A HAIRDRESSER from Randalstown has beaten off stiff competition from top salons all over the nation to win one of the most coveted prizes in the business.
Lorraine Hume, who runs her own business in Randalstown and her friend Kerry Beck, who works from the Lisburn Road in Belfast, won the 65th L’Oréal Colour Trophy for the whole of the UK, coming tops from eight regions, after winning the Northern Ireland heat.
The busy mum of two and her friends and family gathered at the Top of the Town to watch a live stream of the announcement and couldn’t believe her eyes and ears when her name was read out.
“I won the Young Colourist of the Year for L’Oréal in 2012, when I was only 21,” she explained.
“My own salon had been open for about two years and I thought why not give it a go.
“I teamed up with my friend Kerry Beck, who I met on a course many years ago, her speciality is cutting and mine is colouring, so we teamed up with a model and a photographer and a make-up artist to make something really creative.
“It also gave us something to focus on during lockdown and the pandemic, which was very hard for the hair business already.
“I enjoy all aspects of the business but colour is what I am drawn to the most, and winning the competition back in 2012 opened my eyes a lot more to what is out there.
“That opened a lot of doors for me and I went on a lot of training courses with L’Oréal and it gave me a bigger ambition with colour.
“Having the competition definitely gave us something to look forward to and be passionate about.
“It’s a long time since a salon in Northern Ireland won the UK prize, maybe 12 years, and I am really pleased that we, from a village, have won out over some top salons in London and around the UK.
“But at the same time, why shouldn’t we? We are all very proud and we know that we are good enough to stand beside the bigger and more famous names in the business.
“Plus we had a great time working together as a team!
“It was a real shock to win the overall trophy but we also deserve it, I never thought I would have it sitting in my salon.
“And now we have the opportunity to compete in the global competition.”
Lorraine said colouring can be a complex matter.
“We do a lot of education and learning, we attend a lot of courses and we help upskill new and upcoming talent.
“Colouring depends a lot on hair type and existing colour, we do go through with our clients what is realistic and what is achievable.
“It’s not all about wacky colours either, we do a whole range of things, very natural and lived in colours right through to bold and vibrant, it is a very mixed range. “
And Lorraine balances running her own salon with raising two kids.
“I had my first child when I was 22 and I hope I can act as an inspiration to other women out there.
“It is tough and but if you find the right balance, having a career and a family is achievable and of course I have brilliant support from my husband, family and my team.
“I have also had great support from the other salons in Northern Ireland.
“Normally we would have been over in London watching the ceremony but it was brilliant to have all my friends and family and team with me in the room, having my nearest and dearest there when our names were read out made it so much more emotional, and winning something with my best friend made it so much better.
“I entered because I love the creative process and never thought it would be achievable to win, entering from a village salon”
“Then I realised, no dream should ever be overshadowed by doubt, reach for the stars today and always - it’s only the beginning!”