What Happens When you Win HJ’s Extensions Specialist of the Year
Ahead of this year’s competition, we caught up with the reigning HJ Extensions Specialist of the Year, sponsored by Remi Cachet, Helen Richardson to see how her year has gone since winning. And as a new judge for this years live final at Salon International, we find out what she is looking for in a finalist. Plus, scroll down to find out how you can enter HJ’s Extensions Specialist of the Year competition and follow in her footsteps.
What’s happened to you since winning?
Winning HJ’s Extensions Specialist of the Year was like a whirlwind as I was busy launching my own salon. We opened our doors on 30 October and having the trophy on show was a real plus. The salon opening some press coverage too and the sharing my new accolade helped make the feature. The salon has gone from strength to strength and we know have a 6-strong team offering a range of hair and beauty services. My extension work is still my focus and my column is generally full up to 4 months in advance, in fact Christmas is pretty much full already! I have more customers traveling for a few hours for me to do their hair and this is really quite humbling.
What has been the reaction from others?
I’ve had nothing but support from friends, family and clients. Just after the win, I was in inundated with gifts and it was quite overwhelming. I am close to many other extensionists through online groups like the FEDS and many of my hairdresser friends came to support me at the competition, watching the finals and me winning. They are still extremely supportive sending clients to me and we often work together across different salons. Many have approached me about the braiding work I do and I hope to develop this in the future and maybe a workshop.
Since winning, what affect has it had on your work?
Winning has made me want to enter more competitions and most importantly, it’s made me realise that I can do it! I’m challenging myself more and my current challenge is on getting the salon’s profile and name out there. I’m getting there!
How does it feel to be a judge this year?
It’s such an honour to be a judge alongside some amazing names in the industry including Inanch and Louise Bailey – it’s an added bonus to last year’s win. I am really excited to see how stylists will take up the challenge of the new creative section. It’s their chance to go mad and have fun!
What advice have you got for would be finalists?
Just go for it!
This year’s Extension Specialist of the Year, sponsored by Remi Cachet, is split into two categories – Classic Look and Creative Look. To find out how easy it is to enter and other details click here. Entry closes on 31 August.