Unit of competency details

SIHHHDS406A - Design and apply creative long hair designs (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SHBHDES006 - Design and style long hair creativelyEquivalent • Unit updated to meet the Standards for Training Packages.• Title changed. 30/Mar/2016

ReleaseRelease date
2 (this release) 19/Aug/2013
(View details for release 1) 20/Jul/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110303 Hairdressing 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110303 Hairdressing 18/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

The release details of this endorsed unit of competency are set out in the table below. The latest information is at the top.




Editorial corrections. Competency field added.


Initial release.

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to combine design elements and techniques to produce creative up, down and combination finished designs.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to senior hairdressers in salon and session styling environments, who research current directions in long hair design and combine design elements, principles and technical skills to achieve creative, experimental or innovative (avant garde) long hair images on female clients. Such images are based on local, international, current and emerging hair and fashion trends.

The hair design may primarily establish the basis of the look. Alternatively, the hair design concept is developed around particular clothes or an event theme. This may involve the addition of hair pieces, other fibres, materials and ornaments to achieve the design.

A person undertaking this role applies discretion and judgement accepts responsibility for outcomes of own work and provides technical leadership in the salon team.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

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



Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

1. Research creative long hair looks.

1.1. Develop a portfolio of creative long hair designs , using a range of sources .

1.2. Analyse and identify long hair design elements, principles and techniques and materials in a design plan  and record in the portfolio.

2. Consult with client and plan finished look.

2.1. Establish natural hair type, texture, growth patterns, length, structure and movement  by physical and visual examination.

2.2. Observe facial features and bone structure .

2.3. Review and discuss possible finished long hair designs using visual examples  as appropriate to establish client  expectations.

2.4. Apply the elements and principles of design  to complement client facial features and bone structure and plan alternative long hair designs .

2.5. Discuss and confirm a creative long hair design concept with client.

3. Prepare the hair.

3.1. Select and apply styling products , according to hair type and planned design, following product instructions.

3.2. Select and apply relevant hair preparation methods .

4. Apply relevant techniques to create a finished long hair design.

4.1. Select and apply relevant finishing techniques  to achieve the predetermined look.

4.2. Ensure client comfort and safety during the process according to salon procedures .

4.3. Confirm client satisfaction and adjust hair design finish where required.

4.4. Advise on hair design maintenance and recommend relevant home hair care products .

4.5. Complete hair designs within designated salon timeframes.

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • interact with clients
  • consult with clients during preservice analysis
  • check client comfort during the hair design finishing process
  • confirm client satisfaction with hair design results
  • design skills to:
  • conduct hair design analysis
  • apply the elements and principles design to design finished looks
  • research skills to source information on local, international, current and emerging hair and fashion trends that may influence long hair designs.
  • technical skills to:
  • select and apply systematic methods of preparing long hair
  • use and safely apply a wide range of hair design finishing tools and techniques
  • attach hair pieces and ornamentation
  • numeracy skills to manage the completion of creative long hair design services within salon timeframes

Required knowledge 

  • elements and principles of design as they are applied to hair design
  • current and emerging trends in long hair design
  • salon styling products range

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

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

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • analysing and identifying the elements of long hair designs and alternative techniques that may be applied to achieve those designs
  • applying tools and equipment to achieve a range of creative and current up, down and combination hair designs on long hair
  • completing long hair design services within designated salon timeframes.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • a salon or a simulated salon environment that includes a range of work situations such as client interruptions and involvement in other related activities normally expected in the salon
  • an adjustable client chair
  • a clean client gown or wrap
  • a supply of clean towels
  • hair design equipment, including:
  • combs
  • brushes
  • rollers
  • clips
  • blow dryer
  • heat diffuser
  • heat lamps
  • hair dryer
  • tongs
  • straightening irons
  • a range of clients with long hair for hair design services
  • styling products
  • relevant documentation, including:
  • manufacturer instructions
  • salon procedures
  • safety data sheets for the safe use of electrical equipment

For further guidance on the use of an appropriate simulated environment, refer to the Assessment Guidelines in this Training Package.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • research leading to the development of a long hair design portfolio
  • direct observation of the learner consulting with clients and applying tools and equipment to complete long hair designs
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third-party reports of on-the-job performance.

Guidance information for assessment 

A unit of competency describes an individual skill but people rarely perform one skill at a time. Many skills are combined on a day-to-day basis in the workplace as part of work processes. This does not mean that each skill described by a unit of competency is prerequisite to another—they are related skills.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, salon and job role is recommended for example:

  • SIHHTLS403A Work as a session stylist

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that 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) may also be included.

Portfolio of creative long hair designs  may include:

  • local and international creative long hair design trends
  • photographs, including hard copy and online
  • sketches
  • DVD or video.

Sources  may include:

  • local and international sources
  • books
  • fashion magazines
  • fashion parades and collections
  • hair shows
  • websites.

Design plan  must include:

  • identified design elements and principles
  • tools
  • techniques
  • additional materials, such as:
  • padding
  • hairpiece
  • ornamentation.

Natural hair type  may include:

  • European
  • Afro
  • Asian.

Texture  may include:

  • coarse
  • medium
  • fine.

Growth patterns  may include:

  • crown area
  • hairline
  • neckline
  • cowlicks (whorls).

Length, structure and movement  may include:

  • shoulder length
  • below shoulder length
  • one length or solid
  • graduated
  • combination of structures
  • straight
  • wavy
  • natural curl
  • chemical curl or waves.

Facial features and bone structure  may include:

  • square
  • round
  • oval
  • heart
  • combination of shapes
  • unusual facial shapes.

Visual examples  may include:

  • magazine shots
  • photographs
  • quick sketches or simple line drawings
  • hair design text books.

Clients  may include:

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

Elements and principles of design  may include:

  • elements, such as:
  • straight or curved lines
  • shape
  • direction
  • size
  • texture
  • colour
  • principles, including:
  • balance
  • gradation
  • repetition
  • contrast
  • harmony
  • dominance
  • unity.

Long hair designs  must include:

  • hair designs that are:
  • up
  • down
  • a combination up and down looks
  • structured and unstructured looks.

Long hair designs  may include:

  • rolls
  • twists
  • braids
  • knots
  • curls
  • waves
  • texture
  • the application of padding
  • ornamentation
  • attached hairpieces.

Relevant hair preparation methods  may include:

  • applying styling products
  • blow drying
  • blow waving
  • moulding
  • water waving
  • roller placement for curl or volume
  • applying hot tongs for curl or texture
  • applying crimpers
  • lamp drying
  • use of heat diffusers
  • smoothing and straightening hair
  • applying flat irons to straighten hair.

Relevant finishing techniques  may include:

  • finishing techniques, such as:
  • sectioning the hair and following a sequence to dress each section
  • brushing
  • dry moulding
  • backcombing
  • smoothing over backcombing
  • placing
  • securing the hair using bands or pins that are not visible in the finished design
  • inserting attachments, such as:
  • padding of various shapes
  • hairpieces made from human or synthetic hair
  • artificial fibre
  • ornamentation.

Salon procedures  may include:

  • client comfort and safety
  • operator safety
  • procedures that comply with state or territory and local government health regulations relevant to the service
  • environmental protection practices, such as:
  • waste minimisation
  • waste disposal
  • water efficiency.

Home hair care products  may include:

  • shampoos
  • conditioners
  • styling aids, such as:
  • mousses
  • lotions
  • gels
  • waxes
  • hair sprays
  • texturising products.

Unit Sector(s)


Competency Field

Hair Design