Hairdressing is not just a job, it’s a career, says Richelle Holland, owner of Les Sheikh Hair Design.
Richelle has owned the salon for 10 years and in that time she has mentored one if not two, apprentices each year from the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) Certificate in Elementary Hair Design programme.
“They (the students) come here for work experience in their first year,” says Richelle.
“It’s good for them and me.”
“I see if they have the initiative and are a right fit for the team.”
In their second year, Richelle prefers the students undertake further study completing the Certificate in Visual Hair Design, whilst still working in the salon.
“I give them 11 hours of work experience a week to fit around their study,” she says.
This way she is able to give them real experiences and train them to ensure they are the right fit for the salon.
“There are not many jobs that you get to do that,” she says.
There are also not many jobs where you are able to help people look good and feel amazing every day.
The staff at Les Sheikh feel privileged to be able to do this for their clients.
In the 10 years that Richelle has been taking on apprentices from SIT, she still has five working in the salon. One, Hayley Fodie, is the manager.
“If you look after them, they’re going to stay,” she says.
Richelle credits the tutors at SIT for the quality students she receives, particularly Donna Bowman who teaches the Certificate in Visual Hair Design.
“Donna is truly wonderful,” she says.
“All we have to do is support them (the students).”
“We have a really good relationship with the polytech.”
Richelle says students do have to have passion to complete the course and become a hairdresser.
“It’s more than just a job, it’s a career,” she says.
There are also a number of associated careers within the industry. Many hair stylists have gone on to become assessors, tutors, managers and business owners.
Photo: Les Sheikh owner Richelle Holland (centre) with SIT graduates, Abby Dickens (Senior Stylist) and Hayley Fodie (Salon manager).