Friday, 27 June 2014

Forget Girls World: Get a real hairdresser’s training head

My daughter is going through through a big wannabe hairdresser phase. Actually, she says can’t decide between that or actress, but she was spending a lot of time playing with this garish Girls World type of thing we’d picked up at a car boot sale. But, she commented, the hair didn’t feel quite right, hang quite right, part quite right. It wasn’t like doing real hair, she said.
Then some inspiration came from an unexpected source. I happened to have an appointment at my my local Further Education College for a bargain haircut in their hairdressing training deparment. A snip at £6! During my slow, ever-so-careful haircut by a trainee, I could see other trainees – lower down the hairdressing evolutionary scale – practising cutting and styling on false heads of hair clamped to backs of chairs.
Ooh, where could I get one of those? My daughter's 8th birthday was coming up and that would make a great present. A quick Google search of ‘Hairdressing training head’ revealed a whole range of them available to buy, and a whole new world: What length did I want? What colour? And what percentage of … erm … real human hair? In the end, I went for a dark brown, 22-inch, 80% human one, priced £7.99 (way, way cheaper than any Girls World).

A week later, it arrived. Opening the package was a bit freaky, like discovering someone has sent you a severed head. But the hair is really, really long (down to her waist – if she had a body), lovely and satisfying to touch, and the crown and parting are very realistic. It’s also the same size as a human head and when clamped to a chair or table, swivels obligingly.
I surprised my daughter with it by setting it up in front of a mirror, like a little hairdressing saloon, with scissors, combs, brushes, water spray, hairbands and hairslides all laid out. It was an instant hit.
She plays with The Head – or Ella as she calls it – intensely, inventing all kinds of sophisticated hairstyles, or trying to master the French plait. She is very happy too that Ella has almost black hair, like hers, because she so often finds herself in a sea of blondeness.  
After a few weeks, she decided to cut Ella a (rather wonky) fringe and trim a couple of inches off the ends. The hair is so long though that there’s still a lot more scissor-happiness to be had before Ella will need to be put to rest.
A word of warning though: Do not leave The Head clamped to a chair or lying about when you go to bed. If you go downstairs in the night and it catches your eye, it’s a truly blood-curdling experience.

See hairdressers' training heads on ebay or Amazon.


  1. Definitely going to get one of these for my daughter for Christmas. She's 11, but I know she'll love it!

    1. I quite like using it myself and I'm...erm...11+ !!!

  2. This is a brilliant idea. I would have thought they would be much more expensive. I imagine kids can learn much more with these too. Thanks for sharing with #FamilyTested x

    1. I know - I was surprised at how cheap they are! Shows you how much of the price of Girl's World is just down to marketing!

  3. Three are usually cheap Ralph Lauren available for sale each and every time you wish to buy. Kappersopleiding