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Bringing science to the salon

From forensics to foils, Alix Parry tells us how she left a promising future in Bi-Veterinary Research to pursue a career in Hairdressing.  

Bringing her science skills to the salon, Alix loves to experiment with crazy colour. Completing her Level 2 Hairdressing apprenticeship in May, Alix is now working towards her Level 3 qualification as a full-time Junior Stylist at Cracked Actors, Caerphilly.

Choosing a career I love

Before I started working at Cracked Actors, I had 5 jobs. I volunteered on a farm, worked in a café and would help my dad in his motorbike shop. I worked in a restaurant and would volunteer at a dog shelter too.  

One of my jobs was a little side business where I got to practice hair extensions and develop my skills independently – I loved it. I had a lot going on and needed to decide on a career, as it was getting too much trying to do everything.

I was making the most money doing the hair extensions and was good at it. So, I decided to lean into that and do an apprenticeship. It’s a trade on my back then – something that can support me no matter what I do.

From forensics to foils

I was going to go to University. I did my A-Levels in Law, Media and Drama and went to college to do an access course in Forensic Science and Bioscience.  

I got into Uni and had the option to study Bi-Veterinary Research, Zoology or Veterinary Nursing. Then I scrapped it all and became a hairdresser.  

Uni and the debt scared me. I would’ve been thousands of pounds in debt by the end of it. I needed to work but wanted another qualification. It was the incentive to do both because I was going into it older. I started my apprenticeship when I was 19 and now, I am 21.

Becoming a Junior Hairstylist

It’s really fun and I have a lot more responsibility. I have taken on a lot of crazy colour and have moulded my clientele towards what I like to do.  

I specialise mainly in balayage and rainbow. I do big colour corrections and extensions. I do a bit of everything – cleaning, colouring, cutting, styling and supporting colleagues when I’m not busy.

We get on like a house on fire. It’s like a family here. I’ve worked in places where that’s not always the case. Everybody in the salon has their niche so it works well with all the different clients who walk through the door.

Assessments in the salon

My Trainer Coach Liz would come into the salon and observe me as part of the assessment. We do a full head of foils assessment – I would practice that until I could get it down to 1 hour 30. We would do an assessment for layers, short cuts, root colours, different up do’s and blow dry.

I would learn a lot from the other stylists in the salon and a lot of things online too – watching and learning. I was self-taught before I did my apprenticeship. I did a course in extensions and went from there really.

If I struggle to get a model in for the assessments, Liz is great at finding someone to jump in the chair. She’s been super helpful and I’m so glad I did it.

Are you looking to turn your passion into a career? Gain the skills employers look for with our Level 2 and 3 apprenticeships in Hairdressing.

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