Castlefin man goes head-to-head on telly

CASTLEFINN man Raymond Bryson is competing in E4’s new show ‘The Big Blowout’ in the hope of being named a next generation super hair stylist.

Hosted by AJ Odudu, the show was created by the makers of ‘The Great British Bake Off’.

Eleven passionate stylists go ‘head to head’to test their creativity, technical ability and passion for hair.


Raymond left Donegal when he was 18 years old to study law in Dublin, however, it was not long until the salons of central London began calling his name.
After spending four years hairdressing in Camden, he moved to Chelsea where he has been working ever since.

He applied for the show after he stumbled upon an advert online but little did he know he’d be the perfect contestant to take part.

The audition process put him through his paces but it all paid off in the end when he was chosen for the cast.

In episode one, the stylists were tasked with the challenge of creating a ‘This is me’ masterpiece.

Raymond decided to base his masterpiece around his experience with alopecia.

In 2015, Raymond was diagnosed with alopecia areata, this is when your hair starts falling out in small patches which then expands outwards.

His alopecia continued for two years before a dermatologist got to the bottom of his condition.


Raymond said it was quite ironic for his hair to fall out as he was a hairdresser.

“At one point I was wearing wigs. It probably continued for two years but it has definitely given me a deeper understanding of hair and how people use it as a safety net,” he said.

His experience with alopecia was a huge learning curve for him as a hairdresser as he can now pass on his knowledge to his clients suffering from alopecia areata.

Raymond said competing in ‘The Big Blow Out’ was amazing.

“You never know what to expect going in to an experience like that, especially as I have never taken part in anything like that before. Each episode we made was a learning process, we were all learning as we went along.

“However, the overall experience was amazing and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The one thing I was most nervous about was the cast because you don’t know if you’re going to gel with everyone.

“We all got along really well and we still stay in touch through a whatsapp group,” he said.

‘The Big Blowout’ is on E4 every Monday and Tuesday at 10pm.

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere

and get access to our archive editions dating back to 2007
Every Thursday
Every Monday

Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. St. Anne's Court, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland