CONEL learner Tamala Benjamin has won the London heat of a prestigious national hairdressing competition.

Tamala displayed her cutting and colouring skills in the World Skills UK 2009 Advanced hairdressing contest. After a rigorous 6 hour event, she came out on top against other hairdressing students from across London

Tamala, who will complete her NVQ Level 3 in Hairdressing at CONEL in July, said of her win: “It was very nerve wracking but once I got into it I was fine. I cried when I heard I’d won. I was completely overwhelmed.”

Once the regional heats are finished, the 15 competitors with the best marks will be called through to the national finals in Hammersmith in June. Whilst Tamala and her tutors wait to find out if she’s done enough to compete again, her success so far has given her new ambition and confidence. “It’s really made me want to enter other competitions,” said Tamala, who combines her studies at CONEL with working at a Crouch End salon. She has now set her sights on furthering her hairdressing career and is aiming to start an Assessors course at CONEL, which means she could judge competitions as well as taking part in them.

Lydia Karekedou, Lecturer in hairdressing at CONEL, is delighted by this year’s success. “I want our learners to represent England next year,” she said “I certainly believe we have the talent at CONEL to compete at an international level.”

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