Certificate IV in Hairdressing

This qualification reflects the role of highly skilled senior hairdressers who develop complex technical skills and knowledge working as part of or coordinating a salon team. It includes senior hairdressers who work as technical advisers with a hairdressing products company; or independently as a freelance session stylist. Functions at this level include the self-directed application of a broad range of knowledge and skills and the provision of technical leadership, training and support to colleagues. A hairdresser at this level may provide specialist services, including haircutting, hair design, hair colouring, complex colour correction, hair extensions, chemical reformation, trichology and makeup application.

This qualification is suitable for an Australian Apprenticeship pathway.

Job roles

Senior hairdresser


11 units must be completed:

2 core units

9 elective units:

a minimum of 4 units must be selected from Group A Hairdressing technical skill electives

the remaining units may be selected from the Group B General elective units or another endorsed Training Package or accredited course; these must be units which are first packaged at AQF level 4 or 5.

In all cases selection of electives must be guided by the job outcome sought, local industry requirements and the characteristics of this qualification (as per the AQF descriptors).

Core units

add topic SIHHTLS401A

Provide technical leadership within the hairdressing context

add topic SIHHTLS402A

Research and utilise hairdressing trends to advance creative work

Elective units

Group A Hairdressing technical skills

add topic SIHHCLS406A

Solve complex colour problems

add topic SIHHCLS407A

Apply creative colouring and lightening techniques to enhance hair designs

add topic SIHHHCS306A

Combine structures for current haircut designs

add topic SIHHHCS410A

Design and perform creative haircuts

add topic SIHHHDS304A

Design and apply classic long hair up styles

add topic SIHHHDS305A

Select and apply hair extensions

add topic SIHHHDS406A

Design and apply creative long hair designs

add topic SIHHHDS407A

Apply and maintain wigs and hairpieces

add topic SIHHHDS408A

Make wigs and hairpieces

add topic SIHHHRS304A

Perform protein straightening and relaxing treatments

add topic SIHHHRS405A

Apply chemical reformation techniques to enhance hair designs

Group B General elective units

add topic BSBMKG413A

Promote products and services

add topic SIBXFAS202A

Design and apply make-up for photography

add topic SIHHHSC403A

Apply knowledge of hair and scalp problems to trichological consultations

add topic SIHHHSC404A

Perform trichological assessments

add topic SIHHHSC405A

Apply the principles of nutrition

add topic SIHHHSC406A

Develop and apply scalp treatment therapies

add topic SIHHTLS403A

Work as a session stylist

add topic SIRXMGT001A

Coordinate work teams

add topic SIRXMGT003A

Lead and manage people

add topic SIRXQUA002A

Lead a team to foster innovation

add topic TAEDEL301A

Provide work skill instruction

add topic TAEDEL402A

Plan, organise and facilitate learning in the workplace

add topic TAEASS401A

Plan assessment activities and processes

add topic TAEASS402A

Assess competence


    After achieving SIH40111 Certificate IV in Hairdressing individuals may undertake:

    SIB50210 Diploma of Salon Management

    SIH80113 Graduate Certificate in Hairdressing Creative Leadership.

Entry Requirements

The Certificate IV in Hairdressing is designed to build on the foundation skills acquired through the completion of the Certificate III in Hairdressing or equivalent.

Entry to this qualification is open to those who have vocational expertise in the hairdressing industry.

Vocational expertise must include a minimum of 2 of the 3 points below:

experience as an operator in a commercially run salon

provision of cutting, styling and chemical services

establishment of a clientele base

Licensing Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.

Employability Skills

The following table contains a summary of the Employability Skills as identified by the hairdressing industry for this qualification. The Employability Skills facets described here are broad industry requirements that may vary depending on qualification packaging options.

Employability Skill

Industry/enterprise requirements for this qualification include:


Using questioning and active listening to ascertain and respond to client needs to ensure clients enjoy a positive experience that reflects salon values; negotiating responsively with client to suggest new looks, products and services and to ensure and confirm client satisfaction; giving clear instructions to apprentices and other team members; listening to and carrying out verbal instructions from other team members and supervisors; reading and interpreting product and equipment manufacturer instructions and other work related documents; completing written workplace forms; sharing work-related information with other team members.


Working collaboratively with other team members; supporting the team; respecting and understanding others views and giving and receiving feedback; sharing technical expertise and acting as a mentor and trouble shooter for less experienced team members.


Demonstrating sensitivity to client needs and concerns; anticipating problems and acting to avoid them where possible; solving technical hairdressing and service problems independently; providing technical problem solving and leadership to other hairdressers.

Initiative and enterprise

Acting independently as freelance session stylist or within the context of a salon team or manufacturers technical team structure; regularly suggesting new hairdressing design, service and product ideas to clients.

Planning and organising

Using a broad range of products and equipment to plan and carry out complex technical hairdressing and hair design services.


Understanding and following workplace policies regarding work availability, rosters and work duties; working effectively within a team culture by practising inclusive behaviour, effective management of personal presentation, hygiene, and time; efficiently and independently prioritising and completing technical tasks.


Identifying personal strengths and weaknesses in the context of the job role; recognising how to personally develop as a hairdressing technical leader; consistently seeking opportunities to learn new ways of doing things; implementing changes within the specific hairdressing job role and wider industry product and technical developments.


Seeking, using and maintaining a range of hairdressing and small business technology in the context of available equipment and salon procedures; recognising and reporting faulty equipment and following salon occupational health and safety procedures.