Held once again in Brisbane in March and now in its 7th Year, Hair Biz Forum did not disappoint with a full day of education from some incredibly talented international teams complimented by business expertise and iconic interviews. Unlike any other day on the Australian Hairdressing Calendar, Hair Biz Forum annually pulls out all of the stops for over 350 business owners, mangers and industry trailblazers, all coming together for networking, learning and generally just enjoying this uniquely exciting full day event.

Following arrival tea and coffee, Master of Ceremonies, Paul Frasca, welcomed the excited crowd, giving a rundown on the day’s events.


Sponsored by matrix

First up, Matrix General Manager, Alishia Smart conducted a panel interview with The Cool Kids in The Playground-The Matrix Playground, that is. Alishia introduced the team of in-demand Matrix Educators who travel the globe inspiring and educating stylists and colourists on behalf of the brand. With each quite unique in their approach to business, the group shared their knowledge, their learnings and their mindset to the approval of the crowd.

The Panel consisted of:-

Matthew Johnson, Owner MJ Hair, Adelaide

Jenni Tarrant, Owner of Bond Hair Religion

Adam & Nicole Ciaccia, Axis Hairdressing, Canberra

Simone Lee, Simone Le Creative, Perth

Paul and Marie Ricupito, De Barge Hair & Café, Victoria

Mel Corthine, Stevie English Hair, Sydney

Imparting some gems of knowledge including some interesting comments on differing work, weeks, motivating staff, having flexibility, how to give back to the community, running a café business alongside the salon, rebooking, sustainability and much more this session was full of great information for the Forum audience.


Sponsored by L’ANZA

The incredible duo, Christopher Dove and John Simpson from the USA charmed and delighted the crowd, winning themselves a room full of devotees by the end of their presentation.

Introducing their education brand, CoCre8, the pair explained: “CoCre8 is a brand of education like no other. It’s non-manufacturer driven education. It’s intense, it’s informative, it’s raw and it’s real! It’s education which drives you to generate profit through inspiration, taking you on an educational journey which will enhance your thought process and enlighten your approach to hair as a craft and art form.

Showcasing his philosophy around placement of colour for striking effect using L’Anza Colour, John explained: “A light is only as strong as the dark that sits beside it. You can’t have light without dark and not dark without light”.

Models featured looks with deeper contours of raspberry blended with bolder copper as an interesting way to add texture. Others showed blue sitting next to violet, sitting next to teal, sitting next to magenta for an incredibly bold yet beautiful result.

To achieve pastel tones, the boys used direct glazes buffered with conditioner, which were ideal on porous ends where we often get too much colour uptake.

Demonstrating how to transition from a bob shape to longer length, Christopher used a razor to soften and blend a heavy fringe into length, removing the disconnection. He then worked through in vertical radial sections using the same razor technique, softening, breaking up the heaviness of the previously solid form with softer, moving layers. This allows the client to keep her fringe and grow out her length very comfortably.

What an absolutely delightful pair! So warm, so generous, so willing to share their knowledge, and so…. hilarious!

ICON INTERVIEW- Andrew O’Toole interviewed by Lee Cohen

Sponsored by HairBiz

Andrew O’Toole is one of the world’s most in-demand hair photographers working with leading hair stylists such as Angelo Seminara, Trevor Sorbie and Errol Douglas. His work has been published in international editions of Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Glamour, Oyster and more.

Andrew spoke about his introduction to photography and gave a candid account of how he works with hairdressers globally and what they should expect from their collaboration with a photographer. Great insight for this humble man who has had a massive influence on so many careers and the industry in general.


Sponsored by Schwarzkopf Professional

Colour Technician of Year, North Eastern Hairdresser of the Year and nominated for British Hairdresser of the Year multiple times!

The show opened with a presentation of models depicting an interestingly textured colour technique. “We found ways of pressing colour onto hair, rather than painting. It gives a more ‘patchy’ result like when using printing blocks. As we developed this technique, we would use sticks or other random tools, just to explore different textures and see what was possible. We just found that this was a really nice way to get creative with hair”.

The boys spoke about the need to really come up with something unique when they knew they were coming to Australia. “You guys really know what’s going on in terms of technique and fashion. We know we need to have our act together when we’re presenting to Australian audiences! We really need to come up with something very different for you!”

Sharing their experience on the TV show- ‘Second Chance Salon’, Michael and Gary explained what they most loved about being part of such a wonderful production. “People get to experience the very best version of themselves by having a full makeover and throughout the various stages of the show, viewers get to hear about their story. Often, the people featured will be off to something special and you see the transition, right before your eyes. It’s amazing!”

One of the challenges of travelling as a hair artist, however, is being stopped at customs with bags full of high heels and wigs! That always gets a reaction and a few strange looks! Some countries are quite OK with it but others are not happy at all!

From there, it was all about long hair as they used padding and back-brushing to roll long hair under and into a faux bob look. Jumbo-sized doughnuts were used to create a long tube in the hair, purely as padding for hair pieces that would be attached over the doughnuts later. Tiny pencil-sized tongs were also used just through the mid-section, leaving roots and ends out, then brushed out and softened into beautiful waves.

A final tip from the boys? If you’re looking for volume, avoid straightening the hair as it will respond to your backcombing far better if it is not smooth, so just blast dry and leave the texture wherever possible.


On his quest to revolutionize the hair world and teach an entire industry how to become sustainable, Paul Frasca of Sustainable Salons shared his enormous knowledge with a fascinated crowd, speaking all things environmental.

Paul explained how SSA can collect up to 95% of a salon’s waste to be used toward recycling projects and 100% of all proceeds from recycling salon waste are donated to charitable organizations helping humanity. In fact, when SSA can recycle and sell salon waste metals, 1 bale can feed 200 homeless people!

This is a truly powerful initiative with a real opportunity to create change in the world. get behind this, folks!


Sponsored by HairBiz

If you haven’t herd of this social media powerhouse then you’ve definitely been living under a rock! With a record number of fans and followers, Mia gave some great tips on how to turn all the hype into actual bums on seats! Timing for posting, who should do what, not to mention style, imagery and all things social, this was a great session with lots of facts, figures and things to think about for every salon owner!



Our favourite Barber Extraordinaire, Lance Liufau, of Top Shelf Barbers and Barber Shop Magazine fame took to the stage to close the show- and this year, he did something completely different.

Instead of the 6 singing Barbers the crowd expected to see, Lance featured 3 talented female Barbers, whom we felt deserved the spotlight for their dedication to their craft.

To kick off the segment, Lance recited a poem he’d written specially for the occasion, to voice his support for his female colleagues who, he believes, have a harder time than men navigating their way through such a male dominated industry.

The talented ladies on stage dazzling us with their fades and hair art were Samantha Jade, Lani Pickering and Amanda Quade- definitely 3 gals to watch!

Lance spoke on why the industry is seeing some amazing, young emerging superstars and how he feels social media has allowed new barbers to progress very quickly. “You can watch a tutorial on your smart phone from anywhere and access to this level of education has allowed barbers with only a couple of years’ experience to have the confidence to get on a stage and educate.