Ghost Salon stylists graduate against the odds

The Ghost Salon team in Dagenham

The Ghost Salon team in Dagenham - Credit: Archant

Hairdressers celebrated their graduation thanks to a Dagenham salon that gave them a break when no one else would.

Twelve trainees at the Ghost Salon in Becontree Avenue marked the completion of their level one and level two courses with the salon’s academy on Thursday after weeks of hard work and on-the-job experience.

The salon, run by Sam Purnell, 26, gives women who have been hampered by troubled backgrounds or lack of opportunities a chance to train and qualify for a career in hairdressing.

“It’s for anyone who wouldn’t normally find it comfortable to go through further education,” Sam told the Post, over the sound of scissors and blow-dryers at the busy salon.

Some trainees have had trouble with drugs and alcohol, she said, while others grew up in care and felt people looked down on them at college.

“They’ve all done brilliantly,” she added, “not just with the course – personally they’ve done really well.

“One of the girls couldn’t even look people in the eye, and now she’s flowing really well.

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“It gives them confidence.”

The Ghost Salon was set up thanks to £10,000 of National Lottery funding to empower local women.

Sue Cade, integrated offender management (IOM) female pathways coordinator for the council, said: “I work with Sam and speak to probation services and Lifeline, which is an employment programme, to refer women to the project, but also to help to find other funding for the girls.

“What’s great about the project is there’s also the personal development opportunities for women to overcome issues in their lives and move forward to something for their future. That’s why the Ghost Salon is unique.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity, really, for women, who wouldn’t have that opportunity.”

For more call the Ghost Salon on 020 8592 8322.