Shirley Bierman has probably had hundreds of stylists trim and set her hair in recent years, yet she's been loyal to the one salon. Katherine Huynh caught up with her.
80-year-old Shirley has entrusted her regular trim, set and style to
UCOL's training salon in Whanganui
for the past 13 years. Her patient and friendly nature puts first year students at ease as they learn to roll and re-roll her curls so that they lay just right after drying.
Shirley knows the drill. Upon meeting her stylist of the day - a first year
New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support)
student, she explains how she'd like her hair styled, fills out her contact details in the student's assessment book and waits for the student to call over the hairdressing lecturer to discuss the plan.
On the day that I met Shirley, 18-year-old Emily Smith was setting her hair for the first time under supervision of UCOL Senior Hairdressing Lecturer and experienced hair stylist, Jacqui Broughton.
Noticing that the rollers were being laid in a direction that would cause Shirley's curls to droop straight down, Jacqui gently intervened, removed a few of the rolls and explained how to roll Shirley's curls for perfect results.
When I asked Emily how she felt about having to re-do part of the process she said, "I don't mind having to start over again, but I'm under a time pressure to complete the style, so I need to pick up the pace now."
Jacqui says, “Working on clients enables the hairdressing students to experience working in a practical salon environment under the supervision of their hairdressing tutors. We have a regular loyal clientele that are very supportive of the students and sometimes will have several services in a week and sometimes a day just so the students are able to collect evidence. “
Thirty minutes later I checked in with Shirley, who was sitting in a different part of the salon sporting soft curls fresh from the dryer. She appeared relaxed and cheerful. Just a quick comb and spritz of hair spray and her styling treatment would be complete.
Emily was pleased with the end result. “Sets take practice to master. The experience is made easier for the stylist when the client is relaxed. Shirley is lovely and easy to work with. Her regular appointments really help our learning. Regular clients of UCOL’s beauty salon receive priority bookings. Before she leaves the salon we ensure that we book her in for her next treatment."