A cut above - Cardiff and Vale College Hairdressing student Rhian has been honing her skills during lockdown

19 Jun 2020

Cardiff and Vale College Level 3 Hairdressing student Rhian Lister has been making the most of the lockdown, taking every opportunity to build up her skills at cutting and styling hair.

The strategy is paying off – she’s already earned praise from a world-famous hairdresser and has learned a raft of new skills and techniques.

Rhian has been shielding since 12th March as her eldest daughter has asthma and Type 1 diabetes.

“We decided to enter it slightly earlier than everyone else meaning we’re now in week 14,” she said. “I think it’s been hard on everyone, no matter what the situation. We have good days and bad ones.”

But the 29-year-old from Cardiff has hit upon a strategy – alongside her CAVC course, Rhian is further ramping up her skills by taking as many of the other available online Hairdressing courses and lessons as she can.

“I can’t fault the College’s online learning and our fantastic tutors who are always on hand,” Rhian said, “My tutor Nicola Hamonda has been amazing.

“Studying at home I’ve found that I do more on certain days, but the other course and lessons I’ve done have helped me keep some sense of normality between three daughters, a partner and a dog!”

Rhian’s plan to get through the lockdown by making the best use of her time in up-skilling herself and get her kit ready for when this is all over is paying off.

She has embraced all of the free education available on social media, from Barbicide salon disinfectant health and safety training through to Olaplex treatments training. She has also taken online courses on how to spots signs that clients may be feeling suicidal and Behind the Mask domestic abuse awareness training for the Hair and Beauty Industry.

Rhian has also attended every free training class offered by Goldwell and taken part in a cutting tutorial by Jeremy Rocas, Senior Stylist at the esteemed Not Another Salon, where she completed his ‘shag’ haircut. She has taught herself to make a wig and taken an accredited course in Russian lashes.

Rhian also attends renowned long hair expert Patrick Cameron’s Facebook lessons every Monday and couldn’t believe it when he went online to compliment photos her work she had posted on Instagram.

“When Patrick Cameron complimented my work and took the time to comment and like my social media posts it was incredible,” Rhian said. “It was an amazing confidence boost and I ended up screaming with excitement!”

Lockdown truly has been a learning experience for Rhian.

“I feel that having this time has really given people time to reflect on everything from family to their futures,” she said. “In some cases we can be lucky and our two worlds intertwine - my daughters took a liking to hairdressing from a young age.

“Being able to study online means that people can use this time to learn and further their careers.”

She feels taking the Level 3 Hairdressing course at Cardiff and Vale College has really helped her to be able to enhance her skill set in the way that she has.

“Looking back, I wish I’d taken this course years ago,” Rhian said, “I absolutely love being a hairdresser and the tutors have been there to make us think out of the box and come up with new fun ideas.

“I could never have imagined that I could achieve what I have done without this course. I’ve got a job lined up in a salon but I will still carry on with courses to make sure my skills stay up to date and in line with current fashion trends. I’d love to get my Goldwell Colour Master qualification and have my own salon in the future.”

Rhian’s tutor, Nicola Hamonda, said: “On top of all of the courses Rhian has taken, Rhian has produced work every week for my virtual online sessions and has successfully attained assessments towards her Level 3 Hairdressing course. I am very proud of her.”