The Hair Council UK Student of the Year Awards, sponsored by L'Oréal Professionnel, VTCT and Denman, took place on Sunday 12 October at Salon International.
Following a photographic competition, judged by Patrick Cameron, Andrew Barton and Jamie Stevens, eight Level 2 and eight Level 3 finalists contested the final. The practical took place at L'Oréal Studios in Hammersmith where the finalists had to recreate their original photographic look. The competition was judged by celebrity hairdressers Gary Hooker and Michael Young and Jayne Schauenburg, a previous winner herself and hairdressing educator.
This was followed by a 10 minute interview where contestants were asked about the look they had created and their inspirations in the industry. All 16 finalists received a goody bag packed to the brim with products and brushes from 13 different companies.
Gary Hooker and Michael Young with winners Marlena Luczak, Tara Walls and Lauren Thompson
Hooker and Young then introduced each of the finalists on the HJ stage at Salon International. The winners were eventually announced and for the first time in 40 years there was a joint first place for Level 2 !
Many congratulations to Tara Walls from Rainbow Rooms International: "I can't believe it, I'm so honoured - what a fantastic achievement" and Marlena Luczak from Stoke on Trent College: "I was so excited when I found out I'd won. It's been a great experience and opportunity for me to take part in such a prestigious event" who won the Level 2 competition; and to Lauren Thompson from Reflections Training Academy for Level 3: "I can't believe I've won, it still doesn't feel real. It's been an absolutely overwhelming experience and so nice to know all my hard work has paid off. This is only the beginning".
The winners will receive a day shadowing celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton and a career guided lunch with Sophia Hilton as well as afternoon tea at the House of Commons.