‘I just want to show the industry that I’m here – and ready to create some fabulous hair.’            

VTCT learner, Ashley Thomson is currently studying for a VTCT qualification in hair colouring at TLT Academy in Kent. Here, he tells VTCT News his inspirational story and how he is making his dreams come true by pursuing a career in hairdressing, despite having only one arm.

‘I'm 27 and I absolutely love working with hair. I’ve been passionate about it from a very young age; I can even remember being in primary school aged six, French plaiting all the girls’ hair in the playground. I’ve always wanted to work in the industry but due to my situation (only having one hand) I was unable to train as a full hairdresser and complete all the units required for an NVQ, so I chose to study a graphic design degree. I still carried on with hairdressing in my spare time, doing the hair of my friends and family..

I moved to London two years ago and worked in fashion, but still knew I wanted to pursue a career in hair. I got in contact with VTCT and explained my situation and was contacted by Nigel Taylor, VTCT Chief Verifier for Hairdressing & Barbering. I received some great news a couple of days later, that I had been sponsored by VTCT, and started at the TLT Academy in Bromley soon after - training in level 2 and 3 hair colouring. I was so overjoyed to actually be getting some training in hair colouring, everything I've learnt in hairdressing has been self taught by watching hairdressers at work, on the internet, in books and magazines and through my sister Emma (who’s a hairdresser). I've learnt so much since being at TLT and my confidence has grown hugely. I have a fantastic teacher, Kylie Turner, who is very understanding and has great patience. She's taught me many new and quick techniques.

I would love to carry out further colour training with L’Oreal and progress to be a high-end colour technician. I love creating hair-up styles and mastering the natural look with curls and waves. Doing hair for red carpet events is definitely on my wish list and I would love to see one of my hair creations on the front cover of Vogue one day. I think if you have a strong passion and big dreams you can make anything happen. I just want to show the industry that I’m here – and ready to create some fabulous hair.