A little while ago Marie Abouo was working as a shop assistant at Sainsbury’s. Today she is working for one of West London’s top salons with an award winning hairdresser, and it’s all thanks to a hairdressing course at Kensington and Chelsea College.

“Going to College and studying hairdressing has completely changed my life!”

Marie was given an opportunity through the College’s Hair and Beauty Department to meet award winning celebrity stylist, Charlotte Mensah.

Having impressed Charlotte, Marie was given an opportunity to work two days-a-week in Charlotte’s Salon in the heart of Portobello, West London.

The College supported Marie in the job opportunity whilst she continues to develop her technical skills on the College’s hairdressing course.

“Students get so many opportunities at the College. The tutors are always pushing their students to be their best. They really are wonderful and always full of encouragement, especially those moments when you doubt yourself.

The tutors introduce you to contacts in the industry, give employment advice and teach you the skills to become a fantastic hairdresser! I love the fact we are taught by people who are still working in the industry so they know their stuff! My class is like a family. I’m totally addicted to learning at the College!”

Sunmisola Williams is a level 3 Hairdressing student at Kensington and Chelsea College. The 20-year-old was originally pursuing a career as an athlete and training as a professional runner but decided to change direction after discovering hairdressing in her late teens.

“I was still training to be a professional runner when I took up a hairdressing class and fell in love with it! For a while I was training and also trying to pursue a career in hairdressing, but I decided to give up running in the end as my passion really lay with hairdressing. I wanted to give it my full attention.”

Sunmisola’s biggest achievements in hairdressing so far include working on London Fashion Week, creating a hairstyle inspired by the London Olympics which gained media attention during London 2012 and styling the hair for the hosts at the Screen Nation Film and Television Awards 2014.

“The course and College is fantastic at providing industry work opportunities. It means we get to start networking whilst on the course so that when we finish we already have contacts to approach.”