Unit of competency details

SIHHTLS403A - Work as a session stylist (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SHBHTLS003 - Work as a session stylistEquivalent • Unit updated to meet the Standards for Training Packages. 30/Mar/2016
Supersedes WRHHD406B - Work as a session stylistUpdated unit and not equivalent to WRHHD406B - Elements 5 and 6 removed.Previously contained the following prerequisites:• WRHHD303A Design and apply short to medium-length hair design finishes• 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 servicesand either• WRHHC306B Combine haircut structures on womenor• WRHHC307B Combine haircut structures for traditional and classic designs on men 19/Jul/2011

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 create finished hair designs for events, film sets, photographic studios or platform work.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to senior hairdressers who work in and outside the salon preparing hair for fashion parades, hair shows, hairdressing technical seminars, platform demonstrations, training sessions and fashion shoots. Session styling may also take place in television, film and theatre settings.

This role involves research, communication, analysis, planning and then selecting, combining and applying a broad range of products, tools and equipment to create finished hair colours and designs. Finished designs may be creative, classic, current and historical; or in character for events, photographic assignments, film sets, catwalks or platform work. Session stylists may work individually or with other professionals such as make-up artists, fashion designers, photographers, photographic stylists, models and also in session stylist teams.

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

Licensing/Regulatory Information

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


SIHHTLS401A Provide technical leadership within the hairdressing context

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria


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. Interpret the creative brief.

1.1. Analyse the objectives of the script or fashion session to determine overall design concepts .

1.2. Participate in preliminary concept meetings with relevant personnel to discuss the hair design requirements for the type of production. 

1.3. Identify relevant factors that may determine and affect the finished designs.

2. Conduct and evaluate research and planning.

2.1. Undertake research and analyse findings to develop hair design concepts.

2.2. Organise research materials , findings and documentation  for use throughout the design development process, and update as required.

2.3. Generate initial concepts against the research findings and discuss with relevant personnel .

3. Consult and discuss finished design.

3.1. Consult and examine the model or performer physically and visually to establish specific requirements.

3.2. Confirm finished hair designs  appropriate to the character, performance, production or event in consultation with relevant personnel.

4. Create current, creative and period hair designs.

4.1. Select and use products, materials, tools and techniques appropriate to the established design results.

4.2. Reflect a predetermined era  accurately in finished hair designs, where relevant to the production or event.

4.3. Ensure comfort and safety of the model or performer during each stage of the process.

4.4. Complete finished hair designs within required timeframes.

4.5. Confirm director or coordinator and model or performer satisfaction with finished hair design.

4.6. Document finished hair designs for future performances, events or continuity purposes.

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication skills in order to:
  • participate in concept meetings
  • discuss research findings with relevant production personnel
  • brief other team members
  • negotiate and confirm finished hair designs with relevant personnel
  • interact with models and performers
  • interact with other production professionals
  • participate in creative teams
  • research skills to:
  • use the internet, print and film media sources to identify contemporary and period hair designs that were popular in specific eras
  • source garments and materials
  • design and planning skills to develop hair colour and design concepts that match a creative brief
  • literacy skills to document and record finished hair designs for future performances, events or continuity purposes
  • technical skills to:
  • use a broad range of products and equipment
  • attach and incorporate hairpieces and ornaments in hair designs
  • use a broad range of products and techniques
  • use a variety of tool to achieve haircut structures
  • problem-solving skills to manage design and technical contingencies that arise
  • numeracy skills to:
  • calculate and manage product quantities
  • minimise waste
  • achieve outcomes in agreed timeframes

Required knowledge 

  • 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 hairpieces
  • the hairdressing product range available for the session
  • relevant occupational health and safety procedures
  • procedures to ensure the comfort and safety of client model or performer and operator

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:

  • planning and negotiating with other production team members, to take into account any cultural or physical requirements, and to ensure model or performer comfort and safety throughout the presentation
  • sourcing and organising equipment and props, including garments for a platform presentation
  • applying the elements and principles of design and a broad range of technical hairdressing skills to create creative, contemporary and period hair designs
  • applying a range of classic and current hair designs on short, medium and long hair in short turnaround times
  • applying relevant occupational health and safety and health regulation requirements.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • session styling settings, such as events, film sets, photographic studios or platform work
  • library, internet and film media research sources
  • a range of hairdressing products, equipment, hair accessories, props and audiovisual resources
  • relevant occupational health and safety and health regulations.

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:

  • direct observation of the learner performing a range of tasks in session styling environments, over sufficient time to demonstrate their handling of a range of contingencies. Tasks may include:
  • researching and planning for a hair show, sourcing models, garments, props and equipment and conducting rehearsals where required
  • designing and applying finished looks, incorporating colour, chemical reformation and haircutting or design services according to an agreed plan
  • responding to a creative brief to lead a small team completing hair designs for a fashion parade
  • case studies that involve researching and planning and creating period hair styles for filming or a catwalk event
  • 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:

  • SIHHHCS410A Design and perform creative haircuts
  • SIHHHDS406A Design and apply creative long hair designs
  • SIHHHDS407A Apply and maintain wigs and hairpieces

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.

Overall design concepts  may include:

  • hair designs
  • total looks
  • current, creative or period designs
  • elements of design
  • principles of design
  • overall design concepts.

Types of productions  may include:

  • feature films
  • advertisements
  • theatre
  • television
  • 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 materials
  • design concept, fashion or stage.

Documentation  must include:

  • overall design concepts
  • folio including photographs and sketches
  • haircut structural graphics
  • technical notes on chemical processes
  • manual files
  • computer database.

Relevant personnel  may include:

  • director
  • event coordinator
  • presentation team member
  • costume designer
  • fashion designer
  • choreographer
  • makeup artist
  • photographic stylist
  • photographer.

Finished hair designs  may include:

  • colour effects
  • chemical curling and volumising effects
  • chemical straightening effects
  • haircut structures
  • temporary straight and 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.

Unit Sector(s)


Competency Field

Technical Leadership