I studied hairdressing slightly differently. As I worked full time, I studied evenings and weekends at my local college (with fully functioning working salon) This was hard work as I effectively worked six days a week for two years whilst training but I was able to support myself and pay my mortgage whilst learning. I LOVED the theory side of work, and have to say I was a super geek - getting 100% in all assessments/exams whilst studying. Getting my VTCT NVQ's along with my additional qualification at the London School of Journalism are two of the proudest moments of my life.
After you've qualified, it's really important to maintain your skills, and build on them by attending additional training days and courses, often run by the big brands. This helps build confidence and also keeps you up to date on the trends out there, and relevant techniques. And don't forget to register! The Hair Council campaigns for all hairstylists and barbers to be registered, raising standards and recognising hairdressing as a profession.
Good Luck and Happy Hairdressing!