The hairdressing industry is growing, with new treatments and services being developed in response to customer demand. This means that there are many opportunities for skilled hairdressers.
And I love to learn and be as up to date on new techniques and treatments as possible. Since I first left college (let’s just say a few years back) I have regularly put myself onto courses that I feel would update and help me and my clients achieve different looks and ways to achieve them.
Some of you may know that last year I enrolled in my local college and in September 2020 I started my Technical Diploma Level 3 in Hairdressing.
Back when I first qualified this wasn’t as much of a thing and you had to go out into the industry and really find your feet and know the basics before you could do your level 3, so after a lot of years putting it off for various reasons I decided that with all the things covid had taken from me education was not going to be one of them.
The first day back in an education setting was hard: having a young family and a dog to organize and the emotions around a new environment and worrying I would be the oldest in the class and that I wouldn’t fit in.
It was like reliving those first days at a new school where you don’t know anyone or where anything is.
After doing my first term, meeting new people and slowly making new friends I realized it wasn’t so bad. We all bought something new to the table whether it was experience or creativity and it was nice.
Like a new extended friendship and family group, when if one of us was having a day when we didn’t understand with the support of the lecturer and the class we grouped and worked it out.
I am the first to admit I am not the most intellectual person and while I do love to learn and read, I find the classroom environment hard.
I have never been one for study time and I’m much more of a hands-on learner. The classroom side of learning I did struggle with, having a classroom of other young women who unlike myself had recently only finished college or had only been qualified a few years they knew so much of the textbook words that in real-life situations when with clients we would rarely use.
I felt stupid. Although I was familiar with the words, it was like riding a bike, only this bike had punctures and was a little worse for wear I knew I just had to get back in the rhythm of using big fancy words and not be so scared to get it wrong.
I felt more physically and mentally drained than I had done in years.
The practical side of classes was a whole other story being used to a busy salon and on my feet all day with clients I loved the creativity that came from learning and homing in on some of the newer techniques allowing me to be myself.
Hair is my passion I love the freedom it gives people, both in expressing themselves and their personalities.
I remember when I first went and looked around West Suffolk College when I left school. I always loved art and things that are more unique and different I was leaning more towards an art course of some kind; however, I was told by a family member that unfortunately many artists fail to make it and their work is not appreciated until several years after the artist dies.
This upset me a little I didn’t want my work just left on a wall or tucked away forgotten about art is well if you look it up in a dictionary – the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
And so, I decided to apply and do a hairdressing course, all these years later stepping back through the doors and even seeing some of the familiar faces from when I was first there it was good to be back.
And in a way nice too that I can be an example, and hopefully a positive one, that you can go back even after many years of being out of an education setting.
I thought I’d share with you a few of my creations from going back to college. I know it wasn’t the standard college year as it had a good few hiccups and holdups with regards to lockdowns and covid and being in a clinically vulnerable category I had to isolate for slightly longer than some of the others.
One of the projects I am most proud of was a project we had named “FORCES OF NATURE”
Over the last ten years, I have been more and more conscious of my actions when it comes to nature and having a scuba diving background I thought I would use my knowledge of the ocean and how humanity is affecting it, my theme was “ tsunami”.
On my walks to take my girls to school I collected various items I found on the path and sides of the road and made my project also about the awareness of ocean pollution when a tsunami creates a surge of ocean water that can sometimes engulf large inland areas.
As the ocean water comes ashore, along does a lot of waste and ocean garbage and pollution that can adversely affect human health as it can bring bacteria and other germs with it.
It is not just plastic bags and straws that most people think when they think about ocean pollution it’s also fishing nets and rope.
So, after cleaning up my items and upcycling a blue petite coat that I had lurking in my wardrobe I set to work creating the outfit that would later become my final look.
I wanted the hair to have the smoothness of the calm before the storm in some areas and then the movement and chaos that comes with a tsunami, adding blues and greens into the hair and makeup.
And all using my cruelty-free products and biodegradable makeup disposables, to help the environment and keep my hygiene standards high.
We also had a few colour and creative cutting projects to work from, I thought I’d share these too.
I took my own products and colour choice in with me, so I had the cruelty-free options that I wanted. I use these both in the salon and for my bridal and freelance work.
Hope you love them as much as I do.
But I hope sharing my experience with you will maybe encourage anyone out there who is thinking of going back into education to do it; there will always be ups and downs however when you invest in yourself you are investing in your future.
And those of you thinking of booking me can see that I am not just a hair and makeup artist that stands still and hopes that all things will come to me and I am always looking to learn and better educate myself to give the latest knowledge and techniques to you for the best possible service.
Did I pass?
Yes! And I got a MERIT in my Technical Diploma Level 3 in Hairdressing!
What’s next on my plan? Well best wait and see.
In the words of Nelson Mandela – Education is the most powerful key we can use to change the world