A punk mop in screaming red was crowned top hairstyle at the Hong Kong Youth Skill Competition held at the Institute of Vocational Education in Sha Tin last week. Champion stylist 17-year-old But Ka-lun said his inspiration came from hairdressing and fashion magazines. 'Funky hairstyles are now very popular in Japan and Hong Kong, so I decided to try it out in the competition,' he said. Kwok Sin-man and Chan Kwok-lam, who work for the same salon in Sha Tin, were first and second runners-up. All three will compete in the World Hairstyling and Make-up Competition in June next year in Switzerland. Alan Leung Chung-lam, convener of the competition organised by the Vocational Training Council, said the 61 entrants were judged in three sections - long-hair design, perming, cutting and tinting. One of the judges and chairman of the International Hair and Beauty Care Association, Mingo Tang Kui-ming, said local stylists needed to enter more competitions to strengthen their experience and improve their techniques before they could be regarded as world-class. Another judge, Nike Lai Tak-shing, from Classic Beauty Hair Salon, advised local stylists to practise and absorb overseas techniques by watching international competitions.