'You have to be a perfectionist'

I WANT YOUR JOB... HAIRDRESSER

Interview by Alex McRae

Daniel Galvin Jnr, 37, is a top hair colourist, with his own organic hair product range. He has also developed beauty products for the Prince of Wales's Duchy Collection

What do you actually do?

I'd say I'm an artist. Half of my work is colour correction, when people come to the salon with overprocessed or home-dyed hair. I choose colours that make eyes look stronger and skin warmer. Someone with hazel eyes and fair skin, say, will look better with chocolate-brown hair than with blond. It's about making people even more beautiful than nature intended.

What's a typical day at work like?

To clear my head, I go for a run before work. I often see up to 14 clients a day. I'm literally on my feet until 6pm, with 10 minutes for lunch. Luckily, I have a very efficient junior who organises my appointments. Before I colour a client's hair, I have a consultation with them to find out what they need. You're not just a hairdresser - you also have to be a psychologist, to win people's trust and listen to what they want. For instance, when a client says she wants to go "lighter" she often means brighter. When I'm not at the salon, I'm developing my organic hair products.

What's the best thing about colouring hair?

If a client arrives feeling down in the dumps about her hair, and you make a small change and see her walk out of the salon beaming, that's real job satisfaction. You've put something right. I love a challenge, so even if it takes six months to correct the colour of someone's hair, the perfect result is always worth it.

What's difficult about it?

It's non-stop. If you're under the weather, you can't let that rub off on clients - you have to present a happy, smiley face. I get very tired sometimes. At the end of the day, when I sit down on the train home, I don't want to get up again.

What skills do you need to be a top hairdresser?

You need three things: common sense, initiative and enthusiasm. It doesn't matter whether you've got GCSEs, but you have to want to rise to a challenge. You also need to be a perfectionist, and never get complacent with clients. Their hair must look consistently perfect, and be in great condition - it's their crowning glory. You can do a three-year apprenticeship at a salon, but I qualified in two years because I hated being a junior. I'd originally wanted to be a journalist, but then I worked in my father's salon, sweeping up hair and making tea, and I discovered that I loved hairdressing - the artistry and the pretty women!

What advice would you give someone wanting to become a top hairdresser?

Get stuck in - find a Saturday job at a salon. Think about how you present yourself and how to make the experience enjoyable for clients. It's a very social profession. Once you're qualified, build up your list of regular clients until you're fully booked every day. Word of mouth is the best PR, and if you do a great job, people will tell their friends to come to you. Some of my clients have been coming to me for 15 years.

What's the salary and career path like?

When you start as a junior, the salary is peanuts - maybe just £25 a day. But you can double that in tips, if you assist a busy stylist. Once you are qualified and have got some experience under your belt, you can think about doing session work on films and magazine shoots, working on seasonal trends with beauty editors, or developing your own range of products.

www.danielgalvinjnr.co.uk

For more information on hairdressing training and apprenticeships, go to the Hairdressing and Beauty Industry Authority website, www.habia.org; and the Freelance Hair and Beauty Federation website, www.fhbf.org.uk

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
Cooked up: reducing dietary animal fat might not be as healthy as government advice has led millions of people to believe
healthA look at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
Sport
Angel Di Maria poses with Louis van Gaal after signing for Manchester United
sport
News
peopleGerman paper published pictures of 18-month-old daughter
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
'A voice untroubled by time': Kate Bush
musicKate Bush set to re-enter album charts after first conerts in 35 years
Life and Style
tech
News
people
Voices
voices
Sport
Roger Federer is greeted by Michael Jordan following his victory over Marinko Matosevic
tennisRoger Federer gets Michael Jordan's applause following tweener shot in win over Marinko Matosevic
News
peopleJustin Bieber accuses paparazzi of acting 'recklessly' after car crash
Arts and Entertainment
Oppressive atmosphere: the cast of 'Tyrant'
tvIntroducing Tyrant, one of the most hotly anticipated dramas of the year
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
News
Ukrainian Leonid Stadnik, 37, 2.59 meter (8,5 feet) tall, the world's tallest living man, waves as he poses for the media by the Chevrolet Tacuma car presented to him by President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko in Kiev on March 24, 2008.
newsPeasant farmer towered at almost 8'5'' - but shunned the limelight
News
Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in ‘The Front Page’, using an old tech typewriter
media
Life and Style
Could a robot sheepdog find itself working at Skipton Auction Mart?
techModel would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Accountacy Tutor

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Randstad Education is looking...

SEN Teaching Assistant Runcorn

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...

Year 6 Teacher

£120 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: An inner city Birmingham s...

Geography Teacher

£95 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for Secondary ...

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis