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Barbering L2 Diploma at Truro and Penwith College

Course description

You will learn the basic barbering techniques that are the foundation of becoming a successful barber. Your lessons will be held in a professional commercial salon environment where you will practise your newly acquired skills on training heads in preparation for client services. You will be provided with opportunities to research and investigate the history of barbering and the importance it plays in hair fashion today.

You will learn how to analyse the hair and skin structure. Why is some hair curly? Why do we all have different coloured hair? Does everybody’s hair grow at the same rate? You’ll explore these processes and how and why it all happens.

During the course, you have the opportunity to develop and research your understanding and knowledge on all aspects of barbering through practical and written work. You will discover the importance of English and maths skills and the crucial role they play in your everyday life, from timing services, mixing and measuring chemicals, reading manufacturer’s instructions and so on. You will look at how to adapt your communication techniques to meet a variety of social and cultural needs.

To support your training you are required to attend a work placement of your choice to gain industrial experience for one day a week and you will have the opportunity to attend workshops led by leading barbers within the industry.

Course content

There are 6 mandatory units that make up part of the qualification structure with a minimum of 3 units to be undertaken from the optional units.

Mandatory Units

Health and Safety - This unit is about providing you with the knowledge, understanding and skills to be responsible for health and safety in the workplace. It is about being aware of the main risks in your workplace and knowing how to identify and deal with them, whether you are working paid or unpaid, full or part-time.

Advise and consult with clients - You will learn the art of consultation with your clients, using a variety of methods to clarify their ideas and requirements for hair services. You will be able to make suitable suggestions based on a variety of methods such as open and closed questioning, observation and testing of the hair skin and scalp, which will provide the information that you will need on which to base your recommendations.

Shampoo, condition and treat the hair and scalp - You will learn the skill of shampooing, conditioning and treating the hair and scalp using a variety of products and massage techniques. You will be able to identify the condition of your client’s hair, skin and scalp in order to determine which products and massage techniques to use. You will develop a sound knowledge of shampooing and conditioning products which will enable you to provide your client with good aftercare advice.

Cut hair using basic barbering techniques - This unit will provide you with the precision cutting skills involved in barbering to achieve a variety of looks and neckline finishes for men using club cutting, scissors over comb, clippers over comb, thinning and freehand techniques.

Cut facial hair to shape using basic techniques – You will be cutting beards and moustaches to maintain existing shapes using scissors over comb, clippers with attachment, clippers over comb and freehand cutting techniques. Part of this service is to provide your client with good aftercare advice.

Dry and finish men’s hair – You will develop the skills of blow drying, finger drying and finishing techniques on a variety of hair types. Being able to identify the capability of your client’s hair will allow you to choose from a range of products, tools and equipment to complete the look. You will need to demonstrate the ability to finish the hair with and without heated styling equipment. Part of this service is to provide your client with good aftercare advice.

Optional Units
You will have the opportunity to enhance and develop your barbering practical skills by choosing from the following units:

Create basic patterns in hair - You will develop the artistic skill of cutting patterns into hair. Being able to identify the condition of your client’s hair, skin and scalp will determine which tools and techniques to use. You will design and create curves and straight lines as part of the service. Providing your client with good aftercare advice forms a large part of this service.

Change men’s hair colour - Through this unit you will learn how to change hair colour using semi-permanent, quasi-permanent, permanent and lightening products. The use of a variety of colouring techniques such as full head, re-growth and highlighting and/or low-lighting effects provides the basis for all hair services at Level 2. You must develop the ability to take into account a variety of factors and contra-indications that your client may present with.

Fulfil salon reception duties – You will develop the important skills of welcoming and receiving people entering the salon, handling enquiries, making appointments, dealing with client payments and generally maintaining the reception area. An important part of this unit will see you dealing with people in a polite manner whilst questioning them to find out what they require.

Give customers a positive impression of yourself and your organisation - Excellent customer service is provided by people who are good with people. Your behaviour affects the impression that customers form of the service they are receiving.

You will learn how to communicate with customers and how to give a positive impression whenever dealing with a customer. By doing this you will also be giving a positive impression of your organisation and the customer service it provides. All of us enjoy the experience of good service if we feel that the person serving us really wants to create the right impression, responds to us and gives us good information. Every detail of your behaviour when dealing with a customer counts.

Promote additional services - Services or products are continually changing in salons to keep up with client’s expectations. By offering new or improved services and products your salon can increase client satisfaction. Many salons must promote these to be able to survive in a competitive world. It is equally important for salons that are not in competitive environments to encourage their clients to try new services or products. You will need to keep pace with new developments and to encourage your clients to take an interest in them. Clients expect more and more services or products to be offered to meet their own growing expectations. You will need to make them aware of what is available from your salon to give them a greater choice.

Entry requirements

  • A good general education with success in English and Science.
  • A minimum of three GCSEs at grade D or above.
  • A passion and desire to work as part of a team.
  • Excellent communication skills.


Your achievement in this subject is dependent upon excellent attendance, punctuality and effort. You will learn in a friendly atmosphere, using a variety of assessment methods:

  • You will be assessed regularly on written assignment work that is conducted as homework.
  • The practical skills that you learn and develop over the year will be formally assessed in a commercial salon environment on paying clients. Discussions and presentations are a vital part of our assessment process and you will be expected to contribute to those.
  • You will review your own performance in 1:1 sessions with your tutor.
  • You will undertake an online exam for each of the units you are undertaking as part of your qualification.
  • You will be formally examined on each unit that you study to test your practical skills and theory knowledge of the subject.

Future opportunities

Opportunities are many and varied for the enterprising barber, these can include: working in a small barbers to high fashion large city barbershops; television, film and theatre; catwalk and competitions.

Progression onto Level 3 Barbering would give you more advanced knowledge and skills to start your own business, while Higher Education courses could qualify you for teaching, training or assessing posts.

Further information

We encourage all students to read widely and conduct their own research into the ever changing world of the barbering industry. You will be supported in your work throughout your course to enable you to be productive and help you track your progression.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Truro and Penwith College directly.

Last updated date: 15 June 2016

Key information