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Q&A with Emma: Hairdressing in the Spotlight

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Meet Emma, Curriculum Director & Academy Manager of the London Hairdressing Apprenticeship Academy.

Deciding to leave school at 16 to pursue her dream of becoming a hairdresser, we find out about her steps, decisions and throwbacks as she now teaches apprentices to join the industry.

If you have any questions for Emma or are considering an apprenticeship in hairdressing be sure to let us know!


When you were younger – what did you want to do for a job? 
I have always wanted to be a hairdresser although, I never thought I would teach.

Describe your job in three words:

Creative, Interesting and Challenging

Your least favourite interview question?
What are your weaknesses?

What support was available at your school?
We had a careers adviser at school who was not helpful in the slightest. When i said i wanted to be a hairdresser she said ‘that isn’t a very good career’ and advised I went to sixth form college. I ignored her completely.

What do you wish you had known?
The types of career that I could go into within my industry. No one ever advised me on where I could go with my qualifications.

What is the coolest thing about your job now?
I get to teach other young people how to become hairdressers, watching them grow in confidence and achieve.

What was the hardest thing about the route you chose?
Working your way up the ladder and getting yourself noticed. Within a salon environment you have to stand out from the crowd by being individual and creative which can be tiring.

What did your friends and family think of your route?
At first they thought I would enjoy what I did in the beginning (like for the first few years) and then hate it as time goes on but now they are really supportive as they can see my passion for what I do.

Who was involved in your decision making process?
My parents and I.

What would you now tell a student who is considering options after the classroom?
Do what makes you feel happy. People want jobs that earn lots of money and aren’t always happy but if you follow your dreams and work hard you can achieve both

What does your typical work day look like?
Everyday is different. I have several roles within my job, teaching level 2 & 3 hairdressing, creating resources and managing an academy including all the staff.

What would you look for in future stars in your field?
Passion, enthusiasm and loyalty.

If you would like to see another career in the spotlight just get in touch.

Adelle Desouza

I'm the founder here at HireHigher, with the mission to ensure students can make informed choices on their options after education.

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