A Leamington Spa IT expert and mature student who is pursuing a new career in her passion of hairdressing has made the cut for a major national competition.
Rebecca Pearsall is studying on a part-time evening hairdressing course at Royal Leamington Spa College and has reached the final of the coveted Concept Hair Learner of the Year competition.
Rebecca, 25, has built a career in IT although hairdressing has been her true passion since her teenage years.
She was encouraged to follow the A-Level route despite having wanted to train as a hairdresser, but now she is looking to kick-start a career in the industry and reverse one of her biggest regrets.
The national competition run by Concept Hair magazine recognises the next generation of hairdressers and barbers for their developing skills.
Rebecca submitted photos of her festival hair style creations to reach the final stage and the winners will be announced at an awards evening on Monday, April 26.
She said: “To reach this stage is really exciting and to be getting recognition for doing something that I love is amazing.
“IT pays the bills but it doesn’t set my passions alive and make me feel creative. When I’m doing hairdressing it’s the only time I can truly focus on one thing and time stops.
“Hairdressing has a stereotype that you won’t be successful and make money, but where I grew up in Liverpool it’s one of the most successful careers. I wish I had listened to my instincts when I was younger, but I didn’t so I’m trying to kick-start my hairdressing career now.
“Where I would like to go with hairdressing in the future is education. The skills I’m learning as a trainer and mentor in IT are transferrable and will stand me in good stead for the future.
“Our tutor Amanda Green posted the competition on our Google Classroom at the start of the course. I was nervous initially to apply but I’m glad I did.
“The design I submitted was based around festival hair and I think it really showed off the essence of festivals and freedom.
“Hairdressing has been really important for me during lockdown. It has been an escape from the negativity. I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to invest and work on myself this year.”
Samantha Jocelyn-Sears, Head of Department for Hair & Beauty at Royal Leamington Spa College (part of WCG), added: “We’re all very excited for Rebecca. The fact that she has been able to do this during a pandemic is fantastic – the world may have stopped but she hasn’t allowed her world to stop.
“Our tutors made sure the opportunity was posted early on to inspire students and give them something to aspire to. For Rebecca to reach this stage of such a highly-respected competition is a remarkable achievement.
“I’m sure she can be a great inspiration to mature learners and shows that you can always return to education to follow your passions.”