There was applause, advice and two special awards at HITO’s 2018 graduation ceremony.

Held at the Cordis Hotel in Auckland, the ceremony celebrated the achievements of barbers, hairdressers, beauty therapists and nail technicians who completed qualifications this year.

Leading hairdressers Phillip Millar and Cathy Davys were also recognised with Honorary Awards from the International Professional Standards Network (IPSN) for their work educating and elevating the standards of hairdressing in New Zealand.

HITO CEO Kay Nelson congratulated the graduates on their hard work.

“We  hope  your  journey  to  graduating  has  been  satisfying,  and  an  experience  you  would  not  just  recommend  to  others,  but  that  you  will  one  day  be  a  trainer  or  employer  yourself,  and  give  someone  else  the  chance  to  succeed  like  you.”

Mana Dave, owner of Blaze salon and MC for the event, had valuable advice for new hairdressing, beauty and barbering graduates.

“In your journey from today you will make mistakes. If you’re about self-development and growth, you’ve got to be OK about that. To become the best version of yourself you will need help. You’ve got to be confident to reach out and ask for help.”

He urged graduates to focus on understanding their clients as that had been one of the things that had pushed him forward in his career.

“You want to let people know that you see them, you hear them, you know them, because you are them.”

He said graduates had the opportunity to help their professions become more valued.

“What the future looks like is up to you.”

Graduating hairdresser Zoe Snook shared her highlights and challenges during her apprenticeship training.

“The past three years were long and hard, but also a blur and very rewarding. They’ve shaped me into a competent hairdresser and a better person. I’ve become more resilient, determined, empathetic and a better listener.”

She thanked the team from Mane Salon, “who have championed me, trained me, believed in me and held me to a high standard,” HITO for providing credibility to the industry and support throughout her training, and her boss Janine.

“She is my biggest inspiration and has influenced me more than anyone else in my apprenticeship and life. When I grow up I hope I’ll be the person she is to me to someone else.”

Zoe will be moving into a senior stylist position in Mane’s new salon in Wellington.

“I always want to be learning, expanding and improving. There are so many avenues in hairdressing and I’m excited for the opportunities that come my way.”

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