Alison Brightwell Education, in association with East Durham College, provides bespoke one-to-one barbering tuition and group workshops for professionals.

Our sessions can include a wide variety of techniques and styling, including tuition on blending, fading, advanced cutting techniques and shaving.

Sessions can either be taught at East Durham College’s Peterlee campus in our industry-standard salon, or at your own premises. Our barbering training is provided by Alison Brightwell, barbering lecturer at East Durham College and Britain’s first-ever female Grand Master Barber.

Alison is also a member of the City & Guilds Industry Board for barbering qualifications and was voted as the Times Educational Supplement Further Education Teacher of the Year in 2018.

A Message From Alison

My name is Alison Brightwell, and I have worked in the hair industry for over 30 years. I started my first Saturday job at the age of 14, and I’ve loved it ever since!

Hairdressing and barbering was something I always wanted to do, ever since I was really small, and I have been lucky enough to live my dream. I completed a YTS at a local salon in ladies’ and men’s hairdressing, and also completed beauty consultancy too.

I worked at this salon for seven years and gained amazing experience from the team. I’m still very good friends with them to this day, and still catch up with them regularly! I left the salon at the age of 21 to work for Steiner on a cruise liner – an amazing period of my career (apart from being a little homesick!).

On my return I then opened my own salon. I was self-employed, training up my own team of stylists.  I always loved this side of my work, which lead me directly into my teaching career. I decided to go back to college and university whilst continuing with my business and gained my teaching qualifications.

Graduation day was a proud moment for me and I decided to teach full time. Reluctantly, I stopped being self-employed, and set off on my new career.

Teaching has been so rewarding for me and I love passing on my knowledge and experience to all of my students. It’s the best feeling to know you are making a difference to someone’s life and career – I still believe that when you teach you should still be in industry and I work a full day in a salon every week running a very busy column. This is vital to enhance what I do and I love being on the shop floor.

During my teaching career I have been presented with many awards and opportunities including:

  • First-Ever British Female Master Barber Award, presented by the British Master Barber’s Alliance
  • First-Ever British Female Grand Master Barber Award, presented by the British Master Barber’s Alliance
  • Teacher of the Year 2015
  • Technical Ambassador for Education for the Men’s Hairdressing Federation by Adam Sloan
  • Consultant for City and Guilds, and a member of the first barbering Industry Board
  • Working with Wahl and Simon Shaw demonstrating the BBA, MHF and many more
  • Member of the Hair and Barber council
  • Master Craftsmanship award for Hair and Barbering.’

I have never lost my passion or enthusiasm for this beautiful industry and I am still very proud to be a part of it and represent good education . Things could only have got better this year when I actually won the Times Education Supplement (TES) “Teacher of the Year “ Award for Further Education (FE), which has been my ultimate achievement to date. I feel really proud of this, and things can only get better for our industry.

The achievements and recognition I have received during my career has made me feel very proud and I still love to share my knowledge which has led me to develop ABC Barbering Education (Alison Brightwell Consultancy).