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Greer James

New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support) Graduate

Greer James portrait

Since she was in high school Greer James has enjoyed experimenting with hair dye, colouring her own hair wild and crazy colours.

Despite Greer’s passion for Hairdressing, it wasn’t in her original career plan. In 2013 she completed a Certificate in Science and Health at UCOL’s Palmerston North campus with the intention of moving onto Vet Nursing. 

However, her plans changed and she moved to Masterton after having a child. With UCOL’s Wairarapa campus offering hairdressing programmes, Greer saw this as the perfect opportunity to pursue her long-time interest.

“Ever since I was in high school, I always spoke about doing hairdressing, but I never thought that I could actually go out and do it. But I thought I’d give it a try and it worked out really well.” 

A highlight of the course for Greer was placing second in the History of Hair competition. The competition sees each student research a hairstyle from a particular era or culture, and then recreate it. Greer chose to do a Japanese Geisha style, after learning about it earlier in the year.

“I liked how the style was put together and the ornaments in it. I tried to make it as authentic as possible.”

“I worked really hard on it so I was really proud to get second place. My classmates created some really awesome styles. It’s amazing what some people could do.”

Working with real clients in the campus salon was another highlight for Greer. Not only did it hone her hairdressing skills, but it helped her build her confidence in interacting with clients. 

“It was amazing. I loved working with clients. I wasn’t very confident at the beginning, because I’m quite shy, but working with clients helped bring me out of my shell.”

“I like meeting new people, and it’s great to know you’re making them feel good about their hair.”

As a young mum, Greer found the lecturers very accommodating when she had to take time off time to care for her son. 

“My lecturers were amazing and really helpful when I’ve had to miss days. If you miss a day, they’ll take the time to help you catch up.”

“They don’t treat you like a student; they treat you like an equal. If you need help with something, they’ll be there right there showing you step by step how to do it.”

Greer finished the course three weeks early and is already looking forward to the New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Emerging Stylist) programme, where she will do work placement and look to gain an apprenticeship for the following year.

When she finishes her studies, Greer wants to specialise in hair colouring. 

“I want to be able to do bold, wacky colours. I love colouring hair and all of the amazing things you can do. You can do so much.”

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