Scissors at the ready as our first Hair and Beauty Awards judge steps up

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Our first judge of this year’s Hair and Beauty Awards has been chosen.

Adam Leach is a barber who is no stranger to competition – although this time he is the other side of the table.

The 35-year-old said: ‘I put myself forward to do this because I still want to learn and expand my knowledge, as well as seeing what people are creating and how they create their new and exciting styles.

‘I feel you never stop learning in this career, from the old and new.’

Now 19 years into his career in the industry, Adam spends his days cutting and styling in Burdett’s Barber and Shop in Northwich, Cheshire.

He said: ‘I started hairdressing in June 1998 at Weeping Cross in Stafford, which is part of the Francesco group.

‘I chose hairdressing because I wanted a challenge after I left school, mainly because I was very shy and wanted to become confident in talking to people and expressing myself and my creativity.’

Adam, who is from Kent, has been a finalist in the American Crew AllStar Challenge finalist for the UK and Ireland 2016 and the Hairdressers’ Journal Barber of the Year in 2015.

His work has been featured in Black Hair and Beauty magazine and he has assisted on a photoshoot for the British Hairdressing Awards collection.

Awards organiser Liz Parker said: ‘It is great to have our first judge and brilliant to have someone who has so much experience of the industry and a background in international competitions and awards.’

To the contestants, Adam said: ‘My advice is to read the criteria so they know it inside-out and put their all into what they do. They should find out who won the year previously and try and speak to them and find out their journey to winning, because we’re all in it together and should help each other out as much as possible.’

He added: ‘This will be a great opportunity for the community and local businesses and hopefully it will encourage new, young and talented people into the industry and show that cutting hair isn’t as easy as people seem to think.’