We are thrilled to announce our very own Extensionist Lee McCrudden has brought the title of Best Extensionist back home to Inanch London at this year’s Hair Awards 2017 run by the UK’s leading consumer hair publication HAIR magazine! With plans to follow in the footsteps of his mentor Inanch Emir by going for the Hall of Fame accolade, we thought it was about time we did a blog all about our boy from Coventry. What inspired you to get into hair extensions? MTV! I watched a show about celebrities getting hair extensions and I was instantly intrigued. I went to college and started my hairdressing course as soon as I could. Surprisingly though, I then spent 3 years becoming a qualified welder… Yes, a welder! My salon couldn’t keep me on anymore, so during the day I was welding, and on nights and weekends I did hair. What in particular do you love about hair extension work? It’s so satisfying. Seeing the transformation and smile on your client’s face is what it’s all about. When I was 16 my client looked in the mirror and burst into happy tears, something I’ll never forget. What made you apply for the Hair Awards? Having learnt from the very best in the business, I finally believe in myself and want to showcase my work. Over the past couple of years, I’ve gained a lot of experience and confidence. What makes you stand out from the competition? For me, it’s all about the client connection. It’s not just about the application of the extensions, you need to do it safely, with the correct cutting and blending.

What the client says… “Lee is my hair savior! He has changed my life by giving me long, thick and healthy hair that I could not have possibly achieved without his expertise. My own hair has also never been in such a healthy and strong condition, which I’ve never witnessed before, with past extension fittings that have gone terribly wrong and have subsequently damaged my hair.” Michelle Franks

 Tell us about your favourite transformation. My favourite has to be a lady that came in with short, over processed, broken hair. I gave her the advice to go dark all over to give her hair the shine and break from bleach it needed. A year down the line she’s actually going without extensions! Preferred application method? Definitely pre-bonded. You get a more natural result, although they’re not suitable for everyone’s hair. Top tips for someone looking into extensions? You need to make sure you’re committed to the aftercare. Correct brushing and washing is vital to keep the extensions tangle free, but when you’re in the routine it’s all plain sailing. What’s a typical day in the salon like? I’m very lucky that my usual day is lovely as my clients are great and I always try and be organised to minimise the stress. I’m usually smiling all day long!

Lee is always willing to learn and pick up new techniques in all aspects of hairdressing and not just hair extensions.  He is passionate about his work and genuinely cares about his clients and their hair aspirations.   It has been a real pleasure seeing Lee’s confidence and extensions expertise evolve over the past few years at Inanch London which is why he truly deserves to win this award.   This is just the beginning though – we have much more in the pipeline for him.  As long as he continues to remain passionate about his work and remains as humble as he is now, the sky’s the limit!  – Inanch Emir, Hair Awards Hall of Fame Member.

 What about when you’re not in the salon? I love travelling and seeing new places. Most of my travels are on the motorway going back to Coventry though. I’m a complete mummy’s boy so I have to go home to see her, and, of course, my big family! And finally, how are you celebrating your win as Hair Awards Best Extensionist 2017? I’m looking forward to going to Florida to visit family so I’m sure there will be a lot of celebrating over there! To see Lee’s winning collection, using Gold Class Clip-Ins click here.