If you frequent a hair salon you’ll know you walk out feeling and looking like a million bucks. The hairdresser or apprentice responsible has spent countless hours, even decades, learning hairdressing theory and practicing the latest trends and techniques. This dedication allows hairdressers to transform not just how a person looks, but also how they feel.
The uplifting experience is one of the many reasons why TAFE Queensland’s hairdressing teachers are passionate about the industry. One such teacher is Paul Pardini who has just notched up 10 years working at the TAFE Queensland Cairns campus.
“Hairdressing can be so enriching. I love seeing students develop and gain a skill for life and it’s also amazing to see how a positive hairdressing experience can empower clients,” Mr Pardini said.
Mr Pardini loves hairdressing so much that he even cuts hair in his spare time.
“Anglicare North Queensland in Cairns has a hairdressing initiative where stylists cut the hair of homeless people or individuals or families who are down on their luck. I volunteer two hours a week to cut hair for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to visit a salon," Mr Pardini said.
“These haircuts help people prepare for a job interview or support a family doing it tough and by the end of the appointment you can really see that their confidence and self-worth has improved.
“It’s incredibly rewarding and a very powerful experience to help change someone’s appearance and make them feel better about themselves — it’s an amazing thing to witness and be a part of,” he said.
Mr Pardini knew from an early age that he wanted to become a hairdresser, and as his career progressed he transitioned from stylist to teacher.
“I worked as a hairdresser for more than a decade and during that time I always enjoyed mentoring apprentices,” Mr Pardini said.
“I understand first-hand the need for and importance of quality training, so it made sense to become a teacher,” he said.
It’s a role Mr Pardini does not take lightly.
“It is vital that hairdressers receive the right training. The industry isn’t all about glamour, there is a lot of theory and underpinning knowledge involved with hairdressing,” Mr Pardini said.
Mr Pardini’s drive to provide his students with industry relevant training has seen him spearhead the development of a new program.
“Barbering is growing in popularity in the Cairns area and in 2019 TAFE Queensland will be offering a Certificate III in Men’s Barbering which is really exciting,” Mr Pardini said.
It’s a busy time for Mr Pardini; he’s currently juggling volunteer work and teaching commitments with part-time study.
“I recently celebrated my 10th anniversary with TAFE Queensland and it got me thinking about the progress I’ve made as a teacher and how I can contribute even more to my students’ learning experience,” Mr Pardini said.
“Earlier this year I began studying an online Bachelor of Adult and Applied Learning and I am gaining a range of new techniques and strategies which I am already using in the classroom with my students,” he said.
Mr Pardini has this advice for people considering a hairdressing career.
“Hairdressing can provide people with so many exciting career opportunities and qualified stylists can take their skills and live and work anywhere in the world,” Mr Pardini said.
“There is a high demand for hairdressers in the Cairns region and employers are looking to recruit apprentices,” he said.