British Hairdressing Awards

Behind the Scenes: British Hairdresser of the Year 2020’s Photoshoot

by laurahusband / last updated June 24, 2021

Let’s go behind the scenes of HJ’s British Hairdresser of the Year 2020’s photoshoot at HJ’s British Hairdressing Awards, sponsored by Schwarzkopf Professional. Sally Brooks shares her unique insights into creating an award-winning collection..

I always wanted to do a shoot with beautiful swan neck mannequins – and what better time than during a pandemic as a British Hairdresser of the Year nominee. I wanted to make them look as real as possible so I had to really think about the placement and the amount of hair I used. The swan neck heads were much smaller than real heads, they had no ears to create depth or shoulders to create form. Plus, they were all looking in the same direction so I had to chop some of the heads off and reposition them.

What was the biggest challenge at the British Hairdresser of the Year photoshoot?

The next challenge I faced was buying hair that was not too expensive. Most of the hair I used came from the bargain bucket at the back of the shop. The biggest challenge I faced was trying to make them look elegant and not like a college project. Once I worked all this out I started to line them up in my living room. I kept looking at them and pulling bits off and repositioning hairlines to make them work. They were in my living room for months with bits of hair all over the place.

To complete each image I went to a fabric shop and bought some fabrics to help bring each mannequin to
life. I contacted a stylist friend of mine who dressed them – the whole idea was to treat each mannequin like a real person with their own personalities. As each mannequin has the same facial expression it took time and patience to make them look individual and original.

Entries for HJ’s British Hairdressing Awards 2021, sponsored by Schwarzkopf Professional, are open until Friday 2 July at 5pm. Go to to enter now

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