Balayage is a French colouring technique where the stylist applies the colour freehand rather than using traditional foiling or a cap. The colour then blends seamlessly into the clients natural hair colour. This technique is very fashionable at the moment.
The stylist doing the demonstration, Jade, was an apprentice at Penwith College some 8 years ago. Taken on as a Saturday worker and then a hairdressing apprentice by Hunter Walsh, Jade has risen through the stylist hierarchy in the years since she qualified and has been at Hunter Walsh all this time. Jade said, “I always struggled at school and knew that going to college would not suit my learning style. I am a very hands-on person and love to learn by doing. Working alongside such a supportive team has helped my confidence greatly. Assisting the stylist and seeing what they are doing taught me so much. I learned my trade whilst earning some money, you have to be prepared to work hard but the rewards are worth it, as soon as I was qualified, I was ready to go on the salon floor, I had the skills and the confidence to be able to start growing my own client base. Hairdressing is all about developing your skills, I learn new things all the time. Starting with an apprenticeship with Hunter Walsh was a great decision.”
Nadine Hunter, Managing partner in the salon said, “We really understand the importance of bringing new talent into the industry and to continually upskill our current staff. When we take on an apprentice we always hope that it will be the start of a long term relationship and they will stay beyond their apprenticeship period and become a full time member of the team. We take every opportunity to engage in further training, especially new cutting and colour techniques and high fashion styling.”
Nadine gave the students an oversight of working in the hairdressing industry including different ways of earning money from being employed, self-employed, and the commission structures. She also talked about the hierarchy of a salon from the junior stylist to artistic director and the variety of roles that exist in large and small organisations. Retail was a big part of the conversation as incentives for retail sales can increase your pay and sales and aftercare play a part in any salon business. Hunter and Walsh use Kevin Murphy products, a line with which many of the students were unfamiliar.
Nadine also shared her wisdom with regard to client care. She said, “Kindness to the hair is paramount. We always listen to what the client asks for, and as part of the consultation process we discuss with them alternative ways of achieving a certain look if that means being kinder to the clients hair. Attention to detail is another element that, until you are working in a salon environment, you won’t necessarily appreciate the importance of. Anticipating what a clients needs are, being prepared with all of your kit before you begin – preparation is key”
“We all work as part of a team. Whether you are new to a business or an experienced hairdresser it is always good to consult with other member of the team to share ideas, style tips and experiences. Each client is unique and each stylist has their own distinctive ways of operating, whether it is cutting, colouring or finishing. Using the experience and talents of the whole team makes our business better.” ”