The underlying theme of the Australian Hair Fashion Awards (AHFAs), held under the Big Top at Sydney’s Luna Park on Sunday night was the power of the ceremony’s international reach. Despite handing out awards to an exclusively Australian crop of entrants, between international judges, guests and hosts, the AHFAs demonstrated just how far our industry spans.

Representing this international contingent was event host Errol Douglas MBE, making the long trek from London to present the awards. Alongside him, prime Australian export Scherri-Lee Biggs, who’s found local and global success as a model and presenter, ensured the night ran seamlessly in front of a packed out audience of almost 1000 people. A video to open the event showcased the international judging process, where British icons such as Anthony Mascolo, Akin Konizi and Angelo Seminara had their say on who should take home the titles.

Errol and Scherri Lee
Errol Douglas and Scherri-Lee Biggs

A lavish dinner punctuated the evening, which was comprised of speeches, awards and musical performances by rising Australian musical star Bonnie Anderson. Following last year’s headliner Samantha Jade, Bonnie more than held her own, supporting a fashion show by Zhivago. Fire twirlers and intricate hair by Damien Rinaldo and event sponsors L’Oréal Professionnel (colourful hair tapestries and innovative ponytails defined the hair looks) made the fashion show an evening highlight.

Bonnie Anderson
Bonnie Anderson

As always, the main event was the awards presentation, where Caterina Di Biase took home the major title, Australian Hairdresser of the Year, amidst strong competition from finalists Joey Scandizzo, Frank Apostolopoulos, Jamie Furlan, Craig Smith and Uros Mikic.

Caterina Di Biase

State titles, product awards, makeup, fashion, session styling, men’s hair, colour, Avant Garde and young talents were all also recognised over the long list of award categories. You can view every winner in the list below.

Caterina Di Biase winner’s collection

“We are thrilled once again to support the finest night in the Australian Hair Fashion industry,” said Olga Zanetti, General Manager of L’Oréal Professionnel. “To nurture home-grown talent, give them an international platform and allow them to be celebrated at the highest level is crucial to the continuing success of our industry and is something in which we all believe.”

Caterina Di Biase winner’s collection

Another significant honour was given to the four new members of the F.A.M.E. Team. In an emotional tribute, F.A.M.E. Team mentor Brett McKinnon lauded the 2015 collective, who then came up on stage to pass the baton to 2016’s new crop. The winners were announced as Adam Richard Isles of Rokk Ebony, Nadia Semanic of TONI&GUY Georges, Nathan Cherrington of TONI&GUY Paramatta and Nicole Kae of TONI&GUY Newtown, who were chosen among dozens of entrants to present as some of the brightest stars of the next hairdressing generation.

The 2016 F.A.M.E. Team

The group will spend the next year participating in the F.A.M.E. Team program, the international education and editorial opportunities of which will prove pivotal to their career. Destinations include London and Paris, and their high-status mentors will feature such names as Frank Apostolopoulos, Sharon Blain, Lauren McCowan and more.

After the awards ended with Caterina’s enthusiastic speech and a few canon-loads of celebratory confetti for good measure, guests made their way to the after party, celebrating the winners, and our constantly-growing, multi-talented, far-reaching industry at large.

Caterina Di Biase winner’s collection

For the talented winners below, we assume the party rages on.

Congratulation to the following winners:

Apprentice of the Year
Jasmine Heckenberg – Sfumato Hair

Newcomer of the Year
Steffi Tanian – Oscar Oscar Salons

Salon of the Year

Excellence in Education
Sharon Blain Education

Most Innovative Marketing Campaign
Eleven Australia – One Girl Eleven Looks

Make-Up Artist of the Year
Chereine Waddell

Fashion Stylist of the Year
Chloe Rose

Best New Professional Haircare Product
Kérastase Paris Résistance Thérapiste

Best New Professional Styling Product
Evo Hair Products Shebang-A-Bang Dry Spray Wax

Best New Professional Packaging and Design
Shu Uemura Art of Hair Art Series Oil Cleansing Shampoo

Most Innovative Hair Tool
Tangle Teezer Blow Styling Paddle Brush

Session Stylist of the Year
Richard Kavanagh

Artistic Team of the Year
Fruition Hair

Avant Garde Hairdresser of the Year
Nadia Semanic – Toni & Guy Georges

Hair Fashion Video of the Year

NSW/ACT Hairdresser of the Year
Mary Alamine – Royals Hair

QLD Hairdresser of the Year
Amanda Menz – Fruition

VIC Hairdresser of the Year
Malisa Masci – Masci Hair & Spa

WA/NT Hairdresser of the Year
Michael O’Dowd – O’Dowd Christie Hair

SA/TAS Hairdresser of the Year
Tiffany Decaux – BORIS – The Cuttery

Creative Colourist of the Year
Kyra Williams – Joey Scandizzo Salon

Men’s Hairdresser of the Year
Madison Voloshin – District Salon

2016 F.A.M.E. Team
Nathan Cherrington – Toni & Guy Parramatta
Nicole Kae – Toni & Guy Newtown
Nadia Semanic – TONI&GUY Georges
Adam Isles – Rokk Ebony

Australian Hairdresser of the Year
Caterina Di Biase – Heading Out Hair & Beauty