A BASINGSTOKE hairdresser with decades of experience was 'surprised' to be crowned Hairdresser of the Year.

Milan Hairdressing, 20 Hampstead House in Festival Place, earned the top spot after being voted the best of the best by Basingstoke Gazette and Andover Advertiser readers.

Owner Barry Daniel opened the salon in July 1995 after taking over the business from his father, who also worked as a hairdresser. Barry said: "I was surprised that we won.

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Basingstoke Gazette: Barry, Paige and Lucy, hairdressers at Milan Hairdressing

"I wasn't expecting to win, our goal was to get into the top 10. We're top-drawer hairdressers, but there's also a lot of other top-drawer hairdressers, we are just one of a few top salons that are out there."

Milan Hairdressing provides a range of services including cuts, highlights, colours, perms, ear piercing, and styling for special events such as weddings or proms.

"My slogan has always been that we are a hairdressers for everyone. We have older clients, and younger clients, and we don't make friends with one and foes of another. We can do everything." Barry added.

Barry chose to open the store in Festival Place in his early 20s, taking over the business from his father, after hearing rumours that New Market Square would be 'pulled down' to build the shopping centre.

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Basingstoke Gazette: Barry Daniel, owner of Milan Hairdressing

He works alongside team members Lorelle, Paige, Ben, and Barbara, as well as junior stylists Dora and Ellie.

Barry added: "I'd like to thank all of our lovely clients, and anybody that voted for us.

"I'm blown away by it really, and I am also blown away by the support that my clients and the general public have given us, we really appreciate it."

The competition saw readers nominate their favourite salon, hairdresser, or barber before the top 10 were published in the Gazette and the Advertiser, allowing people to vote for their overall winner.