Meet our expert judging panel for the woman&home Hair Awards

Meet the industry experts who helped us narrow down the winners for the woman&home Hair Awards 2024. Together, we tested hundreds of products.

On a cream tile background, there are headshots of all 16 judges for the woman&home hair awards 2024
(Image credit: Future)

The woman&home Shine & Strength hair awards are back, and this year we welcomed an incredible lineup of judges to help us test our entries. 

We called on our trusted group of 16 leading industry experts to help us out with the judging. We were put through our paces – testing everything from the best shampoo for fine hair, to the best hair straighteners and best hot brushes – to bring you the best haircare for every hair type and budget.

After weeks of rigorous testing and debating, we finally awarded 58 products as woman&home award winners in categories including haircare, styling, hair health, colour, hair treatments, special recognition and tools. We couldn't do it without the generous help of our 16 industry expert judges, here's a shout-out about some of the impressive work they all do. 


an image of session stylist Ben Cooke
Ben Cooke

Ben Cooke is a highly sought-after hair stylist based in London, he is renowned for his creative flair. Ben has amassed an impressive client list over the years, which includes celebrities such as Carey Mulligan, Kristen Wiig, Olivia Rodrigo, Ruth Wilson, Saoirse Ronan, and Olga Kurylenko. His reputation and personable nature have enabled him to work with a diverse range of loyal editorial and commercial clients. 

an image of christel barron-hough
Christel Barron-Hough

Christel’s innate talent for creating flawless colour has seen her work as a Creative Colour Director for leading London salons, to being in demand as a global brand ambassador and educator for professional product houses. Christel established STIL Salon in 2016 and it's her exacting eye for detail that sets the tone. 

an image of global creative director Cos Sakkas
Cos Sakkas

In 2023 Cos, Creative Director and Head of Education at Toni & Guy was again awarded the highly acclaimed British Hairdresser of the Year title which followed his award earlier in the year as International Hairdresser of the Year. He was awarded Hairdresser of the Year by the Fellowship for British Hairdressing. Cos is the first person to hold three highly prestigious titles at the same time.

an image of celebrity stylist Darren Fowler
Darren Fowler

A Global Ambassador for Kérastase, Shu Uemura and L’Oréal Professional Style and Colour. Darren is an open, honest and welcoming voice in British hairdressing, his transparency and creativity have earned him accolades from influencers, beauty veterans and consumer press including The Sunday Times, Grazia and Mr Porter. Over the last 25 years, Darren has been a regular contributor to editorial and advertising campaigns, shaping show-stopping looks for celebrity clients in the world of film and TV,

an image of hairstylist Jo Clayton
Jo Clayton

Jo has worked as a hair and makeup artist for 15 + years and clients include Bourjois Paris, Wella, ghd, Neutrogena, De Beers, Tom Ford, Warehouse, Bowers and Wilkins, Child’s Farm, Laura Ashley, Marks and Spencer, Tom Ford, Nike, Reebok and Speedo. With her wealth of experience she understands how to translate the needs of the brand to a very high standard, applying her craft with efficiency and passion.

an image of colour trend forecaster Jordanna Cobella
Jordanna Cobella

Jordanna Cobella is a London-based Hairstylist with an established business, Cobella Kensington. Recently nominated for London Hairdresser of the Year for 2 consecutive years running, her expertise in colour and styling is industry-recognised. She has worked at London, Paris and Milan Fashion Week for the last 7 years and has a wealth of experience in session hair including editorial work, TV & Film.

an image of hairstylist Katie Hale
Katie Hale

Katie Hale is a talented and experienced colour expert who specialises in blondes. She is currently freelance, splitting her time between Electric Space in London and her home salon in Southampton. She's also the colourist behind Eleanor Tomlinson's glossy copper locks in Poldark. 

an image of hair & makeup artist Katie Pettigrew
Katie Pettigrew

A freelance hair & makeup artist working in the fashion and beauty industry, Katie does it all.  With a career spanning over 29 years, she's had the luxury of travelling all over the world on shoots. She's worked with catalogues such as Littlewoods and Very and advertising campaigns with Virgin Atlantic. 

an image of trichologist Eva Proudman
Eva Proudman

Eva Proudman has been working for over 20 years as a leading expert in hair and scalp health, becoming one of the UK’s most recognised and respected Consultant Trichologists, supporting, diagnosing and treating clients across her network of clinics for all types of conditions, including male and female hair loss. A Fellow of the Institute of Trichologists, Eva is a ‘go-to’ source of expert comment for UK and international media. She also advises on research and clinical product development.

an image of celebrity hairdresser Jay Birmingham
Jay Birmingham

London-based hairstylist Jay has over fifteen years of experience within the fashion and beauty world, gaining him a roster of high-profile celebrity clients including the likes of Maya Jama, Khloe Kardashian, Sofia Richie + Rochelle Humes. Regularly working with brands such as L’Oreal and Beauty Works, Jay has since released his own haircare brand through the extensive knowledge he has acquired within the industry. 

an image of Jennie Roberts founder of Jennie Roberts Hair Academy
Jennie Roberts

Jennie has over 30 years of industry experience, from having trained at Vidal Sassoon as a teenager, to working internationally with some of the biggest names in film and music. Jennie is regularly requested by movie A-listers, working across press tours, junkets and red-carpet events. Her enviable list of clients includes Willem Dafoe, Donald Glover, John Boyega, Lydia West, Gugu Mcbatha-Raw, Thandie Newton and Michael Caine.

an image of salon owner Sam Burnett
Sam Burnett

Sam is an award-winning hairstylist whose creativity and innovative designs have inspired international campaigns and brands globally. At just 23 years old, Sam won the prestigious Newcomer of the Year award at the British Hairdressing Awards. Since 2010, Sam has also worked as a freelance session stylist, with his editorial work featuring in publications that include ES Magazine, Elle, In Style, Indie, and Wonderland.

an image of Paul Edmonds founder of Paul Edmonds salon
Paul Edmonds

With over 40 incredible years working as a hairstylist in both film and television, Paul is one of the industry's most respected names. His impressive heritage has seen him create some of the most iconic styles in hair history over the decades, and you'll still find him creating some of the most stylish red carpet and editorial looks today. 

an image of Sally Brooks salon owner
Sally Brooks

Beginning her career at Trevor Sorbie and working her way up to Artistic Director, Sally opened her own salon in Holborn in 2003, quickly gaining recognition winning London Hairdresser of the Year 3 times, Brooks and Brooks quickly became one of the leading names in the hair world. Sally has won British Hairdresser of the Year a record 3 times and her team leads the way for the number of industry recognitions with an incredible 35 industry awards.

an image of Samantha Cusick salon owner
Samantha Cusick

Entrusted with the task of colouring and styling some of the UK's most influential women, Samantha was among the first of her generation to establish her brand identity within the industry. When you combine her talent for creating incredible styles that people can wear every day with her drive to make people look and feel great, it's no wonder that Samantha has secured her place as one of the most successful hairdressers of this generation.


an image of beauty director Sarah Cooper-White
Sarah Cooper-White

Group Beauty Director Sarah Cooper-White has almost 20 years experience as a beauty journalist. She has written for many well known national magazines, newspapers and brands including woman&home, Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Weekly, Boots, Tesco, ELLE, InStyle, The Mirror, The Sun, Prima and Top Sante. Since then she's met hundreds of talented and inspiring people from hairstylists and dermatologists, to biochemists and aestheticians and loves passing on their incredible knowledge through her writing. 

an image of senior beauty editor rhiannon derbyshire
Rhiannon Derbyshire

Rhiannon Derbyshire is the Senior Beauty Editor for woman&home and other publications. She started interning for magazines while working alongside her Fashion Journalism degree. There, she was lured from the fashion returns cupboard to the beauty desk, seduced by matte lipsticks, posh shampoos, and every skincare product imaginable. Since then during her 10-year career, she's written about beauty, fashion, interiors, and health, but beauty remains her favourite topic. 

an image of beauty editor Stephanie Maylor
Stephanie Maylor

Stephanie Maylor is a Beauty Editor working across five national magazine titles, with almost 15 years' experience in the industry.  She has written for many brands, including woman&home, Grazia, Now, More!, Fabulous, NW, Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Weekly, Essentials, Best, Chat, and OK! online. In 2010 she launched her own beauty blog, which was shortlisted for Best Beauty Blog in the 2011 and 2012 Johnson & Johnson Beauty Journalism Awards. 

an image of beauty editor Jessica Beech
Jessica Beech

Jess Beech is an experienced fashion and beauty editor, with more than eight years experience in the publishing industry. She has written for woman&home, GoodtoKnow, Now, Woman, Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Own and Chat, and is a former Deputy Fashion & Beauty Editor at Future PLC. A beauty obsessive, Jess has tried everything from cryotherapy to chemical peels (minus the Samantha in Sex and The City-worthy redness) and interviewed experts including Jo Malone and Trinny Woodall.

an image of beauty writer annie milroy
Annie Milroy

Annie Milroy is the Beauty Writer for woman&home and other publications.  After being inspired to work in magazines as a result of bingeing Ugly Betty at the age of 12, Annie knew a life working at an esteemed publishing house was her dream job. She spent three years studying Journalism and English Language at the University of Portsmouth and in 2017, she started interning in the fashion and beauty cupboard of heat and Closer magazine and never left. Seven years later she’s refined her career to just beauty.

an image of digital beauty editor aleesha badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is Digital Beauty Editor at woman&home, where she gets to share her expertise in all the best techniques, sharpest tools and newest products – with a particular savvy in skincare and fragrance. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 and has since worked with a number of brands including, Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto. Her specialisms are down to her carefully curated wardrobe, shopaholic tendencies and her constant hunt for new lipsticks to add to her colour-coordinated collection. 

an image of digital beauty writer Naomi Jamieson
Naomi Jamieson

Naomi is a Beauty Writer for woman&home, where she covers everything from skincare to fragrance but specialises in makeup and nail trends, sharing her expertise on the latest beauty buys and must-have manicure styles. As well as showcasing her beauty expertise, she also reviews products and shares personal shopping recommendations. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the latest TikTok product, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.

Annie Milroy
Beauty Writer

Annie Milroy is the Beauty Writer for Woman & Home and other publications.

She spent three years studying Journalism and English Language at the University of Portsmouth before starting her career in magazines in 2017.

After 5 years working as a Fashion & Beauty Writer, she refined her career and is now working at Future as a Beauty Writer.