Coleg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai logosColeg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai logos

Heather wins WorldSkills UK regional hairdressing heat

The Coleg Llandrillo student is waiting to learn whether she has earned a place in the UK final - just months after starting her first formal hairdressing course

Heather Wynne won the WorldSkills UK regional heat in hairdressing - after learning to cut and colour only this year.

The 32-year-old Coleg Llandrillo student has won awards for her wedding styles, having taught herself by watching YouTube videos.

She enrolled on the Level 2 Hairdressing course to learn her trade formally, and had never cut or coloured before she started in September.

Since then she has made huge strides, reaching this year’s Concept Hair Learner of the Year UK final, before taking first place in the WorldSkills UK heat in Manchester.

Heather, from Old Colwyn, is now waiting to learn whether she has earned a place in November UK’s finals, which will be contested by the eight best competitors from 10 heats across the country.

She said: “It’s huge. Being judged for cutting and colouring as well as styling, I was totally out of my comfort zone and did not expect to win first place at all.

“I hadn’t done any cutting or colouring before September, and we only really started doing it after Christmas so it’s only been five months really. It’s testament to Michelle Jones and the amazing tutors who have mentored me since September at Coleg Llandrillo.

Heather was one of five Coleg Llandrillo learners selected for the regional heat based on photographic entries - along with Leah Mathews, Chloe Pugh Mason, Chloe Jones and Rachael Mulvaney.

Heather said salon manager Michelle had “mentored and prepared us”, adding: “We’ve done a lot of one-to-one sessions with her on skills we need to work on. She’s obviously done a great job.”

In the heat, competitors had an hour and a half to create a catwalk style, before a three-hour test in which they had to do a cut below the jawline, using two colours and accommodating a fringe. Heather won the heat with an asymmetrical bob with a side fringe.

She said: “Hopefully it was enough to make it through to the finals in November but if not, what an experience!”

Heather, who runs Harmony Wedding Hair, learned to style hair as a way to make ends meet while at university. She won the regional prize for Wales at last year’s UK Hair Awards, as well as Best Wedding Hair at the North Wales Wedding Awards.

She plans to return to college in September to study Level 3 Hairdressing, having “thoroughly enjoyed” her Level 2 course.

“Before September I had no hair experience other than bridal hair,” she said. “I had no knowledge of hair structure and the theory behind it, so it’s been very informative.”

Heather juggles work, studies and parenting her young son and 12-year-old daughter, and is grateful to college for enabling her to pursue her ambitions.

She said: “College has been very accommodating. My son goes to a childcare provider outside of school and college has funded that for me.

“The tutors have also been very accommodating. If I’ve had to come in half an hour late because of childcare, they’ve worked around me. They’ve been really good.

“They’ve really made it possible for me to come to college because previously I had to leave employment to look after my son.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the last nine months training as a hairdresser. Hard work absolutely pays off, and you are never too old to retrain and pursue a career in something you are passionate about.”

Lecturer and salon manager Michelle Jones said: “Heather has been a real asset to Level 2 hairdressing this year. She has not only worked really hard to develop her own skills, especially with cutting, colouring and styling hair, but also inspiring her peers.

“She sets an excellent example. Her social media account has helped others to develop their own, and also shows the importance of a professional image and always challenging yourself.

“Heather works hard to develop her skills and pushes herself out of her comfort zone entering so many competitions. She has had an amazing couple of years with her bridal styling business and is taking on her full hairdressing career with the same determination.

“Heather has supported others with their work and also taken other students on work experience with herself when carrying out her bridal work.”

Do you want to work in the hair and beauty industry? Click here to learn more about Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy courses.