A HAIRDRESSER and salon owner from Newport has beaten thousands of nominations to be shortlisted for the prize of Woman Stylist of the Year.

Maxine Jones, who owns MJ’s hair and beauty salon in Newport with her husband Carl, made it through to the final of the Welsh Hair and Beauty Awards.

She is the only hairdresser from Gwent to be shortlisted and will be up against stylists from all across the country.

It is the first time Wales have held the prestigious awards, which also take place elsewhere in the UK and Mrs Jones is hoping to be the first champion Welsh stylist.

The ceremony, on Sunday, July 13, will take place at Cardiff City Stadium and reveal the winners of the esteemed Salon of the Year awards and the male and female Stylist of the Year prizes.

Nominations have come in from all over Wales, with different categories for beauty salons, hair salons and individual stylists.

Mrs Jones, who has been in the hairdressing industry for 30 years, opened her salon in November 2012 with her husband and said the main focus has always been her customers.

She said: “Every client should be treated as I expect my own mother to be treated. I have fantastic clients and I want to thank them for nominating me.

“To win this award would be amazing not just for me but for the salon and my staff. All my staff are fantastic and very hard workers.

“To be nominated by so many clients means the world to me, and they are over the moon and have been sending all their good luck wishes.”

Her husband, Carl Jones, added: “Maxine has had her clients follow her wherever she has gone. The salon’s clientele has continued growing and this is down to word of mouth recommendations.”