Iona Timmins

Hair, Beauty & Complementary Therapies

Hairdressing Level 2 , SCQF Level 5

“If you are thinking about becoming an apprentice at an older age, allow yourself to achieve it.”

Iona Timmins gained her first hairdressing apprenticeship when she was 16. She then fell pregnant with her son which put her career plans on hold.

Iona said, “When I turned 28 I had the opportunity to pick up my career dreams again. An apprenticeship was going locally and after a bit of persuasion I decided right, I’m going to go for it. I was a bit embarrassed at first because of my age, as a lot of apprentices are in their teens, but I just pushed forward knowing that I had to do it.

“I was in a different headspace I think because I was older. My goal for years was to be a hairdresser. Now that I have it I am very grateful for it – for the opportunities, the creativity and just enjoying my job. I love it – I couldn’t see myself in anything else and I worked hard to get it.

“I had to make a lot of sacrifices – running a home on an apprentice pay, working full-time hours and travelling to College one day a week. I’m dyslexic as well so I struggled with the reading part but I had a lot of support from family, friends and my College lecturer who would read things out to me so that I could take in and process the information. I studied hard and I passed all my exams.”

Iona also became a full-time carer to her husband during this time who was diagnosed with a terminal illness.

“I’m so happy that I have hairdressing. My husband pushed and supported me and he knew with his diagnosis that if I had my qualification then I could support the family myself when he was gone. I am just so grateful to have my qualification.

“I qualified when I was 30 – it’s taken 14 years to want this career and I have it. I now work for myself, renting a chair in a salon. We work as a team even though we are all self-employed.”

Iona completed her Level 2 qualification and plans to come back to College to complete her Level 3 Hairdressing qualification which she will self-fund.

“I love College and I want to get my Level 3 qualification. You are always learning with hairdressing –there’s always new products coming out and there are always ways to do things better.”

Iona has developed a love of colour and has built up a reputation for blondes.

She said, “It’s definitely blondes that I am known for. I put a lot of care into product choice and after- care – they take a long time but the end results are just amazing and the compliments I get makes it all worthwhile.”