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Hairlucinations is a winner in the National Apprenticeship Awards 2017



THE awards took place at the prestigious and spectacular Titanic Hotel, situated at the Stanley Dock, part of Liverpool's World Heritage site. Hairlucinations was one of the winners at the North West Regional final of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2017 and was announced the winner of the small employees category 1 to 24.

The awards, now in their 14th year, are run by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognise excellence in 2 areas:
  • Businesses that grow their own talent with apprentices
  • Apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their workplace





On being announced as winner, Barry Cochrane MD said:
"Hairlucinations is one of the longest standing tenants in the New Strand Shopping Centre near Liverpool City Centre, having opened our doors in the early 1970's. As a local salon with a team of talented and enthusiastic stylist we are, and always have been, totally committed to taking apprentices through our doors. I have team members that have been with me for over 25 years who themselves went through the process of joining our ranks as an apprentice at Hairlucinations. This I find helps us to integrate each intake of new apprentices as we have working examples of those that know what it takes to go to the next level of hairdressing. Winning The 2017 National Apprenticeship Awards Area Final has meant recognition after 48 years of creating world class hairdressers within our region. This puts us alongside the biggest apprenticeship providers in the country. We offer careers not jobs and this proves even small businesses can deliver award winning training."


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Hairlucinations won the award in recognition of the contribution to producing continuous outstanding support and training for all of the apprentices they employ. This in conjunction with Micheal John Training Academy Liverpool has been a winning formula for many years.

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Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said:
"The National Apprenticeship Awards allow talented apprentices and committed employers from across our regions to receive well-deserved recognition for their apprenticeship achievements. Winners recognised at these awards show the range of sectors and variety of job roles apprenticeships are available in, and how they can deliver the skills employers need. I congratulate all winners on their success so far and the very best of luck in the next stage of the competition."

Bootle Strand's oldest tenant celebrates the shopping centre's 50th birthday



Bootle’s busy and bustling Strand Shopping Centre is looking forward to its big birthday with plenty of optimism. Marks and Spencer may have left last year, but it approaches its 50th anniversary next year in good health. Strand marketing manager Lucy Kirk said: “It attracts just over 118,000 shoppers a week and well-known companies, like Burger King and Warren James, have joined many other top names by opening here in the last few months.”

Colette Draper, from Bootle, having her hair coloured by junior stylist Alicia Barlow in Hairlucinations Hair Salon, the shopping centre's oldest tenant...

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Colette said: "I’ve been shopping at The Strand since I was little. It’s close, it’s central and has a good variety of shops. And I’ve been coming to get my hair done here at Hairlucinations for the last 10 years, if not longer. The staff are fantastic and friendly and I feel like a million dollars when I leave."

It's been a successful year for the salon, which has won multiple awards including the Liverpool Lifestyle Awards, the National Apprenticeship Awards and the Michael John Academy hairdressing competition.

Director of Hairlucinations, Barry Cochrane, said:
"We're proud that we are the oldest tenant here in the Strand, it has been a great journey for us and we're thankful to all our clients over the decades who have helped us become an established leading salon in Liverpool. We're looking forward to a great future here!"

Hairdressers receive national recognition for supporting apprentices


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A BOOTLE hairdressers has been given national recognition for supporting apprentices.

Hairlucinations was invited to London for the National Business Apprenticeship Awards, when they were named in the top 100 businesses from across the UK for helping apprentices into employment.

The National Apprenticeship Awards, now in its fourteenth year, was held at the Grosvenor House hotel in central London.

Hairlucinations won the award in recognition of the contribution to producing continuous outstanding support and training for all of the apprentices they employ.

This, in conjunction with Michael John Training Academy Liverpool, has been a winning formula for many years.

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Raising the bar for hair training



BOOTLE hairdressers Hairlucinations was one of the winners at the North West regional final of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2017 and was announced the winner of the small employees category 1-24.

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The awards, now in their 14th year, are run by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognise excellence in two areas: a) businesses that grow their own talent with apprentices b) apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their workplace. The awards took place at the prestigious and spectacular Titanic Hotel, situated at the Stanley Dock, part of Liverpool's World Heritage site.

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Hairlucinations win again at the Lifestyle Awards! Best Salon 2017

For a second year Bootle salon Hairlucinations are winners at the Liverpool Lifestyle Awards! This time it's for BEST HAIR SALON. Last year, salon owner Barry Cochrane won the BEST ENTREPRENEUR AWARD.

Barry comment: "This has been a magical night where the hard work of Hairlucinations' staff paid off...again! A big thanks to everyone who voted, our loyal customers and thanks to our super talented staff!

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Being deaf doesn't stop Daniel cutting it as a top young hairdresser

AN aspiring hairdresser is not letting the fact he is deaf get in the way of his dreams and he is making the cut as a young apprentice in Bootle. Daniel Wilkinson, 19, was born completely deaf but thanks to a cochlear implant, he is able to hear customers reasonably well from close range. He is currently training at Hairlucinations and was recently appointed as a level three apprentice after impressing his boss. Working at a busy hairdressers is a far cry from when he used to cut his nan's hair as a child, but he is enjoying the challenge.

Daniel said: "As a child I wanted to be a hairdresser. I'd do my nan's hair in the living room and whenever I’d pass the salon I'd think about working there one day, so once I began my training I had to go in and put myself forward as a volunteer."

"I've developed my own systems now, that help me to do everything I need to do in work in my own way. For example, I always remind clients that I might not be able to hear them and ask them to give me a nudge if they speak and I don't reply."

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"Actually, the salon is so big that all the staff use quite a lot of sign language anyway, to save them from having to shout, so I fit right in! I couldn't be happier to have a full-time apprentice position at the very place I've always wanted to work. I've been lucky enough to have great support from my family, from schools and from other support agencies throughout my life. I like to take any opportunity I get to thank all the wonderful people that have helped me and also to say that I don't think having a disability should stop you from doing anything you want to do in life.”

It's been a successful year for Daniel, who won the Michael John Academy level two hairdressing competition.

Director of Hairlucinations, Barry Cochrane, said:
"It was clear as soon as I met Daniel that he is a talented hairdresser. He won a tough competition with a very creative entry. He's also very driven and tenacious. The fact that Daniel is deaf has never been a barrier to him working at Hairlucinations but it is a very competitive industry and he has done well to beat lots of other talented young people to the job. His hearing impairment does impact the way he works."

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"The salon is a noisy environment so he has to remind people that he can't catch everything they say, even with his cochlear implant but it doesn't restrict him at all. The more experience he gets the more he develops his own ways of working. His ability to lip read in a mirror will certainly stand him in good stead throughout his career! I couldn't be happier with Daniel's work so far."

Hairlucinations win at the Lifestyle Awards 2016

The BEST ENTREPRENEUR AWARD at the 2016 Liverpool Lifestyle Awards was won by Barry Cochrane of Hairlucinations.

Awards organiser Amanda Moss said, "The Lifestyle Awards is an opportunity to highlight just how hard people are working to succeed in business. It's right for them to be recognised for this. The Lifestyle Awards is important for the city. I want to congratulate all those who won as well as the runners up who are all amazing ambassadors in the community!"

Hairlucinations is delighted to win this award and we would like to thank all our customers for their support and for voting for us.

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Hairlucinations feature in the Liverpool Echo

Hairlucinations are delighted to be featured in the Liverpool Echo's "Day in the Life" series.


Staying at the cutting edge of hair and beauty trends; Lyndsey Helm is salon manager of Hairlucinations in Bootle. This is her day...

8.30am: Arrive at the salon in Bootle Strand Shopping Centre. I spend this time in the office every morning. I check my emails from the previous evening and get back to booking enquiries, meeting requests and organise the managing director Barry Cochrane's diary.

9.30am: I have a meeting with the guys from Matrix, our hair care provider of choice. We have had a great working relationship with their team for 15 years. The meeting is to discuss a new exclusive Oil Wonders, their most complete oil-care range using the latest micro oil technology. We are adding this to our Biolage and Total Results range. We are the largest Primer Matrix Salon stockists on Merseyside. 11am: Nip next door to us on the ground floor of the shopping centre to the Centre Management Offices. Meet with the marketing manager of the centre, Lucy Kirk, to discuss up-and-coming events. There is a lot of buzz around the Strand at present as it is undergoing a major facelift, re-brand and development this year with a lot of new investment. This has resulted in more incentre event opportunities for us, and we discuss some of the summer period events we can get involved in.

12.30pm: Meeting with our PR agency and web designer to keep each other up-todate with developments, and today we are discussing the company's marketing. We, as a business, have been around more than 40 years now and this year is a big year for us. We have some exciting new products in development that will be rolled out this year.

2pm: Grab a quick bite to eat and catch up on some more emails. Great news! We have been asked to do the hair for another up-and-coming high profile fashion show. I have been working with our guys on a small 'ready to go' team for such events.

2.30pm: Financial meeting with Barry to go over all our weekly and monthly figures with reports on stats. We monitor all our trade both off and online. The salon advance computer system automates marketing, text appointment confirmation, on-line bookings and more. Coming soon is our new mobile phone app, following clients to control booking with latest offers and promotions. Digital media and online booking are very popular as enquiries can come through at any time of the day.

4pm: My favourite part of my job, spending time with customers on the shop floor. We have such a wide range of customers, from eight-yearolds to 80-year-olds; from young girls getting their hair done for prom nights to customers coming in for a complete new style with one of our creative directors. We also have a separate men's barber shop in the salon and the atmosphere at this time of day is always amazing.

5pm: Last meeting of the day. Briefing our senior creative director and floor manager, Angela Kayes, on a Matrix creative session with Jamie Stevens the international ambassador for Matrix. Jamie is the resident hairdresser for shows like ITV This Morning and the X Factor, so this is another amazing opportunity for one of our team as only a small number in the industry are asked to attend these sessions per year.

6pm: Off to a networking event in Colin's Bridewell in Liverpool city centre with one of the city's hair and beauty magazines. These events are a great way for me to help develop the business externally, with some great contacts to be made when out at such events. It's also good to see what is happening in the city centre, as our industry is so fast-moving.

7.30pm: Home, and get to spend some quality time with my husband and our young twins.

Hairlucinations' nominated in the Liverpool Lifestlye Awards 2016

We are up for nominations in 2 categories:

Best Entrepreneur:
Barry Cochrane
Best Independent Hair Stylist:
Angela Kayes



We would like to thank everyone who voted for us. The opportunity to win at these awards would be great for an independent salon like us - so all our client's support has been greatly appreciated. So finger's crossed and stay tuned to see how we get on. The awards ceremony takes place on Saturday 5 March 2016 at The Liner Hotel .

The winners will be announced on the night at a star studded black tie party. Thanks again to all our customers - your vote meant a lot to us!

We are also delighted to have been getting some positive features in the local press...

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Hairlucinations' Baz featured on BBC1

Barry has been a busy bee and has finally found fame outside of Hairlucinations...

Yes, Barry was contacted by BBC1 and asked to film Home Away from Home. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the programme, it's a fun show all about couples who swap homes with strangers to experience new lifestyles.

Exciting stuff eh? – But we immediately realised we had a problem: this is a show about couples and poor old Barry had no 'missus' to film with. We had to get our thinking caps on and come up with a candidate fast. It was a struggle but our very own Sam came up with the fab idea of using Barry's very good friend, Cara. Sorted!...except Cara lives in over 3000 miles away in Boston and time was running out. But good old Cara came to the rescue at the last minute and flew over to accompany Baz on the show! Barry kindly gave up his fabulous apartment up on the Dock and ended up in a lovely terrace in Bristol (haha, he thought he would end up in somewhere like Mayfair, but no such luck). So Bohemian Bristol it was.

The show was aired on the 22nd October at 15:40pm on BBC1 whoo hoo! Watch it now on BBC iPlayer and have a good old laugh at the boss as he turns up at his new luxury home.

Baz's BBC Appearance featured in Liverpool Echo

FOR hair salon owner Barry Cochrane, home is a luxury apartment in the Albert Dock Colonnades with a white Por-sche parked outside. But the owner of Hairlucinations, in Bootle Strand, gave up his riverfront view and glossy magazine decor to take part in a TV swap experiment. And the results of his three days away will be screened on Thursday in BBC1's daytime series, Home Away From Home. Barry, who has been in the hairdress-ing business in Liverpool for more than 30 years, admits he was reluctant when the BBC approached him with the idea.

"My apartment had been in a few magazines and I think the programme makers wanted to do something in Liv-erpool, searched online and found me," he says. "I wasn't that keen on the thought of having a stranger being in my home at first but then I thought about it and discussed it, it sounded like fun." The programme meant Barry exchanging his immaculate city centre apartment for a terraced house in a Bohemian district of Bristol. But he didn't find out who he was swapping with or where he was going until after the cameras started to roll.

"We started shooting at 2pm and that was the point that I started to think, 'Oh, God, what have I done?"' he laughs. "Up until then, I'd been so busy it hadn't really registered, but then I thought more about it. I've never done any TV work before and this was filming for 12 hours a day. All of a sudden you've got a BBC crew in your living room with all their equipment, cameras, lighting and sound and you realise this is going to be your life for the next few days."

Barry says the least of his worries was the business - his team ran that smoothly in his absence - and he didn't need to touch the apartment. "The only thing I really had to do was produce a manual saying everything about the apartment, and make sugges-tions about what they could do when they were in Liverpool;' he adds. "I made a long list of stuff, and when I got to Bristol they'd done the same:' As first-timers in the West Country city, their stay in Bristol was an experience, he says. "I'd watched a few of the series so far and ours was a little bit unusual com-pared to those Barry smiles. "It was all about skateboards and dreadlocks, so there was a bit of a difference:'

As for making his TV debut, Barry says he's looking forward to it and wouldn't be averse to a repeat performance. "It did push me, but I'm glad I did it because now if there was anything else that came up that I fancied I'd know what to do and how it works," he says. Barry's episode of Home Away From Home is on BBC1, October 22, at 3.45pm.