Coleg Llandrillo student Heather Wynne won Best Wedding Hair at the North Wales Wedding Awards recently.
Heather, who runs Harmony Wedding Hair and Make Up, is studying Level 2 Hairdressing at the college’s Rhos-on Sea campus.
She started styling hair as a way to make ends meet while at university – teaching herself by watching YouTube videos.
And business is booming for the 32-year-old following her latest competition win.
“It feels amazing to have won Best Wedding Hair in North Wales,” said Heather, who also won the regional prize for Wales at the UK Hair Awards earlier this year.
“Last year I was in the top five, and this year I was one of only four who made the final, so I was really chuffed with that.
“After winning I’ve found that I’ve had a lot of enquiries, which is great, because people book weddings three or four years in advance, so it means I can project earnings and bookings.”
Finalists were decided based on votes from brides, with competition judges then scrutinising examples of their work on social media.
Heather, from Old Colwyn, was up against salons in the final – which made her win even more remarkable.
She said: “If you think about how many clients the salons are getting each week, that’s quite a lot of people they’re potentially getting votes from.
“I’m only doing one person every weekend so for me to just make it as a finalist, I was really happy with that, especially as I’m self-taught. I did not expect to win it at all!”
Heather originally planned to become a primary school teacher. She completed the Access to Higher Education course at Coleg Llandrillo before going to Bangor University to do a degree in Childhood Studies.
“I was in the second year of uni, and I had a young child who’s five now,” she said. “So I was trying to balance uni work, children and home, and I saw this little outlet where I could do hair on the side.”
After her business took off, she returned to college to gain formal qualifications so she can one day lecture in hairdressing.
“I started to question, do I really want to go and work in a school all day every day, or do I want to go and do something I really enjoy?” she said. “There’s no stress behind it – clients are always happy on the day, and it’s a really nice job.
“I was approached and asked to teach creative hair, but because I didn’t have any qualifications I wasn’t able to formally teach, so that was my reason for coming back to college.
“The goal is to complete Level 2 by June or July, then go on to Level 3, then hopefully do a PGCE so I’m able to teach as a college tutor.
“That sort of marries in with what I was originally aiming to do, which was to become a teacher.”
Heather also styles hair for children’s parties, festivals and other special events.
She clearly has a talent – but returning to college has sharpened her skills and given her increased confidence.
“I’ve found that being in college even just for the last couple of months has really helped,” she said.
“I’m learning to cut and colour, gaining product knowledge – and if my teachers are able to show me different products, or that if you try this technique then this will happen, that really helps me because I feel like I’ve been able to take it a little step further.”
Interested in studying hairdressing with Coleg Llandrillo? Click here to find out more about our Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy courses.