Hairdresser at Hensmans up for top award

Artistic Director Gemma Hensman from Hensmans Salon in Northampton, is a finalist for Eastern Hairdresser of the Year Award.
Artistic Director Gemma Hensman from Hensmans Salon in Northampton, is a finalist for Eastern Hairdresser of the Year Award.

Hairdressing seems to be something in the blood for the Hensman family...which now count one of the country’s top hairdressers among their clan.

John and Julie Hensman, are behind Northampton salon Hensmans in Kettering Road, Northampton, which has been in the town for around 30 years.

Their daughter Gemma, who joined the ranks as a teenager, has recently reached the finals for Eastern Hairdresser of the Year Award in HJ’s 2012 British Hairdressing Awards.

“My grandparents were hairdressers too so I came from a long line,” said the 31-year-old from Scaldwell.

“I was draw towards other things when I was younger and when I was 18 I decided I wanted to give it a go and start training.

“I approached my parents and they said ‘you need to do your apprenticeship’.

“I started with that and then I worked my way up and did my qualifications.

“I took to it but at first it wasn’t going to be a permanent thing, but after six months I realised this is what I wanted to do.

“It is such a creative industry and you meet so many different people, everyday is just a different experience.

“There is so much you can do with hair.”

The British Hairdressing Awards, launched in 1984 by Hairdressers Journal International and sponsored by Schwarzkopf Professional, have rewarded the best of British hairdressing creativity for 28 years.

To enter the competition, hairdressers working in salons throughout the United Kingdom had to submit four images, to a set criteria.

Gemma Hensman has secured a place in the final of the Awards and will now have to submit another four images, which will be judged along with the first four by industry experts, members of the British Hairdressing Awards Hall of Fame, some of the UK’s leading hairdressers and hair journalists.

“The theme for the competition was the silver screen and the looks I sent in were influenced by different eras, I was trying to get a balance of modern trends with timeless looks, and also trying out different textures and mediums,” said Gemma of her entries. “In one I did a modern take on the 1920s crop, which is quite asymmetric and geometric.

“Then there’s another which is inspired by Ginger Rogers and the focus is on the colours, and it has a lot of different colours within the hair, but has also picked up on current curl trends.

“Then I did a blonde Marilyn Monroe inspired look.

“We sent off our entries in January so we had to be quite timeless.

“It’s a huge thing to become a finalist. We have had a very good year and have also got through to the British Hairdresser Business Awards and the Salon Team of The Year Awards.”

“Each year the entries in all categories pushes the boundaries and is truly inspirational,” said publishing director of Hairdressers Journal International, Jayne Lewis-Orr.

“British hairdressing is perceived throughout the world as being the best, and the British Hairdressing Awards recognise and reward creativity and excellence in all hairdressing skills.”

Gemma will have to wait until Monday, November 26, to find out if she will be awarded the title of Eastern Hairdresser of the Year, when she attends an awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, in London.

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