Out of hundreds of entrants, the judges chose them. Want to know why? Here’s some insight on our 2019 Most Wanted champions…
BEST NEW BOUTIQUE SALON
“Thank you! I really, wasn’t expecting it. Every day we’re in a different spot, which is like a dream – I love it.”
Founder Phil Benton was The It List Entrepreneur last year with this concept – iconic aluminium Airstreams that house three styling chairs. This is mobile hairdressing at its most slick, with the London outpost spotted at heavy footfall areas such as Liverpool Street, and the unique approach certainly impressed the judges.
BEST SALON TEAM
Lloyds Hair, Waterford
“Yesterday we celebrated our eight-year anniversary as salon owners, we really couldn’t be prouder of our team – thank you so much!”
Trust and support are key for this three-times award-winning team. To build group relationships, the double Supreme Team champions host regular ‘Lloyds Lowdowns’ encourage open discussions. The salon has also introduced the Collective Commandments – a set of rules to live by to create a happier salon.
BEST LOCAL SALON
Linton & Mac, Aberdeen
“Come on! Totally speechless – we just turned four yesterday, we’ve had four years of hard work and dedication, it’s amazing to be recognised.”
With a jam-packed calendar of events to support local businesses, this salon’s belief in community spirit made the category judges believe in them. As well as a Couples’ Card initiative for loyal clients, the team hosts Christmas markets and collaborates regularly with Gray’s School of Art.
BEST NEW SALON
Gina Conway Salons and Spas, Wimbledon
“I am beyond thrilled. It means so much to me and my team. I’m so grateful to be here. I’ve had an amazing opportunity to open a new salon and spa. This has been my life’s work culminating in something amazing. To be recognised for that means the world to me.”
Part of Elys Urban Beauty, this new eco-friendly Gina Conway location in Wimbledon offers two varied client experiences. There are speedy services in a buzzy environment downstairs, while upstairs is a relaxing sanctuary for R&R. Both delighted the judges, along with the chic yet homely design and welcoming atmosphere.
BEST SALON EXPERIENCE
Michael Van Clarke, London
“I have to thank my team; they work so hard to choreograph the experience for my clients from the moment they step into the salon.”
For staff at Michael Van Clarke, going the extra mile is second nature. Providing weekly fresh flower displays, opulent cloakrooms, and even an on-site deli with a personal chef, the team also storyboards customer journeys for detailed training. Five star service is simply in their DNA, and the judges felt they had to reward that.
“This is the first ever Independent Stylist award and I couldn’t be here without my team, family, friends and of course the Syd [Hayes] squad.”
‘Variety’ is the word that springs to mind for Paula; even her limited salon days are split between two different spaces to accommodate her clients. When she’s not zipping between salons, she can be found at Syd Hayes’ right hand, entrusted with key model looks. Or, as it turns out, winning the very first Most Wanted Independent Stylist Award!
MALE GROOMING SPECIALIST
“It’s all about male grooming! Without my team of fourteen years I just couldn’t have done it. Everyone, please believe in male grooming and male hair design; we are part of the future of British hairdressing.”
The go-to for actors such as Cillian Murphy, and for Models 1 – refining new faces as they come through the door, salon owner Darren’s Men’s Project (supported by L’Oréal Professionnel) has reached more than 2,000 hairdressers in India. He can now add a Male Grooming Specialist award to his lengthy CV!
Zoë Irwin, Taylor Taylor London
“I’m genuinely shocked. This has been a massive year for me. A special thank you to John Frieda group and Nicola Clarke for welcoming me into the family.”
Creative director at John Frieda Salons, UK colour trend expert for Wella Professionals and UK brand ambassador at ghd, Zoë somehow finds time to run online concept The Influence Project, see clients and undertake editorial work. A Creative Talent indeed.
Mark Woolley, Electric Hairdressing
“It’s a huge honour, as there are some great people in the finalist line-up. Electric family, big up! We’re a brand, not a person, we’re in it together and we genuinely feel like we’re doing something different. Everyone who’s on the journey, thank you very much – what a night!”
With six salons across the UK and a product line in eight countries, Electric is a jolt of inspiration for the industry. The now award-winning brand is a multi-platform endeavour, spanning a photographic studio, education and a farm for product ingredients.
Sophia Hilton, Not Another Salon
“I don’t think I won this as an individual colourist but because of my team. What we have tried to do is not compete with big brands – but we are trying to find the people that never would go on a course. I want them to join us and I am proud of that.”
Sophia has nabbed this title twice before, but she certainly didn’t rest on her laurels. From starring in a Valentino ad to driving her own Not Another Academy (a space for intimidated colourists), she’s a genuine trendsetter, who embodies the Colour Expert title.
Desmond Murray, Atherton Cox
“Over the moon to win Hair Trend at a truly spectacular event. A big thanks to everyone involved.” – Desmond Murray
(Image: Phillippe de Paris, who accepted the award on Desmond’s behalf)
Recognised for being the best on-trend image of the year, Dennis’s creation was heralded by judges as striking a perfect balance between retro and modern. Extremely wearable yet fashion-forward and described by judges as “free” and “chic”, Desmond’s 1920s-inspired jaw-skimming bob stood out from overwhelming competition, leaving a long-lasting impression.
AWARD FOR INNOVATION
Tom Chapman for The Lions Barber Collective
“To everyone that says “I’m just a hairdresser” – we are so much more. Hairdressers listen to 2,000 hours of talking a year. We are the front line. We are fighting to save lives. We need that confidence to help those people in the chair. We want to get mental health into the curriculum. Let’s do this together and let’s look after the clients in our chair.”
Tom established The Lions Barber Collective with the aim of raising awareness of men’s mental health and helping identify signs in clients. He’s received global recognition – including from HRH The Duke of Cambridge – and now holds a Most Wanted title in recognition of his sterling progress with the charity.
“I’m gonna make it short ‘n’ sweet. Thank you so much. I couldn’t have done it without the support of those around me – Charlotte, Lucas and Claire. But this is really dedicated to my nana and grandad.”
Anthony’s incredible skill and creative eye render him highly sought after by some of the most prestigious global brands – commercial campaigns for Prada and Saint Laurent; leading the hair team at fashion week shows for Erdem and Missoni; shooting with titles like Vogue, i-D and LOVE… Anthony’s CV is crammed with impressive credits. And on top of all this, earlier this year Anthony created a new fanzine, Mortal Remains, dedicated to today’s youth culture and celebrating individuality and diversity, cementing him as one of 2019’s most exciting session stars.
“Thank you so much. I’ve been doing this for 45 years. I’ve always had amazing teams and a lot of them have been with me for 20 years, so this is about them, not me.”
Dubbed the ‘hairdresser’s hairdresser’, session star Sam McKnight has scooped the crown of Hair Icon twice before, and this win actually makes him a two-time Most Wanted Legend – he picked up a triple Session Stylist win in 2014.
Dylan Bradshaw – Exceptional Stylist 2016, 2017, 2018
“It’s important to recognise our industry. I want to thank my mum for getting me a job in hairdressing all those years ago, it’s the best!”
The first Irishman to become a Most Wanted Legend, Dylan’s exceptional styling skills coupled with his easy charm, have made him a firm favourite with publications such as Vogue, Rolling Stone and Irish Tatler. He’s also worked with U2 and supermodel Helena Christensen, and on international shows including Tonight With David Letterman and the MTV Music Awards. With more than 20 years in business behind him, Dylan has chosen to partner with An Cosán, a Dublin charity empowering women through education, while his business constantly evolves to ensure hungry young talent rises through the ranks, securing an exciting future for the business and wider Irish hairdressing industry.