A Walsall College alumni – who came second in National Student Barber of the Year Awards last year – visited the college to deliver a masterclass to Barbering and Hairdressing Students.
Luke Russell, who completed his Level 3 Barbering course in June, came to the Graduate Salon at Walsall College to demonstrate various cutting and fading techniques to barbering students studying at Level 2.
The 27-year-old was accompanied by Raps Gill, the Creative Director at Wolverhampton-based Vaal and Vaal where Luke now works full time as a fully qualified barber.
Raps talked through the techniques, whilst Luke used a shaver and clippers to carry these out on a volunteer student.
There was much emphasis on ‘practise makes perfect’, as tutor Nicola Arrowsmith explained that Luke carried out independent research, and watched Youtube tutorials alongside his studies. He also offered his hair cutting services to friends and family for free, in a bid to perfect his skills.
Raps emphasised the importance of being able to ‘master the art’ of barbering through constant practice, particularly in a competitive industry.
He also shared the lucrative benefits of entering the Hair and Beauty sector, as there are countless hairdressing opportunities all over the globe, with scope to set up one’s own business.
Luke has come a long way since he began his Level 2 Barbering course. In June, he competed against 200 students across the UK at the prestigious British Barbers’ Association National Student Barber of the Year Awards 2017.
He was awarded second place in the Level 3 Precision, Creative Cut and Finish award category.
Nicola Arrowsmith, Barbering tutor at Walsall College, said: “We aim to give our students as much exposure as possible to the industry, providing them with the skills and knowledge that will help them build a foundation in the career they want to enter.
Inviting Luke and his current employer to hold a Masterclass was a way of showing our students where they could go after completing their qualification. But we also used the opportunity to show them they would need more than a qualification – a career in barbering requires top-quality skills that can be achieved through practice and dedication.
Luke is a great example of someone who has used the skills and knowledge from his course here to build a career he’s dreamed of. We hope to work with Vaal and Vaal again in the future for more masterclasses.”