What inspired you to choose hairdressing as a career?
I have always enjoyed styling my own hair and learning new things (mostly from YouTube) such as different plaiting techniques and replicating on friends, so during the pandemic, as we all did, I took the scissors and clippers to my brother and parents. I was working at my local farm shop through Covid and I just couldn’t wait to start learning hair as soon as the world allowed it!
What was it like starting your training after the pandemic? April 2021, we all came back from the last lockdown, to something no one working today has ever experienced.
I started training and working at Q in May 2021, so coming in after all of the lockdowns was strange, however, as I’d never worked in a salon before the way things worked seemed and became the norm for me. Although wearing a visor and a mask together was bizarre and not the most pleasant, but I know we were looking after our guests in the salon as best we could. I remember the day when we stopped wearing masks seeing all the guests faces for the fist time, I am sure we all looked different to what we expected of each other!
Why did you choose Q?
I had been coming to Q for about a year and a half before the pandemic having my colour and cut & blowdry. I really enjoyed my visits and was so pleased with the results I was getting, I always felt heard. So I thought it might be worth a shot emailing so see if they do apprenticeships, and got an email back within a couple of days asking about an interview. So in preparation for that I did my research about Q and Anthony and realised I’d hit the jackpot with how renowned they were for their training process, which made me even more nervous for my interview, which ended up happening over a zoom call to Dawn whilst I was sat on the end of my bed.
What was your end point assessment like? Run us through that day, what did you have to do?
My End Point Assessment day consisted of highlights, restyle cut, bouncy blow-dry and a hair up. When I showed up to the salon that I had to do my EPA at I was extremely nervous as I’d never been there before and didn’t know any of the other girls taking their EPA’s. However once I got going I was distracted, told my self it was like any other training day at Q and just do what I have been trained to do.
What part of your training have you enjoyed the most? Cutting? Colouring? Styling?
My favourite part of the whole training process, and still is, was learning about the different cutting techniques and styles. This is probably my favourite part as each hair cut it personal to the person, especially shorter styles as everyone’s hair sits, grows and dries differently so every cut is different.
I have recently grown fonder of colouring, there are so many different techniques that I am getting more confident with whilst becoming more familiar with the colour brand that we use in the salon
What’s you favourite cut you’ve learned and why?
I am really fond of cutting shorter hairstyles, the first one I done within the training was on my mum and I think that really helped with my confidence throughout the process when and just going for it and being able to learn what works for her as there are so many things to consider from hair line to hair texture and being able to personalise each cut to the guest.
What’s special at Q?
The people. From staff to guests, I have never felt more welcome in a work space. Since I came into hairdressing a little later than people usually do and everyone was so helpful and made sure I had everything I needed at all times. The whole atmosphere at Q is uplifting and energetic making it such an encouraging learning and working environment.
How do you style your own hair?
As my hair length tends to vary I have a variety of ways that I style my own hair. I do really like leaving my hair natural as I have a slight wave but I also really love wearing my hair up so finding different ways of styling it up.
So, what would we find Iona doing on a weekend? What’s your thing?
My weekends tend to have a lot of variety, I will be doing anything from walking my dog down at the beach, spending time with my grandparents or going up to Bristol to see my friends that live there. I also really enjoy photography so any opportunity to go out and take photos either landscape or in the city, as I feel like this is the best way to reflect on memories I’ve made.