Salon-owner Clive Slater, whose campaign for compulsory licensing has won support from more than 70 MPs, hit out at the standard of students leaving college.
Mr Slater, who runs a chain of salons in the Home Counties, is a training provider for Surrey Training amp; Enterprise Council through his Independent School of Hairdressing.
His campaign highlights concern over the number of complaints and injuries arising from negligence, often involving dangerous chemicals in dyes and perm lotions. There are no laws in the UK governing hairdressers - anyone can open a salon.
Mr Slater wants all hairdressers to be required to have qualifications within five years of new legislation and mobile hairdressers required to hold minimum NVQ level 3.
He said: "We should take training out of colleges and put it into the workplace where it is policed and administered properly.
"We have everything in place within the hairdressing industry to be able to do this to a far higher standard than what's being done at the present time. There are extremely good colleges through- out the country and there are some very bad ones.
"We take on candidates, we look at their portfolios and standards are extremely low. We have had to complain to City amp; Guilds on more than one occasion because the work isn't being carried out properly," he added.
In a joint statement, City amp; Guilds and the Hairdressing Training Board said: "We have every confidence in the quality of training offered by further education colleges."
Miranda Carter, of the Hairdressing Council, the industry's governing body, said: "I think salon owners expect too much of people who come out of college. Some of them have only been in college 18 months.
"They look to salon owners to help them move up the ladder. I don't think they're coming out that uneducated. "