It’s not something hairdressers would consciously think about, but they are using maths all the time in their daily salon operations.
Firstly, even booking appointments involves a basic grasp of how numbers work, especially to estimate how much time you’ll need with each client throughout the day so you don’t keep anyone waiting.
Maths is involved in stock management and ordering supplies. Running out of products is every hairdresser’s worst nightmare, so being able to manage your stock accurately and order enough of the right products is essential.
The most obvious way you use maths in the salon every day is taking payments and giving change. Understanding how treatments are priced so you know what to charge customers and what change to give them is vital to your work.
Understanding quantities is an important part of any hairdresser’s job, particularly when it comes to colour treatments. To select the right developer and measure the right proportion of products to get the results your client wants and knowing how volume and ratios work is essential.
Sectioning hair for colouring, cutting and styling means having to understand shape and space, a key concept of the maths learning we all do at school.
In terms of haircuts, understanding angles, lengths and shapes are key maths concepts that are the most important part of getting a haircut right. For instance, you wouldn’t be able to give a client the perfect asymmetric bob without them.
Understanding the temperature of the water to make sure it’s just right involves a knowledge of maths, as does estimating how much shampoo, conditioner and treatments your client needs for their hair.
Many products you use in the salon are numbered to indicate their strength or colour. Being able to interpret these numbers and knowing what they mean is a part of mathematical understanding.
Lastly, as with running any business, maths skills are essential to calculating profits and outgoings, including rent, bills and paying your stylists.