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A cut above . . . Moha Hairdressing salon owner Kylie Hayes (left) and apprentice Liana King are finalists in the Hair Expo. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Two Dunedin hairdressers are making their mark on the industry after being named as finalists in an Australasian competition.

Kylie Hayes and Liana King, of Moha Hairdressing, are finalists for New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year and Apprentice of the Year respectively in the Hair Expo, which will be held in Sydney next month.

The Hair Expo brings together industry professionals from Australia, New Zealand and globally for the largest trade event created for the hairdressing community in the ultimate festival of hair.

Hayes created a six-photo collection and Miss King created four looks.

The pair travelled to Melbourne to shoot their collections, with the help of make-up artists, models and photographer Carl Keeley.

Mrs Hayes said that having the help of a team “elevated” her collection compared to previous years, as she did not have to do everything herself.

“When you’re getting into this level of competition you need a team.”

She was in contact with Mr Keeley for about three months, talking about the collection, before the one-day shoot.

Mrs Hayes’ collection Voltaicwas inspired by elements of cubism and the 1980s.

“Texture is a huge thing in my collection.”

It was her fifth year entering the expo and she was thrilled to be named as a finalist.

“It’s quite a prestigious award, so even to be a finalist is huge.”

Miss King, who has been hairdressing for about four and a-half years, said her collection Kaleidoscopic was inspired by colourful toothpicks.

She tried to use toothpicks in the models’ hair but “it just wasn’t working” so turned to other materials instead, such as wool and silk.

Miss King said she was “over the moon” when she found out she was a finalist, especially because it was her first time entering.

“I could not believe it. It did not feel real.

“Especially being my first time.”

Miss King was also named the HITO Apprentice of the Year Award last year.

The winners will be announced on June 12.