Work as a session stylist

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to create finished hair designs especially applicable to events, film sets, photographic studios or platform work. This unit will apply to hairdressers who work in fashion parades, hair shows, hairdressing technical seminars, demonstrations, training sessions and on fashion shoots.


This unit involves research, communication, analysis, planning and then selecting, combining and applying products, tools and equipment to create finished hair designs. These designs may be creative, classic, current and historical; or in character for events, photographic assignments, film sets, catwalks or platform work. The unit requires in-depth knowledge and experience in the application of design, haircutting, hair colouring, hair lightening, chemical reformation and relaxation techniques. Advanced communication and team skills are required when working with other professionals such as fashion designers, photographers, photographic stylists, models and session stylist teams.

In the context of an assessment-only and/or a training delivery and assessment pathway, units of competency that relate to this unit are identified in the evidence guide of this unit.


Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria




Interpret the creative brief.


Performance outline for script or fashion session objectives are analysed to determine overall design concepts.


Preliminary concept meetings with relevant personnel are participated in to discuss the hair design requirements for the type of production.


All relevant factors that may determine and affect the finished designs are identified.


Conduct and evaluate research and planning.


Research is undertaken and findings are analysed to develop hair design concepts.


Research materials, findings and documentation are organised for use throughout the design development process, updating as required.


Initial concepts are generated against the research findings and discussed with relevant personnel.


Consult and discuss finished design.


Specific requirements are established by physical and visual examination.


Finished hair designs appropriate to the character, performance, production or event are established in consultation with relevant personnel.


Create current, creative and period hair designs.


Products, materials, tools and techniques appropriate to the established design results are selected and used.


A predetermined era is accurately reflected in finished hair designs where relevant to the production/event.


Comfort and safety of the model/performer are ensured during all processes.


Finished designs are completed within required timeframes.


Director/coordinator/model/performer satisfaction with finished hair design is confirmed.


Finished hair designs are documented for future performances/events and continuity purposes.


Plan hairdressing presentations.


Session objectives, target audience, and presentation type, scale and presentation team are identified.


Variables of the presentation environment are determined and appropriate adjustments are made.


Garments for models are sourced directly via retail outlets, fashion designers or fashion stylists.


Presentation team members are briefed on overall design concepts and supported in fulfilling all aspects of their roles.


Make-up designs are coordinated in conjunction with make-up artists.


Hairdressing products, equipment and props to be used in presentation are assembled where required.


Make hairdressing presentations.


Models and information are introduced and presented in a clear, logical and interesting manner, and with a strong conclusion.


Public speaking techniques, including visual and audio aids, are used effectively as required.


Chemical procedures, haircut structures and the application of finishing products and techniques are explained in a clear and logical sequence.


Audience participation is encouraged where possible to provide a means for audience questions and feedback.


Audience reactions are monitored and responded to where possible in order to ensure ongoing rapport and audience engagement in the presentation.

Required Skills

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

Skills may include:

communication skills that take into account the culture, background and abilities of the production/presentation team and the target audience, while demonstrating a knowledge of communication techniques, including:

listening and questioning techniques

verbal and non-verbal communication

negotiation techniques

planning skills

presentation skills

team skills

research skills that involve using the Internet, and print and film media sources to identify contemporary and period hair designs that were popular in specific eras

language, literacy and numeracy skills relevant to the role and workplace requirements

highly developed short, medium and long hair design skills using a broad range of products and equipment

the ability to attach and incorporate postiche and ornaments in hair designs

highly developed hair colouring and lightening skills using a broad range of products and techniques

highly developed haircutting skills using a variety of tools to achieve haircut structures

demonstrated skills in the safe use and application of a broad range of hairdressing tools and equipment.

Knowledge may include:

the elements and principles of design and their combination and application for a wide variety of finished hair designs

the history of contemporary and period hair design, including eras and their popular designs and colours

a broad range of technical knowledge in the selection, safe application and effects of colour and lightening products

a broad range of technical knowledge in the selection, safe application and effects of chemical reformation products on the hair

the care and maintenance of, and techniques for attaching, human and synthetic postiche

the product range available for the session

the provisions of relevant occupational health and safety legislation and regulations

relevant workplace policies and procedures to ensure the comfort and safety of client and operator

the provisions of relevant health and hygiene legislation and regulations

the provisions of relevant skin penetration legislation and regulations.

Evidence Required

The evidence guide describes the underpinning knowledge and skills that must be demonstrated to prove competence. It is essential for assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, the range statement and the assessment guidelines of the relevant Training Package.

Overview of assessment

A person who demonstrates competency in this unit of competency is able to communicate, analyse, research, plan, design and then combine and apply products, tools and equipment to create finished hair designs in quick turnaround times. These applied designs may be creative, classic, current and historical; or in character for events, photographic assignments, film sets, catwalks or platform work.

The person will consistently apply advanced communication and team skills when working with other professionals such as fashion designers, photographers, photographic stylists, models and session stylists and/or hair show teams.

Relevant health regulations and occupational health and safety legislation must be consistently implemented.

Specific evidence requirements

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

ability to consistently use effective questioning and active listening techniques to negotiate appropriately with other production team members, to take into account any cultural or physical requirements, and to ensure client/model comfort and safety throughout the service

ability to source and organise equipment and props, including garments for a platform presentation

ability to present well-planned sessions to live audiences, communicate technical explanations and clearly answer audience questions regarding hairdressing techniques and designs

ability to apply the elements and principles of design and a broad range of technical hairdressing skills to create contemporary and period hair designs

ability to apply a range of classic and current hair designs on short, medium and long hair in short turnaround times

knowledge and consistent application of federal, state and local health and hygiene legislation and regulations applicable to the workplace

knowledge and consistent application of occupational health and safety requirements and workplace procedures relevant to hair design services.

Context of assessment

For valid and reliable assessment of this unit, competency should be consistently demonstrated over a period of time and observed by the assessor and/or the technical expert working in partnership with the assessor. The technical expert may include the hairdresser and/or an experienced person at the workplace.

Competency should be demonstrated in the workplace or a simulated workplace environment and in a platform presentation or simulated platform presentation environment, including in a range of situations that may include client interruptions and involvement in other related activities normally expected in the workplace. For further guidance on the use of an appropriate simulated environment, refer to the Assessment Guidelines in this Training Package.

Specific resources for assessment

Competency for this unit should be assessed through access to:

a salon or simulated salon environment

a platform production venue or event, such as a hairdressing show or competition

models for platform demonstrations

library, Internet and film media research sources

a range of hairdressing products, equipment, hair accessories, props and audiovisual resources

relevant health regulations and workplace procedures.

Relationship to other units

This unit requires an assessment outcome that includes evidence of the ability to design and apply combined structures for haircut designs, apply a broad range of chemical reformation techniques and hairdressing chemical services, and communicate effectively with production team members and audiences.


WRHHC306B Combine haircut structures on women


WRHHC307B Combine haircut structures for traditional and classic designs on men


WRHCL302B Colour and lighten hair

WRHCL303B Design and perform full and partial highlighting techniques

WRHCL304A Perform colour correction

WRHCR302B Perform chemical curling and volumising services

WRHCR303B Perform chemical straightening and relaxing services

WRHHD303A Design and apply short to medium-length hair design finishes.


WRHCL305B Perform on scalp full head and re-touch bleach services

WRHCL406B Solve complex colour problems

WRHHC410B Design and perform creative haircuts

WRHHD304A Design and apply long hair design finishes.

Method of assessment

The following assessment method is suggested.

Observation of the learner performing a range of tasks in an actual or simulated work environment, over sufficient time to demonstrate his or her handling of a range of contingencies. Tasks may include:

researching and planning for a hair show or presentation and sourcing models, garments, props and equipment and conducting rehearsals where required

designing and applying finished looks, incorporating chemical reformation and haircutting and/or design services according to an agreed plan

interacting with an audience to give technical explanations of work in progress or completed, and responding to their questions

implementing relevant health and hygiene and occupational health and safety regulations and workplace procedures relevant to hair design services.

Evidence required for demonstration of consistent performance

For valid and reliable assessment of this unit, evidence should be gathered through a range of methods to indicate consistent performance.

It can be gathered from assessment of the unit of competency alone, through an integrated assessment activity or through a combination of both.

Evidence should be gathered as part of the learning process.

Assessing employability skills

Employability skills are integral to effective performance in the workplace and are broadly consistent across industry sectors. How these skills are applied varies between occupations and qualifications due to the different work functions and contexts.

Employability skills embedded in this unit should be assessed holistically in the context of the job role and with other relevant units that make up the skill set or qualification.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that will affect performance.

The following variables may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts. Bold italicised text from the performance criteria is detailed here.

Overall design concepts may include:

hair designs and/or total looks

current, creative or period designs

elements of design

principles of design

overall design concepts.

Types of productions may include:

feature films




fashion shoots

hair fashion shoots

hair shows

in-salon presentations

technical workshops.

Research materials may include:

fashion magazines

history books

photographs, paintings and illustrations from a particular period

film and video

the Internet

manufacturer's materials

design concept, fashion or stage.

Documentation may include:

folio including photographs and sketches

haircut structural graphics

technical notes on chemical processes

manual files

computer database.

Relevant personnel may include:


event coordinator

presentation team member

costume designer

fashion designer


photographic stylist


Finished hair designs may include:

colour effects

chemical curling and volumising effects

chemical straightening effects

haircut structures

temporary straight and/or curved design finishes for direction, volume, curl, waves and texture

wigs and hairpieces

hair ornaments.

A predetermined era may include:

historical period

current period

futuristic period

forecasting of looks.

Target audience may include:


hairdressing educators

magazine readers

a live audience

a film audience

members of the general public representing a specific age or socioeconomic demographic

people from a range of social, cultural or ethnic backgrounds and with a range of with a range of physical and mental abilities.

Presentation type may include:




'look and learn'.

Presentation scale may include:

single model demonstration with technical explanation

multiple model demonstration with technical explanation

compered presentations with technical input from session stylists

choreographed parades.

Presentation team may include:

other hairdressers and session stylists

fashion designers

makeup artists



audiovisual and sound technicians

assistants and stage hands.

Variables of the presentation environment may include:

event venues:

stage or catwalk

indoor or outdoor film sets


training facility


Visual and audio aids may include:


butcher's paper

sketch pads



film and video


sound, microphones, etc.

visual collages of design ideas.


Not applicable.

Competency Field


Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.