A 23-year-old from Kimberley won Best Young Hairdressing Talent in the UK, in a prestigious competition held by one of the biggest companies in the business.
Ben Kristian beat thousands of applicants up and down the country to win Wella’s nationwide ‘Trend Vision’ competition.
He said: “It was overwhelming. It was in front of hundreds of people. I was shocked, and just overwhelmed.”
His mum Cath Brookbanks said: “I’m so proud of him. For his age it’s a massive achievement.
“It’s a huge competition. He has done really, really well.”
Ben competed against hairdressers in the regional heats from across the UK earlier this year, securing his position at the UK and Ireland Final, held at the prestigious Roundhouse in London. The final saw Ben compete against 1,200 of the country’s most talented hairdressers, and he was crowned winner.
Over 800 members of the industry came to watch and be a part of the event hosted by Reggie Yates, featuring a special live performance from the Noisettes. Ben won over the judges with his interpretation of ‘Blaze’ – one of four fashion-led hair trends created by Wella Professionals.
Ben then went on to represent the UK in the world final, held in Madrid, alongside winners from 90 other countries worldwide, and was mentored by Vidal Sassoon during his stay.
Although he did not win, he said it was an ‘incredible experience’.
More than one million watched the world final live online.
Ben, who lives in Stocks Road, started his career in hairdressing four years ago and now works at the Zulo and Holland salon in Nottingham.
He helped style Holly Willoughby and Pixie Lott at this year’s V Festival, and styled the models for this year’s London Fashion Week.