Ego Stroke - 'Chloe Hegan makes it big in Australia'

by Carl Keeley

Isn't it nice when a Kiwi Cuzzy Bro swims across the ditch to the Big Smoke in 'Aussie' and carves up the natives - that's every NZer's dream right there.

Here's a nice little Ego Stroke for our Kiwi Folk Hero in the making Chloe Hegan from the NZARH 

As you can see when we tagged her 'The Gift' in our introduction a wee while ago we weren't kidding LOL!

All that sheep shearing practice has really paid off 'aye Bro-ess'

Chloe's also available to tend human tresses at our Windsor salon on five out of seven days with 'd' in it's name.


 Cuzzy Bro Chloe the Kiwi Sheep Shearer Kicks Aussie Butt

Cuzzy Bro Chloe the Kiwi Sheep Shearer Kicks Aussie Butt

Chloe Hegan makes it big in Australia

Subtitle: We talk to Chloe Hegan about her overseas hairdressing success

Introduction: It's been a while since we’ve seen Chloe (former Southland Hairdresser of the Year) – since finishing her apprenticeship she’s moved overseas. But she’s been achieving a lot, so we thought we’d catch up and see how everything is going. 

Chloe Hegan had her first taste of the industry at a salon in Invercargill, Karma. For over a year, she worked after school at Karma, before deciding to leave school and start her training at the Southern Institute of Technology. 

“I was inspired by the amazing team at Karma and the endless opportunities a career in hairdressing had to offer,” Chloe says. “I never really felt like I found hairdressing but that it found me”.

Eventually, Chloe returned to Karma, completing her apprenticeship with them in 2011. Karma has a reputation as a highly successful salon, with several of their employees winning competition titles. And Chloe only added to this reputation, taking out the Southland Hairdresser of the Year title in 2012.

High on the success of her competition win, Chloe headed off to Australia. Eventually, she took up a job at Chumba Concept Salon in Melbourne, another salon known for its fashion and competition work. This, combined with Chloe’s love of competition work, meant it was no time at all before she was back on the competition circuit.

“Competition work has always been one of the things I find most exciting about the industry,” Chloe says. “It's a chance to put all your skills and creative knowledge together to create your own masterpiece”.

And her training and competition experience in New Zealand put her in good stead overseas, providing her with the skills to win the IHS Victorian Hairdresser of the Year Award for 2013.

“There have been countless times when I’ve found myself thankful for the quality of training we have in New Zealand,” Chloe says. “There’s been no element of hairdressing here I’ve been faced with that I don’t feel competent in”.

Chloe’s previous salon, Karma, is extremely successful in the NZARH competitions every year, and Chloe feels that it was their expertise that helped her win both at home and in Australia. Also, unlike competitions in New Zealand, Australian hairdressing competitions do not involve competing on the floor. Being used to the stress of the competition floor in New Zealand, being able to prepare before meant Chloe was more relaxed on the day, allowing her to compete successfully.

Preparing her work earlier was a challenge, however, Chloe admits, because she “mulled over her looks until [she] turned a little hair crazy”. There was a lot of prep work to do before, with Chloe working in the salon lightening, colouring, re-colouring, cutting, and shaving the hair on her models’ to achieve her look. Chloe was lucky, however: at Chumba, she works with a team of award-winning hairdressers, and they all gave her advice on competing. And it was all worth it on the day, with Chloe placing in every section she entered and winning the overall IHS Victorian Hairdresser of the Year award. 

“Seeing all my hard work pay off was such a relief,” Chloe says. “[Winning the award] was an excellent opportunity to make my mark on the industry in Melbourne. It's opened the door to many more opportunities”.

For other hairdressers looking to succeed in competition work, Chloe has some advice: “Plan meticulously, and practice over and over again,” she says. “Constantly have a mood board going, and add to it daily – this will stop you straying too far from your original inspiration”.

For Chloe, this is just the beginning. Since moving to Melbourne, Chloe has presented on the launch pad stage at Hair Expo in Sydney (alongside Chumba’s Young Guns), and taken part in Kaleidoscope, Chumba’s Look and Learn show. She also taught alongside Chumba team members Belinda Keeley and Christopher Gratton for Ozdare (a product company). 

“Education has always been a long-term dream of mine,” Chloe says. “This small taste has left me hungry for more”.

And if all goes to plan, more education will be in her future: long-term, Chloe hopes to do education and platform work. She also plans to continue her fashion work: this year Chloe has already created a photo shoot for the Australian Hair Fashion Awards Avant Garde Hairdresser of the Year. Chumba also takes part in over 20 photo shoots per year, giving Chloe plenty of opportunities. She has also applied to be part of the FAME team, who will travel overseas for fashion shoots and to train with Angelo Seminara (Creative Director for Davines). She will find out whether she has made the team in April next year.  

“But I’ve got so much to learn and enjoy in the meantime,” Chloe says. “And no matter where I end up, my number one goal will be to be known for the high quality of my craft – that I do everything, and I do it well”.