Hair survival guide and how to be a hairdresser in the UK ⦁ 剪頭髮指南及喺英國點做髮型師


Suki Chan has been married to a Brit for 22 years but only recently relocated to Newcastle in the UK with him and their daughter. With 25 years of experience in the hairdressing sector, we asked her for a survival guide in salons in the UK, and her thoughts on becoming a hairdresser in the UK.

Please share with us some useful phrases that Hong Kongers will need to retain our favourite hair styles in the UK! ⦁ 香港人喺英國剪頭髮要識邊幾句英文

Some key phrases that I can think of are as follows. I also find this page very useful.


  • I’d like a haircut please ⦁ 我想剪頭髮
  • Please shave off my sideburns ⦁ 我想剃晒啲的水
  • Can I have my sides and back tapered please ⦁ 我想側邊同埋後面剷青
  • A bit shorter please ⦁ 可唔可以再剪短啲
  • Just a trim please ⦁ 我想keep住髮型,但係修短
  • Can you remove weight from my hair please ⦁ 可以幫我剪碎嗎
  • A fringe ⦁ 劉海
  • Parting  ⦁ 分界
  • Layer ⦁ 層次
  • Thinning ⦁ 偷薄

How much does it cost to get a haircut here? ⦁ 英國剪髮要幾錢

The price of hairdressers varies, just like in Hong Kong. For a lady, a cut in the £20s can be reasonable in Newcastle – more in London. For a gentlemen, you can get a cut for £10 from a barber but it can be much more expensive than that. To me, one thing here that slightly differs from Hong Kong is you can get a “cut only” for a cheaper price, which does not include blow drying. Whereas back in Hong Kong, washing and blowdrying are often inclusive.

What shampoo do you use with the hard water in the UK?  ⦁ 英國係硬水,咁你用邊隻洗頭水

I agree with what Dr K Kwong said in your previous interview: Hard water does not result in hair loss. My previous job taught me that men and women can lose up to 100 hairs a day without noticing, and it’s normal. From my point of view, choosing the right brand of shampoo is one of the things you can do to keep your hair healthy when you use hard water to wash your hair. Avoid retail brands and invest in professional brands that use good ingredients in their products. You can get a water softener if you wish, I know a lot of people do that, too.

To you, what does it take to be a hairdresser here? ⦁ 你覺得想喺英國做髮型師要留意啲乜

As with other professions, it is ideal to take courses and gain relevant qualifications, particularly if you intend to work for franchised salons. This site is useful. If you are not confident with your English, you may want to work for Chinese salons, although this limits the number of clients you will have. The different hair texture between Chinese and other nationalities will be something you have to get used to if you had no experience before. Also, clients of different nationalities want different styles. From my experience, people in the UK prefer to have a solid form haircut, meaning a smooth one length haircut. Hong Kongers tend to prefer having the weight of their hair removed.

What about being a colourist? Is it in high demand? ⦁ 做染髮技術師呢?英國需求大嗎

Colouring is very common in the UK, more common than we think. As an example, many who have blonde hair will visit a colourist regularly to dye their hair blonde – they are often looking for a slightly different shade to highlight the colour of their natural hair. They have a different view on colouring compared with Asians, as my Hong Kong clients typically want very sharp colours for their highlights.

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