Home » Beauty File: New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year Andrew Cobeldick
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Beauty File: New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year Andrew Cobeldick

Beauty File: New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year Andrew Cobeldick

The 2024 Australian Hair Industry Awards (Creative) took place at Sydney’s The Star on the 1st of July. Among the winners was Andrew Cobeldick of Buoy Salon & Spa in Wellington, who received the prestigious New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year award. In an exclusive interview, we spoke to Andrew about his career, the significance of the award, and his advice for aspiring stylists.

ProCollective (PC): Firstly, congratulations on winning New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year! How did it feel to receive such a prestigious award?

Andrew: Winning this award has been a dream for my entire career so far! To actually have it become a reality is wild to me. Given the history of this award and the calibre of people who have won previously, whom I have looked up to and been inspired by, having my name engraved alongside theirs is truly an honour that words cannot describe.

PC: What was the inspiration behind your award-winning AHIA collection ‘Gigi’?

Andrew: The inspiration was… Step into the whimsical and exhilarating world of my latest hair collection, where the grandeur of the Met Gala collides with the prestige of the Oscars, but with an unexpected twist – it’s 3 AM, and the night is still young as you find yourself frolicking through the city streets. Infused with the euphoria of a night to remember, each hairstyle in this collection exudes an air of carefree exuberance and untamed beauty. I wanted to bring something fun and avant-garde but something that also had a story. I love being able to read emotion in my creations, whether it’s light or dark, happy or sad! But truly three days before I shot this collection, I found out I was going to lose my beautiful four-legged best friend and her name is Gigi, so that’s where the name comes – it’s a tribute to her.

PC: What do you attribute your success to in the field of hairdressing?

Andrew: Honestly, just having a goddamn love for beautiful hair and thinking outside the box. Whether it’s successful or not doesn’t matter whatsoever because from that, I’m always learning and also growing. Massively, it’s also having a TEAM around you that loves and supports you. Having a mentor for the last 10 years like Richard Kavanagh is something I attribute my success to. Without having someone help bring the best out in you and push you in ways to grow, I feel I’d never truly be the version of myself I am today. I also constantly relish every chance I get to put myself out of my comfort zones. Whether it’s traveling for shows around the world or education closer to home, I’ll do it. Just to grow. Even that little bit.

PC: Talk us through your career journey to date. When did you first get into hairdressing?

Andrew: My career in hairdressing began in a small country town. At the age of 17, I made the pivotal decision to move to the capital, driven by a desire to pursue my dreams. In Wellington, I joined Rodney Wayne, a renowned name in the hairdressing industry. It was here that I had the opportunity to work with Richard Kavanagh. His mentorship and the experiences I gained at Rodney Wayne were instrumental in shaping my early career. As I honed my skills and gained confidence, I began to achieve success and travel, broadening my horizons and learning from various global influences. This period was marked by significant growth and numerous opportunities to showcase my talents on an international stage at fashion shows and editorial photo shoots. Wanting to elevate my career further, I joined Buoy Salon, one of New Zealand’s most prestigious salons. At Buoy, I have continued to refine my craft, taking my skills to new heights. This move has allowed me to work with a talented team and surround myself with likeminded people, further solidifying my reputation as a master stylist and colourist. Throughout this journey, my dedication to continuous learning, creativity, and willingness to take risks have guided me from my beginnings in a small town to my current position. I still feel like this is just the beginning and I strive for more!

PC: Who have been some of your biggest mentors or influences over your successes?

Andrew: Some of my biggest mentors and influencers in my life are actually ones I still have today! Richard Kavanagh has been mentoring me over the last 10 years with monthly coaching and opportunities where he’s pushed me to become the best version of myself. Michael Beel and Mathias Ryder Te Moananui have also helped coach and inspire me. Of course, Danny Pato too, setting the standard for all of us to chase! How can you not be inspired!?

PC: How do you stay updated with the latest trends and techniques?


Continuous Education: I regularly attend and take part in workshops, seminars, and courses to learn new techniques and refine existing skills. This commitment to ongoing education ensures that I stay proficient in the latest styles and innovations in hairdressing.

Industry Events: Participating in major industry events such as fashion weeks and hairdressing awards keeps me informed about emerging trends and offers opportunities to network with other professionals and gain inspiration from their work.

Professional Networking: Engaging with a community of hairstylists and industry experts is crucial. Through platforms like social media, I can follow leading stylists, join professional groups, and stay connected with the latest trends and discussions in the hairdressing world.

Publications and Media: Reading industry magazines, blogs, and watching tutorials on platforms like YouTube helps me stay current with new styles and techniques. Publications often feature trend forecasts and step-by-step guides that are invaluable for continuous learning.

Collaboration and Mentorship: Working alongside other talented stylists at Buoy Salon, and collaborating on projects allows me to learn from their experiences and stay current on innovative techniques and trends.

Experimentation: Finally, I believe in the power of creativity and experimentation. Trying out new ideas and techniques on my own helps me stay at the forefront of the industry and offer unique styles to my clients.

PC: What are your three most relied on hairstyling products and/or tools right now?

Andrew: Redken Full Volume Mousse is a goodie because weightless volume is back baby! Big hair and a bit of va va voom is in but it’s also great for defining all curls. Redken Dry Texture Spray – I can’t get enough off it for finishing to give that lived in texture. The ghd curve soft curl tong is my go-to styling tool. We love those romantic waves to finish and also that blow out feel it delivers. I like to use it like a wand for that editorial texture.

PC: What advice would you give to aspiring hairdressers looking to follow in your footsteps one day?

Andrew: To aspiring hairdressers, I encourage you to pursue your passion with dedication and commitment. Continuously seek out opportunities for learning and gaining diverse experiences. Building a strong network and maintaining excellent customer service are crucial for long-term success. Embrace creativity, don’t be afraid to push boundaries, and seek mentorship to guide you along your journey. By following these principles, you can carve out a successful and fulfilling career in the hairdressing industry. And, lastly, be YOU and do YOU only for YOU!

Congratulations Andrew!