Saskia Weatherill started coming to College for 1 day a week in Years 10 & 11 to do the Level 1 in Hair & Beauty. Saskia found she loved the creativity that comes with hairdressing and after leaving QES decided to do the Level 2 Diploma in Hairdressing and then in September 2016, started the Level 2 NVQ.
AM: Why did you choose this course?
SW: I started coming to College one day a week in Year 10 to do the Level 1 in Hair & Beauty. In Year 10 we did Beauty and in Year 11 Hairdressing. After leaving QES, I completed the Level 2 Diploma in Hairdressing so I’m now in my second year.
I’ve always been artsy, I liked hair at school and I’m a practical person, so it stuck out to me. I felt I could be more creative in hairdressing and loved working with the colours.
AM: Why did you choose Kendal College?
SW: It’s a better college all-round. I felt comfortable here and it’s a nice place to be.
AM: Is College like you had expected. If not, why?
SW: I expected it to be scarier and bigger, but it’s normal and easy to adapt to.
I enjoy it so much better than school, I feel more comfortable here, everyone is so friendly. I get on with the teachers and teachers from other courses, and get treated as an individual.
AM: What do you most enjoy about College life?
SW: Meeting new people and different people as well. There are so many people here from different walks of life. It’s a big mixture and more diverse.
AM: What opportunities have you had as a student at the College?
SW: I’ve been to Manchester to visit the Wella Studio where we took part in training courses. We learnt new techniques and up-and-coming trends. I’ve also been to Birmingham to Hair and Beauty UK – a convention where we saw a fraction of the things on offer in the industry.
I also went to London to take part in the nationwide Wella Exposure Competition. I was a model for a Level 3 student and she came 3rd in the country! I got to meet Patrick Cameron, a famous hairdresser, and at night we went out for a meal. It was a lot of fun.
I’ve also been a model for a few Avant Gard competitions. I’ve been Alice in Wonderland and the last one was a Warrior theme. You wear over-the-top, crazy make-up and outfits.
One day a week, on Thursdays, I’m at work placement at Ruby Tuesday. It’s good because you get to learn what it’s like to be in an actual salon. You get to know the clients and build a relationship with them. It opens your eyes to what it’s like out there.
AM: What is the teaching style like on your course?
SW: Very visual, and we get a lot of help. There are a lot of demonstrations and 1-to-1 support – Emily, our tutor, is great, I really like her.
AM: Can you describe a typical day at College?
SW: 3 days a week I’m in College and 1 day a week I’m at placement.
On Mondays we’re with the apprentices. It’s good to meet more people and I’ve made a lot of friends in that group. In the morning it’s theory and we have practical in the afternoon. In theory, we cover different units, e.g. hair structure & colour, and the science behind hair. In the afternoon, there are demonstrations, we work on doll heads and clients. We do a range of techniques e.g. highlights, different cuts, and colours.
On Wednesday, I have English in the morning and practical in the afternoon –we’re doing short cuts at the moment.
On Friday, it’s an open salon all day, we have clients booked in from 9am-4pm.
The assessments are practical tasks and multi choice tests. We have to do the practical talks ourselves and not ask for help. If it’s perfect, it’s passed it off. If the tutor has to change it, you have to keep practicing until you can do independently. You bring in models at different points in the year to pass the assessments.
AM: What are you hoping to do after College?
SW: I’m going onto the Level 3 NVQ, which focuses more on colour correction and you do more intricate cuts. We’ll also do some extra courses like extensions and sew-ins.
After that we’ll see what happens! I’d like to work on cruise ships and I’d I love to go round the world – Australia, Canada – my brother is a ski instructor in Canada and there are literally no hairdressers anywhere – the last time he came back with long hair and a beard!
AM: If you could give one piece of advice to people considering College, what would it be?
SW: If you want to do it and think you’ll enjoy, do it!
There’s no point doing something you don’t enjoy because your parents want you to do it, it’s your life.
If you’re not sure, it’s always worth a try – come in for a taster to see if it’s for you.
AM: Dream celebrity client?
SW: One of the Kardashians – they wear wigs but they have someone that styles them! Or Jennifer Lawrence.
AM: Can’t miss TV show?
SW: Pretty Little Liars – it’s so good! It’s finished now
AM: Hairdressing tool or product of choice?
SW: Hair oils – they save everything! They help smooth the hair ends, and make them soft and shiny.
AM: Favourite thing a client asks for?
SW: Crazy colours – I love doing fun fashion colours! I’ve done lilac, grey, purples … I helped someone who was doing green, blue and purple. You have to get it right as it looks awful if it’s not!
AM: Worst thing a client asks for?
SW: When people with long hair want it all chopped off, it breaks my heart.
Clients never know what they want until they come in and often change their mind. Often people are booked in for full head colour, but then they want highlights that takes double the amount of time.
Some people have unrealistic expectations – like they have black hair and want to be platinum blond. You have to tell them the truth and it can be hard.
AM: What do you most love about being a hairdresser?
SW: The feeling you get when someone is happy about their hair. It makes them feel so much better about themselves, you see how their confidence changes and they leave with a big smile on their face.
If Saskia has prompted an interest in Hair & Beauty @ Kendal College, we offer a fantastic range of courses. Start your future on our website.
The interview was conducted by Adele Mundy, the College’s Student Services Manager.