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Not a bad ‘hair’ day

09 Aug 2019

Maninder Kaur fulfilled her father’s dream to train as a nurse. But she knew to be fully happy she needed to chase her own dream once she finished her qualification and include creativity in her daily work life.

She signed up to Ara’s hairdressing course in February and her passion for the industry was recognized when she won an award for best new talent in the ‘Long hair design with technical excellence’ category at the regional hairdressing competition over the weekend.


Maninder Kaur styled her model's (Arti Sharma Goraya) hair in 45 minutes and won an award for best new talent.  

It was the first time Kaur took part in an industry competition and she admits, even though she put lots of practice into her up-do style, she was anxious.

“I was so nervous my hands were shaking when the competition started. But once I began working on my model it was all good. I had 50 minutes to complete my style but in the end it only took me 45 minutes. I was so proud once I had done it.

“Our tutors helped me a lot before the competition, helping me to choose a design and talking me through what to do. They were great!”

Before she settled on her winning design, Kaur had six styles she liked after researching suitable hair up-dos online. She preferred creating an elegant style without too many extras.

“I’m not a fan of using too many accessories. If you use too many it really hides your talent. People won’t be able to see the hair properly which is the most important part. My plan was from the start to do more with the hair itself. “

Kaur’s plan was to pack in as much as possible into the four-year course and learn everything about the industry. She says that competitions like this one are a perfect learning opportunity, even if a new hairdressing student usually doesn’t compete.

“I’d recommend every young stylist give it ago and come along. It’s not just about winning but it’s also about watching other stylists and learning from them. There are so many talented people out there and it’s worth to seeing what they can do.

“I would love to enter the competition again and I think I will do it every year while I am doing my course. I really loved it and enjoyed it. If you don’t compete you don’t know where you stand in the industry and what level you are up to.”


Ara's barbering students mid-competition while creating a men's style called 'The Fade'. 

The Christchurch competition by the New Zealand Association of Registered Hairdressers (NZARH) was held in Ara’s Kahukura building and consisted of nine events that ranged from cutting, colouring and creating hair styles/designs. It is an annual event that takes place in six cities around New Zealand and offers anyone from hairdressing and barbering students to senior stylists to showcase their talents.

Kaur wasn’t the only successful Ara student: In barbering, three students took second (Kaea Katene), third (Anthory Huk) and fourth (Leigh- Vai Kavanagh Renata) place, creating an excellent men’s style called ‘The Fade’.


Ara's barbering students who participated in the competition (front left to right): Wai Morrison, Leigh-Vai Kavanagh Renata, Kaea Katene and (back left to right)Jake Murdoch, Rynanya Tonga