Our students often ask us for advice on how to get the most out of studying for our Level 4 Certificate in Trichology, and also for guidance on the best way to revise for the exams and assessments that are part of the Course. We’re always happy to give our students as much support as they need, but we also think that getting advice from fellow students is just as helpful, if not more so. After all, they’re in the same boat and faced with the same challenges.
So we asked Level 4 student Hayley Channon for her tips on how to study successfully. Hayley is already an experienced hairdresser and educator. She’s from Kent, still lives there, trained locally with some well-known salons, and now teaches at Canterbury College 4 days a week. She’s progressed a good way through her Level 4 studies, and recently scored 92% in her chemistry exam. Chemistry is one of the two externally moderated exams in the Certificate – the other is anatomy – so we think she’s definitely created a successful revision strategy for herself!
Hayley, what first attracted you to studying trichology?
One of the tasks we set our hairdressing students at the College is to manage a referral for a client who is concerned about the health of their hair. When I was researching possible options for the students, I talked to a trichologist, and found that what they did was fascinating. I thought to myself ‘I’d like to be part of this.’ So I went online to find out more, and I came across TrichoCare. I spoke to Jackie Passey [TrichoCare Education’s Head of Quality Assurance] who was very helpful and I signed up for the Introduction Course. I really enjoyed that and when I was ready to commit the time, I started the Level 4 Certificate.
So how do you go about studying and revising?
I think the most important thing is to be methodical and don’t rush. I take lots of notes, and I read through the course material more than once, sometimes several times, because I always find that I’ve missed something first time through. I often print out materials and use different coloured highlighters to help me identify key information. I draw my own diagrams to help me understand processes, and even make posters that I stick up around my room to help me visualise and remember what things look like or how they work. We hairdressers are visual people, so it’s natural to us to understand and remember things using our eyes as much as by reading about them.
When it comes to revising, especially for an exam, my best advice is don’t cram! Get organised well ahead of time. Book your exam date at least two weeks in advance, and then plan your revision timetable. Go back over the unit content, take time to read your notes thoroughly and test yourself as you go.
What if you do all that and still have a bit of a panic?
It’s certainly happened to me! But Keith Barker-Jones [TrichoCare’s Course Director] emailed me offering to call with support and advice ahead of my exam date, and I was very glad to take up his offer. He calmed my nerves, talked me through it, reassured me and that relieved the pressure. My student mentor Steve Law is a great help too. He always responds very quickly and helpfully to my queries. Because he’s a hairdresser and a former student he understands exactly where I’m coming from. Also, you can get a lot of help from the student WhatsApp group, where you can share your worries and get support from others who may have the same concerns.
What do you plan to do once you’ve completed the Course?
Well, hopefully, I’ll pass! Then I would very much like to practise as a trichologist, because hair loss is such a big issue these days. I’ve developed good relationships with local salons through the apprentices that I teach, so I think initially I’ll reach out to them and look to form professional partnerships that will fit into my teaching schedule. Then in the longer term build up my own consultancy practice.
Finally, do have words of advice for anyone thinking of studying the Course?
You have to be aware that it’s quite a commitment. It takes time and hard work. But the satisfaction of learning new skills and being able to give advice to all those people who have problems with their hair and scalp really does make up for it. You’re taking your care of your clients to a new level. And there’s a lot of personal satisfaction too in succeeding in your studies. I can’t tell you how proud I was of getting a Distinction in my chemistry exam!