Our People: Nancy Manukuo

As a qualified hairdresser and makeup artist, Nancy has a diverse role within our academy team, tutoring in both of these fields. Like many in our team, Nancy was once a student at Servilles Academy herself.

Hair has always been a passion of Nancy’s for as long as she can remember. “Getting into the industry way back in my day was the fun part, however cutting my long Polynesian hair that was down to my bum wasn’t, because Island girls had to have long hair as it was part of our culture! I hid my sleek bob cut from my Nana for months… Let’s just say my entire extended family heard about my bob cut!” 

Whilst Nancy was training at Servilles, she was also a mum, so had to learn to balance parenting and studying. Following the completion of her hairdressing qualifications in 2005, Nancy decided to broaden her knowledge by completing a makeup programme. She says having both skills and the ability to freelance enabled her to gain lots of opportunities within the TV industry. 

In addition to working in TV, throughout Nancy’s career she’s also worked in salons, freelanced with magazines and started her own bridal hair and makeup business. 

Earlier this year, Nancy was given the opportunity to fly to Tahiti as a judge for a local hairdressing academy’s competition. “I was lucky to have my own interpreter there in Tahiti (stayed with her too) as no students spoke or understood much English. This led me to my own memories when I couldn’t speak English until I around 11, so the French language was going to be a piece of cake!!! Yeah, no! The students work mirrored French Chignons smooth finishes and only half an hour into the competition there was a couple of standouts that became winners [receiving] a trip to Paris to enter a hair event there in June… Fingers crossed it can still happen later in the year. It was a huge honour to be a judge and see another hair academy.”

Now, Nancy feels she’s “[Come] full circle, back to where I had felt my career started to tutor/give back to students what I have learnt in my career.”

“I love everything about this industry – it can take you anywhere!”