VIU hairstylist students cut mannequins hair


When you take hairstylist training at VIU, you join a community you can count on throughout your career. From instructors to alumni and classmates, you’ll build a network you can connect with long after graduation.

The VIU Hairdressing program has earned an excellent reputation through its high standards and superior instruction. Our graduates are highly skilled, and local employers are eager to hire them. In fact, many local salons are owned and operated by graduates of this program. Our grads also find rewarding work in:

  • cruise ship industry
  • modelling and magazine industry
  • in-home salons
  • platform artist
  • technical educators

Become a Red Seal hairstylist

Hairdressing received Red Seal designation through SkilledTradesBC in 2016. When you earn Red Seal endorsement, you tell potential employers and clients that your skills are at the highest standard. Our programs prepare you for Red Seal endorsement.

Foundation program (Level 1)

This 11-month, 1290-hour program gives you the key fundamental knowledge in the art and science of hairdressing.  You’ll do a wide range of classroom activities, and you get hands-on practice working on live clients in our busy Teaching and Learning Salon.  The program also includes a two-week in-salon practical experience. We use Pivot Point International Textbook resources in the program.

When you complete the program, you receive a VIU Hairdressing Certificate and a Pivot Point International Certificate. You are eligible to write the SkilledTradesBC Level 1 Hairstylist exam, and you receive a 1290 hour credit toward your apprenticeship hours.

Program Costs

See Program costs for details regarding current fees.

Additional Costs

Students will purchase textbooks and a kit which contains your professional tools of the trade such as blow dryer, flat iron, curling iron, clippers, shears etc.

(All fees are subject to change without prior notice.)

Admission Requirements

See Admission Requirements for details.

Hairstylist Level 2 (Apprenticeship) Program

Level 2 is intended for stylists who are working in industry and have completed the Foundation program. This 150-hour blended program features an innovative 12-week online and 1 week in-class experience. This program allows you to remain working in industry while advancing your education and completing the next step toward Red Seal certification. We use Pivot Point International and Milady Textbook references throughout the program.

When you complete the program, you will be eligible to write the Interprovincial Red Seal written exam.

Prior Learning Assessment

If you’ve gained skills through the workplace or private learning, you may be eligible for credit for some VIU courses. Ask about a prior learning assessment.


To become a student in the Hairdressing Program, apply to VIU.

VIU hairdressing alumnus Rachel Williams

Rachel Williams

“I initially chose VIU because I had heard great things about the hair program. I was feeling pretty lost at the time. I had been laid off due to covid and was doing a work from home job that I wasn't happy in. I wasn't one of those people who had a clear path of what they wanted to do after high school, so I tried many different things just trying to figure it out.

What I really appreciated about the hair program at VIU is how much hands-on experience with real clients you get - I feel like it really prepared me for the nitty gritty stuff! I'm most proud of how far I've come with my overall confidence and communication - as well as my colouring skills.” 

Julia B

I went to VIU right out of high school. I came from a very small town and was a bit intimidated by the whole experience at first but the teachers and office staff made me feel at home there. Some of them even set up my work experience for me because I wasn't familiar with the area! Since graduating from VIU I have opened my own salon and have been in business for 7 years. I feel like my experience there made me a more confidant stylist. I would recommend VIU to anyone who is interested in hairdressing. It's a great place to learn and be inspired!