A group of hairdressers from the Virgin Touch salons at Gatwick and Heathrow airports were the recipients of a masterclass in African Caribbean hair clippering at the College of North East London (CONEL) yesterday.

Their teacher for the day, Erik Lander, is one of the UKs top specialists in this complex hair cutting technique. After literally being born into the hairdressing industry, both his parents are hairdressers and he took his first snips in their salon, he now works for the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority (HABIA) governing body as well as teaching City and Guilds (C&G) qualifications to national vocational qualification (NVQ) standards worldwide. I believe British hairdressing is the best in the world, he says proudly.

Erik recently spent months at a time in India helping to hone the skills of those working in the plush salons springing up in the affluent areas of the country. Hairdressing is now a massive growth industry out there.

Back on home soil, the women taking part in the training day in the Colleges state of the art Style Zone salon, were thrilled to be benefiting from Eriks expertise. Sarah Hall, who works at the salon in Gatwick, enthused: the supervisor in my old job wouldnt let us do any training as she saw any time off work as lost money. But Helen, my current supervisor, recognises that frequent training will help to bring business into the salon long term.

Jo Taylor, Style Zone salon manager, who set up the day after Erik requested the use of the Style Zone facilities after teaching hairdressing staff at the College earlier this year, is also convinced that, regular skills updates are essential in order to stay ahead of the trends in this industry.

Indeed, by the end of the training, everyone involved seemed to be far more confident and ready to offer their clients something a lot more interesting than a straight grade one all over as they now know how to create designs and etching. So thanks to Erik they are now hoping to dispel the common perception amongst their male black clients that white women cant cut African Caribbean hair!


Notes to editors:

1) To find out more about how your business can use the Style Zone facilities at CONEL please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
2) Complimentary barbering appointments are now available at the Style Zone on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. To book please call 020 8442 3031.
3) For more information on Hairdressing and Beauty courses at CONEL please call our information hotline on 020 8442 3055.
4) Find out more about HABIA, City and Guilds and NVQs


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