Freelance Hairdressers – Your FAQs Have Been Answered

by charlottegw / last updated October 9, 2019

freelance hairdresser questions

If you’re a freelance hairdresser or thinking about going freelance you’ll likely have many questions. But it’s not always easy to get the right answers. But help is at hand, with the expert help of the Freelance Hairdressers Association (FHA) and National Hairdressers Federation (NHF), we’ve got the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

When is the right time to go freelance?
Going freelance is a big decision. Don’t take the plunge until you have done some thorough research about working freelance – for example, it’s great for work/life balance, but you won’t get paid annual leave or sick pay. You must be confident that you have enough knowledge and experience to provide a highly professional service to your clients. And you need to think about how you will attract new clients and the marketing tactics you’ll use. Be aware that if you’re currently employed in a salon, there will be anti-poaching clauses which mean you can’t take the salon’s clients with you.
National Hairdressers Federation

I miss the social aspect of salon life, are there any forums I can join to feel part of something bigger?
Working solo can be a lonely experience and you do miss being able to bounce ideas off of your colleagues. There are many Facebook groups to be found including the FHA virtual staff room group. This is closed so members can ‘talk’ to in complete confidence that their conversations are private. Confidences are shared, colour problems solved by top technicians and there is group support. Although you work alone you do not have to be alone.
Sheila Abrahams, founder of the Freelance Hairdressers Association (FHA)

Where can I find help and support regarding my tax and business accounts?
Making sure your tax and financial affairs are all legal and above-board must be a top priority. Consider using a bookkeeper or accountant, which can save you money in the long run. Find out more: and check out NHF/NBF’s free guides on starting up a business. HMRC also have resources and webinars for newly self-employed people.
National Hairdressers Federation

How much time and money should I invest in education?
As much time as you can spare and as much money as you can afford! Education is a business expense and tax deductible. Money should be put aside so that you can attend courses regularly. Three times a year as a  minimum.
Sheila Abrahams, founder of the Freelance Hairdressers Association (FHA)

What should I do about pension contributions?
You will have to make your own pension arrangements. There are several options including personal pensions, stakeholder pensions and the government-approved Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs). Another alternative is to save with the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), a government scheme which is open to freelancers.
National Hairdressers Federation

Where do I order my stock from when I’m a freelancer?
Stock can be purchased from all hairdressing wholesalers however works best for the individual. Online, by phone or going into the store. It is advisable to work with top brands and always professional products. Discounted shopping is available with FHA membership.
Sheila Abrahams, founder of the Freelance Hairdressers Association (FHA)

What do I do if I’m sick and have to take time of work?
Self-employed freelancers are not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. You must be absolutely clear about how you will cope if you need to take time off sick, especially if you have dependants and/or a regular rent or mortgage to pay. Make sure you have a cash buffer to last at least six months and consider income protection insurance – though this can be expensive.
National Hairdressers Federation

How much annual leave should I take?
When you set up or review your business holiday breaks should be planned into your work schedule. You are your own boss so you can have as much or as little time off as suits your life style. You may find it easier to take several short breaks so that your clients are not disrupted too much and ensure your prices are set correctly to cover for when you are not earning. The FHA has a complementary course that helps you plan your business and set your prices and give you direction.
Sheila Abrahams, founder of the Freelance Hairdressers Association (FHA)

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