ARMIDALE'S Mary Evans has made the cut and will now represent the New England region with her hairdressing talents in the 2019 WorldSkills competition.
Eight young hairdressers took part in the regional competition yesterday in the Tamworth TAFE hair training facilities.
Mary won the gold medal and will head to the national round next year, in a location yet to be announced.
Tamworth locals Chloe Beckhaus and Taylah Roberts took the silver and bronze respectively.
The WorldSkills program allows young people to test and showcase their abilities in areas such as plumbing, cooking, beauty therapy and even 3D game design.
A senior hairdresser with Hairhouse Warehouse Tamworth, Taylah was taking part in the regionals for the second time, after having placed second last time.
She said it was "refreshing" to compete. "Being a regional area, we don't get a lot of training and competition come to us, so it's really good experience, brings back motivation and makes you think on your feet."
The competitors had to do a ladies' cut and colour; a men's tapered cut using only scissors; and a ladies' upstyle.
All the "appointments" were timed; the hairdressers had two-and-a-half hours for the women's cut, 40 minutes for the men's and 90 minutes to complete the updo.
They were assessed on many criteria, including "attention to detail and meeting the client's specifications - most important", judge Janelle Cooper said.
WorldSkills co-ordinator Kerry Maher said the contest allowed the hairdressers to "do what they do every day, but compete and travel".
Competition organiser Cameron Falzon said the competitions "really develop young people's confidence and will really help their job prospects".
The regional WorldSkills competitions take place every two years, with more than 4000 competitors in 34 regions nationwide.
Uralla hairdresser Courtney Baldwin won the last round of regional hairdressing competitions and then took gold in the national championships in 2018.
WorldSkills Australia chief executive officer Brett Judd said the program was "committed to empowering excellence in young Australians".