Hartlepool hair stylist who attracts customers from as far as Dubai wins UK award
A hair stylist has brought a national award home and has been invited back to judge next year’s contest.
Joanne Fox, from the Bishop Cuthbert area of Hartlepool, was crowned overall winner in the Salon International HJ’s Extension Competition after a live-judged competition in London.
The recognition came after Joanne was shortlisted for the final stage of the contest out of more than 200 other people a couple of weeks ago.
She then headed to London to take part in the final and had 35 minutes to style her model’s extensions while five expert judges were assessing every detail.
Joanne, 37, has described taking part in the competition as a “whirlwind 16 hours”.
The mother-of-two said: “It was the scariest thing I have ever done.
"I think am still processing it all.
"I was gobsmacked, just completely shocked. I was so, so nervous, the most nervous I have ever been.
"I didn’t expect to even get to the final because of how big the competition is. The other finalists I was up against are also some of the best in the country.”
Following her win, Joanne is going to be a guest judge on the panel at next year’s competition.
She has said the invite has left her overwhelmed as she’s looked up to the people on the panel her entire career.
Joanne added: "To have them tell me in person that my extensions are outstanding, the best they’ve seen in a long time, is unreal.”
Joanne has been specialising in hair extensions for 17 years after first getting trained in 2004.
She has said she has been building her business “organically” through word of mouth and has had clients flying all the way from Dubai to get their hair extensions done by her.
Joanne said: "I have always worked within Hartlepool and surrounding areas.
"In more recent years, I have had clients that fly over from Dubai, Cyprus. There was a lady who flew from Kazakhstan once to get her hair done.
"I feel really lucky, because I have really amazing, loyal clients that I’ve had from day one that still come to me now.
"I just feel like I’m doing something that I love doing. It just makes me happy.”