Hairstylist Foundation

  • Program Length 
    11 Months
  • Credential 
  • Location Offered 
    Cowichan, Nanaimo, Powell River

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.

The Hairstylist Foundation Certificate Program

The VIU Hairstylist program provides students with high-quality education in the art and science of hairdressing at the foundation level. The ITA Hairstylist Red Seal curriculum is implemented throughout this 11 month program, encompassing all of the core aspects of the trade. Accomplished, highly-experienced instructors ensure that students are provided with the applicable learning opportunities to build competency in both the theoretical and practical application of skills. Learning is accomplished through practical instruction and student participation using professional-grade equipment and products that mirror those used in industry. Students quickly advance to performing services on live clients in the VIU Hairdressing teaching salon, which provides students with the opportunity to practice in an authentic salon environment under the guidance of instructors. Students will 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 clientele upon graduation. Guest artists and speakers will provide industry insight along with valuable networking opportunities. Students will 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.

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 Standard Level Exam (SLE)
  • ITA Foundation Program
  • VIU Hairstylist Foundation and Experiential Learning Certificate
  • ITA 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 the ITA BC website for more information regarding Red Seal Hairstylist Certification.

Program topics include:

  • Hygiene, Sanitation and Disinfection Practices
  • Use and Maintenance of Tools and Equipment
  • Client Services
  • Hair and Scalp Care
  • Hair Cutting
  • Hair Styling
  • Chemical Waving and Relaxing of Hair
  • Hair Colouring
  • Specialized Services
  • Business Management

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.

Program Outline


HAIR 100T - (Hygiene, Sanitation, and Disinfection Practices)

HAIR 101T - (Use and Maintenance of Tools and Equipment)

HAIR 102T - (Client Services)

HAIR 103T - (Hair and Scalp)

HAIR 104T - (Hair Cutting)

HAIR 105T - (Hair Styling)

HAIR 106T - (Chemical Waving and Relaxing of Hair)

HAIR 107T - (Hair Colouring)

HAIR 108T - (Specialized Services)

HAIR 109T - (Business Management)

HAIR 110T - (Experiential Learning:  Salon Module)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Admission Requirements

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.

Career Opportunities

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 Fee Schedule

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.



Tuition (11 months x $461.18 per month)


Supply fee


Lab fee


Student Activity fee (4% of tuition and supply fee)


Student Services fee (4.417% of tuition)


VIU Students' Union fee (11 months x $20.73 per month)


Health and Dental Plan fee ($275 per year)


Books (approximate costs)*


Professional Kit (approximate costs)**





* 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 Health and Dental Plan fee is in effect only for full-time students at the Nanaimo Campus.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus Options
Anticipated intake for someone applying today
Sep 8, 2020
Next Intake(s)
  • September 2021
Accepting International Applications
Application Fee
Accepting Late Applications
Testing Required
Admissions Assistant

Name: Tarra Tipton
Phone: 604-485-8035


Assessment testing not required with proof of Grade 12 Graduation.

Anticipated intake for someone applying today
Feb 22, 2021
Next Intake(s)
  • Feb 22, 2021
  • Sept 7, 2021
Accepting International Applications
Application Fee
Testing Required
Admissions Assistant

Name: Melanie Cousins
Phone: 250-753-3245 ext. 2282

Chair Contact

Name: Joanne Slocum
Phone: 250-740-6577


Please Note:
There are two intakes per year.

Anticipated intake for someone applying today
Sep 7, 2021
Application Fee
Admissions Assistant

Name: Christine Wass
Phone: 250-746-3514

Co Chair Contact

Name: Gina Easton
Phone: 250-746-3520

For information on any previous versions please check our Program Archive Page.