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Award-winning Elle opens second salon while training to be a lecturer

Elle Maguire has returned to Coleg Menai as she looks to pass on her skills to others, while at the same time expanding her successful business

Award-winning Coleg Menai student Elle Maguire has recently opened her second hair salon as she trains to be a hairdressing lecturer.

Elle runs The Hair Bar in Bangor, which was last year voted the city’s best hairdressers and has been on ‘ThreeBestRated’ for Gwynedd every year since 2019.

The 27-year-old recently took over The Hair & Beauty Bar near her home town of Caergeiliog on Anglesey, where she first undertook work experience as a Coleg Menai student 10 years ago.

On top of all this, she is back at the college where her journey began, completing a PGCE which will qualify her to lecture in hairdressing.

Elle’s desire to teach was sparked when she worked for Regis, one of the UK’s top hairdressing brands, at their salon in Bangor.

“I used to teach trainees at Regis, and I loved doing it, so that’s why I decided to teach,” she said.

“I love learning new things and after my PGCE, I'm sure I'll find another course to do. I find it really healthy to do as much as possible.

“At a young age of 27, I have completed so much but I feel if I get as many qualifications as I can now, then I’ll have them for life and they’ll open up far more doors for me.”

Elle enrolled on the Level 1 Diploma in Hairdressing at Coleg Menai back in 2013, completing her Level 3 qualification two years later.

She said: “There were amazing opportunities at college, such as training with the Hair Extension Academy and competing in the college competitions. On my Level 3 course I won the college competition and got through to compete in Blackpool.

“We also had yearly trips to Salon International in London, and to also watch the Alternative Hair show at the Albert Hall. These were amazing opportunities to network with other hairdressers, meet brands and see the latest equipment, and they are memories I’ll never forget.”

After college, Elle worked at Mr Maxwell’s in Bangor and Fusion in Benllech, returning to college one day per week to gain her Level 2 Diploma in Barbering on an apprenticeship basis.

She then landed a job with Regis, working for the brand for more than three years. It was during this time that she discovered her passion for passing on her skills to others. However, Elle was made redundant in 2019, and decided to open her own salon.

“I didn't really have a lot of choice,” she said. “After getting made redundant I didn't know what to do, but being surrounded by family that have always been self-employed, I felt that was the only way to step forward in my career.”

So The Hair Bar opened in early 2020, but then of course the pandemic hit. The salon finally re-opened in July of that year - while at the same time Elle was studying for her Level 4 qualification.

“This was an amazing qualification and definitely taught me the most about becoming a manager and running my own business,” she said. “The course took longer than expected due to Covid and also setting up my own business, but I graduated in July 2022.”

Just over a year after completing her Level 4, Elle is now learning to teach and recently took up the offer to take over The Hair & Beauty Bar - which she says would never have happened had she not impressed during work experience all those years ago.

“Work placements have been the key to my career,” said Elle. “At the time it was hard, as you were volunteering at salons, but this showed my dedication to wanting to do the job.

“Something I have realised is that you might not always have a goal or a direction, and that's okay - but grab every opportunity as you never know what it could lead to in the future.

“There's no pressure to be the best, but as long as you try your best, your tutors and future employers will see that and they will be able to give you the direction you need.

“If I’d never done work experience at The Hair & Beauty Bar, I wouldn’t have been offered to take over it now. It’s been 10 years in the making but you never know what’s around the corner and what doors will open.”

For more information about Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy courses with Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, click here. Applications are now open for September 2024 entry.