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After the success of the KFE4Skills23 EKC Group heat stage, our Hairdressing and Beauty students went to Canterbury College, to take part in the KFE4Skills23 Finals. Taking place across a number of different subjects, it was a very exciting day, and we competed against those in the rest of the EKC Group, as well as MidKent College and North Kent College. Our Hair and Beauty students had 5 challenges to take part in, showcasing the unique skills, practices and growth that studying at College has enabled them to have. After all the challenges, the winners were rewarded with either a Bronze, Silver or Gold Medal at a prize giving ceremony onstage.
To start the day was Beauty, with a Level 3 Body challenge. Representing Ashford College in this contest was Level 3 student Samantha Taylor. In this final, students had to give clients/industry professional judges a massage, as well as a French Polish and a facial. This required those competing to use a lot of varied skills and think on their feet, as well as make sure customer satisfaction was high at all times. The judges would mark overall on client experience, as well as techniques used. This contest lasted an hour, and in the end, Samantha placed 1st (in a 2 way tie), winning the first Gold Medal.
After Beauty, the contests moved over to Hairdressing which had 4 different finals for our students to take part in. First up was the 1st Year Blow Dry, in which students had to style looks in just under an hour using only Blow drying skills and techniques. Representing Ashford College in this contest were Maisie Fletcher and Jaz Espley. After their 50 minutes were up, judges decided on which blow dry looks really stood out, with both Jaz and Maisie winning Gold and Silver medals for 1st and 2nd respectively.
The 2nd Hair challenge was a Cut and Blow Dry test. This particular challenge got students to wet their model’s hair, and then give them a makeover using cutting tools and techniques and blow drying. Representing us was Cheryl Hayden, who won another medal for the college and came 3rd, getting us a Bronze Medal.
Finally, we moved onto the last 2 challenges of the day, which were both focused on Ladies' styling, with everything being taken into consideration from costume and make-up to the overall look of the hair. In the Eras category, we had Alanna Harrison who designed her model to have a Masquerade Ball inspired look, and Jasmin Tiley-Smith, who's look for her model was based on Ancient Greece and Greek Goddesses. Both looks were very different but stood out against the competition due to their detail and precision, and Alanna came 2nd (Silver) with Jasmin coming 1st (Gold)
In the Avant-Garde/Fantasy category, we had just one entrant from Ashford who was Level 3 student Kacey Moore. As well as the hair, outfit, makeup and overall look, Avant-Garde was also judged on how well the students had presented their ideas on a moodboard, and how precisely the look tied into the moodboard. Kacey used her theme of "Under the Sea" to transform her model into a Mermaid, and she used the hair to represent the sea itself in various waves against a ship. It was a very impressive look, and for all her efforts, Kacey once again came 1st Place and got a Gold Medal!
Speaking after the contest and prize-giving ceremony, our Deputy Head of Service Industries, Education and Care Zoe Kersley (who also teaches our Hairdressing students) said of the hard work: “I am really really proud of what the students have achieved. The time and effort they have all put in has paid off as evidenced by today’s results. The department as a whole at Ashford are over the moon, and we are all very proud and amazed at the work that the students have produced with their effort and dedication.”
We are very proud of all of the students' hard work at the finals, with every single one of them who took part winning a medal. This just shows how hard working our Hair and Beauty department is, and the experience that they get at Ashford College is so valuable to their future success.
We have many more unique opportunities that only studying Hair at Ashford College can bring, and Zoe talks about some of these in the video below!