The Freelance Hairdressers’ Association

The Trade Association for Freelance Hairdressers

There has been a trade association for freelance hairdressers since 1993. Prior to this, independent hairdressers had no recognised place in the industry and the sector was largely dismissed. This was because there were no set standards for the sector, and those working outside of a salon were perceived as unqualified, unregulated and unprofessional.

Sheila Abrahams had a very different vision and, along with Heather Hopkins, made the decision to form a trade association which would set standards for the freelance sector.

The Freelance Hair & Beauty Federation (FHBF) was launched in October 1993, giving freelancers a voice and providing access to many services that had previously been denied to freelancers. The organisation helped to elevate the industry and allowed freelancers to be recognised for running professional businesses and undertaking regular education and personal development.

Industry manufacturers and leading hairdressers soon recognised the role of the FHBF and supported the organisation with training, exclusive retail, discounts and further opportunities for members. We are proud to have Patrick Cameron as an honorary member, and are supported by brands including Wella, L’Oreal Professionnel, Matrix and Indola.

Freelance hairdressers have now had their own organisation for more than 20 years, and in 2014 for the FHBF was rebranded as The Freelance Hairdressers’ Association (the FHA).

Today, the freelance sector is well established with recognised industry standards, and continues to grow with diverse career opportunities ranging from running a home salon to renting a chair to session work. However no matter what the job, when you see the FHA logo you know that the business is being run by a qualified, fully-insured, professional operator.

The FHA has built a complete support system for self-employed hairdressers, providing a professional identity and creating a community of like-minded people.

Our members have access to a virtual staffroom, where anyone can seek advice, share experiences, find support and celebrate achievements. The community is invaluable, and is replicated in our regional groups, where members can come together in person to find support from like-minded professionals.

Training remains a high priority for all of our members, and the FHA provides great value education both of our own and in partnership with leading manufacturers and industry icons. We also host two live educational events a year – Inspire! and Seasons Sensation; held in summer and pre-Christmas respectively, these sessions provide training, inspiration and the chance to network and socialise with both brands and other members. We also host the UK Freelance Awards as part of Inspire! to recognise the wealth of talent within the self-employed sector.

The industry’s trade association has come a long way from its early beginnings. We have grown over the years by listening to our members and responding to their changing needs. As a member of the Freelance Hairdressers’ Association, you may work alone – but you don’t have to be on your own.

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