Posted on April 25, 2023

A cut above: VCC hairstyling instructors receive their Red Seal Endorsement

VCC hairstyle instructorsMembers of VCC's hairstyling instructor team with their Red Seal Endorsement certificates in front of the VCC Salon & Spa.

Vancouver, B.C. — Demonstrating the college’s commitment to delivering the highest standard of education, Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that all 22 faculty and auxiliary instructors within the Hairstyling program have received their Red Seal Endorsement (RSE). 

This is the highest level of training that professionals within the industry can acquire. 

In 2003, the hairstyling trade was deregulated in the province, meaning that hairstylists did not require a license to practice. Only in the last few years have hairstyling students in British Columbia had the opportunity to pursue their RSE.

“VCC’s Hairstyling program is one of the largest in Canada to have all instructors receive their Red Seal endorsement,” explains Louise Dannhauer, Department Head, Hair Design and Esthetics. “I am so proud of our team. Achieving this standard of excellence shows our commitment to both students who seek their education from qualified, experienced instructors and clients who book a haircut at our salon and spa.”

The RSE is a nationally designated trade and is proof of excellence in specific skilled trades recognized by employers across Canada. Hairstylists seeking the certification must complete a comprehensive exam after their apprenticeship. 

Benefits to students

When asked about the benefits of being taught by a Red Seal instructor, Michelle Dueck, Instructional Assistant – Hair Design, shares, “Red Seal instructors are able to work throughout the country, allowing them to have diverse experiences. Their understanding of the exams and process required to obtain their RSE, as well as the knowledge and experience that comes with it, transfers to students undoubtedly.”

Learning from Red Seal-certified, knowledgeable faculty provides hairstyling students with the hands-on skills and experience required to succeed in a salon environment after graduation. 

“Hairstylists can perform a number of services for clients, some of which contain strong chemicals,” adds Dannhauer. “Red Seal stylists undergo rigorous training to ensure proper safety measures are followed.”

VCC offers Level 1 and Level 2 apprenticeships in Hairstyling.

Greater career mobility in the hair industry 

While the RSE is not mandatory for hairstylists working within B.C., certification can lead to more job opportunities, greater career mobility, and higher pay. 

“Some companies may require RSE in the future,” reveals Linda Brandwood, an instructor within the Department of Hair Design and Esthetics. “Stylists without Red Seal may not find work as easily in other provinces and may be required to do further provincial assessments or examinations. Red Seal is the highest level trade certification for hairstylists in Canada and it can proudly be displayed in a salon for clients indicating a certain standard of knowledge and skill has been attained.”

These are among the many reasons VCC launched the RSE training for hairstyling in 2019. The B.C. Labour Market Outlook cites hairstylists and barbers among the top in-demand trades in the province with 6,000 job openings expected over the next decade. 

VCC's Hairstyling program joins other in-demand trades like cooks, pastry chefs, and automotive technicians that VCC provides Red Seal training for. 

Book an appointment today in the VCC Salon & Spa.

About Vancouver Community College

VCC has been inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals for over 55 years, offering post-secondary training in over 140 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With two campuses located Downtown and in East Vancouver, students receive hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality management, transportation trades, music, and more. Learn more at  

Media contact:

Carey Yada Lee 
Strategic Communications Specialist
T: 236-833-3640