MICHAEL BEEL wins New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year

Creative and talented hairstylist Michael Beel of Buoy Hairdressing has taken out the top prize, Wella New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year 2017 at the Industry New Zealand Hair Awards in Auckland.

Michael’s collection was a major change from his normal work of big, voluminous hair. His 2017 collection still portrayed a clean glamour but with more of a ’80s grunge vibe, showcasing choppy bobs and chic mullets, with panels of colour to add texture and visual interest.

Laud chatted with Michael about winning the award, session styling, where he thinks the Industry is heading and his favourite products.

Michael Beel, right, at the Industry NZ Hairdressing Awards










Congratulations Michael, how does it feel to take out the 2017 Wella NZ Hairdresser of the Year at the Industry NZ Hairdressing Awards?
Humbling and an honour. I am lucky enough to have won this award in 2014 as well, so to win it twice is truly magical!

Where did your inspiration for your editorial entry come from?
I really wanted to create a strong haircut collection, my work tends to be about long beautiful big hair but I wanted to showcase that edge and strength in short hair could still have beauty. I feel that having a haircut is starting to be more prominent in fashion and we are celebrating “individuality’ a lot more which is amazing! I also see a strong trend towards the 80’s where having a haircut reigned supreme. Hence, the mullets, chunky fringes and bowl shapes.

What was it like when it was announced that you were a finalist?
Becoming a finalist is always an amazing feeling as its pitches you against the best and the margin of winning can be so small so in an essence we are all winners! When you put all the collections together it is like judging art… how can you judge an oil painting against a watercolour against a sculpture against photography. All so different points of view but all celebrating creativity and expression!

It must have been amazing when it was announced that you were the Winner, what was that like?
Mindblowing!!!  It’s an honour to be judged by some great international people that I look up to and that they selected my work as the best. The competition was very tough this year and when they called my name i was shocked, surprised but over the moon! And I won a trip to New York Fashion Week… who doesn’t want a free trip too NYC!!!!!!

What has winning this award meant for you as a Hair Stylist and a person?
it has given me confidence to trust my creative instincts and also a drive to keep pushing our industry forward and to highlight creativity.

When did you start doing hair?
I started doing hair in my 3rd year of University (studying Marketing and Psychology) by taking a part time job in hair salon making cups of tea and sweeping the floors… purely for beer $$$ in the weekend. Ended up loving the buzz of the salon but most importantly making someone feel better than they did when they walked in, dropped out of Uni and took a full time apprenticeship… 19 years later my career has taken me all over the world.

What do you enjoy the most about hair?
In the salon its definitely making people feel better about themselves and being quite an important person in their life but when I’m doing editorial/photographic work it’s being part of a team telling a story and all the creative energy that is involved in that process…. I live for that wow moment on set!

What is your favourite hair to do and why?
I’m known for creating beautiful wearable hair, I’m not an avant garde type of man! Big hair is my passion! As Dolly Parton once said “the higher the hair the closer to god!” lol

Where do you go from here?
I am a shareholder and Creative director in a salon of 27 in the CBD of Wellington NZ (@buoysalonspanz) so continuing to drive the business forward both financially and creativity is always first. Secondly I have NZFW at the end of August where I’m hair directing some shows while mentoring people thru the process of backstage life. Also, I’m working on an editorial hair training manual for up and coming stylists to learn the basics while giving them real life tips of what I’ve learnt in the 19 years of being in this industry

What is your advice for all young hairstylists starting out?
Be passionate, put your hand up for every piece of education that comes your way and be aware of what is happening in the world… who is directing hair for shows and shoots internationally, what are the trends coming in and don’t limit yourself to what’s just happening in your salon and town. The sky is the limit and our career can take us places that money cannot buy. Also Listen to the client… the consultation is the most important part of your time with the client, get that wrong and it can lead to a disaster… your only as good as your last haircut!

Where do you think the Hair Industry is heading?
i believe our industry is needing a massive revamp in terms of the salon life… there are so many home hairdressers/rookies that are damaging our industry and are not regulated and licensed. This needs to change from a government level but also we need to make hairdressing sexy again. Each year there are fewer and fewer people entering our industry so in 5-10 years time there is going to be an even more massive staff shortage than what we have now! At the moment being a chef is the sexy thing to do with shows like master chef and the rise of celebrity cooks…. we need to get the same passion and energy back into hairdressing.

What is your best tips for great hair?
CONDITION CONDITION CONDITION… Healthy hair looks great no matter what length, colour or texture so please look after it, use the right products, get regular trims and do a deep conditioning treatment on it at least once a week!!!! When hairdressers recommend products it’s just not a sales pitch!

Can you tell us your favourite products and why?
I LOVE Loreal Crepage de Chignon – it’s a dry texturising spray that sort of sits halfway between a dry shampoo and a medium hold hairspray, gives volume and lift to fine hair and helps create the ultimate beach hair texture!
KY Jelly- yes the personal lubricant – The ultimate wet look product that creates ultimate shine and doesn’t set hard like a gel so on set you can move and manipulate hair.
Loreal Elnett Hairspray: Holds yet brushes out beautifully…. an editorial hairdressers spray of choice
GHD Stylers and Tongs: Any texture or curl a hairdresser needs done with these amazing heat tools.

What is one thing in your kit that you can’t live without?
My Mason Pearson Brush… a classic brush that encourages shine while maintaining the integrity of the hair! Worth every dollar!

What is your favourite quote?
Apart from the Dolly Parton quote listed above its “Hair is the strongest personal fashion statement anyone could ever make” Anna Wintour – Vogue.

Follow Michael on instagram @michaelbeelhair

Photographic credits for Michael Beel’s winning 2017 Collection
Hair: Michael Beel
Colourist: Chinney Yeap
Photographer: Guy Coombes
Stylist: Sopheak Seng
Makeup: Hil Cook
Models: Kirsty Bunny Management and street cast