Ella's journey at Samantha Elizabeth Hair salon.......
Ella’s journey at Samantha Elizabeth Hair Salon I started with Samantha and the girls at her previous salon, Salon 46, when I was 15, working Saturdays or Sundays. I knew this was the industry for me, the place I felt I wanted to be, and Samantha Elizabeth was the salon where I felt I fitted in.
Also, I knew I had to work for what I wanted, so once I started my apprenticeship, I took all the training that was offered to me. Sam puts hours and hours into our training, making sure if we don’t get something we are aware there are other ways of doing things with different techniques. There is never a wrong way in theory as long as you know the basics and the why. This is where all the staff really helped me when I was training.
Once my apprenticeship had ended, I went straight on the floor as a graduate stylist with the senior member of the team checking my work. When I had done 8 months on to the salon floor, I went back to college to do my NVQ Level 3. Doing the exam and being on the floor as well, meant I learnt the theory and also saw how it was put into practice. Also, things make more sense when you do both together.
As well as taking this exam, I decided I wanted to broaden my skills too. I’ve always loved doing gents cuts, so Sam came with me to a local barber shop (AJ Barbers) to ask them if they would help train me in barbering and let me get some more experience. They were really great and let me use their back room so I could do friends and family’s hair. These amazing guys helped me learn and think like a barber, which is very different to dealing with ladies’ hair.
I became a stylist after 14 months and I was promoted to Senior Stylist in November 2021. I never thought I’d be senior at anything of the age of 21.
One thing I love in the industry is how much it changes all the time. I can’t thank everyone enough for how much work they have put into me, to help me develop from Saturday worker to senior stylist, from showing me new techniques, like a different foiling pattern through to teaching me how to work smarter not harder. I have grown up in and around the salon.
All our courses and our train fares are paid for by Samantha and it’s great to have her support in our learning. As well as my NVQ courses, I’ve been on courses covering the perfect blow dry, essential cutting, Wella classic man, Wella essential colour, creative colour freehand and balayage specialist.
This year, I was very excited to complete a training course in London on Afro Caribbean hair. This is something I have been interested in for a while. It’s completely different to anything else I’ve trained in and it has been good to get the knowledge as well as push myself and my skills! So, this is my hair journey to date. I’ve met some amazing people and done some work I am very proud of.
Next year I am going to be taking two sabbaticals, one starting in April and one starting in August to visit Bali and Australia. Like Sam did earlier in her career, I want to take some time out to experience more of the world. Who knows, I might come back with ideas for some fantastic hair styles! Ella Senior Stylist soon to be jet setter