Luke Myers had wanted to become a hairdresser since he was a child but he was put off following his heart by friends and family who said the subject was only for girls.
Instead, when he left school he became a carpenter – despite having never had an interest in woodwork.
But now the 28-year-old from Havant has joined Highbury College to realise his lifelong dream and begin a Level 2 Hairdressing Apprenticeship with Green Mango Natural Salon in Ordnance Row near Gunwharf Quays.
Luke said: “I wanted to do hairdressing from a young age. I used to go to the hairdressers with my mum. I could see how happy she was when she went and I thought it was wonderful that hairdressing could do that.
“I spoke to my peers at school about it and was discouraged as it was seen as a women’s career. Some would also make homophobic comments and say it was for gay men.
“When I left school I became an apprentice carpenter, which was great in ways but I never really enjoyed it.
“It wasn’t until my grandad passed away that I realised that life’s too short not to do what you enjoy. He always believed that you should be happy and make the most of life.”
Luke’s girlfriend, friends and family were shocked when he told them he wanted such a big career change.
“To others I must seem a bit crazy to leave a good job and start at the bottom of the ladder again while also working on my days off to make money,” he said.
Luke, who has also worked as a roofer, spent 10 months searching for an apprenticeship before Highbury College put him in touch with Green Mango Natural Salon.
He now works there as an apprentice hairdresser and despite a drop in his pay he hasn’t looked back.
Luke said: “I never thought I would do another apprenticeship but it’s exciting because there’s an end goal – I will be a stylist in the near future.
“I look forward to going in to work and college, even though I’m at the bottom level, so I know it’s only going to get better.
“I’m on a low wage now but I’m much happier. You have only got one life and you spend the majority of it at work so you should be careful not to become unhappy in what you’re doing.”
When Luke isn’t at Green Mango Natural Salon he can be found training at Highbury College’s Eden Hair and Beauty Salon.
For more information about hairdressing qualifications click here.
To find out more about Eden Hair and Beauty Salon click here.