One for the history books – the Most Wanted Awards Grand Final 2018

It was all heart and soul from the winners of the 2018 Most Wanted Awards – brilliance in abundance

Tears of joy, beatboxing brilliance and a local Legend – the Most Wanted Awards 2018 was THE ticket to grab… and the night was definitely one for the history books!

With the razor sharp (and hella hot) Katherine Ryan as the night’s host, the Natural History Museum woke up once more from its dino-snores as 650 giddy guests from across the UK and Republic of Ireland piled into the venue, buzzing with excitement and desperate to know who would be crowned the winners!

As ever, it was a jaw-dropping mix in the room, from iconic names (hey Eugene Souleiman!) to new faces, everyone was enraptured by the emotional, the passionate and the inspirational words emanating from the wonderful winners, all underneath an incredible 25m whale called Hope! Yes, there were tears (bless you Zoë Irwin), there were jokes (anyone got a gig for Jody Taylor next week?), there was a smattering swearing but what there was most, in that oh-so historic room, was heart. Who would want to work in any other industry?

We had a #MWIT18 Legend in the form of JASHAIRGroup from Salisbury, a three-times Best Local Salon champion. Jayne Prigent, co-founder of JASHAIRGroup, spoke movingly about the trying times her local city has faced since the Russian poisoning saga, and told the crowd how the award wasn’t just for her team, but for everyone in Salisbury.

And by scooping up his third consecutive Exceptional Stylist trophy, Dublin’s Dylan Bradshaw will be crowned a #MWIT legend this time next year!

Last year’s It Guy Ky Wilson made a rather successful segue into the Most Wanted Awards with a victory for The Social, his co-working salon in east London “We’ve built this debt-free and the family business is rolling,” he said proudly

Jody Taylor was crowned male Grooming Specialist and the place went nuts – this gent has a huge number of industry fans. “I left my job and I didn’t know what was going to happen next. I don’t know what I’m doing next week,” he admitted, half joking if anyone needed a hairdresser in the coming seven days. Another enormously popular winner was Creative Talent queen, Zoë Irwin, who was a little teary and very shaky. “I wanted to being a new education system to teach young kids about trends and referencing. I did it my way, and I’m so grateful,” he said.

After scooping three Most wanted trophies last year, Sophia Hilton was another impressive streak, holding onto both her Business Thinker and Colour Expert crowns with an emotional thank you. “I’ve just been speaking to my cousin (double It list winner Grace Dalgleish) and I said ‘you see those trophies? That means you have no life!’ I’ve sacrificed so much in the last few years, and the reason I’ve brought my husband on stage is to say thank you, because he has sacrificed even more.”

We think Stewart Roberts, winner of the Award for Innovation for Haircuts4Homeless, will be gaining a ton more volunteers after his heart felt word on stage. “Four years ago I did my first haircut in a homeless shelter. It’s been a personal journey as much for me as for the people whose hair I cut, and it’s made me fall back in love with hairdressing.”

Of course the climax of the evening is the reveal of the Hair Icon… and this year, that crown sits upon the head of Eugene Souleiman.

“I don’t really work in the industry and haven’t for years,” he told the crowd, who had given him a standing ovation as he made his way to the stage. “And it’s lovely to be back in the fold and to be appreciated. This means the world to me.”

After the show comes the after-party, and for 2018 we enjoyed the beatbox stylings of Mr Fox, who earlier in the evening had showcased his skills by unveiling a personalised rap for the It List winners.

Hair, Hop, heart – it was an utterly magical (and winning!) combination…

Check out the full list of winners from 2018

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