Coleg Llandrillo apprentices win three awards at Wales’ top hair and beauty event

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Three apprentices from Coleg Llandrillo’s campuses in Rhos-on-Sea and Rhyl won awards at Salon Cymru, Wales’ top event for hairdressing and beauty talent in Cardiff on Sunday.

The dynamic annual event, held at Y Plas, Cardiff University’s Students’ Union, attracted 120 competitors from across Wales and the border counties together with hundreds of hairdressing and beauty enthusiasts.

The final competition of the event was avant garde, where competitors based their creations on Chelsea Flower Show. The showpiece competition attracted a huge range of creations with the award going to Francesca Rees, 27, from Coleg Llandrillo in Rhyl with her model Mist Phubuabang.

Francesca had originally studied at university to be a teacher before changing career route and has no regrets. “This award means everything to me because this is my passion and what I want to do,” she said.

“I felt at home doing the competition and would love to do show work in the future and train people.”

Her tutor, Alison Gough from Coleg Llandrillo’s Rhyl campus, was in tears when the result was announced. “Francesca reminds me of myself when I was young and she’s like my daughter,” she said. “She’s got a very bright future.”

It proved a great day for Coleg Llandrillo whose apprentices collected two more awards. Rachael Oliver, 23, won the make-up competition while Dorota Young, 29, won the hair up level three contest. Both apprentices live in Colwyn Bay.

“I didn’t think I had done enough to get first place but this award means a lot to me,” said Rachael. “It will give me confidence and I would like to develop a career doing different things with make-up in the future.”

Dorota, who is originally from Poland, said: “The award was completely unexpected and it will give confidence for the future. My ambition is just to do well in hairdressing.”

Organised by Bridgend-based ISA Training, the largest independent hair and beauty training provider in Wales, Salon Cymru is designed to showcase the nation’s young creative hairdressing and beauty talent in eight exciting competitions inspired by modern icons and the world of high fashion.

The competitions were open to all hairdressing and beauty learners from schools, colleges and training providers across Wales and the English border counties.

In addition to the competitions there were masterclasses by inspirational celebrity hairdresser Patrick Cameron and international make-up artist for Laura Mercier Chris Howells. Neath born hairdresser Charleine Wain, who reached the final five on last year’s series of The Apprentice and now runs an award winning hair and beauty salon in Plymouth, also attended the event.

It was the fourth time that New Zealander Cameron, acknowledged by his peers as the international ambassador for long hair, had attended Salon Cymru, which he said continued to successfully evolve.

“This event is important because it focuses on skills,” he said. “It’s very important for the competitors to hone their skills and competitions will do that in terms of timing, balance and shape.”

Shirley Davis-Fox, ISA Training’s chair, said she was delighted with the “fabulous, contemporary” venue, the number of entries and the standard of the work on show.

“Patrick is absolutely brilliant because he relates to the apprentices so well,” she added. “It was also fantastic to welcome Charleine to Salon Cymru. It was an amazing achievement for a hairdresser with Welsh roots to be shortlisted down to the last five on The Apprentice.”

She revealed that she would visiting Charleine in Plymouth to discuss the Hair Council’s campaign for all qualified hairdressers to be state registered.

Category sponsors are Wella, Dear Barber, Wales Hair & Beauty Show, Beauty Finder, City & Guilds, Welsh Government, Lifetime and The Andrew Price Group.

Results: Make up level two: 1, Rachael Oliver, Coleg Llandrillo; 2, Kaitlyn Hole, Gower College; 3, Ellie Hennessy, Coleg Gwent Cross Keys. Blow dry level two: Janine O’Callaghan, Spirit Hair Team, Ystrad Mynach; 2, Tom Surtees, Guy Christian, Cwmbran; 3, Nadia Hadjali, Barry College. Hair up level two: 1, Robyn Cooper, Tonic Hair Design, Pontnewydd; 2, Christa Smyth Ellis, Ceredigion Training Academy, Aberystwyth; 3, Nadia Hadjali, Barry College. Hair up level three: Dorota Young, Coleg Llandrillo; 2, Charlotte York, Feodora Hair and Beauty, Abergavenny; 3, Tina Robinson, Coleg Ceredigion, Cardigan. Cutting: 1, Vincenza Butchers, Guys and Dolls @ Alex’s, Llanelli; 2, Shauney Lewis, Precision Hair Design, Cardiff; 3, Adrian Haywood, Coleg Llandrillo. Barbering: 1, Marcus Feeley, Spirit Hair Team, Ystrad Mynach; 2, Ryan Pitman, Captiva Spa, Caerphilly; 3, Adrian Haywood, Coleg Llandrillo. Colouring: Natalia Antypa, Hair by Jones, Monmouth; 2, Jamie Limburn, Burlesque, Newport; 3, Zoe Travers, Coleg Gwent Cross Keys. Avant garde: Francesca Rees, Coleg Llandrillo Rhyl; 2, Jutta Varty, Coleg Ceredigion, Cardigan; 3, Gabrielle Regan, Shades, Whitchurch.