Hairstylist Adele Robinson is a cut above the rest in Belfast.
The proprietor of Company Haircutters on the city's Bloomfield
Avenue is this years Northern Ireland Hairdresser of the Year,
and the first woman ever to win.
Adele won the title at the prestigious and fiercely-competitive
British Hairdressing Awards in London before Christmas. In
a competition where many stylists have to enter on several
occasions before gaining recognition, it was a mark of her
talent to win in the very first year she entered. "Standards
are very high and when they called my name out, I was thrilled
but genuinely shocked," she says.
"I worked very hard on my portfolio and spent a lot
of time making sure I picked models who suited the styles
- but at the end of the day, you're at the mercy of the judges."
The stylist - who has been involved in hairdressing since
she was 15 - set up Company Haircutters with her then partner
10 years ago. She took over the business (which has won numerous
awards) with her sister three years ago.
In that time, Adele has worked with acclaimed stylist Trevor
Sorbie at Salon International and styled at seminars and fashion
shoots across Britain and the North. She describes cutting
as her trademark but insists that a good stylist really needs
an all-round knowledge and ability.
"You have to have an eye for what suits a face - and
even more importantly,what doesn't. And know how to use colour
and cutting to enhance a look. It's unpredictable - I never
know who my 3pm appointment is going to be.
"Winning the competition has given business a boost
and created an influx of new clients. It's given everyone
in the salon a boost. I've noticed that more clients are going
for very textured styles but with blunter edges.
"Fashion is one thing but knowing what suits a face
is also very important to me. After all, mini-skirts are back
in fashion but not everyone has the legs for them! It's the
same with hair trends."