Today’s guest Sheila Abrahams went from salon owner to freelance hairdresser by default, offering home hairdressing services. But with the freelance world being dubbed as ‘the black market’, professionals like Sheila struggled to be taken seriously outside of a salon environment. This was going to change!

Sheila 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. In October 1993 The freelance Hair & Beauty Federation (FHBF) was launched. Giving a voice to 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.

Freelance hairdressers have now had their own organisation for more than twenty five years and in 2014 the FHBF was rebranded the Freelance Hairdresser’s Association (FHA). The freelance sector is now well established with recognised industry standards. But has the freelancer reputation really changed or is there still a stigma with mobile hairdressing? Thats what we’re about to uncover in today’s podcast with Sheila.

As the founder of the FHA, the pride that Sheila has towards her astonishing achievement is clear – and rightly so. “The members are like my family. People have made amazing friendships through the organisation and I’m hugely proud of the support it was provided.” And, today she’s got some amazing insight into being a professional freelance hairdresser, and what it takes to succeed. Have a listen.


A podcast produced by Hairy Media Productions.


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Special thanks to Sheila Abrahams for joining me today.

Until next Monday, Peace, Love and Smiles all the way… Goodbye


Today’s Guest

Opinionated, talented and passionate. Sheila Abrahams possesses all three qualities and it’s these traits that have helped her build such a successful career within the hairdressing industry. At just 13, Sheila took her first steps into the world of hair, taking on a Saturday job in a local salon. Today, after an exciting yet sometimes turbulent career, Sheila heads up the Freelance Hairdresser’s Association, a group she founded to help support and encourage professional freelance hairdressers.


Show notes:

Here’s some of what we cover in todays episode

  • 00 min 31 sec: Show intro.
  • 05 min 20 sec: Background to Sheila Abrahams.
  • 10 min 36 sec: Why freelancers had a poor industry reputation.
  • 16 min 21 sec: The early mission of the FHA.
  • 18 min 54 sec: First FHA event.
  • 21 min 18 sec: Should we be encouraging young people to be freelance hairdressers?
  • 22 min 00 sec: What you need to be a freelance hairdresser.
  • 24 min 33: What is attracting hairdressers to working as freelance hairdressers.
  • 26 min 13 sec: What you’ve got to do to be a freelance hairdresser.
  • 27 min 59 sec: Setting the right prices as a freelance hairdresser.
  • 31 min 10 sec: Providing a professional service and set up.
  • 35 min 40 sec: Working in difficult home situations.
  • 40 min 15 sec: How to manage your booking most effectively as a freelance mobile hairdresser.
  • 42 min 07 sec: Retailing as a freelance hairdresser.
  • 46 min 07 sec: How to take correct payments.
  • 47 min 03 sec: How to become part of the FHA.
  • 51 min 17 sec: Training offered by FHA.
  • 56 min 02 sec: Freelancer competitions.
  • 57 min 44 sec: FHA 2020 show.
  • 01 hr 02 min 59 sec: Dom’s Last 5 Questions.
  • 01 hr 05 min 49 sec: Show outro.


FHA Inspire 2020


The Freelance Awards

Patrick Cameron

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