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Think Creative
You may aspire towards artistic hair design why not consider fashion, catwalk shows and photographic work?

Think Travel
Do you dream about seeing the world? Why not work in a salon on board one of the many cruise liners?

Think Teaching
Why not pass on your highly developed skills to others?

Think Business
Could you own your own salon?








Case studies

  • Shobie Lee

Why did you choose hairdressing?

I did not choose hairdressing; I wanted to be a makeup artist.  Hairdressing was an accident!

I needed to acquire qualifications that would enable me to pursue the career of my choice, as the job I wanted to enlist for would not take me on until I was 21 years old.  That is why I chose hair, beauty and wig making and did A-level art in the evening.

By the time I qualified as a hairdresser I felt I needed to earn some money, as I was fed up with being poor.  So I got a job in a hair salon, found that I really enjoyed it, and the rest is history.

Did your family support you?

That would have been really easy!  No, of course they did not!  Coming from a strict Indian family, they could not understand why I wanted to pursue an artistic career (hairdressing was in their view very low level work).

At 17 years of age I ran away and lived on my own, because my family did not agree with hairdressing and wanted to organise my life.  In order to complete my hair and beauty course, I gave up my A-level art in the evening to work in a bar for money so I could complete my course.

Have you had any prejudices directly related to your ethnicity and if so, how did you overcome them?

I have no prejudices, other than for malicious small minded people with them.

Some information about your salon and the benefits you feel you have gained from choosing hairdressing as a career?

Our salon was designed and created by my husband and I from a “shell” building in 2003.  It is very large with 15 mirror sections, a centre island incorporating the refreshments and colour bar , and a separate quiet shampoo room.  Our salon shop includes reception and is in the next shop unit, which gives us a very large street frontage.  The salon is fully air-conditioned and has special lighting to help give the best colour interpretation for our clients.

Choosing hairdressing as a career?  Where shall I start? 
I love it – and I still love it 35 years on.
Hairdressing for me is one of the loves of my life, and allows me to express myself.
Hairdressing makes me happy, even though running a business has its ups and downs!
Hairdressing is like going to a party most days, so I wake up ,looking forward to the day ahead.


  • Preeti

Hi, my name is Preeti.  I’m 19 years old.  I started my training in December 2007 working at Kula Kuts Hairdressers.  I joined the Keith Graham Academy in April 2008.  When I first started at Keith Graham Academy I felt very nervous and I had a slow start.  At the time my assessor was Ellie, I felt uncomfortable with her and though I was getting nowhere.  My assessor then changed to Theresa, and I felt at ease, as Theresa was very supportive of me and built up my confidence.

In December 2008, I was diagnosed with severe pneumonia and fluid on the lungs.  I was taken into intensive care and was put on a life support machine.  At the time I had a blood transfusion, two operations and spent two weeks in intensive care.  After two weeks I was taken off the life support machine and was put on a normal ward.  Then one by one the tubes were taken out, finally I was discharged at the end of January.

I was unable to return to the Keith Graham Academy for 3 months.  At the time the Academy were in weekly contact with my employer to check on my progress.  I returned to the Keith Graham Academy in April 2009, I was allowed to come in the morning and go home in the afternoon – I did this until I had my strength back to come in for a full day.

When I came back to the Academy full time again, my assessor really helped and supported me as I was behind with my NVQ and was not at the standard I should have been.  In September 2009 my salon let me go due to me not being at the standard I should have been.  Keith Graham Academy gave me the opportunity to attend four days a week so I could catch up and qualify.
From coming in 4 days a week and the help and encouragement from my assessor I have now qualified and my confidence has been boosted a lot.



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