A workshop session about hair colour techniques has reminded student hairdressers at Walsall College that ‘practice makes perfect’ in order to become more confident ahead of turning professional.
Gemma Mulvey, owner of Little Gems Hair Salon took Level 3 students through the balayage process for highlighting hair. This involves free-hand painting for a natural-looking hair colour effect.
The former college student and apprentice demonstrated the technique on a mannequin head before observing and assisting the students as they followed her working method.
Gemma also shared tips on making the colouring process swift yet thorough. She discussed safety procedures and the use of specific products such as different sized brushes, as well as a balayage board and paddle which provide stability when lightener is painted on to hair and before it is covered in foil.
“My workshop was all about encouraging the students to start off following a set procedure, whether that’s my own or someone else’s, while not being afraid to pick up and run with their own small ways of doing things,” said Gemma. “It’s important they discover what works best for them so that they understand how to stand out as stylists and colourists and of course attract clients.”
Gemma continued: “I’ve worked with the college’s students a few times now, moderating their assessments and now sharing insights. I hope I’ve inspired and encouraged them to enjoy their learning process as much as possible, whether that’s in their practical sessions or in the college’s Grad Salon.”
Student, Katie Hunt was enthused by Gemma’s advice.
“Watching Gemma work was amazing,” she said. “I already tend to follow my own techniques when it comes to hair colouring so I was relieved when she saw how I worked and assured me that this was just as effective as a traditional approach.”
Classmate, Katija Khan also appreciated the creative freedom involved in applying the balayage technique and in the final result.
She said: “Gemma reminded us of how relaxed the hair colouring process can be and also explained how to make this service work for us from a business perspective. I’m still deciding how to specialise after I’m qualified. This workshop has definitely given me more knowledge about following a professional route as a colour technician.”