Hair With Flair
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."