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From Student to Stylist

When starting a new course and changing your career, we always encourage our students to be driven by passion. We love the work we do here at The Norwich School of Hair & Beauty, and we want our students to leave with the drive, tools, and determination to follow their dreams! Our past hairdressing student, Kathy, is a fabulous example of that. Having completed multiple courses with us, she is now thriving in a salon role, with her whole career ahead of her. We were lucky enough to be able to talk to Kathy about her journey so far, as she shares some advice reflecting on her time at NSHB…


 photo by @andynaraynbarrow 



Which course did you study at the school? 

Level 2 and Level 3 Hairdressing.


When did you complete your course? 

I completed my Level 3 in September 2021.


Why did you choose to study at the school? 

It has a good reputation and I’d done an aromatherapy oils info session at Sam’s mum’s school. She told me about what Sam was offering and so I went to check it out.


Your greatest piece of advice for anyone thinking of joining the course. 

Make sure you have the recommended theory books and read them to back up what you learn in class. Keep asking questions and know you’ll get frustrated and experience real highs and real lows. It’s all part of the journey – right through to when you retire (!). Just keep practising and practising.


Your top tips to get motivated. 

You’ve got to be passionate about hairdressing or don’t do it. Your passion is the only thing that’ll keep you moving forward through the different levels and the challenging times.


Tell us about your journey/career since finishing your course?

I connected with a fashion photographer in Norwich, and we continually work on creative things together. I also went to a lot of different hair salons around Norwich to ask their advice about training as a hairdresser. The most helpful salon and the place I felt most at home at, was Barry Alan Salon in Norwich Lanes. I started by shadowing once a week and then when Covid hit, we stayed in contact online. Then, as my Level 3 was drawing to an end I went in for a chat. I’m now on the floor as a Level 1 stylist working next to Barry and with a really supportive team. I’m really enjoying it there and learn so much each day.


Your go-to place for inspiration, and why?

Certain areas of London, library books on past and modern fashions, hats, art exhibitions, Pinterest, other hairdressers but I can get very inspired by all sorts of things – imagery, light effects used on stage, music, dance, sculptures, fashion week, photographs – any of these can inspire cut and colour looks.


What are you most proud of so far? 

The first time I worked on the floor at Barry Alan and did a colour and cut for a paying client. I knew exactly what I was doing and why. It’s taken me a long time and a lot of work to feel confident and reach that point. Also having the money to have a backwash fitted into my cabin in the garden. As well as working at a buzzy city centre salon, I offer hair appointments with mini-massage options from my home Hair & Wellbeing Space. I do this because I know there are some people who just can’t get physically get into town plus people who feel anxious in big busy salons. I offer this option so people can choose the location they feel most at ease with.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

I’m aiming to be a Wella Colour Master and Level 3/4 Sassoon Cutter. That’d be incredible and I’m working really hard to make it happen.


Please provide contact details for your business so we can help spread the word. 

The Hair & Wellbeing Stylist.

Instagram – @hairandwellbeingstylist &  @barryalanhairsalon


What services do you offer? 

From my cosy peaceful Hair & Wellbeing Space – cuts and colours with optional mini-massage options

From Barry Alan – Cuts and Colour working next to & under the watchful eye of Vidal Sassoon Master –  Barry.


What makes your company unique? 

I retrained as a hairdresser over 40. I worked for 12 years as a Clinical Aromatherapist and Comp Therapist with a clinic at The Big C Centre & on the wards at Norfolk & Norwich offering treatments. So I can mix both skills. I’m older and my passion is to celebrate the unique styles of people over 40 and help increase confidence levels around ageism. I guess what makes me unique is that I offer the two appointment options – the peaceful mindful Hair & Wellbeing Space AND the pure hair busy salon vibe.


And anything else you would like to add… 

The teachers on the Level 2 & Level 3 courses are just amazing!


Be sure to give Kathy a follow on Instagram 

You can also follow her journey at Barry Alan Hair Salon 

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