The biggest accolade in UK hairdressing was bestowed on West Yorkshire super stylist Robert Eaton on Monday 25th November, as he was announced British Hairdresser of the Year 2019 at HJ’s renowned British Hairdressing Awards, sponsored by Schwarzkopf Professional.
Showing his prowess as an incredible all-rounder, Robert was also inducted into the British Hairdressing Awards Hall of Fame to mark his trio of colour wins. His hat trick of colour successes came in the Schwarzkopf Professional Colour Technician of the Year category in consecutive years 2018, 2017 and 2016. This is Robert’s second ticket to the elite Hall of Fame group, after gaining entry over a decade ago after becoming a three-time winner of North Eastern Hairdresser of the Year in 2007, 2003, 2002.
The newly crowned British Hairdresser of the Year star from Russell Eaton Hair in Barnsley and Leeds beat off competition from a star-studded line up of eight of the country’s best-known hairdressers. He triumphed in the prestigious awards, dubbed the ‘Oscars’ of the hair world, gaining top spot in the most fiercely contended and revered category of the evening.
Robert, who works in the Leeds salon on Boar Lane – but who started his career as an apprentice in the Barnsley salon – claimed his status as the best hairdresser in Britain after his phenomenal original hair work demonstrated not only technical skill, but also creative vision and comprehension of current trends.
Going through vigorous judging before being rewarded for his skill, Robert was required to submit a collection of eight images and this photographic work was judged twice by a panel of hairdressing legends, leading national beauty press, and Hall of Fame members (those who have won the same British Hairdressing Awards category on three occasions).
Robert received the coveted title at the Grosvenor House, a J W Marriott Hotel in London in front of a 1,750 strong audience of hairdressing peers, influencers and press. Celebrity host for the evening was TV personality Rylan Clark-Neal, who was joined by Hairdressers Journal International’s Executive Director, Jayne Lewis-Orr and Schwarzkopf Professional’s General Manager Julian Crane. After the dazzling ceremony guests were treated to a performance by The Hoosiers with their hits Goodbye Mr A and Something About Ray.
Commenting on the win, Jayne Lewis-Orr, Executive Director of HJ’s British Hairdressing Awards said; “I am thrilled at Robert’s recognition as the best in our business. He was up against industry legends, with years of experience behind them, but Robert’s styling work is beautiful and brings a great deal of vibrancy to the table. It’s full of joy and life, and really made us stop and take notice. He has had an impeccable career so far and consistently produces an exceptional calibre of hairdressing.”
Delighted with the win, Robert said: “I’m absolutely speechless! There are so many people here who have mentored me, helped me and guided me to where I am now. I’m so thankful to everyone who voted for my collection! I was overwhelmed to be nominated in the first place, so to win this year is absolutely mind-blowing.
“When I first started in the hairdressing industry, my dad gave me a Trevor Sorbie book, and he said, ‘One day this could be you winning these hairdressing awards,’ and now I’ve done it!
“I’m madly passionate about the hairdressing industry, I love every single element about it. It’s been my whole life since I left school and I hope I can be a mentor to other young hairdressers too. I would love to thank my Wella Professionals family and most of all, the amazing salon teams at Russell Eaton in Barnsley and Leeds!”
The British Hairdressing Awards have launched the careers of a host of household names: from John Frieda and Nicky Clarke, to TV stylists Lisa Shepherd and Andrew Barton.