After half term we are starting another unit. This one is all about different career opportunities. We will be posting all about the different things we can aspire to be. Which one would you want to be? Its your future..
If hairdressing is your passion, but you also love the idea of being in front of a camera, working as a TV hairdresser is your dream job. The One Show’s resident hairdresser Michael Douglas reveals how he got his big break and what life as a television hairdresser entails.
“My hairdressing career began with an apprenticeship at Every Generation salon in Leyland, Lancashire, but I almost didn’t complete my training.
“About one year into it, after neutralising about 17 perms in one morning, I went to the local motorbike shop to ask for an apprenticeship. Thankfully they turned me down.
“Aside from rinsing perm lotion and removing and cleaning rollers (it was 1989), I have nothing but fond memories of working there – I can’t think of a better place to have started my career.
“When I was 18, I moved onto Gary Spencer in Preston and Southport, which was a huge moment in my career. He gave me the opportunity to teach hairdressing and sent me on the road that I am still on today. Two years later I got a job at Wella in London as a teacher.
“But my big break came about by chance. I was invited to a stag do in Budapest and it turned out most of the folk on the trip were from the TV and film business. I pitched myself to a development producer, Andy Abrahams, whose role was to come up with ideas for TV programmes.
“We filmed a showreel of me presenting a pretend TV show in Camden Market where I would grab people in the street and cut their hair right there and then. The pilot was sent to the Discovery Channel and within a couple of weeks they had commissioned 30 episodes.
“My experience presenting with Wella had helped me develop a presenting persona, which helped massively when it came to making television. But television is one of those things that the more you do, the better you get.
“The job involves lots of early starts and long days. You constantly have to think of things to say that are informative and entertaining, but sometimes there are scripts to memoriseand present – which is the thing I find hardest.
“There is also quite a lot of voiceover work, which takes practice. Sometimes you might do the voiceover a couple of months after you filmed the show, so it can feel a bit weird.
“There are loads of positives of working in television. It’s great fun, you meet lots of interesting people and there is lots of travel. However, one of the things I find hard about it is that you have no control over the finished result – that’s all down to the director.
“If you’d like to pursue a career as a TV hairdresser, you will need a genuine enthusiasm for what you do, lots of self-confidence and great public skills
“I’d recommend you get someone to film you doing hair and then work on coming up with ideas that are quick and easy to explain, but aren’t too basic.”