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Deeside College students offer hair and beauty on a budget

The Salon @ Deeside College is the newly rebranded training environment for hair and beauty students.

Offering luxury treatments on a budget, its aim is to offer something as close to a High Street salon as possible.

Reporter ELEANOR BARLOW went along to enjoy some pampering and find out more

THE idea of The Salon @ Deeside College is to offer students an environment which is as close to the ‘real world’ as possible, and when I’m greeted in the salon’s professional looking reception it seems exactly that.

I’ve booked in to try a facial and am introduced to 17-year-old student Rachel Jones from Mynydd Isa, who takes me up the treatment room.

The salon itself is full of students carrying out different treatments on clients, with customers able to enjoy anything from a Thai compress massage to eyelash perming or a fake tan.

And level 3 beauty therapy co-ordinator and personal tutor Chris Sanders is on hand to make sure everything is running as it should be.

For £6, my facial includes exfoliation, a deep cleansing mask and moisturising and leaves me feeling thoroughly relaxed – and with considerably softer skin.

Rachel, who is hoping to go on to study media make-up at university next year, tells me that the salon is kept busy with regular clients.

She said: “It’s great to have people coming in because it’s really good practise for us.

“We do all sorts of treatments and people like coming here because they get good quality treatments for reasonable prices.”

The salon has just been relaunched as The Salon @ Deeside College, with a new website, and tutor Chris says the aim was to update its image.

“We want the salon to be modern and trendy and rebranding it was another way of bringing it up to date,” she said.

“It’s important for the students that we can simulate something as close to a real high street salon as possible.

“They have experience of carrying out the treatments, but also of giving after care advice, dealing with customers and selling treatments.”

The students, who spend about 15 hours a week with clients, take it in turns to carry out duties on reception and act as salon manager.

They also learn the biology behind the treatments and part of the course focuses on employability skills, so they’re as well equipped as possible to go on to get jobs.

Chris said: “Student numbers are increasing every year because I think people know that, although there is a recession, beauty is a growing industry and they’re going to be able to get jobs after the course.

“As we get more students in it’s important we attract more customers, because it’s vital that the students are able to practise what we’re teaching them.”

And customers aren’t put off by being treated by a trainee. “The students are closely supervised and monitored so clients do feel confident that things aren’t going to go wrong,” said Chris.

“In some ways it’s better than going into a high street salon because the students aren’t left to their own devices so they’re more conscientious and professional.

“We offer a huge quality service and use professional products such as Dermalogica, which you would pay a lot for in a real salon.”

Hairdressing students also offer their services, with a cut and finish available £4, and the college’s Style Cafe offers more complicated treatments such as colour correction or removal.

With prices starting from as little as £2.50 for a blow dry or £3 for a manicure, The Salon @ Deeside College offers a recession-beating solution to hair and beauty needs.

With warnings that I should exfoliate twice a week, I head back to the office after my hour of pampering – but now I’ve discovered what’s on offer I’m sure to return soon.

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