Lucy’s journey from school leaver to skilled hairdresser


Lucy Selby was looking to kick-start her hairdressing career and wanted a practical route to gain the vital skills she needed.

Hands-on learning

The 19 year-old from Nottingham, found the solution through an apprenticeship with employer, Joshua Tree Hair and Beauty Salon and training provider, Realise.

Lucy, who started an apprenticeship straight from school, said: “I found that I learn more when my work
 is hands-on, and I knew apprenticeships were a great way to get stuck in.” 

“I had seen one of my local salons, Joshua Tree Hair and Beauty Salon, advertising a vacancy and that’s how I heard about Realise.” 

“You can learn so much from an apprenticeship, not only how to be a hairdresser, but also how to speak to different people through learning new social skills.”

Lucy talking about the social benefits of an apprenticeship

Learning in the workplace

Soon after, Lucy was recruited through Realise’s recruitment specialists and began a Hair Professional Level 2 apprenticeship. 

When asked what she enjoyed during her training, Lucy said: “I enjoyed learning about hair colours and colouring techniques the most. You can be creative and you can create a colour which is unique to the client.  

“I also liked taking part the class hosted by award-winning hairdresser Chris Foster as we got to watch him do live demos.” 

Whilst on programme, Lucy took full advantage of Realise’s webinars and online sessions in her off-the-job training time.  

This meant that she was able to improve her skills and learn new techniques, whilst being guided by Anna Taylor, Training and Development Officer at Realise. Anna would also visit Lucy at the salon every two weeks to carry out on-the-job training.

A typical day

In the salon Lucy was given plenty of tasks to do throughout the day, so that she could apply her learning to the workplace and get hands on with her new skills.  

Typically, Lucy would meet clients and make them feel comfortable, as well as helping her fellow stylists with tasks such as toning and washing hair.  


“Doing a client’s hair makes them feel better in themselves and more confident. As well as giving them someone to talk to with no stress.”

Lucy, on how working in hair has enabled her to help others

A bright future

Lucy has now gone to complete her qualification. By throwing herself into the training and remaining committed to her learning, Lucy was able to achieve her distinction in Level 2 hairdressing. 

Since April 2021, Lucy has also been “carrying out services on clients” on her own and “is building up [her] client base”.  

Lucy’s advice to those considering a career in hairdressing is: “You can learn so much from an apprenticeship, not only how to be a hairdresser, but also how to speak to different people through learning new social skills. Even if you find parts of it tough never give up, you can do it!” 

Congratulations Lucy!

Want to start your hairdressing career?

Check out to the link or our website to find out more about how you can become a hair apprentice and start earning whilst learning today.