Hairdressing apprentice wins national Wella competition

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 11 Jun 2018

A Grimsby Institute hairdressing apprentice has styled her way to success after winning a national Wella college competition.

Yolanda Ligertwood, a third year NVQ Level 3 Hairdressing Apprentice, was crowned champion of Wella’s Xposure 2018 this week.

The 20-year-old, who works at Aura Hair and Beauty, initially submitted a photographic entry, before progressing in a regional heat last month.

She then joined 15 other finalists at the Wella World Studio in London this week, recreating her winning style in front of judges Kieron Fowles (Regis), Jayson Gray (Karbon Kyd) and celebrity stylist Patrick Cameron.

Despite describing the experience as “nerve-wracking”, Yolanda said she felt “really excited” about taking part.

“It was an emotional day,” she added.

The young student won a tailor-made mentoring day at Wella as well as an exclusive experience at the Trendvision Award 2018, alongside Patrick Cameron.

She also took home a hairdressing tool kit worth £500 and a £1,000 Wella MyEducation Fund for her personal development.


The colourful creation by Yolanda Ligertwood, a third year NVQ Level 3 Hairdressing Apprentice (Image: Submitted)

“I felt quite overwhelmed when I found out I’d won,” Yolanda said. “I just couldn’t believe it; it still hasn’t really sunk in.”

Yolanda will now turn her attention to the Hair Council Student of the Year competition, due to take place on Sunday, in which she is also a finalist.

She will have 50 minutes to produce an “innovative cut and blow dry” at London’s Goldwell Academy, before undertaking a presentation and interview with judge Andrew Barton.

“Winning Wella Xposure has given me a bit of extra confidence for the weekend, especially as Patrick Cameron will be judging again on the day.

“I’m really looking forward to it now.”

Yolanda has also “loved” her time at the Institute, adding: “I’ve met so many nice people and the staff are just ace at what they teach you.

“If it wasn’t for them telling me I could do this, I don’t think I’d ever have dared.”

Rachel McLean, Programme Leader for Hairdressing, said she was “over-the-moon” about Yolanda’s success.

“We had four students in the final which was amazing in itself, but for Yolanda to go on and win is just overwhelming. We’re all very proud.”


Rachel McLean, programme leader for hairdressing with Yolanda (Image: Submitted)

Paul Robinson, curriculum manager for Salon Professionals, also commented: “Yolanda is an exceptional student and has achieved so much this year, she has taken every opportunity to strive towards being at the top of her profession.

“Her achievements are inspirational to others around her and a testament to what can be achieved within further education if driven to succeed.

“I have high expectations of what Yolanda will achieve within her career as she has already blown the competition away in several competitions this year alone, she’s very talented.”

Lucy Ottewell-Key, executive director of Workforce Development and Partnerships, said the apprenticeships team is “so proud” of Yolanda.

“Achievements like Yolanda’s are why we are so passionate about apprenticeships, about continuing education and making robust links with employers.

“A massive thank you to Aura Hair for their support and encouragement. Without the support of all parties as well as the hard work from Yolanda this kind of accolade would not be possible.”

Carol Garside, Yolanda’s work based trainer, added: “We give learners the chance to step out of the box, but it’s up to them to see it through.

“Yolanda knows where she wants to go and has the drive and ambition to get there. She’s one of the best learners you could have and we’re extremely proud.”



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