A TALENTED student is standing head and shoulders above the others after winning a prestigious national hairdressing competition.

Ruby Kirke-Bennett, 18, who is a Level 3 hairdressing student at Harwich and Dovercourt High School, has been named the Concept Hair Magazine learner of the year.

Ruby was one of six finalists in the hair colouring category, for which she had to showcase her work to celebrity judges including Andrew Barton.

The live final took place at Solihull College and University Centre where each of the competitors worked on live models and used clothing and make-up to help enhance their overall looks.

After impressing all with a striking pink and yellow creation, Ruby admitted: “Just getting to the final was amazing, but when they announced my name as the winner it was just a mix of shock and euphoria running through my body.

“I would like to thank everyone at Harwich and Dovercourt High School, especially my teacher Sarah Rodger, who have been amazing and also everyone where I work at Sunkissed 466 in Harwich.”

Ruby said her preparation for the final actually started the day before when she had to prepare her colours.

According to the guidelines, all colouring should be completed before arriving at the event.

Then contestants have just five minutes to finish the hair on the competition floor.

Ruby added: “I wanted something that would stand out in keeping with my style of work which is quite abstract.

“There was so much preparation but to win makes all the hard work worthwhile.”

The competition was open to all hairdressing trainees who are either in full time education or apprenticeships.

Jo Gardiner-Irving, head of salon studies at the school, said: “We are all really proud of Ruby who has always shown such a high level of dedication and professionalism.

“We pride ourselves on the high level of education we offer within salon studies at the school and this is testimony to that.”

Ruby’s prize included Fellowship of Hair VIP membership as well as Wahl Clippers and Cloud Nine straighteners and hairdryer.