Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business

Top Hair and Beauty Talent on Show at Salon Cymru in Cardiff


Top hairdressing and beauty talent from across Wales will be showcasing their creative skills at a dynamic annual event in the capital later this month.

Around 140 competitors – 20 up on last year – and 500 spectators are expected to attend Salon Cymru at Y Plas, Cardiff University’s Students’ Union, on Sunday, April 30.

Organised by Bridgend-based ISA Training, the largest independent hair and beauty training provider in Wales, Salon Cymru is designed to showcase the nation’s young creative hairdressing and beauty talent in eight exciting competitions inspired by modern icons and the world of high fashion.

In a break with tradition, the event this year incorporates the Debenham’s Showcase, which will see 13 make-up brands from the company’s Cardiff store enter competitors to create the best high fashion look.

The hair-up competition for levels two and three apprentices has proved so popular that ISA Training had to close entries a month before the event as it had reached it full capacity of 32 competitors. Always a highlight of Salon Cymru is the avant garde competition, which allows levels two and three apprentices free range to show off their skills, creativity and flair.

Other competitions include make-up and barbering for level two apprentices, blow dry for levels one and two and colouring, which is open to all competitors.

New sponsor Park Dean Resorts will present the overall winner of Salon Cymru with a weekend break in Trecco Bay, Porthcawl. In addition to prizes for the top three in each category, there will also be a rising star award.

Past winners have seen their careers take off in many different ways, from competing in the international events to appearing on primetime TV.

The competitions are open to all hairdressing and beauty apprentices, from levels one to three, from schools, colleges and training providers across Wales and the English border counties. Competition sponsors are the Welsh Government, Wella Professionals, The Andrew Price Group, City & Guilds, RB Training and Rathbone Cymru.

Judges include former British, European and World hairdressing champion Steven Smart, his wife Deborah Smart, a world gold medallist and television make-up artist, Nick Williams, head of the creative team at John Jenkins International, Claire Caddick, director of SPArticulate, Nakita Tandy, Wella Professionals UK’s technical trainer and Chris Howells, former international make-up artist for Laura Mercier. Event compere is Owain Wyn Evans, best known as the BBC Wales weatherman.

In addition to the competitions, demonstrations will be given by award-winning West Wales barber Matthew Guerin, professional make-up artist Hannah Kemp from MAC and Shelly Pengilley who will showcase Unrestricted, Milkshake’s brand new collection, assisted by educators Scott Thomas and Joanne Nyafuna.

Shirley Davis-Fox, ISA Training’s chair and the Hair Council’s political director and board member for Wales, will present state registration certificates to newly qualified Level 3 hairdressers and roll of honour employer awards.

Admission to Salon Cymru, which includes the three demonstrations, is £5 for adults and £2 for children and pensioners.


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A former newspaper journalist for 24 years, Duncan moved into PR in 1999 after editing the County Times & Express & Gazette newspapers – the main weekly titles in Mid Wales – for five years.

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