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The Wrap: Hair Expo 2017

Walking into the all-new International Convention Centre at Darling Harbour for Hair Expo 2017, attendees were given a program the size of a paperback book – inside, the extensive education agenda, long and impressive list of exhibitors, three-stage run down, evening event information and every finalist collection for the Awards Gala. To sum it up, the three-day event had an activity, lesson or show for every concurrent minute, and you now held it all in the palm of your hand.

Eugene Souleiman seminar

On it’s return to Sydney, Hair Expo experienced an increase in a host of important stats – with more exhibitors on an expo floor space with a 15 per cent surge in size. The event also boasted 150 stage shows, 10 education rooms and 1500 models, styled by 500 educators across the weekend.

“Hair Expo has once again proven to be the beating heart of the industry. Nothing furthers a community as much as an interactive live event. Countless business opportunities have been created, careers enhanced, and friendships forged. The inspiration created at Hair Expo reverberates throughout the entire year,” said Julia Erben, Event Director for Hair Expo Australia. “While the total attendance did not quite beat the record breaking 2016 first ever Melbourne edition, we grew by a massive 18 percent in Expo ticket sales above the last Sydney event, proving the attraction of the program and its new Sydney home in Darling Harbour.”

Model on the expo floor

Stepping into the maze-like expo floor you were met with a multitude of brands ready to show you the latest in haircare products, tools, innovations and trends. 110 exhibitors in total ensured there was always more to cover, no matter how long you spent on the floor.

Highlights included Haircare Australia and their customised colour conditioner, new brand titled Verb and free ice cream (given from a quirky ice cream stall at the side of their major stand), Rogue Beauty, who launched new colour brand Pulp Riot at the Expo, NVEY ECO, which debuted its fresh haircare brand on site, Tangle Teezer, which set up its own education stage and hosted founder Shaun P. conducting education all weekend, GlamPalm, who launched their Clinic styler and showed off styling seminars all weekend long, De Lorenzo, whose large stand was unmissable at the entrance, and so many others.

Pulp Riot on the Main Stage

Oolaboo showed off revolutionary, environmentally savvy products, Schwarzkopf Professional offered their latest products in their final year as the Awards sponsor, Alfaparf Milano created an array of eye-catching rainbow hair looks and software brands such as Timely, Kitomba, Hairware and Shortcuts demonstrated their continued insights into modern business practices. The floor also housed every finalist image for the illustrious Awards Gala, allowing attendees to peruse, be inspired and vote for the title of People’s Choice, which was eventually awarded to New Zealand hairdresser Natasha King.

INSTYLE was there throughout the expo, with a stand that offered fresh new May June issues, specially priced subscriptions, education books and the chance to win a $4000 video package through Big Review TV. We were also on hand at GenNext, our event partner, with Instagram cut-outs to energise attendees, and we live-streamed whole sections of Hair Expo as well. Head to our Facebook page to watch events like the Awards Gala almost in their entirety.

Alfaparf Milano’s hair looks on the expo floor

Beyond the stands, Hair Expo offered free education by way of three stages – the Main Stage, which hosted award-winning hairdressers and ambassadors for cut, colour and style shows, the ManStyle Lab Stage, which put the necessary focus on men’s hair, and the Launch Pad Stage, which gave various emerging hairdressers their time to shine. Highlights from the stages included work by Australian Hairdresser of the Year finalists Joey Scandizzo, Kobi Bokshish and Uros Mikic, and their teams, shows by the US and Australian FAME Teams, and watching the future of the industry represent their salons all weekend long.

Moving up the escalators and away from the floor, the many education rooms provided business and artistic seminars from local and international figures, otherwise unparalleled as an all-encompassing education offering. Eugene Souleiman, the Freevo team, Sassoon, Guy Tang and Caterina Di Biase proved artistic highlights, while business sessions focused on retail sales, social media and profitability.

Reuzel on MenStyle Lab Stage

When the doors closed for the day, thousands of exhausted hairdressers refused to pick up and go home. Industry parties such as De Lorenzo’s Vivid-side soiree and Haircare Australia’s all-night affair took the event from day to night and often to morning, while Hair Expo’s inspirational evening shows both proved must-see events.

On Saturday night, the all-new Masters of Hair Gala hosted artistic hair performances from Jayne Wild, Frank Apostolopoulos (with a special appearance by Eugene Souleiman), Guy Tang, Danny Pato, the Sassoon duo and Sharon Blain. Artistic hairpieces, on-stage cutting and shaving and giant dancing poppets all inspired directly from on stage and the social media moments that followed.

Jayne Wild’s presentation at the Masters of Hair Gala

Sunday night was once again Hair Expo’s GenNext event, where the most talented prospects in hairdressing capatalised on their time to shine. This year an all-new mentorship and reality-TV style judging panel saw industry experts such as Emiliano and Lisa Vitale, Caterina Di Biase, Steve Corthine and Justin Pace and Dmitri Papas oversee groups from Sydney TAFE, Team New Zealand, the UK FAME Team, the 2017 Hot Shots team and more. Inspiring dances fused with Avant Garde hair fashion focused on musical icons, philanthropy in hair, natural themes and haunting, dark aesthetics.

The UK FAME Team present at GenNext

The finale was, of course, the Schwarzkopf Professional Hair Expo Australia Awards Gala, where winners of 20 different awards were called up on stage to be formally recognised as the leaders in their respective categories. You can see the full list of these illustrious winners (as well as our full wrap up of the night) here.

Hair Expo Award winners

“There is simply nothing like Hair Expo in the industry,” commented Julia Erben. “With a community thriving on live interaction, we have decided to continue to divide the love between the two equally strong epicentres of the hairdressing industry in NSW and Victoria. In 2018, Hair Expo will be returning to Melbourne, and is planning to alternate between the two cities of Sydney and Melbourne in the future.”

It was an exhausting, illuminating, inspiring and frenetic three days that tasked attendees with being everywhere at any time, and often three places at once. While it was impossible to experience every detail, we’re sure you soaked up a fair amount from the event, and for whatever you did miss, that’s why we’re here. Along with this 360 degree look at everything that went on, we’ll have deeper dives into the specific events, education takeaways and social media moments throughout the week. Keep an eye on to immerse yourself in every aspect of the post-Hair Expo experience.

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