Spalding’s college salon

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A sensational new hairstyle in a welcoming atmosphere – and a bill for £10?

Or what about the relaxing experience of an hour of full body massage in calm surroundings, again for an unbelievable price – £14?

These surprisingly cheap treatments are being offered in a salon in the centre of Spalding.

It’s Style Academy in Red Lion Street where Boston College full-time students in hair and beauty study for their NVQs at Level 2 and 3.

From this academic year, Style Academy is also Boston College’s Apprentice Hub, so all hair and beauty students combining work with part-time study will attain their qualifications in Spalding.

And, according to Emma Lawson, a former manager of a Nottingham city centre salon for more than 20 years, Style Academy is perfect for both students and clients alike.

As well as being a hair and beauty technician, Emma shares reception skills with students, making sure clients are made to feel welcome from the moment they arrive to whenever they walk back out of the door.

She said: “I think some people don’t realise that we are here and that we have clients, but they are getting salon-quality hairdressing for low prices. I think that’s part of the reason we get so many clients. If we weren’t any good they wouldn’t come back and we wouldn’t be growing as we are.”

Beauty and holistics lecturer Alison Bahadir says there are 90 students this academic year, mostly studying hairdressing, though that varies. After their foundation course, students choose if they want to train to become hairdressers or beauty therapists and can either study to Level 2 or the higher Level 3.

All of them learn the skills needed for the salon’s broad range of clients, from women looking for a stylish new haircut, to those who want a traditional perm.

Emma says students don’t deal with clients until they are competent and even then they are always supervised.

Alison explains that the experience for the students is very much as it would be in a commercial salon, and Emma agrees: “They feel they are working in a salon in a learning environment. It’s a realistic experience.”

Apprentice hairdressing lecturer Cheryl Webster, who is acting as the college’s Hair and Beauty Employment Coordinator, says because the salon gets so many clients through the door their learners have a lot more experience than a typical college hairdressing or beauty student.

She said: “Jo Whitwell, the hairdressing lecturer, her Level 3 group I would say are sensational compared to other Level 3 groups. They are very good learners, and very creative as well.”