Hair and Beauty

Key Stage 4

Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy

Why is the study of Hair and Beauty important? 


Within the hair and beauty department, we aim to equip students with the skills needed to be able to care for the health and hygiene of themselves and their future families. We aim to develop students’ confidence by teaching a wide range of skills to enable them to care for themselves and maintain positive personal hygiene, whilst introducing basic techniques for hair and beauty treatments and services to promote a positive image.

We support students to develop their understanding of Hair and Beauty and how it impacts their lifestyle, making clear links to how a good level of personal hygiene can contribute at each stage of their life. By understanding the importance of personal image and identity, our students can start to make informed decisions, which will be valuable throughout their adulthood. Personal appearance affects both physical and psychological well-being; knowing the right tools and techniques to care for yourself efficiently can boost happiness, increase mental functioning, help maintain personal hygiene and can help to prevent specific hair, skin and scalp disorders in later life.

We aim to provide the students with a rounded knowledge of Hair and Beauty to empower them and prepare them for adulthood. Learning to style hair and how to correctly care for the skin and nails is fun, engaging and provides students with an opportunity to develop their creativity within a practical, realistic salon-based setting.

In addition to being an important life skill, caring for oneself is also a vital factor in the hair and beauty industry, which is one of the largest industries and biggest employers in the UK. It offers a variety of opportunities both regionally, nationally and internationally. These opportunities are explored in depth throughout the theoretical aspect of this course.

  • What will the study of Hair and Beauty teach you?

    At Key Stage 4, students develop key areas of theory that underpin the study of both Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy. These areas are Understanding the Hair and Beauty Sector, Marketing Hair and Beauty Products and Services, Hair and Beauty Science and each student will carry out an individual Hair and Beauty Research Project. Within the two years of study the key focus is to develop the student’s theoretical understanding of how Hair and Beauty has an impact on personal health, hygiene and overall wellbeing, and how Hair and Beauty as an industry contributes to the UK and global economy.

    There will be a focus on developing practical skills, aiming to build the students confidence in carrying out a range of hair and beauty treatments and services. The emphasis is on the students gaining the practical skills and embedding the underpinning knowledge needed to enable them to safely carry out a range of hair and beauty services and treatments on themselves and others.

    In Year 10 we will focus on completion of the individual Research Projects centred on the topic chosen by the Awarding Body. Alongside this, students are introduced to the practical aspects of the course and lessons focussed on practical tasks will focus on hair care and styling, and manicure.

    In Year 11 we start to look at Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy as an industry, alongside building the students confidence and ability in their practical skills. We also look at the career opportunities and roles the industry can provide in relation to future employment and what education, training pathways and qualifications are needed to begin their journey into an exciting, vast and emerging industry.

  • How does studying Hair and Beauty support study in other subjects?

    Many of the areas of theory covered within Hair and Beauty can be transferred into their study in other subjects.

    Within Science, students will learn about acidity and alkaline values in relation to the pH scale. On completion of the Hair and Beauty Science unit students will have a basic understanding of the functions of ingredients within a range of Hair and Beauty products which can help students to understand the chemical and functional reactions that occur within active ingredients. The Understanding the Hair and Beauty Sector unit also covers disorders of the skin, scalp and hair and how these disorders can be categorised as bacterial, viral or fungal which is useful to students within Biology. Alongside this, the science unit also focuses on the Chemistry of hair and beauty products, with students expected to define a formulation for a cosmetic hair and beauty product, describing the ingredients and substances used and are expected to justify their formulation for assessment.

    There is a strong link to Literacy by encouraging the use of subject specific terminology and encouraging this to be used and spelt accurately, as well as being encompassed in their vocabulary used within the salon. Alongside this Hair and Beauty also has a link to Numeracy. This is particularly prevalent in the practical aspects of the course and includes the use of ratios when mixing chemicals, (such as hair colour and peroxide), the use of angles when styling and cutting the hair, as well as a particular focus on time and timings of services and treatments and calculating the costs of services, stock and bills.

    There is a link to Health and Social Care as students develop their knowledge of personal hygiene. In both courses there is an emphasis on securing strong communication skills in preparation for careers that rely on interaction with others.

    There is also a link to Business as there is a unit directly dedicated to exploring Marketing within the Hair and Beauty industry. This covers the principles of marketing and the factors that influence marketing within the Hair and Beauty sector. In addition to this, elements of the exam cover different business ownership models and employment types.

    In addition to the areas that link directly to other subject, the students are also developing their practical skills within the salon and we strive to encourage their confidence in completing practical based activities, which links to other subjects within the academy such as Creative and Performing Arts, PE and Science.

  • Careers within Hair and Beauty

    The range of skills and knowledge that are studied at Key Stage 4 are relevant to many areas of employment and further areas of study. If students want to continue their Hair and Beauty education post Y11 there are many courses available at local colleges, with progression routes available to university level study within specialist areas (for example, a BA (Hons) Hair, Make-up and Prosthetics for Performance).

    The Hair and Beauty industry is a major employer of people in the UK and globally. An understanding of Hair and Beauty can help you progress in a variety of different sectors and job roles. Here are a few examples:

    Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy: As one of the biggest industries worldwide there are a huge range of career opportunities available, such as Hair Stylists, Beauty Therapists, Barbers, Make-up Artists and Wig makers. These skills can also travel, with opportunities to work abroad or on cruise liners providing hair and/or beauty services and treatments to passengers whilst at sea. There are also opportunities to enhance the knowledge and skills gained during initial training for these roles by attending university and training to become a Hair or Beauty Lecturer or to expand on their creativity by studying towards a degree to secure employment within the Media industry working behind the scenes offering hair styling, make-up, special effects make-up techniques and prosthetics. There are also a number of employment opportunities within the industry including working as part of a team within a salon, working freelance or travelling the world on a cruise ship.

    Aesthetic Nursing: There has been an unprecedented rise in the popularity of aesthetically enhancing procedures, such as Botox, lip fillers and brow lamination over recent years. These treatments all benefit from the anatomy and physiology knowledge taught within initial beauty therapy training, which can then be progressed to a higher level in order to work as an Aesthetic Nurse.

    Leisure and Tourism: Hair and Beauty services and treatments are popular globally, with an increasing demand for highly trained industry specialists to work in hotel based salons abroad. There is also opportunities to work within hair and beauty salons on board cruise liners, with varying roles available including hair stylists, beauty therapists, massage therapists, receptionists and make-up artists.

    Health and Social Care: The communication skills and knowledge of personal hygiene learnt whilst studying Hair and Beauty can also prepare you for a potential career caring for others within Health and Social Care.

    Media and Fashion: You could also enhance your creative and design skills further by obtaining a degree in Media Make-up, Special Effects and Hair Design (an example of many degree level courses available) which would enable you to pursue a career working within film, theatre or television.

Student Testimonial

“We love being in the salon and doing practical is so much fun. We’ve learnt ways to improve our curling and straightening skills so that it looks like our hair has been done in a salon when we’ve finished. We’re really enjoying learning about different colours and what they do to the hair too.”

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