Is training an ongoing priority in your hair salon or barbershop? If not, it should be. It’s bad for business if your employees are stuck in a rut and don’t keep up with the latest trends, products and ways of working. But you also need to control costs and ensure the training you provide suits the needs of your business and your employees.

This blog post covers:

The importance of training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

By investing in your hair salon or barbershop staff you are investing in the continued success of your business. Your employees are your greatest asset and a commitment to their ongoing training and development will encourage staff loyalty, help retain key talent, and boost staff engagement in your business. Your employees will be better equipped to help you stay ahead of the competition.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) refers to the skills, knowledge and experience that staff gain through learning and development activities beyond their initial training.

There are a number of ways staff can maintain their CPD to keep up to date with the latest techniques, products and technology or to enhance their customer service or selling skills.

Retain your salon staff

An ongoing training programme to support your salon or barbershop staff’s CPD will help to:

1. Ensure your employees feel valued.
2. Reduce employee turnover.
3. Create a pool of employees ready for more senior roles.
4. Give your employees a wider understanding of your hair salon or barbershop business.
5. Enhance your reputation as an employer and attract a wider pool of quality candidates.
6. Tackle workplace issues, for example, if your team is struggling with a particular skill or task
7. Keep up to date with the latest skills, techniques, developments, products and technology.

You need to make sure:

• The training course offers good value for money and will help to boost your business.
• Your employee will gain a qualification from a UK-accredited awarding organisation.
• Any additional services your employee will be offering are covered by your insurance.Training salon staff

Managing the costs of training

Investing in staff training does not have to be expensive. Low-cost options include online courses and in-house training. In addition, staff who have been on paid-for courses can share their new knowledge and skills with the rest of the team.

Consider the needs of your employees and your business goals before committing to paying for training. Only go ahead if you’re confident your employee will add value to your hair salon or barbershop as a direct result of the training.

Consider the investment against the outcome. For example, a reputable hair extensions course may be initially expensive, but will attract more clients, extend your portfolio of services and increase profits once established. 

Don’t forget your own training and development as a salon/barbershop owner too!

Explore great value-for-money workshops offered by the NHBF.

Recouping costs if your employee leaves

Are you worried about paying for training only to see your employee leave shortly afterwards? You can avoid this financial loss by including training fee arrangements in your employment contracts.

Our employment contracts, which are available free to NHBF Members, set out how much your employee would have to pay towards training if they resign during or shortly after a training course.

This means that the longer they stay, the longer your business will benefit from the training and the less they will have to pay back.

Make sure the employee fully understands the arrangements before you agree to pay for the training. They must understand and agree that, if necessary, you will deduct the costs of training from their final salary as set out in the contract.

Read our blog post to discover ways to reward your hair salon or barbershop team for long-term loyalty and business success.

Hairdresser client

Health and safety training in your hair salon or barbershop

The law says you must provide health and safety training for your staff. Employees must have training before they are exposed to any risk and you must record it has taken place.

‘Little and often’ is a good rule for ongoing health and safety training. This ensures health and safety stays at the forefront of your employees’ minds. Consider setting aside 15 minutes at every staff meeting to cover particular issues.

You’ll need to have at least one appointed person to be in charge of first aid arrangements in your hair salon or barbershop. It’s also recommended that at least one person is trained in emergency first aid at work (EFAW). Find EFAW training courses run by the NHBF.

Health & Safety Certification for Hairdressers & Barbers

As a Member you’ll get a 60% off all MHDPro online health & safety training courses, including the Health & Safety Certification for Hairdressers & Barbers. Find out more.

Health & Safety

Our health and safety toolkit contains everything you need to stay safe and legal in your hair salon or barbershop.

Available for £65 to Members (non-members, £99).

Induction for new hair salon and barbershop employees

Demonstrate your commitment to staff training and development from the moment a new employee joins you.

Set aside time on their first day to introduce them to everyone, show them around, and explain where everything is. Make sure they understand how breaks and rotas work and give them plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

Put time aside early on to discuss:

• How the probation period will work.
• Who they will report to on a day-day-day level, and who they should raise questions or concerns with.
• The staff review and assessment procedures and what their targets will be.
• The hair salon/barbershop rules and policies, for example, dress code.
• Your health and safety policy, and fire and first aid procedures.
• Your hair salon/barbershop’s pension scheme and whether your new employee is eligible to join (based on earnings and age).

Don’t forget the importance of training your front-of-house staff – receptionist skills can make or break the client experience and make a huge difference to your bottom line. Find out more in our blog post.

Recruiting & Employing People Guide

Our guide to recruiting and employing people is available to NHBF Members only. 

Find out more and join us today


Taking on an apprentice

Taking on an apprentice is an excellent way to grow your own loyal workforce to suit the needs and culture of your business. It’s also your chance to pass on your skills and experience to a new generation

Not sure where to start? Read our blog posts to discover some top tips on how to find an apprentice and some of the practicalities involved including the new Trailblazer apprenticeship standards in England and funding.

Find in-depth information about apprenticeships in the UK.


• Ongoing staff training is vital to the success of your business.
• Choose training that will make a real difference to your hair salon or barbershop.
• Explore low-cost options such as online and in-house training.
• Ensure your employment contract covers recouping training costs if your employee leaves.
• The law says you must provide health and safety training.
• Ensure new employees have a warm welcome and thorough induction.
• Taking on an apprentice is a great way to grow your own loyal workforce.