The hottest night in the hair industry calendar did not disappoint, as the 2019 ALFAPARF Fantastic Hairdresser Awards broke boundaries and united kindred spirits.
Over 300 entrants battled it out to be crowned a Fantastic Hairdresser at the most widely attended ceremony in hairdressing at the ALFAPARF Milano awards on Sunday.
Inspired by the obstacles the construction and eventual collapse of the Berlin Wall created 30 years ago, the show focused on the human truth of being free to explore design and creativity without boundaries.
Fashion designer Brendan Courtney hosted the event at the RDS in Dublin, with over 1,200 stylists and industry insiders in attendance.
The awards give stylists an opportunity to showcase their creative strengths and commercial acumen, through 10 categories.
The event, now in its 10th year, guarantees a large volume of contestants with over 300 hairdressers from all over Ireland dedicating months of hard work preparing their entries.
Paul Stafford, the ALFAPARF Milano global ambassador, artistic director of the evening show and of ALFAPARF Milano's Nexxt Generation Style Ambassador Creative team, said, "In a few weeks we mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a construction that was designed as an obstacle to freedom of thought and freedom to create in exactly the same way as it was designed to serve as an obstacle to free movement.
"As the wall was knocked down brick-by-brick 30 years ago, a truth was being reconstructed and made concrete: people will always want to be free to create and design and live and love in the way they want. That’s a human truth and it’s more invincible and more formidable than the Berlin Wall – or any wall that tries to prevent it – can ever be."
To mark the anniversary of the fall, and to remember why it had to come down, STAFFORD Hair and the ALFAPARF Milano Nexxt Generation Team presented the story of Nico: A Berlin Odyssey, depicting the parallel lives of the city’s youth, who were divided by parallel lines, but united in spirit. Using music and style and creative courage, Nico showed how a generation learned to live their lives to the fullest possible despite the shadow of a physical and psychological wall.
The evening show was produced by Ger Hand, technical manager at ALFAPARF Milano Ireland and Neil Canavan, production manager with Monkey In A Dress Productions.
ALFAPARF MILANO Fantastic Hairdresser 2019 Award Winners:
Fantastic Stylist Award – Denise Phillips, Pelo Hair Studio, Newbridge, Co. Kildare.
Fantastic Long Hair Stylist Award – Sinead Fox, Bridget Haren Hair & Beauty, Ennis, Co. Clare.
Fantastic Fantasy Hair Stylist Award – Kerrie-Ann Ayres, Blake’s Salon, Co. Carlow.
Fantastic Junior Award – Shannon Robinson, Occasions Hairdressing, Naas, Co. Kildare.
Fantastic Gents Hair Stylist Award – Mark Heatley, Mark’s Barbers, Artane, Dublin.
Fantastic Hair Colourist Award – Denise Phillips, Pelo Hair Studio, Newbridge, Co. Kildare.
Fantastic Salon Award – Berlin Hair Lounge, Co. Carlow.
Fantastic Hairdresser Award – Shaun Moriarty, The Greene Room, Killaloe, Co. Clare.
Fantastic Marketing Award – Pelo Hair Studio, Newbridge, Co. Kildare.
ALFAPARF Milano INIXIA Photographic Award – Jennie Smullen, Occasions Hairdressing, Maynooth, Co. Kildare.
Lifetime Achievement Award – Valerie Finnegan-Cahill, IKON Hair Design, Cork.
David Donnellan, managing director of ALFAPARF Milano Ireland said, “ALFAPARF Milano is Ireland’s number one professional hair care brand. Our ethos as a brand is to foster and support creative excellence in the Irish Hairdressing industry.
"ACCADEMIA, our 16,000 square-foot education facility is Ireland’s largest professional state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence for hair and beauty education, management and communications and testament to our commitment to excellence in the industry through ongoing education. It sets the standard in hosting an unrivalled selection of education and training specifically tailored to the needs of professional stylists and beauty therapists.
"The Awards extend a platform to participant salons to show their creative excellence and recognises the skills and talent required to create styles of real beauty”.
The awards were judged by a panel of five internationally renowned industry experts: Alessandro Fratini, International Guest Artist for ALFAPARF Milano; Fiona O'Brien, director of education at Fantastic Hairdresser; Vivica Davies, senior international education manager, ALFAPARF Milano; Jack Bayne, founder and creative director of Japonica; Alan Edwards, a founding member of the Alan Edwards Artistic Team.
As well as the prize-giving, graduates from the Beauty in All its Forms hairdressing assistant training programme were presented with their course certificates having completed the national employment programme for adults with Down Dyndrome, where they train as hairdressing assistants in selected ALFAPARF Milano salons nationwide. It is a joint initiative between Down Syndrome Ireland and ALFAPARF Milano.