VIU hairstylist students cut mannequins hair

Program Details, Costs, and Admission Requirements

  • Program Length
    11 Months
  • Credential
  • Location Offered
    Cowichan, Nanaimo, Saanich

Do you see yourself creating great cuts, colours and styles as a professional hairstylist? VIU’s Hairstylist training program carries an excellent reputation – graduates of this program report a high level of success in the industry and many local salons are owned and operated by graduates.

The 11-month hairdressing school program includes Pivot Point International’s A Designer Approach curriculum, which helps build skills, proficiency and confidence in all aspects of hairdressing. Students gain great experience as they perform services on members of the public in the VIU’s School of Hairdressing Salon. They also complete two practicums and have the chance to participate in competitions. Red Seal certification is now available. Explore your passion and creativity in hairdresser school.

Program Overview

The VIU Hairstylist program provides students with high-quality education in the art and science of hairdressing at the foundation level. Throughout this 11 month program students will progress through three phases of course work, encompassing all core aspects of the SkilledTradesBC Level 1 curriculum. Accomplished, highly-experienced instructors ensure students are provided with learning opportunities that aim to build their competency in both theoretical and practical application of skills. Learning is accomplished through a variety of instructional practices and student participation. Students quickly advance to performing services on live clients in VIU's Teaching Salon, using professional grade equipment and products that mirror those used in industry. This authentic learning environment provides students with the opportunity to practice and hone their skillsets under the guidance of experienced and dedicated instructors. Students learn to establish relationships with real clients, while being guided in the development of skills, speed, accuracy, and product knowledge in order to offer quality service to a clientele upon graduation.

To enhance the student experience further, guest artists and speakers are invited regularly to visit the program and provide industry insight along with valuable networking opportunities. Students gain additional experiential learning through participating in two practicums hosted by professional, fully-operational salons within the community. Students will also have opportunities to take part in hairdressing competitions and industry trade shows.

The goal of the VIU Hairdressing Program is to prepare our graduates to successfully begin their careers in the hairdressing industry.

The Hairstylist Foundation program is offered in partnership with Cowichan School District #79 and Saanichton School District #63, and Powell River School District #47.

Class hours of the program are 9am – 4:15pm, Monday to Thursday. Homework assignments and quizzes are delivered online and will take approximately 4 to 6 hours per week. Consistent attendance and participation is mandatory.

Successful graduates of this 11 month Foundation and Experiential Learning Program will receive:

  • ITA Level 1 Technical Training 990 Hours
  • SkilledTradesBC Work Based Training 300 Hours
  • VIU Hairstylist Foundation and Experiential Learning Certificate
  • SkilledTradesBC Level 1 Certificate of Completion

The VIU Hairstylist Program aligns curriculum and outcomes with the Interprovincial Red Seal Endorsement standards so that graduates may successfully progress towards achieving this credential. Please refer to SkilledTradesBC for more information regarding Red Seal Hairstylist Certification.

Program topics include:

  • Safety-related and Hygienic Functions. 
  • Tools and Equipment 
  • Client Service 
  • Communication Techniques 
  • Hair and Scalp Conditions 
  • Shampoo and Condition Hair and Scalp
  • Haircutting
  • Facial and Nape Hair 
  • Style Wet Hair
  • Style Dry Hair
  • Chemical Texture Service
  • Colour Hair 
  • Lighten Hair 
  • Color Correction
  • Hair Extensions, Wigs, and Hairpieces
  • Business Fundamentals 
  • Experiential Learning 1 – Salon Module 
  • Experiential Learning 2- Salon Module 
  • Experiential Learning 3- Salon Module

A minimum standing of 70% in all courses is required to pass the program.

Note: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada may assist students in this program; contact your local Employment Centre regarding eligibility for sponsorship.

Recommendations for Admission

  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Physically fit and able to stand all day
  • Normal colour vision, good depth perception, and ability to perceive line and form
  • Volunteer work, work experience or experience in a hairdressing salon
Phase 1
HAIRH 100T - (Safety-related and Hygienic Functions)
HAIRH 101T - (Tools and Equipment)
HAIRH 102T - (Communication Techniques)
HAIRH 103T - (Hair and Scalp Conditions)
HAIRH 104T - (Shampoo and Condition Hair and Scalp)
HAIRH 105T - (Style Wet Hair)
HAIRH 106T - (Experiential Learning 1 – Salon Module)


Phase 2
HAIRH 107T - (Client Service)
HAIRH 108T - (Facial and Nape Hair)
HAIRH 109T - (Style Dry Hair)
HAIRH 110T - (Chemical Texture Service)
HAIRH 111T - (Colour Hair)
HAIRH 112T - (Experiential Learning 2 – Salon Module)


Phase 3
HAIRH 113T - (Haircutting)
HAIRH 114T - (Lighten Hair)
HAIRH 115T - (Colour Correction)
HAIRH 116T - (Hair Extensions, Wigs and Hairpieces)
HAIRH 117T - (Business Fundamentals)
HAIRH 118T - (Experiential Learning 3 – Salon Module)

VIUs Hairstylist program has a long standing history of proven success in producing quality graduates who enjoy a 95% employment rate upon graduation. A high number of salons are owned, operated and staffed by graduates of the program. In addition to performing hair services in a salon, graduates report employment success in other areas such as salon management, sales, the cruise ship industry, the modeling/magazine industry, fashion styling, platform work and technical education.

Domestic Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Fees Amount
Tuition (11 months x $499.20 per month) 5,491.20
Supply fee 382.14
Lab fee 468.66
Student Activity fee (4% of tuition and supply fee) 234.93
Student Services fee (4.417% of tuition) 242.55
VIU Students' Union fee (11 months x $27.60 per month) 303.60
Health and Dental Plan fee ($265.00 per year) 265.00
Textbooks (approximate costs)* 365.00
Professional Kit (approximate costs)** 1,400.00

* Textbooks are to be purchased from the VIU Campus Store either before, or on the first day of class.

** The Professional Kit is purchased through a supplier and will be available from the Hairdressing department. These are required supplies and will not be given out without payment.

The VIUSU Health and Dental Plan fee is assessed for all students enrolled in 6 credits or more per term, or in Trades/Vocational programs of 5 months or longer.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice and are expected to increase by 2% each year on April 1.

Domestic (Canadian)

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus Options

Hair Amour By Lesley Barker

“My experience was great there, from my first snip to my last blow dry. The program is designed to give a budding hairdresser a thorough foundation, and promotes extra-curricular activities, which spawn new ideas that build on original teaching.”

Read more about Lesley's experience