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Leah’s a cut above the rest

A Wairarapa stylist has beaten out some of her “hair heroes” to claim a top prize at one of Australia’s most prestigious hairdressing competitions.

Leah Tafa, manager at Vivo Hair Salon in Masterton, received the title of Transformation Stylist of the Year at the 2022 Australian Hair Fashion Awards [AHFA] – open to “the best of Australian and New Zealand talent” in the hairdressing industry.

The awards, presented at a black-tie event in Melbourne last month, recognise achievement in a variety of hairdressing disciplines: Commercial, artistic, editorial, men’s styling, and hair and beauty education.

The Transformation Stylist category recognises innovation and creativity in hairdressing, with entrants required to submit a video of “an effective hair transformation” – using their competencies to produce a metamorphicexperience for their client.

Tafa’s video entry, in which her client received an edgy shag cut in vivid coral pink, clearly demonstrated her skill with a pair of scissors and a tinting brush – and earned her high praise from the international judging panel.

Though she has been a hairdresser for over a decade, the AHFA is the first competition Tafa has entered – deciding to “give it a go” after being encouraged by a former manager.

In fact, the flame-haired mum-of-two almost missed the deadline to submit her application, having caught covid the week before.

Once she did apply, Tafa was thrilled to be

Erin Kavanagh-Hall
Erin Kavanagh-Hall
Erin Kavanagh-Hall is the editor of the Wairarapa Midweek. She has been a journalist for the past 10 years, and has a keen interest in arts, culture, social issues, and community justice.

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