A hairdresser has beaten off thousands of entrants to make it to the regional final of the industry’s “biggest” competition.

Hayley Quinlin has made it through to the L’Oreal Colour Trophy Eastern Final which will be held on April 16 at The Imperial War Museum in Duxford.

The 23-year-old has worked at the Tikadi hair salon in High Street, Ongar, since it opened in June 2010 and is the first stylist from the company to enter the competition.

She said: “It’s great. I created a collection of styles last year and they’ve really taken off.

“People are wearing them in Hong Kong and Australia and I’ve even had one on the front cover of Hair magazine.”

During the event Miss Quinlin will have 30 minutes to impress judges by creating an original hairstyle on a live model.

If successful Miss Quinlin will progress to the Grnad final which will be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on June 23.

Miss Quinlin got involved in the industry aged 13 when her Nan worked as a receptionist in a salon and she got another opportunity through a work experience scheme offered while she was in school.

She said:”I saw it as a way of getting two days off school but then found I was pretty good at it.”

Michael Mehmet is founder of Tikadi, and owns the salon in Coppice Row, Theydon Bois, which he opened seven years ago.

He is also co-owner of the Ongar salon and said: “We’re over the moon that Hayley has done so well.

“It’s our industry’s big competition and if you can get anywhere in the L’Oreal Colour Trophy you will get recognised.”

Mr Mehmet set up the business having worked for many years in salons in Loughton.

He said: “I wanted to go off on my own and I like Theydon Bois and thought I could offer something different in the area.”

Tikadi has won several awards since 2007 including the 2013 Schwarzkopf Creative Competition Best Male Model and Small Business of the Year at the Mid Essex Awards 2012.