There’s one looming time of year where state lines are drawn and rivalries take over.
No, we’re not talking about State of Origin, which pales in comparison to this particular competition, we’re speaking about the race for Hairdresser of the Year at Hair Expo, and with a pretty even state spread across this year’s finalists, you’ll have someone to cheer for whether you’re New South Wales Blue, Queensland Maroon or… whatever colour Victoria is.
But first, a brief history. The Hair Expo Australian Hairdresser of the Year has been awarded 30 times since its inception in the 80s (that’s the longest running hairdressing award in the country, just by the way), and been given to a total of 14 winners overall. Trends dictate that while the Queensland hairdressers dominated the proceedings in the 80s, winning the prize five times in the awards’ first decade, and the NSW hairdressers had the edge in the decade after that, taking out the title an impressive eight times, Victoria has had the edge in recent years, winning the last five awards out of ten.
This makes for a fairly equal winner divide between the states (or at least those on the Eastern Seaboard), with six winners hailing from NSW, six from Victoria, five from Queensland and one from WA. In terms of multiple winners, Shane Henning became something of a NSW hero, taking home the title an unparalleled five times. Jayne Wild and Benni Tognini have each won three times for NSW and Queensland respectively, while the four two-time winners are split between Victoria and NSW. Frank Apostolopoulos and Caterina Di Biase represent the Melbourne contingent, while Brad Ngata and Antony Whitaker are on the Sydney side.
With these multi-winners in mind, it means that NSW has gone home victorious a mammoth 47 per cent of the time (a stat the Sydney-based INSTYLE office can’t help but quietly gloat about).
This year there’s no state favouritism, with four different states up to win the title. Current Hair Expo Hairdresser of the Year Dmitri Papas and Laura MacLeod have their hat in the ring for Queensland, while Kobi Bokshish and Emiliano Vitale will hope to add to the NSW legacy. Frank Apostolopoulos is the lone Victorian warrior while Uros Mikic could become the very first winner from South Australia!
It’s anyone’s race, and we know the competitiveness spans from the actual finalists to you and your cross-state hairdressing friends. We wouldn’t have it any other way – game on.
Hair Expo Australian Hairdresser of the Year full list of winners:
2015: Dmitri Papas, Papas and Pace, QLD
2014: Frank Apostolopoulos, Biba, VIC
2013: Frank Apostolopoulos, Biba,VIC
2012: Joey Scandizzo, Joey Scandizzo Salon, VIC
2011: Jayne Wild, Wild Life Hair, NSW
2010: Shane Henning, Noddy’s on King, NSW
2009: Caterina di Biase, Heading Out Hair, VIC
2008: Jayne Wild, Wild Life Hair, NSW
2007: Caterina di Biase, Heading Out Hair, VIC
2006: Brad Ngata, Brad Ngata Hair Direction, NSW
2005: Brad Ngata, Brad Ngata Hair Direction, NSW
2004: Jayne Wild, Wild Life Hair, NSW
2003: Shane Henning, Noddy’s on King, NSW
2002: Shane Henning, Noddy’s on King, NSW
2001: Oscar Cullinan, Oscar Oscar, QLD
2000: Shane Henning, Noddy’s on King, NSW
1999: Shane Henning, Noddy’s on King, NSW
1998: Antony Whitaker, Antony Whitaker, NSW
1997: Antony Whitaker, Antony Whitaker, NSW
1996: Stelio Papas, Stelio Papas Hair, QLD
1995: Sharon Maher, Synergy, NSW
1994: Frank Burgemeestre, FB Salons, VIC
1993: Benni Tognini, Tognini’s, QLD
1992: Lee Wallis, Lee Wallis, WA
1991: Benni Tognini, Tognini’s, QLD
1990: Benni Tognini, Tognini’s, QLD
1989: Val Garland, Garland and Garland, NSW
1988: Susa Wynne Hoelscher, Susa Wynne Hoelscher, QLD
1987: Greg Wain, Greg Wain, VIC
1986: Annette Eldridge/Zischke, Edit Hair Lab, QLD
The Hair Expo winners will be announced on June 13 in Melbourne for the very first time. For more information visit hairexpoasutralia.com