Hair and beauty’s best announced at 2017 Industry Awards

The glamorous Cordis Hotel came to life last night as New Zealand’s hair and beauty professionals celebrated the 2017 Industry Awards. 

The night’s big winners were Buoy Salon & Spa and beauty therapy apprentice Machaela Robbins.  

Buoy Salon had much to celebrate as they were announced as the winners of the Kitomba NZARH New Zealand Salon of the Year award plus L’Oreal Grand Salon of the Year, Excellence in Marketing, and Best New Entrant. Buoy stylist Chinney Yeap added to the list as she took home Business Stylist of the Year. 2017 also marks 30 years since owner Derek Elvy set up his dream salon in Wellington. Referring to this milestone as ‘30 years of phenomenal’, Buoy’s success has truly been illustrated by their dominance at the Business Awards. 

Phillippa Middleton, managing director of Buoy Salon and Spa, said “Last night was an overwhelming experience. It was everything that we wished for and were trying to achieve for Derek and as we celebrate 30 years of business. We’re so incredibly proud and humbled to be the Kitomba NZARH New Zealand Salon of the Year”. 

HITO apprentice Machaela Robbins set a record for the awards, becoming the first beauty therapy apprentice ever to win the prestigious HITO Apprentice of the Year Award. Described as a “shining star” and an “inspiration” by the judges, this award tops off an already incredible year for this apprentice, who also won the Rising Star Award from internationally renowned skincare company DMK earlier in the year.  

The HITO Apprentice of the Year Award is the only award that acknowledges beauty therapy apprentices in training. 

“It is a huge honour to be named HITO Apprentice of the Year,” Machaela said. “It’s amazing to be the first beauty therapist to be represented at the Industry Awards with HITO. I can’t wait to take this and grow from it, and inspire and encourage other beauty therapists to enter”. 

Buoy Salon & Spa and Machaela Robbins celebrated their success along with over 250 hairdressers, barbers, and beauty therapists at the 2017 Industry Awards held in Auckland last night.  

The Industry Awards is an annual celebration of the Kitomba NZARH Business Awards and the HITO Next Generation Talent Awards. These awards celebrate excellence in business and training in the hair, barbering and beauty industries and are a highlight of the industry calendar. 2017 marks the eighth year of the Industry Awards, with over a thousand hair and beauty professionals, trainers, and businesses vying for top honours in business and training throughout the years.    

Al Quinn, CEO of Kitomba Salon & Spa Software said “the Kitomba NZARH Business Awards are all about building a culture of recognising and celebrating business excellence in the hair industry. We’re incredibly proud to be involved in this event and see our finalists and winners celebrating their achievements”.  

Maureen Bowring, NZARH Chairperson went on to say: 

“By entering these prestigious awards, all entrants have shown their ongoing commitment to growth and excellence. Thank you to everyone who entered and attended the awards – your commitment to excellence makes our industries more professional and respected, and helps us all grow and move into the future.”  

HITO CEO Kay Nelson said:  

“These awards celebrate the apprentices who bring fresh ideas and talent, the trainers and employers who constantly renew their skills and help their trainees succeed, and the businesses and stylists who grow their communities, the economy, and New Zealand by striving for the highest level of service and professionalism. HITO’s very existence is based on nurturing skill and talent and helping our industries maintain a reputation of excellence, and we are honoured to be at the forefront of events such as this”. 

This event wouldn’t be possible without our hosts, judges and sponsors. A special thank you to: our hosts, Adrian Barclay of Venom Hair and Laura Williams of Ktizo Hair & Spa, the 2017 Kitomba NZARH Business Awards sponsors L’Oreal, Wella, Salon Business Coach and Comfortel, the Kitomba NZARH Business Awards judges Gary Marshall of L’Oreal, Seumus Cooney of Wella and Jacqui Victor owner of True Grit, and the HITO Next Generation Talent Awards judges: Bex Brent of Willis York, Nadine Gratton of Zabetti, and Ruth Irwin of Oscar and Co. 

The 2017 Kitomba NZARH Business Awards and HITO Next Generation Talent Awards winners are:

2017 Kitomba NZARH Business Awards winners 

New Zealand Salon of the Year: Buoy Salon & Spa, Wellington 

This prestigious award recognises the overall best salon for 2017. They must display an excellent business model, fantastic use of marketing and the owner must demonstrate a true passion for their team, salon and the industry. They must also have business results that demonstrate they are worthy of being regarded as the best in the industry. 

L’Oreal Grand Salon of the Year: Buoy Salon & Spa, Wellington 

This award is for salons with an annual turnover exceeding $600,000. In this award, judges look for a strong business with great all round performance. 

Boutique Salon of the Year: So You Hair, Wellington 

This award is for salons with an annual turnover up to $600,000. Here judges look for a salon that displays a results driven business with a focus on financials while creating solid plans for the future. 

Excellence in Marketing: Buoy Salon & Spa, Wellington 

Here judges look for a salon that demonstrates planning, innovation and creativity in order to achieve excellent results in marketing.  

Employer of Choice: La Villa Hairdressing and Extensions, Wellington 

In this category judges look for an outstanding workplace culture where staff feel nurtured and valued, and training is a priority. The employer must also display true passion for their business, staff and the industry.  

Salon Business Coach Fastest Growing Salon: Ross and Co Hair Design, Hamilton 

Here judges look for a business that is in serious growth mode. Growth in revenue, client numbers, and ultimately profitability. 

Wella Sustainable Salon of the Year: The Powder Room, Wellington 

For this award judges look for a business with a conscious and innovative approach to minimising their impact on the environment. They also look for sustainable practices that are integrated into their everyday salon operations. 

Business Stylist of the Year: Buoy Salon & Spa – Chinney Yeap, Wellington 

In this category the judges look for a stylist with a passion for the industry who is excelling across a variety of key performance measures.  

Comfortel Best Salon Design: ASC Salon, Auckland 

For this award judges look for a salon that perfectly balances both form and function. From interior design to salon location and floor plan, it’s all about providing the right look and feel for your target market. 

Best New Entrant: Buoy Salon & Spa, Wellington 

For this award judges look at salons that are entering the Business Awards for the first-time. From these, they determine the all-round strongest entry. 

2017 HITO Next Generation Talent Awards winners 

HITO Apprentice of the Year: Machaela Robbins, Pamper Me, Thames 

The Apprentice of the Year award goes to the best “all-round” hairdressing, barbering, or beauty therapy apprentice. The apprentice should show commitment to their training and the desire to improve in all areas. Each of the seven HITO regions will have their own regional winner. One national winner is picked from the six regional winners. 

HITO Regional Apprentice of the Year 

  • Auckland: Callum Senior, Zurri Hairdressing, Auckland 
  • Waikato and Bay of Plenty: Machaela Robbins, Pamper Me, Thames 
  • Manawatu & Hawke’s Bay: Gracie Nisbet, Mphosis Hair Studio, Hastings 
  • Wellington and Wairarapa: Jade Scott, VIVO Hair and Beauty Tory Street, Wellington 
  • North Canterbury and Nelson-Marlborough: Jared Kirk, Cuts @ Once 
  • Otago and South Canterbury: Jordan Carlton, Head Rush Hair Salon 

HITO Trainer of the Year: Janine Simons, Mane Salon, Wellington 

The Trainer of the Year award goes to an exceptional industry trainer who trains HITO trainees. This Award is open to trainers in hairdressing, barbering and beauty businesses, including commercial product company trainers who have worked with HITO trainees. This award acknowledges an individual who offers excellent training. 

HITO Training Salon of the Year: Head Rush Hair Salon, Christchurch 

The Training Salon of the Year goes to a hairdressing, barbering, or beauty business that offers exceptional training to HITO trainees. The salon must show a strong commitment to training and qualifications and have an excellent record of training success in their business. This award acknowledges a business’ commitment to training. 

Jasmine McBeth Memorial Scholarship: Joseph Benfell, Biba, Auckland 

HITO and the Jasmine McBeth family set up this scholarship to recognise Jasmine’s passion, motivation and dedication to the hairdressing industry before she passed away in 2007. The scholarship is offered annually to someone with the drive, passion, motivation and dedication to succeed in their apprenticeship and hairdressing career. This scholarship is only available to those in a hairdressing apprenticeship. 

Get ready for the Industry Awards

Whether you’ve attended the Industry Awards before or 2017 is your first time, check out our top tips for getting ready for the Industry Awards. 


Where and when

This year the Industry Awards are on November 19 at the beautiful Cordis Hotel (formerly known as The Langham) in Auckland. 

Doors open at 6pm. Make sure you’re on time to make the most of your evening!


What to expect

The Industry Awards is an exciting evening celebrating the best in hair and beauty, so you can expect an incredible experience to match. By purchasing a ticket to attend the Industry Awards you receive a selection of drinks and canapes, a delicious two course meal and amazing entertainment. Keep an eye out for an announcement about the entertainment very soon.

The Industry Awards is about celebrating and socialising with the hair and beauty industry. When you arrive at 6pm you’ll be treated to an hour and a half of drinks and delicious canapes, giving you the chance to catch up with your friends in the industry and meet hairdressers, barbers, and beauty therapists from across New Zealand. There will also be a longer break in the middle to give you a chance to enjoy your amazing dinner and chat with everyone at the event – not just the ten people at your table!


Dress code

We all love to dress to impress, and if there’s ever a time for it, it’s the Industry Awards.   

The dress code is cocktail: that means suits and ties, party dresses, or fancy skirts and tops. You can leave the jeans and (probably) the ball gowns at home – but if you want to dress up, go for it!

Now’s the time to go shopping in your wardrobe or plan an outing on your day off to find the perfect outfit. Make sure you fit in a bit of ‘you time’ too! Get a fresh cut and colour or a manicure – anything that will make you feel glam.


What to bring

  • Your team! Ensure you’ve rounded them up for a fun night out. And if you’re not based in Auckland, then make it a team trip that you organise together. It’s Canterbury Anniversary on Friday the 17th of November, so why not make a long weekend of it?
  • Bring your tickets – you can either print them out or bring them on your phone. Having your tickets makes everything a lot quicker and easier for you and for us. If you’re yet to purchase your tickets, you’ll need to get in quick – they’re selling fast. Buy your tickets here. You can also book your own table of 10.
  • Your amazing personality!
  • And of course energy for a great night of celebrations and dancing.


I’m a finalist, do I need to do anything?

If you’re a finalist, congratulations again. If you haven’t already, make sure you book tickets for you and your guests. You need to have your team or support crew there and ready for an amazing night. You can book your tickets here:

We also suggest you jot down a few speech ideas so you’re prepared if you do win an award. Sometimes it’s hard to think of what to say when you’re surprised and excited.


Travel and accommodation

We hope you’re already making arrangements for your travel and stay in Auckland. Make sure you get in early while prices are still low. Grabaseat and Wotif usually have great deals.


What to do in Auckland

If you’re making a weekend of it, here’s some suggestions for having fun in Auckland:

  • There are incredible restaurants and eateries.
  • Check out the shopping!  
  • There’s some great places outside of Auckland Central that you can check out too.
  • If you’re into attractions, see what the city has to offer here.

Hopefully you’re feeling ready for the Industry Awards. We can’t wait to see you all there!

Meet the Industry Awards finalists

HITO, Kitomba, and NZARH are thrilled to announce the 2017 Industry Awards finalists.

The Industry Awards is an annual celebration of the Kitomba NZARH Business Awards and the HITO Next Generation Talent Awards. These awards celebrate excellence in business and training in the hair, barbering and beauty industries and are a highlight of the industry calendar. 2017 marks the eighth year of the Industry Awards, with over a thousand hair and beauty professionals, trainers, and businesses vying for top honours in business and training throughout the years.

Al Quinn, CEO of Kitomba said “the Kitomba NZARH Business Awards were created to build a culture of recognising and celebrating business excellence in the hair industry. And that’s what we’ve done, changed the focus from just being technically and creatively excellent to celebrating those in our industry who are incredible business owners.”

Maureen Bowring, NZARH Chairperson went on to say “I believe it is important to celebrate success in the industry and being involved with such an anticipated industry event is truly humbling. The standard of entries submitted this year was astounding and it is exciting to see the commitment and passion for the industry around the country.”

HITO is thrilled to celebrate the businesses, apprentices, and trainers helping New Zealand’s hair, barbering, and beauty industries perform to the highest standard. A highlight for this year’s awards was the announcement of HITO’s first beauty therapy apprentice of the year finalist: Machaela Robbins from Pamper Me in Thames.

HITO CEO Kay Nelson said:

“The HITO Next Generation Talent Awards celebrate the future of these industries. Our top trainers and training workplaces help nurture our future leaders, putting New Zealand’s hair and beauty industries on an international level. Our top apprentices bring new ideas and innovation to our industries, constantly helping them grow and change with the times. Our Next Generation Talent Awards acknowledge these leaders and help the barbering, beauty, and hair industries move into the future”.

The winners will be announced at the Industry Awards event on Sunday, November 19 in Auckland. Tickets are available from iTicket.

Thank you to the 2017 Business Awards sponsors: L’Oreal, Wella, Salon Business Coach and Comfortel.

HITO Next Generation Talent Awards Finalists

HITO Apprentice of the Year

  • Callum Senior, Zurri Hairdressing, Auckland
  • Gracie Nisbet, MPhosis Hair Studio, Hastings
  • Jade Scott, VIVO Hair and Beauty Tory Street, Wellington
  • Jared Kirk, Cuts @ Once, Nelson
  • Jordan Carlton, Head Rush Hair Salon, Christchurch
  • Machaela Robbins, Pamper Me, Thames

Jasmine McBeth Memorial Scholarship

  • Chloe Hetaraka, Halcyon Hair, Invercargill
  • Joseph Benfell, Biba, Auckland
  • Tyler Nikora, Lifestyle Hair Studio, Paraparaumu

HITO Trainer of the Year

  • Janine Simons, Mane Salon, Wellington
  • Natasha Bird, MPhosis Hair Studio, Hastings
  • Tammy Koteck, Head Rush Hair Salon, Christchurch

HITO Training Workplace of the Year

  • Head Rush Hair Salon, Christchurch
  • Zurri Hairdressing, Auckland

Kitomba NZARH Business Awards Finalists

Kitomba NZARH New Zealand Salon of the Year

  • Buoy Salon & Spa
  • Hair to Stare at
  • La Villa Hairdressing and Extensions
  • The Powder Room
  • The Avenue Hair Studio

L’Oreal Grand Salon of the Year

  • Buoy Salon & Spa
  • Freds Hair & Beauty
  • Hair to Stare at
  • La Villa Hairdressing and Extensions
  • Team Seven – High Fashion Hair

Boutique Salon of the Year

  • Aurum Hairstylists
  • Jomp Hair Design
  • Protege Hairdressing
  • So You Hair
  • The Avenue Hair Studio

Excellence in Marketing

  • Buoy Salon & Spa
  • Hair to Stare at
  • La Villa Hairdressing and Extensions
  • So You Hair
  • The Powder Room

Employer of Choice

  • Buoy Salon & Spa
  • Hair to Stare at
  • La Villa Hairdressing and Extensions
  • Protege Hairdressing
  • The Powder Room

Salon Business Coach Fastest Growing Salon

  • Hair to Stare at
  • La Villa Hairdressing and Extensions
  • Rodney Wayne The Palms
  • Ross and Co Hair Design
  • Team Seven – High Fashion Hair

Wella Sustainable Salon of the Year

  • Cremebrulee Hair & Beauty
  • Protege Hairdressing
  • Shazly Experience Hair and Wellness
  • The Powder Room
  • Zurri Hairdressing

Business Stylist of the Year

  • Buoy Salon & Spa – Chinney Yeap
  • La Villa Hairdressing and Extensions – Jasmine Hutchings
  • Mane Salon – Kiri Roberts
  • Oscar & Co – Gene Edwards
  • Team Seven – High Fashion Hair – Aaron Karam-Whalley

Comfortel Best Salon Design

  • ASC Salon
  • Dinh Collective
  • Hair to Stare at
  • Protege Hairdressing
  • Zibido Hair

Best New Entrant

  • Aurum Hairstylists
  • Buoy Salon & Spa
  • Cremebrulee Hair & Beauty
  • Team Seven – High Fashion Hair
  • The Avenue Hair Studio


HITO Apprentice of the Year 2016: Meet Liana

Meet Liana King-Biddulph, HITO Apprentice of the Year, NZARH Hairstylist of the Year – Next Generation, and WorldSkills gold medalist.

“For as long as I can remember I’ve had an unshakable passion for hairdressing,” Liana says. “I adore people, being creative, and making others feel wonderful. There wasn’t ever one moment where I fell into a career in hairdressing – it was always inside of me”.

As soon as she could, Liana volunteered her time in local salons. She left her hometown of Queenstown at 17, moving to Dunedin to attend local hairdressing school Harrington Vaughan.

“I started my training at a school, but I wanted to work fulltime so badly,” Liana says. “Every Friday I was in a salon doing work experience, and I was constantly visiting salons with my CV, applying for any apprenticeships I could find”.

Liana is currently an apprentice at Moha in Dunedin.

“I spent a whole day handing out my CV, and Moha was the last salon I visited,” Liana says. “Kylie and Nelson [owners of Moha] weren’t even looking for an apprentice, but I was fortunate enough to be able to change their minds”.

“I love being in the salon,” Liana says. “I get to build my clientele and grow relationships over time, and I’m working towards my dreams every day”.

Liana worked hard to get her apprenticeship, and she works hard in the salon and the community.

“Hairdressing is a demanding career, both physically and mentally,” Liana says. “If you love being busy and being around people, it’s the perfect job. There are many opportunities to be creative and meet inspiring people across the world”.

Her hard work has paid off this year, with Liana winning the gold medal at WorldSkills, NZARH Hairstylist of the Year – Next Generation, and, of course, HITO Apprentice of the Year.

“I’m nearly ready to finish my qualification, so this was the last year I could apply for Apprentice of the Year,” Liana says. “I wanted the title incredibly badly, and I’m so honoured to represent HITO. I feel like all my hard work has been recognised”.

As Apprentice of the Year, Liana wants to seize any opportunities she can to promote apprenticeships. She plans to keep working to grow her career, entering more competitions and taking on any new opportunities she can.

“Getting involved however you can is really important,” Liana says. “It helped me win Apprentice of the Year and improve my skills too”.

One of Liana’s other successes this year was winning NZARH Hairstylist of the Year – Next Generation. The Next Generation winner is picked from junior competition entrants in the NZARH (New Zealand Association of Registered Hairdressers) competitions.

“I had to enter three categories of the NZARH competitions in my area. I won the local Otago title based on my scores, and then the judges looked at my competition work and picked the national winner,” Liana says. “I love the NZARH competitions because it’s a display of pure hairdressing skill right before your eyes.”

“Practice and confidence are key to winning competitions,” Liana says. “Competing live can be anxiety-inducing – it was for me – but getting out there and competition will help reduce that anxiety and build your confidence. Keep entering and competing”.

As the winner, Liana receives free flights to anywhere in the world. If she’s invited to compete at WorldSkills International in Abu Dhabi, she’ll use the flights to get there. If not, she’s got plans to head to an international Fashion Week and work with the Redken team.

On top of those two wins, Liana also took home the gold medal at WorldSkills Nationals earlier this year. WorldSkills is an international competition where young tradespeople compete and share their skills.

“I never thought I would win this one,” Liana says. “I’ve been training for WorldSkills since 2014, and it’s improved my ability to think on my feet and create outside the box”.

The highlights don’t end there. Liana also worked at NZ Fashion Week and the NZ Video Music Awards, and on a local production of the musical Grease. She also assisted her boss Kylie Hayes on a photoshoot for Sydney Hair Expo and at a three-day education event for Redken.

The next step for Liana is (hopefully) competing at the international WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi, where she’ll show off her skills in front of hairdressers from across the globe. She also hopes to make it onto the Redken Artistic Team.

“My ultimate career goal is to be an International Platform Artist,” Liana says. “I would love to travel the world, sharing my passion and knowledge”.

“I’ve met so many amazing hairstylists and had so many incredible experiences,” Liana says. “I’m truly blessed to have achieved so much in four years, and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.”

History of the Industry Awards

2017 is the 8th time HITO, Kitomba, and NZARH have come together to celebrate the Industry Awards. Each year is bigger and better than the last, with more awards, fantastic venues, and exciting entertainment.

But the Industry Awards weren’t always this glamorous. We’ve scoured the archives to bring you some of the best bits of Industry Awards history and show you how they grew into the event we have today.

The HITO Training Awards

The HITO Training Awards have grown immensely since the first Apprentice of the Year award in 2003. In 2003 the winners were announced at the NZARH Supreme Awards, with one overall ‘Top Apprentice of the Year’ and winners from each of the NZARH regions.

HITO soon started offering awards in each of the HITO regions – and there were only four regions at the time! The winners were acknowledged at their NZARH regional AGMs or the Supreme Awards.

In 2008, HITO celebrated 40 years of hairdressing qualifications. They also celebrated the first Jasmine McBeth Memorial Scholarship recipient, Joel Hornell. Jasmine was a hairdressing apprentice (and 2006 HITO Apprentice of the Year) who passed away from cancer shortly after gaining her qualification. The scholarship money comes from the money Jasmine saved to open her own salon.

Over the years HITO has added more awards, including Tutor of the Year (added around 2007), Training Salon of the Year (added in 2009), and Trainer of the Year (added in 2011). HITO also opened up the awards to beauty entrants in 2014. These days HITO gives out five main awards – Apprentice of the Year, Jasmine McBeth Memorial Scholarship, Trainer of the Year, Training Salon of the Year, and Tutor of the Year. They also changed the name to the HITO Training Awards in 2016.


The Kitomba NZARH Business Awards

The Kitomba NZARH Business Awards started eleven years ago in a tiny room on Waiheke Island when a group of 30 salon owners came together to celebrate the first awards ceremony. They were there to start something new – building a culture of recognising and celebrating hairdressing business excellence.

The Kitomba NZARH Awards have grown a lot since then, with new awards and sponsors on board every year. Last year saw a new award for Best Salon Design, expanding the meaning of business success beyond just the books.

Now the Kitomba NZARH Business Awards are seen by many as the leading national distinction that recognizes top performing salons. The awards are particularly known to help entrants’ gain better understanding of salons as businesses.


The Industry Awards

HITO, Kitomba, and NZARH came together in 2010 to celebrate the Industry Awards. The first Industry Awards was a massive weekend full of celebrations, including the awards dinner, NZARH competitions, Supreme Awards announcements, and a series of seminars. Entry to the whole weekend cost $400! The event took place in Christchurch, which caused some last minute stress when the September 4 earthquake knocked the original venue out of commission.

In 2011 the Industry Awards headed to Auckland’s War Memorial Museum. The event was huge, with over 300 guests coming together to celebrate the winners and dance the night away to DJ Dane Rumble; a far cry from the tiny room on Waiheke Island or the NZARH AGMs.

The next few years saw the Industry Awards move between Auckland and Wellington. Earthquake damage meant a lack of venues in Christchurch, but we’d love to have the awards there again one day.

2014’s event at Shed 6, Wellington, saw the highest number of guests ever. Nearly 400 people attended the event, which included the awards dinner and the NZARH Oceanic competitions during the day. It was an incredible feat to organise, but it was fantastic to see so many people come together to celebrate hair and beauty in New Zealand.

It’s been an amazing journey so far, and we can’t wait to see it get even bigger and better. We look forward to celebrating with all of you in Auckland this year (remember to get your tickets before they sell out!).

Put your best foot forward

Every year, we get questions about creating Industry Awards applications. What should I include? What should my application look like? What did the winners’ applications include last year?

Below are our top tips for entering the Industry Awards. The entry requirements are a bit different, depending on what award you enter, so we’ve divided this post up into tips for the Training Awards and tips for the Business Awards.

HITO Training Awards


Entering the Training Awards might seem like a big deal, but there really are just a few key things you need to remember. Below are our tips on what your entry should look like, what you should include, and advice from past winners and judges.

  • Entry style. We know you’re a bunch of creative, innovative people, and you probably want your entries to reflect that. We want to see your creativity too, but keep in mind that you need to post in your entry, and the judges need to look at it to judge it. Stick to A3 and A4 sizes, and booklets are always best – they’re easy to post and easy to judge.
  • Answer the questions. It sounds silly, but when you’re writing your entry, remember to answer the questions! Each entry form has a series of questions you need to answer and information you need to include. You don’t need to include heaps of information, either: keep it short and sweet, and really think about what’s important to include. If you’re including other information, like photos or print-outs from your booking system, remember to tell the judges why they’re important.
  • Think about HITO. This was something the judges brought up several times last year. You’re all HITO trainees, trainers, tutors, or employers, and these are the HITO Training Awards. Make sure you talk about what’s relevant to your training with HITO, or how you help HITO trainees, as part of your application.
  • Take your time. Some of the most common advice from our past winners is to prepare and put a lot of effort into your application. Entries aren’t due until August 26, so start thinking about what you want to say now. Collect any relevant information throughout the year so you don’t have to rush at the last minute. Take advantage of every opportunity you get – it could be the opportunity that helps you win an award!
  • Be open and honest. Our 2015 winners and finalists were unanimous: whatever you do, be honest in your application. Put your heart into it, and openly share your experiences. It helps the judges get to know you and shows your good qualities.
  • Think broadly. Don’t just focus on one aspect of your dedication and commitment. You might be a competitions superstar, but the judges want to know where else you’ve shown excellence. You might be 100% dedicated to your students, but are there other areas where you’ve supported training success?

The quality of applications is always incredibly high, and the judges have a difficult time selecting our winners. We can’t wait to receive another round of fantastic entries this year.

Enter now.

Kitomba NZARH Business Awards


Awards don’t just belong to movie stars! Putting your salon forward for recognition is a great way to improve your business, your reputation, and next year’s results. Entries for the 2016 Kitomba NZARH Business Awards are now open and we’d love to see your entry.

It can be a little bit daunting entering the Awards for the first time, but there’s no need to worry. Here’s a list of our top tips that’ll help you put together a winning entry:

  • Results, results! Judges want to see how your initiatives have performed, not just what they were. Find a way to weave your results through all parts of your entry. Think costs and return on investment. Let the figures communicate the great job done!
  • Use your creativity. You know your brand better than anyone, and it’s great when an entry form really gives the judges a sense of what you’re all about. But make sure it’s within the guidelines (check out the entry form for more details).
  • Keep it brief. Use simple language to tell your story and remove unnecessary words – the judges will really appreciate this. Focus on the the things that you know matter so you stay on point and don’t drift into providing information that’s unnecessary or a response that sounds great, but doesn’t answer what is being asked.
  • Use testimonials to back up what you’re saying. This is about your whole business, not just your service, so be creative. As well as customers, ask your suppliers and business partners to support you by sharing their stories about how your business has made a difference to them.
  • Finally, don’t forget to proofread. Give yourself plenty of time (the deadline is August 31st) to have someone review and proofread your entry. It’s the little things that count.

Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for all the hard work you’ve done leading up to submitting your entry – it’s something to be proud of. We look forward to seeing your entry. Good luck!

Enter now.

Celebrate at the Langham

The Industry Awards celebrate the best in barbering, beauty, and hairdressing. The awards evening is a fantastic night of fabulous entertainment, delicious food, and exciting celebrations.

We’re excited to announce that this year’s Industry Awards are at the glamorous Langham Hotel in Auckland. The awards evening will take place in the chandelier-clad events center. Located in central Auckland, the venue is close to restaurants, shops, and transport, and provides plenty of accommodation for Industry Awards guests.

tlakl-events-greatroom-1680-945You can find out more about the Langham here.

The awards evening is on Sunday 13 November. We’ll let you know when tickets are available to purchase.

We’ll also have more exciting announcements on entertainment and hosts coming soon. Make sure to keep an eye out here and like us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with the latest news.

We can’t wait to celebrate with you.


Kitomba NZARH Business Award Winners

Wanganui salon, Protégé Hair, was announced as the 2015 New Zealand Salon of the Year at the Kitomba and New Zealand Association of Registered Hairdressers (NZARH) Business Awards. Named as a finalist in an impressive five categories, it’s no surprise Protégé Hair are the New Zealand Salon of the Year. They also went home as the winner of three additional awards – Employer of Choice, Evo Excellence in Marketing and Moroccanoil Boutique Salon of the year.

Protégé Hair owner’s, Tiffany Spencer and Kate Watson, said: “Winning the 2015 Kitomba NZARH New Zealand Salon of the Year is an incredible honour. Receiving extra recognition for Excellence in Marketing and being the Employer of Choice has really confirmed for us that we are fulfilling our vision of running a salon using a holistic approach for all areas of staff and client care. We are extremely humbled to be the recipients of these awards among other salon finalists of such a high calibre. We are excited to continue developing our business with our amazing team!”

Tom Murphy, CEO of Kitomba, commented on Protege’s success: “Congratulations to Protégé! They have been a powerhouse at the awards this year which is representative of their highly productive salon that has strong leadership, sound business practices and most importantly – passion”.

The 10th annual Kitomba and NZARH Business Awards were held on November 22nd 2015, at Te Papa Museum, Wellington. The evening also marks the 6th time the awards have been celebrated together with the New Zealand Hair Industry Training Organisation (HITO) to create the Industry Awards. The awards recognise excellence in training and business in the New Zealand hair and beauty industries and were held in front of 250 guests.

There was much to celebrate on Sunday evening as the hair dressing industry, worth a billion dollars per annum, is thriving and businesses using Kitomba have experienced great success during the 2015 third quarter. The industry has experienced a 3% increase in revenue and the average client spend is up at $95. Rebooking rates are up 2% and clients are more loyal than ever.

2015 Winners

Business Stylist of the Year: Cathy Davys, VIVO, Wellington
In this award, judges are looking for an all-round stylist with clear passion for their business and industry.

Sustainable Salon of the Year: The Powder Room, Wellington
In this award, judges are looking for a business with sustainable practices that are an integrated part of their everyday business.

Fastest Growing Salon: Rodney Wayne Bethlehem, Tauranga
In this award, judges are looking for a business that is in serious growth mode. Growth in revenue, client numbers, client spend and ultimately profitability.

Employer of Choice: Protégé Hair, Wanganui
In this award, judges are looking for a clear workplace culture where staff feel nurtured, training is a priority and everyone wants to work for them.

Evo Excellence in Marketing: Protégé Hair, Wanganui
In this award, judges are looking for a business with a unique brand, that demonstrates planning, innovation, creativity and results.

Best Salon Design: Luca Hairstyling, Wellington
In this award, judges are looking for a salon design that perfectly balances function and form. From interior design to salon location and floor plan, it’s all about providing the right look and feel for your target market.

Moroccanoil Boutique Salon of the Year: Protégé Hair, Wanganui
This award is for salons with an annual turnover up to $600,000. In this award, judges are looking for a results-driven business with all-round strong KPIs.

Cloud Nine Grand Salon of the Year: Rodney Wayne Bethlehem, Tauranga
This award is for salons with an annual turnover exceeding $600,000. In this award, judges are looking for a results-driven business with all-round strong KPIs.

Lakme Best New Entrant: Colors Hair Company, Hamilton
In this award, judges are only looking at first-time Business Awards entrants and from these, the all-round strongest entry of all first time participants.

Kitomba NZARH New Zealand Salon of the Year: Protégé Hair, Wanganui
This award goes to the top scoring salon from Grand and Boutique Salon, Excellence in Marketing and Employer of Choice.

Industry Awards