Students from Newcastle College have reached the national finals of a prestigious hair and beauty competition after winning big at the North East heats last week.

The annual Association of Hairdressers and Therapists (AHT) Regional Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy Competition was held on Tuesday 28 March at the Federation Brewery, Gateshead. Hair and beauty students from 15 colleges and two schools across the North East competed against each other in 21 categories. All competitors hoped to impress the panel of expert judges to gain a place at the National AHT final in Blackpool in May. 

Newcastle College students earned a top four finish in nine out of the 21 competition categories. Their finished looks were judged by industry experts including WorldSkills UK senior judge Robert Rousseau; Graham Smith, Director at Graham Daniels salon; Marie Scroggins, Ex ND Make-Up Director and Andi Hayes from King B barbers in Middlesbrough. 

Lindsay Gaskill, Teaching, Learning and Assessment Coach at Newcastle College and AHT Chair and Competition Director / Coordinator of the Regional AHT competitions, said: 
"Competitions are key to student progression and are an important opportunity for our students to develop their skillset and stretch themselves to demonstrate they can succeed in industry and are work-ready, so employers look for this experience.

“They get to interact with peers from all over the region, along with employers and industry judges, which builds their confidence, time management and skills level which could lead to WorldSkills UK and future employment opportunities.

“The level of work was exceptional and to a very high standard, especially considering the study levels of the learners, which was commented on by the judges.  

Congratulations to everyone who placed in the top four, and well done to the following Newcastle Students who will be competing at the finals in May:


  • Half Body Paint | 1st Place | Abbie Jefferson 
  • Gender Transformation | 1st Place | Faye Ingles (pictured above) 
  • Fashion Blow-dry | 1st Place | Katie Turton 
  • Gender Transformation | 2nd Place | Zoe Saward 
  • Editorial Make-Up | 3rd Place | Faye Ingles 
  • Bridal Make-Up | 3rd Place | Anna Martin 
  • Fantasy Hair | 4th Place | Morgan Sewell 
  • Face Painting| 4th Place | Katelyn Finn 
  • Barbering | 4th Place | Linda O’Brien