City College Norwich’s Hair and Beauty students are provided with a wide range of opportunities that help them to hone their skills and excel in their chosen fields.
In fact, students run the Solutions hair and beauty salons at the college which allows them to experience a real working environment and practice their skills on real paying customers under the watchful eye of their lecturers.
Full creative rein
They are given full creative rein during their end of year units (and they are certainly creative!) which sees them to transform their models into anything based on themes such as mythical creatures and Hollywood glamour.
Taking their skills to the next level, students are also given their chance to shine by re-creating and exhibiting these looks in a variety of hair shows and competitions.
Making the news – the annual hairdressing competition
As early as the 1960’s, the college has run an annual hairdressing competition and in 1972 it made the news when more than fifty competitors entered.
Did you know or were you one of the winners of the 1972 competition?
- First Year: Dawn Browes, Geraldine Powles, Ruth Heron
- Second Year: Dawn Larkman, Jeanette Johnson, Susan Corrin
- Third Year: Jillian Stenning, Pamela Puncher, Jacqueline Taylor
Competing at the highest level
There are more than 10 competitions / shows running each year. Some are organised by the College in collaboration with other curriculum areas while others, such as the WorldSkills and Golden Scissors competitions, see students go head to head with their peers from other colleges around the country.
These events are usually attended by some big wigs (sorry!) in the hair and beauty sector and provide students with photographic evidence for portfolios with which they can showcase their skills and help progress their careers.
You can view a video of a photo shoot from 2015 below.
Golden Scissors – a cut above the rest!
A prestigious first for hairdressing at the college occurred in 1984, when we hosted the Wella sponsored Golden Scissors Awards – the first time this competition had been held in Norwich.
A total of 26 entrants, all from City College Norwich, took part and saw Mark Abassi crowned as winner, with Annette Reeve in second place followed by Elizabeth Ferenczy in third.
Four years later there was repeat success with second year student Karen Lambert winning the coveted award. Being a competition winner was not something new to Karen as she had previously won Norwich Youth Training Scheme (YTS) Hairdresser of the Year!
The End of Year Show
The fantastic creative and technical skills of our hairdressing students have contributed to some memorable showcases of their work over the years. In 2003, hair and beauty students collaborated with performing arts students for their end of year show.
The students arranged and staged their own fashion show in the city. Featuring an invited an audience from the hairdressing industry, students demonstrated their skills with styling techniques and modelling sessions on the catwalk.
These shows have continued to be a huge success with a different theme each year such as Flamboyance in 2011 and Diffusion in 2012.
World class skills
Not to be outdone, students from the beauty therapy side of the curriculum have also regularly taken part in competitions and events to showcase their talents.
Last year saw a fantastic achievement when two Theatrical and Media Make-Up students from City College Norwich proved their skills on a national stage after representing the college in the final of the WorldSkills UK Body Art competition.
Just to have made the WorldSkills UK final was a huge achievement by both students, as the finalists represented the top 10 trainee make-up artists in the UK and they had initially been competing against over 700 competitors!
The theme for the final was ‘Once upon a time’ and Viktoria Vargova, 19, from Norwich, won the silver medal in the prestigious competition, with her Sleeping Beauty-inspired piece, while Mollie Nash, 19, from Reepham, also produced a superb piece with her Lion King-themed design.
It’s great to see that through the decades City College Norwich has supported the professional development of some great hair and beauty artists and we look forward to continuing to watch future students be at the top of the game in their chosen profession.