Hollie Burns Trained at Reflections Training Academy and qualified in 2015. Here is her learner journey and what she has been doing since……..

2013 -2014

I began my hairdressing apprenticeship with Reflections Training Academy in February 2013. Being on an apprenticeship gave me the opportunity to practice the creative skills I was learning and developing at both the salon and the training academy. Through the Academy I entered the Wella Xposure competition in December 2013 and was lucky enough to make it to the Regional Finals. The competition included finding my own model, putting together a mood board of inspiration and from that going on to cut, colour, style and dress my model. My tutor gave me the guidance I needed to be creative and enjoy competition work. This was such an eye opening experience for me to see the standard of how many amazing creative up and coming hairdressers there are in the UK. From then on I have always loved competition and styling work.

Wella Xposure competition December 2013

During my time at the salon I took part in styling hair for the Miss Bristol finalists, taking part in a catwalk runway show, assisting and styling bridal hair, attending the British Hairdressing Awards in Manchester and attending Salon International held at the Excel centre in London. I was able to get inspiration from all of these different experiences and put it in to my competition and training at the Academy. I was chosen to take part in the Reflections Training Academy learner art team at the annual awards in May 2014 and I was then able to put the techniques I had seen at previous events into styling.


During my Level 3 training I really enjoyed all of the theory and science behind colour. I took part in the colour theory workshops at the Academy and always found them to be very interesting, even though sometimes it would be a case of ‘trial and error’ there would always be a tutor to take the time and explain why you didn’t achieve the right results and how to avoid it in the future. During my time as a colour technician I was put forward by Reflections Training Academy for a photographic competition and got to the 3 finalists. I also was awarded the silver award for learner of the year in December 2014 at the Reflections Company Awards.
In January 2015 after completing my Level 3 NVQ in hairdressing I then became a Stylist, this was my first time managing a very busy column doing all different aspects of hairdressing. Shortly after in February 2015 I then became a top stylist and then in March 2015 I became Assistant Manager. This was a steep learning curve to understand how to manage my column, oversee the running of the salon and still make sure I was always improving as a hairdresser. During the last part of my apprenticeship I took part in the Reflections Training Academy learner competition and was awarded Gold for my entry. In December 2015 I was also awarded Gold for Newcomer of the Year at the Reflections Company Awards. 

2016 – Present
After a whirlwind few years and my ever developing love for the art of hairdressing I then felt it was time for a change of scenery and a new challenge. I decided in late 2015 to move to Australia with the aim of developing my skills and knowledge whilst travelling. I had been following various salons in Sydney and was keen to learn new techniques especially with regards to colouring. 

I got to Sydney on 6th of January 2016 and I travelled up the east coast for 2 weeks and loved every minute. I came to a town called Manly Beach which is on the northern beaches of Sydney, a 30 minute ferry ride from circular quay in central Sydney. I instantly fell in love with Manly Beach and decided this is where I wanted to be. So I got in touch with a Salon Owner, Casey at Willow Hair, a small boutique salon which is in the heart of Manly where after a trial I was given a stylist position.

I recently attended the Australian Hair Fashion Awards held at Luna Park in Sydney and was fortunate enough to speak to Errol Douglas and David Mannah. This was such an amazing event to see the standard of Australian hairdressing. Everyone is so talented and I feel very lucky to be in the position that I am in. 

Casey has now nominated me for sponsorship which allows me to continue working at Willow Hair with a 4 year visa to stay in Australia. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Without all the help and support of the amazing team at Reflections Training Academy I wouldn’t be able to be in the position that I am in or on the other side of the world. So a huge thank you to the whole Training Academy team!