Hi James, how old are you and where are you from?
I’m 23 years old and I’m from Essex. I qualified as a stylist in 2018 and I work at GFC Hairdressing in Hornchurch.
Why did you choose hairdressing?
Well, it was a bit by accident. I actually qualified as a bricklayer in college and it was at the beginning of winter, so bricklaying jobs were in short supply. I had to think fast, so decided to look at whatever roles were open at that time. I found a hairdressing apprenticeship position with Rush and within days I just knew that I had found a career I absolutely loved. I got to talk to lovely people all day long and help them feel great, I got to express my own creativity and I got to do all that while learning every single day. It was life transforming and I’ve never looked back.
What looks are you loving now?
Bobs. Every kind of bob you can imagine. The variations seem endless, there are so many shapes and it’s a style that is so wearable for clients of any age or hair type. To be honest I find them so satisfying.
What’s your fave Denman tool?
I love my D63 Thermoceramic Hot Curl Brush and I’ve recently discovered the Head Hugger and I can’t get enough. It makes such light work of big, bouncy blowdrys, fast and effortless.
Why did you enter the Denman Stage Star competition?
A friend of mine had previously entered and he told me that it was such an amazing experience that I would be mad not to enter. I was really doubting myself but seeing that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to get access to some incredible mentors, have some amazing experiences and do a shoot with Desmond Murray, I just decided to go for it.
What tips would you give to people who want to enter competitions?
I would say ‘ignore the voices in your head’. Throughout my entire experience I had to ignore that voice that says ‘What if you fail? What if you freeze on stage?’ The reality is that everyone around you is rooting for you to succeed and if you don’t win, you will be ok because you will have learned from the experience.
You attended #BHA21 as a guest of Denman – how was that experience?
It was an incredible atmosphere and the room was buzzing. I loved getting pictures with my icons.
What is your ultimate career goal?
Well, it isn’t a small goal but I want to be inducted into the British Hairdressing Awards Hall of Fame. I know that as a Stage Star Winner I will be doing a shoot with Desmond Murray, so that will be my first step towards that goal. I can’t wait.
James Forte won Denman Stage Star 2021. He currently works at GFC Hairdressing.