Tell us about your recent HJ award win.,,,
To enter this year’s Hairdresser Journal ‘Hair Extensionist of the Year’ award I was required to submit before, during and after application photos and a brief explanation of how I had created the look.
I was then invited to the final of the competition, which was held at Salon International in London. There were some amazing judges including Louise Bailey (owner of Extension Professional), Vicky Lynch (owner of Remi Cachet) and Emma Seldon (from Hype Marketing). This helped ensure that the competition was fair.
Anyone with an extensions qualification in the UK was able to enter, and there was some really tough competition.
The judges looked at application methods (neatness, bond ratios, sectioning); colour choice, match and colour blending; cutting and blending; then at your finishing techniques.
Each judge also checked your rows of bonds, looked through the cut and asked questions about why you had chosen that specific style for your model.
My model’s style was very multi tonal, and I created texture with extensions and a rich chocolate base. I am obsessed with blending and cutting hair extensions; I love them to flow effortlessly and I have established my own technique for doing this.
I was so thrilled when the judges announced that I was the winner – it was a unanimous decision!
Tell us about your career and your business?
I have been in the hairdressing industry over 11 years and I qualified in Great Lengths six years ago. In this time I have come a long way in the hair extensions industry, winning:
HJ Hair Extension Specialist Winner 2015
Great Lengths Rising Star of the Year 2012-13
Great Lengths Fasttrack Winner 2014-15
I was also finalist for:
Great Lengths Bridal Finalist 2014-15
Balmain Hair Extensionist of the Year Finalist 2015
Our salon, POSH Hair & Beauty is in Farlsey, Leeds. We are currently one of the leading hair extensions salons in the UK, and I am very proud to hold this unprecedented quantity of awards that show my specialism in the art of hair extensions. We are also very proud of coming from a smaller, local salon and having just a small team that consists of my mum, Julie Ingham (salon owner), myself, and our salon assistants Laura and Hollie.
We are well known for our hair extensions and colouring, and we only choose to work with the best brands and products. I have also worked alongside Great Lengths on their Men-hancments photoshoot (styling two of the models, who were actually my clients!)
What advice would you give to stylists considering entering professional awards?
Go for it! Take your time to think about the right category for you and your salon. Always work with your strengths, and think about your work ‘under the hood’ – application neatness is so important.
I do all my own photography, styling and makeup, but if you can’t then look for professionals who are able to support you. Think about your models too – they need to be confident in front of a camera. Pictures do not lie and facial expressions needs to be natural and comfortable! In these pictures, I have used my cousin and a friend’s daughter both whom are clients of mine. The great thing about this is that they are free!
What do you love about the Great Lengths brand and products?
I use Great Lengths for the colour choice and the hair texture – I find it blends beautifully and blow-dries well.
What are your hair extensions trend predictions in 2016?
My trend predictions for 2016 are: more effortless relaxed colours (very multi-tonal ombres are out, and soft root stretches, soft ash colours and mineral tones are in); and shorter looks (such as LOBs) with more fullness and texture rather than really long tresses. Think hair idols like Kylie Jenner and Khloe Kardashian.