Danielle Riddett completed her NVQ Level 2 hairdressing apprenticeship at Totton College last month and soon learned she is the first person on that course to ever achieve a distinction.
The 19-year-old has worked at Elegance Hairdressing in Eling Lane since she was 14.
This, according to Danielle, was the key to her success.
She said: “I have put the hours in to achieve this. I would stay and help out even if it was past my time.
“Plus, Sophie has always let me jump into hairdressing by letting me have a go as well.
“I think that is the best way to learn. There is so much more to hairdressing than people think.”
Danielle worked under the guidance of salon owner Sophie James, who said she is “so proud” of her achievement.
Sophie said: “I cried when I found out, I was so proud.
“It is a massive achievement and it makes me feel proud as I know how committed and dedicated she has been over the years. Danielle deserves the recognition.
“The hairdressing course is a big slog and you have to be committed to do it. It’s not an easy thing to do.
“Danielle achieving a distinction is a good reflection of my hairdressing skills but she is also an inspiration to apprentices and businesses too who may want to take on an apprentice.”
Danielle added: “Doing the apprenticeship means I have learned more on the job and it has helped me with my confidence as you are not just learning at college.
“I didn’t think I would get a distinction in the end.
“I found out in the salon but I don’t think it really sunk in until people were congratulating me on social media and coming into the salon with cards and flowers.”