After moving from Palmerston North to Wellington as a teenager, Tracey Prentice confirmed her passion for hairdressing during a free under 18s course. “Even when I was little I always wanted to be a hairdresser,” she says.
A few jobs and years later, Tracey moved to Masterton where she reignited her drive to become a hairdresser by enrolling with UCOL Wairarapa Certificate in Hairdressing (Practice).
She says the programme met all her needs. "I have two young kids so at times it was hard studying full time, but everyone at UCOL was super supportive and if I ever needed help it was there."
During the programme Tracey experienced many new things and learnt the latest skills and techniques from industry-experienced lecturers to become work-ready.
Tracey loved competing in national hair competitions and carrying out work experience as part of the programme. "You get to really see what a day in the life of hairdresser is like and you meet so many amazingly talented people."
After graduating in 2015 Tracey was offered a job at the Cutting Edge in Masterton, where she had done her industry placement.
"I am loving my job," she says. "It's a great feeling when a client walks out the door feeling good about themselves because of the work you do."
Tracey is also enjoying building up her client base, and gaining experience to one day soon sit her Finals.
"My experience at UCOL was amazing! It taught me so much, aside from hairdressing - I came out of my shell and into the person I always wanted to be for me and for my family."
Tracey's long term aspiration is to travel. "The great thing about hairdressing is that you can take it anywhere."
Cutting Edge, based in Masterton, New Zealand, offers hair services in bleaching, blow drying, braiding, colouring, conditioning, foils and straightening. It was established in 2004.