A PENARTH hair stylist has been presented with a prestigious award in the ‘X Factor’ of hair dressing competitions.

Stephanie Henley, a newly qualified stylist at Blu Hair Design on Stanwell Road, recently placed 2nd in the Welsh Hairdressing Federation Trend Award competition for 2014.

Steph, who is also a member of the National Hair Federation Welsh Artistic Team, said she “couldn’t be happier” with the award.

“My trend took a lot of planning, but with the support from Alexis and Hayley, and the girls at Blu, I’m delighted to have won second place,” she said.

The Welsh Open Hairdressing Championships, which have been dubbed this year’s “Hair-Factor”, were held at the Cardiff City Stadium, in conjunction with the Wales Hair and Beauty show, earlier this year.

The new format competition was an intense affair, with competitors from all over the UK and further afield; all competing for the coveted Welsh Champion title which this year covered a record fourteen categories.

Alexis Williams, artistic director at Blu Hair Design, added: “At Blu, Hayley and I endeavour to continuously inspire not only our loyal clients, but our team as well. In this industry we never stop learning.

“Here at Blu we are all very proud of Steph - to have the opportunity to train and to watch her grow into the fantastic stylist she has become has been wonderful. Well done Steph.”

Competitors, spectators and models were given the opportunity to meet celebrity stylists, who were supporting NHF Wales with judging, photographs and Q & A’s.

The competition floor, in its new format was a celebration of British hairdressing, barbering and the beauty industry; although there were also entries from Ireland and Finland and further afield giving the event an international feel.

The competition floor was supported on a separate stage by the Welsh artistic team, led by artistic Director Michelle Marshall, which ensured that the crowds were constantly engaged throughout the day.