Tax Return for hair stylist

Though the jobs of hairstylist and hairdresser are often seen as the same profession, being a hairstylist does give you more creative freedom, since you’ll get more opportunities to advise the clients on hair styles that would suit them.

What does a hairstylist do?

As a freelance hairstylist, you’ll have to perform tasks including:

  • Finding out what clients want, and advise them on the best options.
  • Cutting and styling hair.
  • Dying hair.
  • Showing clients how to care for their hair and scalps.
  • Devising a price list, and handling money.

Learning to be a hairstylist – training and qualifications

To train to become a hairstylist, you can either work as a trainee in a hair salon, or obtain a qualification at college.

Here are a few of the relevant courses you could take:

  • Certificate in An Introduction to the Hair and Beauty Sector – Level 1 Award
  • Certificate in Hairdressing and Barbering – Level 1 (NVQ) Award
  • Diploma in Barbering – Level 2 (NVQ) Certificate
  • Diploma in Hairdressing – Level 3 (NVQ) Certificate
  • Diploma in African Caribbean Hairdressing – Level 3 Certificate

Check with your local colleges to see which courses they offer.

What skills and qualities does a freelance hairstylist need?

Here are a few skills and qualities that will make your career as a freelance hairstylist successful:

  • A good communicator: You need to be good at listening to what the client wants, and be able to tell them your own ideas clearly.
  • Creative: As a hairstylist, you won’t just be cutting hair the way the client asks you. You’ll often have to bring your own ideas to the table too.
  • Business-minded and good with numbers: You need to be able to price your services so that you earn a decent wage and are able to afford materials and equipment.
  • A good, fashionable haircut: A client won’t want you to cut their hair if your hair is messy or old-fashioned. Keep up with all the fashions and trends to ensure your own hairstyle is always current.

Where does a freelance hairstylist work?

If you were to work as an employed hairstylist, you’d work in a hair salon.

So where does a freelance hairstylist work?

You have two options:

  • Work from your home: This will mean you won’t have to travel to work, but it does mean you’ll have to give extra attention to the appearance of your home.
  • Travel to clients: This means you’ll have to drive to your clients’ homes to cut their hair. You’ll have to invest in a car, but it means you’ll potentially be able to get clients from a wider geographical area.

Of course, there’s a big chance you’ll be doing a mixture of both.

How to find work as a freelance hairstylist

In the early days of your career as a freelance hairstylist, you’ll be spending much of your time marketing your services to find new clients.

Here are a few ways to market your hairstyling business:

  • Set up a website: Having a professional website will make you look more credible, and is a great place to show your portfolio, talk about the services you provide, and how to book a session.
  • Portfolio: A portfolio showing all your previous work is essential to growing a successful business. People will not hire you to cut their hair if you can’t prove you’ve done great hairstyling work before.
  • Business cards: Since your job involves image, make sure your business cards have a nice design. Give them to friends, family, and any person you think could potentially be a client.
  • Local advertising: Put advertisements in your local shops and newspapers. This is relatively inexpensive, and it allows you to target customers by location, which is especially important if you’re running the business from home.

Accounting as a freelance hairstylist

There are various benefits to freelancing as a hairstylist, from the freedom and flexibility to work with a variety of businesses and individuals to more take-home pay.

But there is one downside – accounting.

As a full-time employee, your tax is usually taken care of on your behalf in the form of PAYE.

As a freelancer you’ll have to keep a range of financial records and then prepare and pay a Self-Assessment tax return at the end of each business year.

Accountancy can be very confusing and can distract you from what you love doing.

Getting tax and accountancy advice

With most accountants, you’ll pay them to do your year-end accounts, and then they’ll forget about you until the next year.

But for your business to be run smoothly and successfully, you’ll need advice on tax and accountancy throughout the year, especially in the early days.

Pearl Accountants is different

Pearl Accountants provides an affordable and specialist accountancy service designed just for freelancers.

Throughout the year we’ll be on hand to give you any tax and accountancy advice you might need, including things like:

  • Take-home pay
  • Which VAT scheme to register for
  • Expenses
  • Tax allowances
  • Choosing between sole trader and limited company
  • Running your business in a tax-efficient way

We charge for our accountancy services in a clear and simple way, which means you’ll never receive an unexpected bill, and you can get in touch for advice whenever you want without the worry of being charged a fortune like you would with many other accountants.

Get in touch for more information and advice

For more information and a free consultation call us now on 020 8582 0076

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We have been a client with Pearl Accountants for the last 5 years and we can only say that we have had nothing but an exceptional service and the advice we have received has been correct and perfect for our business.

Koser Praveen, Director at Usman Telecom Limited



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