What Can Winning a British Hairdressing Award do for Your Career?

Published 26th Apr 2024 by hjiintern

Akin Konizi of hob Salons is a four-time winner of the British Hairdresser of the Year, sponsored by Schwarzkopf Professional. Here, he reveals how winning has shaped his career. 

Charlotte: Let’s start with your very first British Hairdressing Award, sponsored by Schwarzkopf Professional win... What was it, and how did that feel? 

Akin: Well, it goes right back to 2001 when I won Eastern Hairdresser of the Year. That was a complete eye-opener for me – the BHAs were a new world for me in those days. It actually took three attempts to win Eastern. It often takes a few losses before you get your win! So, you need to hang in there. After I won the London Hairdresser of the Year in 2005, which was one of my proudest wins, I was completely committed to getting a British Hairdresser of the Year nomination. In 2009, I had a great run of four wins for British Hairdresser of the Year – it was a dream come true. 

C: How did those early wins transform hob’s business and your career? 

A: Well, when you win people are suddenly more aware of you. It really affects you personally and changes your own expectations of your career, your business and the industry. You go from being a hairdresser to somebody that has unlimited potential to be an inspiration to our whole industry. That changes you, so, you start to take opportunities in a very different way. It gives you the confidence to recruit, advertise and collaborate. Winning British Hairdresser of the Year is like winning the Oscars. And I think over the last 24 years that I've been involved, the perception of the BHAs has changed. It's more recognisable as a value, not only to the individual salons and the individual people but also how important it is to our industry, and I think the public is now more aware of that. 

C: You mentioned how the awards helped with recruitment. In what other ways did it positively affect your salon business?

A: What's important is that as a salon owner and a winner, you need to pass it down to your team so that the salon has longevity. You've got to make sure that you are moving forward with the next generation. You can't stop offering opportunities to your staff. 

C: Do you feel that the #BHAs are something that the next generation know about when they join your salon group?

A: The success of hob is down to the major talent we’ve had come through. They are very ambitious, and they know that their ambitions can be met and come into fruition through entering the British Hairdressing Awards. Those people bring new, fresh ideas. At hob, we are aiming to be the biggest apprentice training company in the UK. We really believe in the younger talent and want to make sure that our industry's future is secure. If every single salon were to do the BHAs, can you imagine the standards that we'd be at as an industry? It teaches them how to do the research, get the models, create the hairstyles, and learn the skills. 

C: It's about making that space to create, isn't it? Do you think it's essential for hairdressers to step out from behind the chair, expand the mind and work in a different way...

A: The most important factor of hairdressing is getting a returning client. So, if you're standing behind a client telling her you're doing British Hairdressing Awards that year, or if you're shouting about it all over your front window, you're a different hairdresser. Your confidence is through the roof. If you don't have that going on for you, then, personally, I think you kind of fall into the background a little bit.

You know, since my last British Hairdresser of the Year win in 2015, I'm really feeling like I need to get back into it now. I'm ready to come back. I want to come back. Even if I don't win it, I want to be a part of it again. I want to tell my team that we are still there, we can still do this.


The deadline for the British Hairdressing Awards, sponsored by Schwarzkopf Professional, is 28 June, 5pm. To find out more about how to enter, click here




Published 26th Apr 2024

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