A SERIES of elaborate and unusual styles were at the forefront of a hair-raising competition last week.

An annual competition to find the greatest talents among hair and beauty students at Redcar and Cleveland College saw participants unleash their creativity.

More than 100 students battled it out to imaginatively fashion their models. A Christmas Panto theme echoed the festive timing of the event, while futuristic styles and those based on myth and legend also impressed judges.

Students Melanie Wright and Lisa Porter won their event by giving model Grace Weatherall a futuristic transformation featuring intricate braids, an up-do and striking make-up.

Ms Wright said she was delighted.

“We are really pleased to have won our category. We were working with Grace all day on the braids and her hair did take a long time, but we were happy with the look at the end. I got the inspiration for the braids from a picture I saw on the Internet, but I made the rest up as I went along."

The competition, judged in the college’s lecture theatre, saw judges Graham Smith and Mandy Durkin heap praise on the students.

Ms Durkin, National Training Manager for Saks Education, said: "We were looking for the overall finish of the hairstyles, as well as the intricacies of them and how they sat with the make-up. The students have really shown off their creative talents."