Studied: Level 1 Hairdressing
Progression: Level 2 Hairdressing Apprenticeship
Having been offered an apprenticeship and then being successfully nominated for an award by someone who once cut her hair, it’s fair to say that Christina Gear has the ideal boss.
The 18-year-old who works at Be You Hair in Pelsall has been named a Highly Commended Apprentice of the Year in the Hair & Beauty Awards 2021; achieving a top ten place out of all the award nominees.
Christina was nominated by salon owner, Amy Grice.
“I’m honoured Amy even considered me for the award, let alone that I was highly commended,” said Christina. “The pandemic did make me question my choice of career. But ultimately it’s what I love. I don’t think I could ever switch to something else.”
Christina’s hairdressing training began with a Level 1 hairdressing qualification completed at Walsall College. It was only three months into her Level 2 course that Christina took the opportunity to start working professionally.
“Amy told me about the apprenticeship in December 2020 and invited me to see her again January,” explained Christina. “With the college’s help, I was recruited at Be You Hair.
“I wanted to become an apprentice so I could get more involved with clients and just enjoy that wider industry experience all day, every day.
“I’ve found that I learn much faster when I’m around people who are doing this role all the time. We have two stylists here along with myself, plus a Saturday person, so there’s always someone I can observe and learn from. This is on top of having my own clients.”
Christina is becoming more proficient as a colourist and someone able to provide hair extensions. She hopes to specialise in these two areas once she becomes a fully-qualified stylist, then a senior stylist.
“I’m definitely happiest in a salon environment,” said Christina. “Although my apprenticeship was a bit start-stop-start and I was playing catch-up towards the end, I’m still grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had to learn and improve.
“My advice to anyone else that’s gone through or is going through something similar is to hang in there and stick with your goals. Things will work out somehow – and new things can open for you.”
For Christina this includes supporting Amy and the team as they prepare to open a second salon in New Invention and put themselves forward for other industry awards.