Not Another Academy offers hair colour specialists the opportunity to learn new colouring techniques, methods to navigate the industry through social media and much more through a variety of expertly tailored courses taught by the team from the innovative Not Another Salon.

Here we catch up with Norman, an assistant on the Not Another Academy courses to find out what it’s really like to attend the Academy and what to expect.

Related: Ask the expert with Sophia Hilton

How did you get into assisting the courses at the Academy?

Before I even began working at Not Another Salon I remember viewing the academy’s Instagram stories and despite it showing the most incredible hair and techniques, it always showcased all the students and teachers having a genuinely good time. 

I could tell that it had a relaxed, inspiring and most importantly fun approach. Fast forward a few months later, I had bagged myself my dream job and had my first day at the course lined up. I begged Sophia to allow me to do more before asking to do every course, every Monday. Ten months later, I work with the Academy team every week inspiring other hairdressers and I love it.

What made you decide to join the Not Another Salon Academy team?

What made me want to join the team was how much fun everyone seemed to be having whilst working. I like to have fun whilst working hard so it seemed natural for me to be apart of it. 

 

What does a typical day look like / what have you learned?

The Academy hosts three different courses; there’s so much content to take in with no two days the same! People generally get so wrapped up in all the beautiful colours they tend to be so focused on technique but there is a hell of a lot of theory being included too. We start the day really getting everyone’s brains fired and then, later on, we move onto models. Everyone gets involved with the models, one day we had two models with up to 16 people working on one head!

There’s never any pressure, more of a “giving it a go” environment.

The No Judgement Policy doesn’t just apply to the salon floor but is heavily used in the Academy too. It can be nerve wracking to try a new technique in front of 16 other people you’ve just met, but we’re there just to encourage people to learn and thrive whilst learning a new skill. 
 

My favourite bit of the day is the end, not because we get to leave, but it’s when we form a family circle with all of our new friends and discuss what we have learned throughout the day and how we can adapt new skills to our day-to-day life. After we hand out legally blonde-esqe pink graduation caps with a certificate and take the most Instagram worthy boomerang to show off what a fun day we have all had. 

What is the best thing about being apart of the academy?

The best part about being apart of the Academy is seeing all the new students have their own special “light bulb moment”.
It’s lovely to see someone really understand a technique and know that they’re going to succeed in taking home something new. 

We have students from all different backgrounds in the industry, some that are still training whilst some of the stylists have been in the game for over 30 years. It’s always beautiful to see everyone connecting and remaining open to things they may not have seen or tried before.

Where do you hope your career will take you in the future? 

It would be a big dream to eventually become a platform artist. I would love to inspire others through education like Sophia does. Being able to connect to new people and to see them grow in such a short time is so inspiring. I would absolutely love to become one of the Academy’s educators and to be able to teach the course along side with Sophia.

What has been the most interesting aspect of the academy?

It’s very interesting to see how many different people come from far and wide to visit the Academy! We’ve had a few lovely stylists come all the way from the US, New Zealand and many parts of Europe just to attend the courses; it always feels like such a pleasure to be able to teach them. 

It’s also interesting to see so many different levels of experience all in one room. A few weeks ago, on our 100% free hand balayage course, we had a stylist who had never done a balayage prior to coming and it great to see her progress throughout the day and to see her leave with a good understanding.

What has been your biggest take away from the course?

I’ve been doing every course for a little over 8 months and I always have to take a moment and reflect where I was when I started out. I will never forget leaving the course on the first day, feeling fresh and inspired; still to this day, I feel the same way. 

I’m always very grateful to be in a position where I am able to be constantly working in an environment where I’m consistently learning.