Q. Why should I enter the Hair Expo Awards?

Now in its 33rd year, these pinnacle Hair Expo Awards symbolise the height of excellence in the Australia and New Zealand Hair Industry. They are a chance to showcase your craftsmanship, passion, dedication and vision both within your industry and to your clients. They represent the “Complete Picture” of what exceptional hairdressing is - entering is not just about becoming a finalist or a winner, it is about the year that you have dedicated to your craft in order to stand proud in front of your peers and customers and celebrate all facets of your career – both your creative ability and your business acumen and success. The awards also provide you the opportunity to become an ambassador, role model and mentor both within your team and to your industry, at home and around the world. This is a prestigious and thrilling platform to show who you are and what you are capable of and take your career in a dynamic and rewarding direction. The Hair Expo Awards can change your career forever…

Q. What are the categories that I can enter?

Creative Categories


Business Categories


Please read the relevant information and judging criteria for the category you are entering, to ensure you qualify and meet the criteria judges are looking for when marking each entry. This is extremely important to maximise your marks. All this information can be found on this website.

Q. What about People’s Choice and Hall of Fame?

For the Hall of Fame category, you can nominate a worthy candidate by sending an email with the reasons for the nomination to: visit@hairexpoaustalia.com, using “Hall of Fame Nomination” in the subject line. Hall of Fame winners are at the final discretion of Hair Expo/Reed Exhibitions Australia. All creative category finalists are automatically entered into the People’s Choice Category, which has an online voting system, with one vote permitted per category, per person.

Q. How do I know which is the right category for me enter?

All categories have a description that specifically relates to the criteria relevant to entering that category. Please ensure you read these descriptions as well as the general rules and regulations document which will give you a further understanding of the overall Awards entry requirements. It is imperative you read all these documents which can be found on the Hair Expo website: hairexpoaustralia.com

Q. Where do I register to enter?

There is a dedicated website for registering yourself as an entrant and for uploading the relevant entry requirements to complete your entry. This online platform takes you through the entry process step by step and can be found here: hairexpo.awardsplatform.com.

Q. How much does it cost to enter?

If you are entering Apprentice/Student of the Year, there is no cost to enter. All other categories have an administrative cost to register your entry of $50 per entry.

Q. What is the last day I can enter?

Entries close by Wednesday 4 April 2018, 5pm sharp.

Q. What happens if I miss the entry deadline?

The entry deadline is final. Late entries will only be considered on a case by case basis in the event of extreme circumstances. This is at the discretion of Hair Expo Australia.

Q. What is due at that time?

Creative Categories – Your photographic collection must both be uploaded to the Awards online platform as well as ensuring the printed A4 mounted photos are sent into the Hair Expo Office with your signed model release forms and declaration/s. Please note if you are announced as a finalist in late April, you will have approx. 4 weeks to complete your written submission which is mandatory in order to keep your finalist placing and have a chance to be the winner. You will be advised of these dates at the time finalists are announced. Business Categories – Your entire written submission must be uploaded to the Awards online platform. Nothing further will need to be submitted if you are selected as a finalist.

Q. Where do I send my Photographic Collection?

The address for posting or delivering photographic collections for creative categories: Hair Expo Awards Post: Locked Bag 7777, Chatswood DC NSW 2067, Australia Delivery/Courier: Tower 2, Level 1, 475 Victoria Ave Chatswood, NSW 2067, Australia.

Q. How many photos do I submit and how many models do I need to use?

All Creative Categories (with the exception of Apprentice/Student of the Year): • 6 photos are to be submitted with a minimum of 4 models Apprentice/Student of the Year Category: • 4 photos are to be submitted with a minimum of 3 models All printed photos are to be A4 in size and mounted on approx. 3mm mount cardboard (with the exception of Session Stylist category which must be A4 in height, but can be any width)

Q. Should my photos be portrait or landscape orientation?

Please keep in mind that all creative collections must be portrait in format. The exception to this is the Best Salon Design category where photos must either be ALL landscape or ALL portrait.

Q. What are the raw photos that I have to submit for all creative categories?

All creative categories (with the exception of Session Stylist and Best Salon Design), must include the following with their photographic collection: Unedited/Raw Images for each of the images in your collection that are the same as your “final” images. These must come directly from your photographer, but with no photo retouching, editing, or manipulations. Unedited images are used for judging purposes only and will not be released to the public. They provide context for the judges if they feel there has been over manipulation of the photograph, and specifically the hair, during post production. Judges accept some use of Photoshop and all other similar programs on the model’s skin or wardrobe and the background or the odd flyaway hair – however it is not to be used to alter the hair in any way including creating volume, filling in texture and changing the length or the style. For Colour Technician of the Year entries, NO colour manipulation is permitted. You will be asked to upload your raw/unedited images alongside your final images in the online entry portal and these do not need to be printed or posted. Your entry can be disqualified if the raw/unedited photos have not been uploaded, or if they have been manipulated in ANY way.

Q. Can I use hairpieces or wigs for the Colour Technician of the Year Category?

NO - In the Colour Technician of the Year Category, the rules have been updated, and to keep things fair and clear, NO hairpieces, wigs, wefts or extensions can be used at all.

Q. Can I enter a Photographic Collection that I have used for another purpose already?

YES – as long as you adhere to the guidelines listed:

Your entry collection can originate from a photo shoot that has been, or is being used, for another purpose, for example, entering other Awards. However, your Hair Expo Awards collection must have a different treatment to anywhere else it is being used, meeting a minimum of the following criteria: 

  • If elsewhere the collection is colour, then it must be changed to black and white or vice versa for the Hair Expo Awards entry
  • You must use a different background
  • The photo must be taken from a different angle to how it is being used elsewhere o You can’t publish this fresh version of your collection anywhere (online or otherwise) prior to the Hair Awards Finalist Announcement
  • The hair, model and clothing can be the same as long as the above conditions are met – this allows you to complete 2 collections from one photo shoot!
  • Please note: The above does not apply to the categories of Australian Hairdresser of the Year and New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year who have to shoot exclusively with a stand alone collection for the Hair Expo Awards.

Q. What are judges most looking for?

Photographic Collection (Creative Categories): Each judge will be given specific criteria for each Creative Category in order to decide how to mark each entry. Please go to your chosen category at hairexpoaustralia.com to see the exact criteria judges will be following to ensure your collection is aimed at meeting these criteria. Written Submission (Business Categories and Creative Finalists): Each judge has their own style, but our general suggestions are – It is imperative to have both a strong photographic collection and a strong written submission for creative categories – be sure to read the written submission questions when deciding to enter, so you know you are entering the correct category and can submit a balanced entry, should you become a finalist. This is why we are so proud of the Hair Expo Awards – they put the spotlight on the complete picture of our talented entrants. Articulate your passion for what you do and demonstrate your genuine interest in the Hair Industry. Let who you are, shine through. Make it easy to read and stay on point – keep in mind the judges have many entries to look at and dot points and limited repetition are something judges appreciate. Where requested, show evidence of the activity you are writing about e.g. photos and press coverage.

Q. How is the judging conducted so that it is as fair as possible?

Judges are leaders in their field, nationally and Internationally, with a strong representation of former award winners. Brand employees are not permitted as judges. All proceedings during judging are strictly confidential and all judges are required to sign a confidentiality agreement. We have split the photographic judging evenly, with 12 Local Judges (Australia and NZ) and 12 International Judges from all over the world that will be rotated annually. This exposes you and your work to a huge variety of Industry greats. Potential judges planning to enter a personal Creative Category, cannot be a judge that year. Judges must also withdraw from judging categories if they have staff members entering or are mentoring or helping an entrant in that category in any way. The photographic collections in creative categories are given a code and judged anonymously during first round judging, except for Best Salon Design and Session Stylist, which are permitted to have branding on the photos. Photos will not be re-judged in the second and final round of judging, where it would impossible for them to be anonymous. Instead, the marks from first round judging are carried over to final round judging and added to the written submission mark. This ensures the anonymous nature of the photographic judging process. The final mark is weighted at 50% for the photographic collection and 50% for the written submission. Australian Hairdresser of the Year and New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year written submissions will ONLY be judged by International judges.

Q. Can I enter more than once in the same category?

No. You may only enter each category once, with one entry per person/team/business per category. Please note, you can enter as many categories as you like (dependent on qualifications), however you may only enter ONE of the following: Australian Hairdresser of the Year OR New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year OR a State Title.

Q. When will finalist and winners announcements be made?

All finalists will be announced online and at the Hair Awards Finalist Cocktail Party in late April/early May, at a date and location in Sydney TBA. All winners will be announced online and at the Hair Awards Gala Evening: Monday June 11th, 2018 as part of Hair Expo at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Q. How many finalists are there?

Up to 10* finalists will be selected within each of the Creative and Business Categories, based on the number of entrants in that category. *Please note: The amount of finalists in any category is subject to change in relation to the number of entries received, and is at the discretion of Hair Expo Australia.

Q. What do finalists win?

All category finalists win a Hair Expo 2018 VIP Pack which includes: 1 x 3 day Hair Expo entry pass (Hair Expo 2018 will be at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre) 1 ticket to the Sunday night Gala at Hair Expo, 1 ticket to the Monday night Hair Awards Gala at Hair Expo 20% off all Hair Expo education. All category winners will receive the following additional prize: Sponsorship of your post-win PR campaign to ensure you maximise promoting your win!

Q. Where do I call or email for further questions?

Please call the Hair Expo Awards Producer, Elli Julia, on (02) 9422 2603 or email elli.julia@reedexhibitions.com.au


For further information relating to the Hair Expo Awards, contact:
Elli Julia
Awards Manager
P: +61 2 9422 2603
E: elli.julia@reedexhibitions.com.au

For matters relating to the Head Judge, contact:
Julie Piantadosi
Head Judge
E: julie@totalsalonsolutions.com

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