Danny Pato of D&M salon in Ponsonby was one of a handful of top stylists invited to Paris to a master class with hair industry star Angelo Seminara. British Hairdresser of the Year three years out of the past six, Seminara is creative director of innovative Italian brand Davines which hosted the event.

Pato reports that on the streets, Parisian women live up to their reputation for being thin and fabulously groomed. "Hair is healthy, hydrated and shiny, round brush blow-waved to perfection, but then tousled to look effortless," he says. "Colours are natural and one-toned; not a balayage in sight."

With Seminara, stylists worked on mannequins to produce several cuts and styles in tight timeframes.

When a group of top hairdressers get together is it all scissors flashing?

Not exactly, because I realised the night before that I'd left my brand new scissors in a Berlin hotel room - $2800 scissors that were made specifically for me. I was really caught off-guard for the big day. Luckily I made do with a beg, borrow and steal of a sharp razor, although I was a bit shaky at first.

Podium hair is often spectacular, but what inspirations will you be taking back into the salon?

We did see some extraordinary podium work at the Davines shows, but some of it was the sort of work that would inspire a lawsuit if you actually did it to a client. Luckily for us, Angelo's work is all about making women look beautiful. This is my ethos: I would never impose a style on someone because it's "on trend" or cookie-cut only four different looks. I believe in using my skills to enhance the beauty of each client. I believe in keeping things simple and fairly classical, creating a style to suit my client's hair type/face shape/lifestyle, and adding a twist of now.

Were there any new techniques, colour trends or products that particularly stood out?

We got to work with Davines' s new styling line called More Inside. The range performs excellently, is weightlessly hydrating and doesn't leave any residue on the hair or hands. (My favourite is the More Inside Sea Salt Spray). New Zealand is going to be the first country in the world to launch this styling line.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

After an inspiring but fairly exhausting day, it was nice to be asked to be part of Angelo's team for a big show in Hong Kong. I can't wait to be part of the team - when I actually have a pair of my own scissors.


Auckland stylist Sara Allsop has been named New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year for a second time.

The co-owner of Dharma salon in Mt Eden, beat three other top stylists, including her husband Jock Robson, to be named winner at the Schwarzkopf Hair Expo in Sydney. Allsop also held the title in 2011 and has been a finalist five times. She has organised industry events in New Zealand, worked backstage at New York Fashion Week and has taken on a mentoring role for hairdressers looking to develop their creative and editorial work.

Her winning collection featured blunt fringes and straight edges designed to be worn by a strong, modern woman.

New Zealanders featured as finalists in several award categories decided on an Australasian basis with Ryder salon in Auckland beating all comers to be named winner for salon design. Greg Murrell's salon in Britomart cleverly uses wooden panels to define its spaces.


A new treatment for excessive underarm sweat has become available. Dr Kevin McKerrow, specialist dermatologist and director of the Skin Specialist Centre in Remuera, says it can be life-changing for those troubled by the condition known as primary axillary hyperhidrosis. He is the first in Australasia to bring in the latest miraDry technology from the United States. This targets sweat glands with localised heat in a non-invasive procedure from which they do no regenerate. "Recent studies show 90 per cent efficacy and 90 per cent patient satisfaction," he says. Two one-hour procedures three months apart are recommended, offering an alternative to the use of botox, or the surgical removal of sweat glands, for sweat control.


The annual Look Good Feel Better appeal is on next month and as part of the campaign for the women's cancer charity, information hubs will be set up at main Westfield and Farmers stores in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton from July 6. A range of merchandise including lipstick pens, purse mirrors and cosmetic bags will be on sale to help raise funds for the charity's makeover workshops, attended by more than 3000 cancer patients across 24 centres last year. A $1 donation will also be made from each sale of some lipsticks. "Cancer can be a very lonely journey, however the Look Good Feel Better programme offers confidence, support and the opportunity to talk with other women on the same pathway," says the charity's general manager, Yvonne Brownlie.

By Janetta Mackay Email Janetta