East Durham College stylists through to national hairdressing competition

Four talented young stylists from Durham have booked their places in the final of a national student hairdressing competition.

The third regional heat of Concept Hair Apprentice of the Year 2020 took place at New College Durham and there was a strong showing from the city’s own learners.

Niamh Thompson and Samantha Twist, who both attend New College Durham, were winners in the Styling Level 1 and Hair Up Level 2 categories respectively. Rayna Kovacheva and Neive Huntington, who were representing East Durham College, won the Styling Level 2 and Colouring competitions.

All four stylists will now go on to compete at the Grand Final of Concept Hair Apprentice of the Year 2020, which takes place at the L’Oréal Professionnel Academy in London on 26th March.

Niamh Thompson said: “All of my tutors have helped me a lot, giving me inspiration and helping me to use Instagram. I’m so happy.”

Rayna Kovacheva created a 1920s look and said she’d been inspired after watching movies from the era and looking at pictures with her teacher.

Samantha Twist, who won for her interpretation of ‘prom hair’, said she’d created a similar look in previous competitions.

Neive Huntington, the Colouring winner, said creating the winning look had been a process of trial and error and that she was “absolutely buzzing” to have reached the final.

British Hairdresser of the Year Robert Eaton, who helped judge the North East heat, said: “Being part of this event and seeing so much new talent is amazing. My advice to anybody new to the industry is just to watch as many different hairdressers as possible as you can. With social media and the opportunities that are around now, there’s never been a better time to learn.”

Emily Hilton, Concept Hair Event Manager, said: “We’re so happy to have hosted the North East heat of Concept Hair Apprentice of the Year 2020 in Durham. New College Durham was a fantastic host and we were blown away by the quality of work on show.

“Congratulations to all of our winners from the day – we can’t wait to see them all again at the Grand Final.”

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