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Education vs Experience: What’s More Important? | Darrel Starkey

May 04, 2023

The hairdressing industry is collaborative, creative and full of opportunity.

It is known for its forward-thinking, fast-paced attitudes – for being ahead of other markets and for constantly delivering the best in services and standards to clients and the wider industry.

With experience, comes education, but this has long been a point of discussion – which of the two is more important? Whilst many salons actively ask for experience when recruitment comes around, education is equally important to ensure you are of the correct standard, fully qualified and able to offer the quality and services that clients require.

 But what do they both offer, how are they unique and how do they impact the journey of your career?


Let’s face it, education is the foundation of everything we do – it underpins the entire industry and plays a vital part in both our daily lives and career as a whole. Without education, we would never develop new products or uncover new techniques.

Education is crucial; you can never learn enough and (as cliché as it sounds) there are lessons to be found in everything. Whether it is an in-person seminar, online workshop, shadowing a team member or simply learning on your own – there is no such thing as too much education.

As education can be collaborative as well as self-channelled, it should never be overlooked or be made less of a priority.


Through recruitment processes, we often see a required minimum number of years experience – it is something that is known through many industries, not just hairdressing. Is it important? My answer is yes.

Experience is something you will gain throughout your career, and it is crucial that you push yourself out of your comfort zone in order to achieve this.

Experience does not necessarily need to be anything big – simply starting off by assisting on shoots or shows, shadowing a team member or someone you would like to learn from, attending shows and seminars – these are all great ways to gain experience.

In my opinion, education and experience work hand-in-hand and should be treated equally. Ultimately, both entities will allow you to actively progress and work towards your next career goal, and that is all that matters.

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