A Teesdale hairdressing salon has proved to be head and shoulders above the rest.

Zhoo, in Galgate, Barnard Castle, has received a five-star rating from the Good Salon Guide – hairdressing's equivalent to the well known pub and hotel guides.

Owner Vikki Parkin said an independent inspection had covered all aspects of the business, which was set up three years ago.

“We started out in a small unit with just three work stations and outgrew it quite quickly,” said Vikki.

“We have 13 other salons in this area to compete with and we wanted to offer other services so we moved to bigger premises after about 18 months.”

Eight staff work at Zhoo, including two student trainees thanks to a link established between the salon and Teesdale School.

Sixthformers Amy Bailey and Ellie Chapman, both 16, are currently working towards their Btec Level 2 certificates in hairdressing studies.

They spend two days a week training at the salon, another two working there and one day a week in the classroom at Teesdale School's sixth form.

Vikki added: “They are the first students I have taken from the school. They started in September and completed their Level 1 certificates in the first term.

“It has been an experiment which has worked out very well.”