Borders College Hairdressing and Fashion Make Up students are celebrating after scooping five awards at the Association of Hairdressers and Therapists (AHT) regional heats competition, held in Edinburgh, and will now head to the finals at Blackpool in March.

In the category for First Year Ladies Commercial Blow Dry, Claire Boyle, age 37 from Selkirk, along with model Carrie Stormont, took first place, while Cheryl Johnstone, age 27 from Hawick, along with model Jean Brogan, came in at second place.

Competing in the Ladies Commercial Cut and Blow Dry category, Zoey Grahame, age 23 from Kelso, along with model Rosie Atherton, came in at first place.

Brittany Barnes, age 23 from Galashiels, along with model Robyn Hartdegen, achieved second place In the Ladies Evening Style section.

Heiton student Baillie Steele, age 19, along with model Alli Robson, won third place in the Period 1940s Make Up category.

The students took part in the competition, which saw colleges from the South of Scotland (including Edinburgh areas) compete against each other in 17 different categories. A last-minute decision was made to enter the competition just before the Christmas break after some research and discussion between staff and students, giving everyone involved little time to prepare.

Hairdressing lecturer Wendy McCutcheon, who, along with other staff members, coordinated and helped the students prepare for the competition, commented:

“We decided it would be a fantastic experience for the students to be part of this competition and also a great opportunity for them to showcase their work. Entering at such short notice gave us little time to prepare, so the students did an amazing job achieving what they did. Myself and fellow Lecturer Angela Casson entered this competition as students 21 years ago, so going with our own students brought back the memories, as well as the nerves. We are extremely proud of what the students have achieved and are now looking forward to the finals in Blackpool. Hopefully we can bring back more silverware. I would also like to thank our staff, who worked exceptionally hard with the students and models to get us here.”

The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience, with Brittany Barnes commenting:

“What an experience taking part in the AHT competition. Everyone involved did brilliantly. All the practising and hard work paid off and the support from everyone involved was amazing. I’m so grateful for the whole experience and was delighted to get second place in my category. Finals, here we come. Let’s do this!”

The students are now preparing for the National Finals in Blackpool, where they will compete against colleges from all over the UK. They plan to prepare for the event by taking on board the feedback received from the judges and improving on what was already an exceptional performance.

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