We had a chat with Ella Gray, Concept Hair’s newest Apprentice of the Month!
The Concept Hair Hairdressing & Barbering Apprentice of the Month award celebrates students and apprentices who are passionate about the future of the hairdressing & barbering industry, going above and beyond in their apprenticeships to set the standards of the industry.
Concept Hair has launched the award to recognise the efforts that students and apprentices have put into learning the trade.
Ella was nominated by her employer, Casey Coleman at CHAIR Salons in Cardiff and was chosen as Apprentice of the Month by our judging panel after a week of voting and testimonials on Instagram and Facebook.
The award was sponsored by Scissorhands, who sent Ella an amazing pair of scissors worth more than £300.
Our runners up were Jackson Ward from David Ward Barbershop, Chorley, and Maisie Oddy from The Hair Room, Nottingham.
Ella, 18, was nominated for the following reason: “I nominated her purely because she gives up her spare time to learn more as well as assisting with anything can to improve!”
Concept Hair: Congratulations Ella! How does it feel to be the Concept Hair Apprentice of the Month?
Ella Gray: I’m absolutely honoured! Thank you so much to everyone that voted for me, this is such a great opportunity to get your name out there and to get noticed within the industry.
CH: How long have you been in the hair industry?
EG: Since I was 16. I finished my GCSE’s and a week later I was working full time!
CH: Have you always worked at CHAIR Salons?
EG: I started my career in a local salon which is where I completed my Level 1. I’m now working towards my Level 2 in CHAIR.
CH: What made you want to get into the industry?
EG: All I’ve ever wanted to do was make people happy and hairdressing does that. I absolutely love it when clients leave with a smile on their face, it makes it all worth it. As a kid I loved to do my mum’s hair, I’d even set up a fake little salon for her! My favourite toy I owned was a Girl’s World doll’s head and I would spend hours putting plaits and twists in there, I genuinely think hairdressing is what I was born to do.
CH: What do you love most about it?
EG: Making people smile… and creative colour.
CH: What is your day-to-day role?
EG: As an assistant, I’m expected to keep the salon running! I answer the phones, make refreshments, greet clients, mix up colour, keep the salon tidy. I’m constantly preparing and cleaning up work stations. I also have to shampoo, apply treatments and toners and occasionally carry out colour and blowdry services as well! I’m always kept very busy.
CH: What would you like to achieve in your career?
EG: I’m excited to achieve my Level 2 and 3 qualifications, I think it’s so important to be state registered. I want to gain more experience in a salon environment, take part in photoshoots and industry events and hopefully someday, do work for TV and film. I’ve always paid such close attention to the hair in television and to be able to do it myself would literally be a dream come true!
CH: What inspires you the most?
EG: Being in the salon. My boss, Casey, is totally obsessed with his job and every morning he’s super excited to start the day. Being around that positive energy inspires me to be the best stylist I can possibly be.
CH: What’s your favourite hairstyle?
EG: If we’re talking cut, I love a bob, it’s a classic – but if we’re talking styling then just anything with a scrunchie. They’re so cute!
CH: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your apprenticeship?
EG: Work harder than anyone under you or above you. This is my career and if I want to further it, I need to work as hard as I can to make that happen. It’s not up to anyone else, there’s no point comparing yourself to anyone else, just work as hard as you possibly can.