The award every hairdresser wanted on their shelf was Hair Stylist of the Year – and winner Andrew Smith wowed the judges with his dedication to the industry.
Andrew, from Andrew Smith Salon in Fareham, took home the coveted trophy from the JP South Hair and Beauty Awards describing the night as ‘the perfect icing on top of an incredible year’.
The 35-year-old said: ‘I did not expect to win at all as the talent in this area is amazing and we were against some really established names.’
Andrew runs three salons in Fareham, Gosport and Waterlooville while also taking education seminars and working at London, Milan and Paris Fashion Week.
Andrew said: ‘We have had a truly incredible year and I don’t know how we will top it.’
He has was previously one of only six national finalists in the Ultimate Stylist Category of The Salon Business Awards.
But Andrew added: ‘Getting this award means so much to me especially as it is a local award which is so important for our business.’
Andrew has been in the industry for more than 18 years and started training in the salon in Fareham which he now owns.
He said: ‘I trained with that salon a long time ago now and when I heard it was closing down I knew I had to buy it.’
Although having made a name in the industry including being listed as ‘one-to-watch’ in the Hairdressing Fellowship, Andrew did not always plan to enter the hair and beauty industry.
He said: ‘When I was young I was a figure skater and I assumed that was what I was going to do but then I realised I probably needed to get a real job.
‘My sisters were hairdressers and I thought I would try it and at first it was going to be easy.
‘I quickly realised it is not all that glamorous but I love it.’
This is the first year Andrew and his salon have entered the JP South Hair and Beauty Awards and the entrepreneur is excited to bring his team back next year.
Andrew said: ‘This was our first year entering and next year we will definitely be entering more staff to the categories and hopefully get some more trophies.’
Emma Walsh from Andrew Smith Salon was this year’s runner-up for Junior Hair Stylist of the Year.
Andrew said: ‘Over the next year we will just continue to do as much as we can in the industry and locally for our salons.
‘I suppose now it is a case of nurturing the staff and building up our brand.’