The best of British hairdressing talent was celebrated at this year’s British Hairdressing Awards, sponsored by Schwarzkopf Professional. Hairdressers Journal International celebrated the very best of homegrown hairdressing talent at the British Hairdressing Awards, sponsored by Schwarzkopf Professional.

The star-studded ceremony took place on Monday 27 November at London’s Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel on London’s Park Lane hosted by TV presenter Cat Deeley, alongside HJ’s executive director, Jayne Lewis-Orr. More than 1,500 of the top hairdressing talent from across the country attended the awards, which is a celebration of the most creative and technically-gifted hairstylists in Britain.

Each entrant must submit a series of images demonstrating not only their technical dexterity, but their creative vision and comprehension of current trends. Looks must be wearable and beautiful, as well as pushing the boundaries and limitations of hairdressing to showcase the pinnacle of a hairstylist’s creativity. Finalists are then judged, twice, by a panel consisting of hairdressing legends, leading national beauty press and past winners of the awards who have since joined the British Hairdressing Awards Hall of Fame; an accolade presented to those who win the same category on more than three occasions.

On the night, guests and finalists mingled over a champagne reception before settling down to a sumptuous three-course dinner. Entertainment came not just from Cat’s wisecracks, but also from pop supergroup Boyzlife, who got the room on their feet with a storming greatest hits set. There was inspiration a plenty from hosts Schwarzkopf Professional too, as their team took to the stage to present their Ikonic Essential Looks collection (with a little help from session stylist legend Tyler Johnston, colour extraordinaire Lesley Jennison, and Rainbow Room International’s award-winning duo Suzie McGill and Dylan Brittain).

However, much as the night provided the opportunity to network, party and peruse the collections created by finalists, the evening was really all about the winners and their work. Talent was recognised across 16 categories, covering both regional entries representing the whole of Great Britain and specialist collections including men’s hairdressing, avantgarde work and colour. The ultimate accolade on the night is British Hairdresser of the Year which, this year, was awarded to Sally Brooks for her inspirational work and contribution to the industry as a whole. Sally is the first female winner of the award since 2005, and led a charge of women picking up awards on the night – more than half of the trophies were awarded to female stylists.

Facing a standing ovation, an emotional Sally said: “I never thought I’d be standing on stage accepting this award, especially as I was up against such amazing hairdressers that I respect so much. Thank you to my amazing team and the support they give to me and each other, and thank you to my photographer, Jenny Hands. She was the first photographer I worked with back when we were test shooting. I couldn’t have done this without her!” A win at the awards doesn’t just provide industry recognition.

A British Hairdressing Award marks the winner out as amongst the most talented hair professionals in the country and, as the world continues to look to Britain for hairdressing inspiration, trend forecasting and techniques, walking away with a trophy at the awards can lead to global recognition. Also celebrating on the night were teams from Mark Leeson Salons and Russell Eaton Salons, both of whom won three awards each. Joseph I’Anson and Lisa Graham, Terri Kay and Andrea Giles and Shaun Hall at Mark Leeson won Eastern, Men’s and Midlands Hairdresser of the Year respectively, while Isobel Eaton, Russell Eaton and Daniel Couch and Ashleigh Maybank won North Eastern, Schwarzkopf Professional British Colour Technician and North Western Hairdresser of the Year.

HJ’s executive director, Jayne Lewis Orr said: “Each year, British hairdressing goes from strength to strength. These awards serve to celebrate not just the sheer technical skill involved in making the images, but also the creativity and vision behind them. Each winner has demonstrated an ability to dream big, then bring that concept to life in imagery that’s beautiful, inspiring and directional. We’re very proud of all the winners and would like to extend our congratulations on behalf of Hairdressers Journal International.”

See below for the full list of winners –

British Hairdresser of the Year: Sally Brooks, Brooks & Brooks

London Afro Hairdresser of the Year: Charlotte Mensah, Hair Lounge

London Artistic Team of the Year: RUSH Hair, London

Avant Garde Hairdresser of the Year: Emmanuel Esteban, Anne Veck Salons Oxford

Schwarzkopf Professional British Colour Technician of the Year: Robert Eaton, Russell Eaton Leeds

Men’s Hairdresser of the Year: Terri Kay and Andrea Giles Mark Leeson, Mansfield

Newcomer of the Year: Olivia Nevill, Ashley Gamble, Shifnal

Eastern Hairdresser of the Year: Joseph I’Anson and Lisa Graham, Mark Leeson, Mansfield

London Hairdresser of the Year: Indira Schauwecker, TONI&GUY Bedford Street

London Midlands Hairdresser of the Year: Shaun Hall, Mark Leeson

Chesterfield North Eastern Hairdresser of the Year: Isobel Eaton, Russell Eaton, Barnsley North

Western Hairdresser of the Year: Daniel Couch and Ashleigh Maybank, Russell Eaton, Leeds

Northern Ireland Hairdresser of the Year: Julie Cherry and Colette Fitzpatrick, Shane Bennett Salon, Lisburn

Scottish Hairdresser of the Year: Suzie McGill & Dylan Brittain, Rainbow Room International

Glasgow Southern Hairdresser of the Year: Thomas Hills, TH1 Hair, Oxted Wales

South West Hairdresser of the Year: Zoe Williams & Scott Evans, Ken Picton Salon, Cardiff