We had a chat with Lauren Phillips, Concept Hair’s newest Learner of the Month!
The Concept Hair Hairdressing & Barbering Learner 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.
Lauren, 25, from JamesB Hair, Bristol, was chosen as Learner of the Month by our judge Let Lew after a week of voting and testimonials on Instagram and Facebook.
Let said: “I can see a young stylist putting effort into their clients to make them smile. Keep up the good work!”
The award was sponsored by ghd, who sent Lauren a platinum+ styler.
Our runners-up were Leah Pearce from Hx Hair, Samantha Kellett from Gregory Dean Hair and Katie Hill from Secrets.
Her colleague, Crystal, said: “She has a keen eye for detail and has a full column already – despite only being in the industry for a year. Her clients love her so much they often have the next three appointments booked in advance. The extra time Lauren puts in voluntarily doesn’t go unnoticed, and it shows!”
Lauren Phillips: Honestly, it feels reassuring. Of course, your mum is going to tell you you’re amazing and deserving, but to be chosen by a hair magazine that you admire, it just cements the idea that I’m on the right path. It’s given me the biggest smile and I’m very grateful.
CH: How long have you been in the hair industry?
LP: I started my Level 2 apprenticeship in September 2018 and joined the JamesB Hair team, but have always loved all things hair. JamesB Hair is my first and only salon I have worked in. I am studying with the Reflections Training Academy for my apprenticeship.
CH: What made you want to get into the industry?
LP: I’ve pursued creative paths most of my life, including art and photography. I’ve always been fascinated watching America’s Next Top Model, Ru Pauls Drag Race and the work from photographers David LaChapelle and Nick Knight. Going into the hair industry just felt right.
CH: What do you love most about it?
LP: There is always more to learn. A plateau in progression gives me ‘itchy feet’ I’m always looking for the next challenge. Techniques, trends and colour suppliers are continuously changing the hair world.
CH: What is your day-to-day role?
LP: I work full time in the salon with a full column that is heavily booked up with a five-week wait for a colour appointment with me. We are renowned for our vivid hair colour work so it’s rare that a week goes by that I haven’t had my brushes in the colour jars.
CH: What would you like to achieve in your career?
LP: The hair industry is as vast as it is creative. It’s difficult to pinpoint where this career will take me. I would love to run a salon in the not so distant future, work at Salon International and become a finalist for The British Hairdressing Awards.
CH: What inspires you the most?
LP: As a very visual person, Instagram has to be my favourite social media platform. It ticks all the boxes for me, there’s the images of course, but also the ability to interact via comments and direct messages as well as watching the IGTV videos for tutorials.
Social media has created a platform where inspiration can take place anywhere. Seeing people get creative with colour and cutting techniques inspires me to get models into the salon in my free time to experiment with my own ideas (I’m currently working on a Christmas dinner collection!) I most enjoy following the pages of @pulpriot.uk, @lauramaystevenshair and @mm_mario_mesaric
CH: What’s your favourite style at the moment?
LP: My favourite hairstyle has to be cutting a sharp bob; it’s simplistic yet versatile, able to be styled and accessorised in so many ways. For colouring, I love using vivid direct dyes like Pulp Riot or Manic Panic.
CH: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your apprenticeship?
LP: Share your thoughts and ask for others input. In the salon, even the veteran stylists discuss formulas and encourage different viewpoints to ensure that the client gets the best possible outcome. As a learner, it helps to talk ideas out and get advice.