A GROUP of talented stylists have secured their place in a national hairdressing competition.

Bury College has been crowed the Best Overall College after its highly-skilled hairdressing, barbering and media make-up students won 12 awards at a regional contest.

The high-profile event took place at Blackpool Winter Gardens and gave students the chance to showcase their talents in front of a panel of industry renowned judges.

Students had spent about three months preparing for the Association of Hairdressers and Therapists (AHT) Competition.

Asqa Ahmed showcased her skills in front of a panel of judges, transforming a blow-dry into a high fashion hair-up style.

The former Ladybridge High School pupil was proud to secure first place in the Ladies Conversion round of the competition.

Asqa said: "It was an honour to be chosen to compete in the competition, so to then go ahead and win my category was such an amazing achievement for me.

"I am really enjoying my time at Bury College, I have loved the whole experience and my tutors are great.”

Meanwhile, Level 3 barbering student Katie Garside was delighted to claim first place position in the creative men’s cut and finish category.

Katie, who is progressing onto the hairdressing management foundation degree at the college's university centre, said: “I was overwhelmed to hear the news that I had achieved first place. I have spent weeks practicing and my confidence has really increased.”

Students competed against colleges and training providers from across the North West.

They entered a variety of categories, including bridal, creative men’s cut and finish, gender transformation, hairdressing skills finish, ladies conversion and colour and ladies evening style.

Bury College students were selected following an internal competition where peers went head to head.

Bury College won the AHT event by an impressive margin of 21 points after securing five first places, six second places and one third place, securing them a place in the national final.

Lecturer in Hairdressing, Jackie Gorton, said: "I was so pleased to hear the news of our wonderful results. All the students worked so hard and they have been preparing and practising for the competition since last November.

"These are the best results the college has ever had and to win Best Overall College is absolutely amazing. Students from different levels and different disciplines came together to work as a team and to see such a high level of comradery was fantastic.”

Students will now compete against stylists from across the country in the National AHT competition on March 16.