Bjørn Larsen has just returned from a trip to London where he won a bronze medal in the Total Look category of the National Hairdressers Federation’s Britain’s Best event.
A confident and laid back Larsen said on Thursday that he was pleased to have come third, before adding that he always knew he could do it. “It was what I expected from myself,” he said.
“You have to be realistic. Now I can work myself up if I want. I have done that before and I know exactly how it works.”
The former Norwegian hairdressing champion works from the Envi salon at Lerwick’s Commercial Street.
The competition, which was adjudicated by five judges, was however a team effort.
His model was barber Isaac Webb, who also works in Envi.
“It has to be artistic,” he said, “ I can’t be just a good haircut. It is not that simple. The judges are looking for that you have understood what a gents’ haircut should look like,” he said.
“You have to decide the colour, and from the colour you have to decide what outfit you want, that’s what they judge.”
He said it had taken between four and five months of preparation from developing the idea to producing the haircut and styling the model in front of an audience and the keen eyes of the judges.
“I used to compete with the Norwegian national team at the world championships, but when I moved to Shetland I wasn’t allowed to participate in the Norwegian team anymore,” he said.
When moving to the isles in 2012 he said he realised that there was not that much was going on hair and fashion-wise in Shetland, and now he hopes that his success on the national level will encourage local people to become a little more “hair-conscious”.
“This award is for us who work as hairdressers in the salon, this is not for the famous stylists. It’s for the real people, and that is cool. It is so much better that this is not just for the superstars,” he said.
He said one impact of him winning the bronze medal would hopefully be that customers would trust his advice as to what suits them best a little more.
“It is good for the whole salon here, I hope,” he added.