This is How it Feels to Be HJ’s Extensionist of the Year sponsored by Remi Cachet
Andrew Jones won HJ’s Extensionist of the Year Classic Look and Overall Look, sponsored by Remi Cachet at Salon International 2018. We got an update on what the experience of winning was like and an insight into how he created the winning look.
What made you enter the competition?
I entered last year for the first time and spent a while mulling over entering this year. I had received great feedback from the judges and decided to try it again and see how far I go.
Why did you enter both the Creative and Classic categories?
I entered both because I feel like it’s good to show diversity and creativity. My classic look was a platinum blonde beach wave which I felt was a modern look, but still not too out there. For my creative look I wanted full on drama with the colour, something that would really be eye-catching.
How did you create your winning look? (winning look in progress pictured below)
My model had a lovely copper ombre and I decided to push that a little more. I got 22 inch extensions from The London Hair Lab and custom coloured them, some where her copper colour into blonde, some were bright orange into blonde and some where peach on the ends. I felt like the combination of shades would create a great blend and be both creative in how I did it but classic in the overall styling of it. I used bonds as my application method, using half bonds near the nape and hairline of the neck, then switching to full bonds up until the O-bone to make sure we can add enough thickness through the ends. Then switching back to half bonds around the crown and sides of the head to ensure maximum invisibility. For styling, I just did large brushed out curls to keep with the classic feel.
What were the challenges of the competition?
I think the first challenge for me was making the decision to enter again. It’s actually quite a full on day and requires so much prep leading up to it and I wasn’t sure I could do it again. Thankfully I did in the end!
How was your experience of the judges?
Judging was actually really nice, I had met all the judges last year and worked next to last year’s winner Helen, so it took some of the pressure off. But judges check everything, from the sections taken to apply the extensions to colour match to the cut. There’s a lot of boxes to tick, its not just showing up with pretty hair and winning.
How did you feel when you won Classic Look?
I genuinely had no words when I won Classic Look, I was just waiting for it all to be over so I could leave the stage and drown my sorrows in a hot chocolate. Then to get announced as overall winner, I wanted to cry, seeing the video back and my reaction is complete shock. To know that people in the industry admire my work and think its deserving of an award means so much to me.
How will winning these prestigious awards impact your everyday working life?
Winning something this really will get my name out there more and its something to show perspective clients. I have been hairdressing nearly 11 years now, been applying extensions for six. I work in a salon but I’m self-employed. I’m one of the only people who does everything from cutting to colouring to extensions which I love, having a client from start to finish for a huge transformation is just so rewarding.
What tips do you have for future contestants?
I think it’s crucial to understand what the judges check for and to feel confident about your work. I think no matter how long you’ve been doing something, having someone else inspect that so closely can be scary.
How do you feel about being a judge next year?
I am already kind of nervous to be a judge but also excited because I’ve been there twice now. I think I’d be looking for neat application, discreet extensions and a solid colour match. I pride myself on being able to match any colour by looking at it. So thats definitely a skill I’ll be looking for.