Rathfriland born hairdresser Shane Bennett is celebrating after his hair salon has made history by becoming the first in Northern Ireland to win Artistic Team of the Year at the British Hairdressing Awards 2015.
Shane’s salon, which is based in Hillsborough, beat five London-based rivals to scoop the prestigious award.
And there were double celebrations for Shane’s team as stylists Julie Cherry and Colette Fitzpatrick, who is also from Rathfriland, were crowned joint winners of the Northern Ireland Hairdresser of the Year award for their innovative, punk-inspired ‘Urban Fusion’ collection.
The salon was nominated in the Artistic Team category last year, becoming the first hair salon in Northern Ireland to do so.
Owner Shane Bennett, a three times winner of Northern Ireland Hairdresser of the Year, who now works in a mentoring role, said he was delighted to be nominated again this year and to walk away with the top award.
“No salon in Northern Ireland has been nominated for Artistic Team before so we were thrilled to be nominated last year,” he said.
“But to actually win this category and make history is just fantastic.
“We have an exceptionally talented team of stylists and colourists, headed up by art directors Julie Cherry and Colette Fitzpatrick, and I am delighted for them to be recognised by their peers and named Northern Ireland Hairdressers of the Year.
“To win both awards is testament to the hard work and creativity of the two girls and their team, but also to hairdressing in Northern Ireland as a whole.”
Shane, who was the youngest member to be admitted to the Hairdressers’ Hall of Fame, said the Urban Fusion collection was inspired by the punk movement and urban chic.
“The collection is punk with a couture twist, but at the same time, it’s very youthful and all about beautiful hair as an enhancement,” he said.
“The girls created eight pictures, using two models in every picture, which is another first for the salon.
“The collection was shot in London by top photographer Andrew O’Toole and the models wore clothes by Northern Irish fashion designer Geraldine Connon.
“I am so proud of Julie and Colette and everything they have achieved and to our wonderful art team for flying the flag for Northern Irish hairdressing.”
The Hairdressing Awards took place on Monday November 23 at Grosvenor House Hotel in London.