In only her first contest, nineteen-year-old Yasmin Cousins, who attends the London Hairdressing Apprenticeship Academy (LHAA) in Camden, beat entries from hundreds of apprentices across the UK to earn her place in the 2015 final, which will be held at the L’Oreal Studios in Hammersmith in May.
Employed as a trainee stylist at Kink Hairdressing in Mill Hill, where she’s worked for over six months, Level 2 apprentice Yasmin had to style a model’s hair at the Academy and send in photographs of her work, which were judged by some of the UK’s leading hair stylists. In the final round, Yasmin will undergo a gruelling skills test and panel interview.
On hearing the news that she was one of the final eight contestants, Yasmin said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and still a bit shocked as it’s such a huge competition. To get this far is great for my career prospects and I’m really excited about the final. Thanks to the brilliant training I’ve received at LHAA and at Kink, I’m ready to give it my best shot.”
Owner of Kink Hairdressing, Theo Silveston, who is also an apprentice ambassador for LHAA, commented: “Yasmin has become part of the family here at Kink. In the short amount of time she has been training, Yasmin has developed a great understanding of the profession and will become an exceptional stylist. We’re so proud of her achievement and it’s great that the LHAA offers apprentices the chance to enter competitions, which help raise the standards of British hairdressing.”
Francine Luker, Co-founder and Director of LHAA, which manages apprenticeships for more than 350 salons across the London, Hertfordshire and Essex, added: “Yasmin has an incredible opportunity to shine in such a diverse and dynamic industry. It’s a massive achievement to reach a national final at such a young age and proves that she has the skills, attitude and determination to succeed. We wish Yasmin every success.”
Statistics from the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority (Habia) show that there are over 35,000 hair salons in the UK, employing over 200,000 people with 25% of those working in salons in London and the South East. Over 150 new salons opened in the last 18 months and LHAA recently launched a recruitment campaign to attract more apprentices into the sector, as the number of vacancies available exceeds the number of new trainees.
PHOTOS ABOVE: Hairdressing apprentice Yasmin Cousins has proven she’s a cut above the rest.