techniques, products and equipment. You will also learn how to advise clients on the best products to use for their hair type.

Hair cutting techniques

As a hairdressing apprentice, you will learn a range of hair cutting techniques that can be used to create different styles. You will be taught how to cut both men’s and women’s hair, using a variety of cutting tools and methods.

You will also learn how to use thinning scissors and razor blades, so that you can create different textures and styles.

Hair colour

As part of your hairdressing apprenticeship, you will learn how to apply hair colours and treatments. You will be taught about the different types of hair colours and how to mix them to create the perfect shade.

You will also learn how to apply hair colour safely, so that you avoid damaging the hair or causing skin irritation.


As a junior stylist, you will learn how to style hair using a variety of techniques. You will be taught how to use straightening irons, curling tongs and other styling tools.

You will also learn how to create a range of different styles, including updos, blow drying and straightening.

Need more information?

No problem. It doesn’t matter if your query is big or small, our teams are here to help. Just complete a quick enquiry form and we’ll be in contact soon to assist you with your query.

How you’ll learn

You’ll receive a comprehensive, salon-focussed training programme delivered by a passionate team of industry experienced and expert trainers. We deliver a blended learning programme in-salon and scheduled around the business needs which includes:

  • 1-2-1 workplace visits once every three weeks with one of our expert trainers
  • Webinars and leading insight from industry experts such as Chris Foster
  • Partnership working to shape the programme with your employer
  • E-books and online resources including worksheets and videos to enable independent and flexible learning enhancements
  • Practical skills assessments and observations carried out in your salon environment
  • Reflective learning and through portfolio evidence
  • Off the job training – including work shadowing, practice on block heads and models, product and technique research activities
  • Progress reviews, including a pre-gateway and final gateway review End point assessment preparation and support
  • Support from English and maths specialists if required

Our experts

The people that make it happen


Training & development officer


Training & development officer

I have worked in hairdressing and barbering all my life. I come from a family of barbers and I have owned salons for the last 10 years. Hairdressing and barbering is my absolute passion and when you love what you do, you never really work. I started with Realise in 2021 as a trainer for hairdressing and barbering. I have previously delivered these qualifications at colleges. I love passing on my knowledge and passion to our learners entering the industry. I thoroughly enjoy my role and working with such an amazing team with the same passion as myself.


Training & development officer


Training & development officer

I have worked at Realise for 16 years and still counting! I am a trainer and I see different learners and employers every day, no two days are the same. I have taught so many learners to gain new skills and progress to owning their own salons and barbers. I really enjoy my work, still having hands on with the practical training and growing relationships with many talented hairdressers and barbers.


Performance manager


Performance manager

I have worked at Realise for 6 years as a trainer within the hair and barbering sector. I have recenly also taken on the roles of social values champion and safeguarding and wellbeing deputy. I love what I do and have a great passion for hairdressing and also supporting other people. My passion is being able to deliver apprenticeships to learners and seeing them develop from having no knowledge or skills to then thriving in the industry as confident and fully qualified hairdressers and barbers.


Internal quality assessor


Internal quality assessor

I have been in the hair and barbering industry for over 21 years. I have always had a real passion for teaching with quality at the heart of what I do. It’s the best feeling seeing the end result for a learner, after working with them throughout their journey.
I am currently the lead trainer for our new advanced and creative hairdressing level 3, it’s an amazing qualification and I’m proud to be delivering it and to have played a part in developing it!


Training & development officer


Training & development officer

I am a highly motivated and conscientious individual with vast experience as a hairdresser and trainer. I also have many years of experience in customer service and the training of others within a school and college environment and as a manager at professional ownership level. I love my work as a trainer and take great pleasure in watching learners grow in confidence as they learn new skills, knowledge and behaviors that will give them the chance to succeed in their chosen career.

Frequently asked questions

What do level 2 hairdressers do?

Typically, a level 2 hairdressing qualification is the qualification which most hairdressers hold. Level 2 hairdressers will be develop and gain a strong knowledge of cutting, colouring, hair types and customer service.

I’m already working in a salon, can I still do an apprenticeship?

Yes, you can still do an apprenticeship if you’re already working as a salon junior or a more experienced member of staff looking to formalise your knowledge. You’ll just need to make sure that you’re able to complete the required work-based hours.

I would prefer to do a barbering course, do you offer this?

Yes, we currently offer a range of barbering courses for all experience levels, such as the the professional barbering apprenticeship (level 2).

What are the benefits of doing an advanced or professional apprenticeship?

Our hairdressing apprenticeships offer:

  • A chance to learn from experienced and qualified hairdressers
  • A chance to develop yourself in a professional environment
  • An opportunity to earn while you learn
  • A qualification that is recognised by the industry
  • An opportunity to meet new people and build up a regular client baseIf you are interested in pursuing a career in hairdressing, then an apprenticeship with Realise Training could be the perfect option for you.
Do I need functional skills level 2 to become an apprentice?

No, you don’t need functional skills level 2 to become a learner. However, if you don’t have functional skills level 2, you’ll be expected to achieve this during your apprenticeship. We offer functional skills level 1 and 2 free of charge to learners.

What qualifications will I need to progress onto the next level?

To progress onto a level 3 apprenticeship course you’ll need to achieve a level 2 qualification. Realise Training offers a hair professional level 2 qualification which is perfect for those who want to progress onto an advanced apprenticeship such as the level 3 creative hairdressing apprenticeship.

How long will my apprenticeship take to complete?

Your apprenticeship may take up to 14 months or less. It really does come down to the decision of the employer or salon management and the apprentice’s academic capability.

Do I need any specific skills or experience to do an apprenticeship?

No, you don’t need any specific skills or experience to do an apprenticeship. However, it would be beneficial if you had some experience working with customers and providing them with a service.

How much does level 2 hairdressing cost?

The level 2 course is employer funded, which means that learners will never be expected to pay towards their qualifications. The course can be 95% funded by the government or paid through the apprenticeship levy.

What is the route to progression?

The Advanced & Creative Hairdressing Apprenticeship (Level 3) is a newly launched advanced apprenticeship is ideal for experienced hairdressers looking to stay ahead of the curve, promote themselves through social media, know the latest innovations, push their skills to the next level and to maintain a quality service.

The course is suitable for self-employed hairdressers or employees of a hairdressing salon.

Ready to take the next step?

Let’s talk. You’re only a few clicks away from enquiring about this course. Don’t delay, get in touch and start something exciting today!