The Freelance Hairdressers’ Association
The Trade Association for Freelance Hairdressers
There has been a trade association for freelance hairdressers since 1993. Before this date ‘mobile’ hairdressers had no recognised place in the industry and the whole sector was swept under the carpet. This was because there were no standards set for this sector and it was perceived that those working outside of a salon were unqualified, unregulated and unprofessional.
Sheila Abrahams had a very different vision and got together with Heather Hopkins, who shared her vision, to form a trade association that set standards for the first time in the freelance sector. The Freelance Hair & Beauty Federation (FHBF) was launched in October 1993 and gave a voice for freelancers in the industry as well as making many services available for the freelance sector that had previously been denied. At last freelance hairdressers had a voice in the industry, were being recognised for running professional businesses and renowned for the importance they place on regular training to keep their skills at the cutting edge.
Soon the FHBF was supported by top industry manufacturers and companies who wanted to work with the organisation and provide training and product knowledge to members. Top industry icons shared their work and knowledge at annual events and Patrick Cameron is an honorary member and great ambassador.
Freelance hairdressers have now had their own organisation for more than twenty five years and in 2014 the FHBF was rebranded the FHA. The freelance sector is now well established with recognised industry standards. When you see the FHA logo you know that the business is run by a qualified, fully insured professional operator.
The FHA has built a complete support system for the self-employed hairdressers, given them a professional identity and created a community of like-minded people. There is a virtual staff room where members chat, share experiences, solve problems, present images of their work, even ask for help. The support and encouragement they give and receive from one another is invaluable and the same thing can be found at regional groups, another way for members to keep in touch. Training is a high priority and the FHA has many low cost courses to offer, together with opportunities to learn with top industry icons. INSPIRE! and SEASONS SENSATION are educational and social events in the FHA calendar and for those who are more competitive there are the UK Freelance Awards to enter.
The industry’s trade association has come a long way from its early beginnings. It has grown through the years by listening to the members and responding to their needs. The FHA ensures that although self-employed folk may work alone they are no longer on their own.