AHC History

The Australian Hairdressing Council sets the standards for salons and represents the professional hairdressing industry nationally. Its members are accredited salons, product companies and associated industry members who have united to ensure that operational standards are high; career interest and recruitment improves, and the Federal Government recognises and responds to unique industry issues.



The AHC has consistently reinforced its four pillars – Raising Industry Standards, Connecting Our Industry, Our Voice to Government and Supporting Business – so that for every initiative, event and promotion we undertake, we endeavour to ensure it meets some, if not all, of these pillars so that we can be true to the philosophy and mission of the Australian Hairdressing Council.

So how have we done this?

  • The AHC Board continues to meet with State and Federal Ministers, Senators and Bureaucrats presenting the needs of the hairdressing industry.

  • The AHC meets with the Treasury, ATO, FWO, Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, ACCC and ACCORD and Small Business Commissioners.

  • AHC presents Industry Day, featuring speakers Suzi Hewlett from the Department of Education, Melinda Brown of Skills IQ , Senator Doug Cameron, James Moran from Apprentice Support Australia, Kay Nelson from HITO NZ, APRA music regulator, Charles Marcus, Selina Tomasich founder of Hair Aid, Clive Allwright and Haim Jacobwitz from Piloroo.  Event attended by RTOs, educators and salons.

  • Schmoozefest at Bobby McGees, Melbourne is attended by 250 members of the AHC for fun and networking on Hair Expo Saturday night.

  • AHC presents ‘Listening for a Change’ at Hair Expo to address the forever changing landscape of running a business and managing staff with Mirella Heuperman and Lyndal Salmon from Biba Academy, Joey Scandizzo and Hermiz Daniel and Rocco Petrucci from Zucci.

  • Youthworx presents the 2018 Apprentice of the Year finalists on the Hair Expo Main Stage with Paula Hibbard and Marie Nieuwoudt.

  • AHC re-launches H.A.I.R (Hairdressing Australia Industry Register) after trialling a pilot model in 2017 to continue our fight against kitchen operators and non-compliant businesses and allow hairdressers to register their qualification to professionalise our industry. 

  • AHC conducts two national roadshows addressing staff retention and mental health concerns - ‘Heads Up’ with psychologist Melanie Else and wellness advocate Sommer Bentley and ‘Mental Health’ with industry leaders Everymind and the Careers Development Centre.

  • CEO Sandy Chong is re-elected to the COSBOA Board (Council Of Small Business Organisations of Australia).

  • The AHC attends the COSBOA Summit in Sydney, engaging with Australian Government, Regulators and small business stakeholders in discussion on small business concerns and interest.

  • Sandy Chong continues her role with the IRC (Industry Reference Committee) representing WRAPS (Wholesale, Retail and Personal Services)

  • Wendy Blair carries on her role on the IAC (Industry Advisory Committee). Wendy also continues to consult with government, salons and RTOs nationally on the future needs of apprenticeships, education and industry skills.

  • AHC lawyers received more than 1800 phone calls from members, with the most commonly covered enquiries regarding pay rates, award entitlements, litigation, policy and procedures and contracts.

  • AHC partnerships with several brands to offer additional support, savings and intelligence to its members. These include American Express, Make it Cheaper, Accounting Angels and Benchmarking.

  • The AHC initiative Benchmarking project 2018 report shows AHC salons to be more profitable than non-AHC salons

  • AHC partners with Skills Road, Hair Expo and Instyle magazine to develop a video targeting over 200,000 school leavers, parents and careers advisors to encourage hairdressing apprenticeships.

  • AHC devised several targeted social media campaigns showcasing AHC members sharing how they chose a career in hairdressing #choosehair.

  • AHC charitable initiative for 2018 was ‘Love Your Sister’ in partnership with Mocha Angels. Fundraising month in May and pyjama day, with participating salons raising more than $40,000. 


  • The AHC Board continues to meet with State and Federal Ministers, Senators and Bureaucrats presenting the needs of the hairdressing industry.

  • The AHC meets with the Treasury, ATO, FWO, Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, ACCC, Safe Work Australia.

  • AHC lawyers provide advice to over 700 enquirees on employment, the Award and apprenticeships.

  • AHC presents Industry Day. 8 speakers include the Hon Karen Andrews and Senator Doug Cameron attended by RTOs, educators and salons.

  • Schmoozefest at Madame Tassauds is attended by 250 members of the AHC, networking pre Hair Expo.

  • AHC presents booked out Real Talk, The Future Of Our Industry to a standing ovation.

  • AHC launches H.A.I.R (Hairdressing Australia Industry Register) and APP after surveying the industry and acting on industry concerns.

  • Youthworx presents the Apprentice Of the Year finalists at Hair Expo Main Stage.

  • AHC Board and facilitators meet members Hair Expo AHC stand.

  • CEO Sandy Chong is re-elected to the COSBOA Board (Council Of Small Business of Australia)

  • Sandy Chong presents The Future Of the Industry and the Roles of Associations at the COSBOA Summit in Melbourne.

  • AHC saves over $80,000 on energy costs for AHC salons.

  • Sandy Chong is invited on to the IRC (Industry Reference Committee) representing WRAPS (Wholesale, Retail and and Personal Services)

  • Wendy Blair is invited on NSW WRAPS IAC (Industry Advisory Committee)

  • Wendy Blair continues to consult with government, salons and RTOs nationally on the future needs of apprenticeships, education and industry skills.

  • The AHC initiative Benchmarking project 2017 report shows AHC salons to be more profitable than non AHC salons

  • Salon Select Smiles for Starlight total monies raised is $244,000 over the last 3 campaigns of pop up salons, pyjama dress up days and our May fundraising spreading hairdressing career awareness to consumers as well as smiles for seriously ill children.



  • Education and Training Chair, Wendy Blair lobbies all States to accept the Barber Apprenticeship

  • AHC raises over $94,000 with Salon Select Smiles for Starlight campaign for the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Over 300 salons nationally are involved in this fundraiser

  • 17 Starlight Pop Up Salons are held in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Newcastle with Salon Select member salons

  • Digital campaign commences to consumers promoting hairdressing as a professional industry

  • AHC introduces Green Select, developed by Paul Frasca. This green accreditation acknowledges a salon’s commitment to sustainability and the environment

  • Benchmarking is introduced to the industry giving all salons a free service to benchmark their KPIs with industry

  • Chair E&T Wendy Blair is guest speaker on Education & Training in Melbourne and regional areas, Victoria

  • CEO Sandy Chong presents 2 national business seminars on Teamwork Culture Finance, Salon Productivity, Commission Structures, Incentives and bonuses in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth

  • Sandy Chong continues her role as COSBOA Director. Meetings include Small Business Minister Michael McCormack, Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell, The ATO and Fair Work Ombudsman

  • AHC Directors attend the COSBOA Small Business Summit, Brisbane. Sandy Chong presents Vent on Vet

AHC events include: 

  • Hair Expo representation Melbourne

  • Schmoozefest networking for AHC members

  • Education & Training presents Industry Day at Hair Expo. Speakers include Senator Scott Ryan. Sharon Bird MP , FWO, CEO of Skills IQ Yasmin King, Apprenticeship Employment and Paul Frasca

  • Inspire Business in Sydney and Perth with keynote speakers include Dennis Langford, Hayley Mears, Paul Frasca, David Mannah, Simone Lee, Sharlene Lee, Pauline McCabe and Julie Jeffrey

  • Industry meetings with Wendy Blair on topical issues including funding, apprenticeships and assessments

  • AHC/Youthworx introduces the finalists of Hair Expo Apprentice of the Year on the MainStage at Hair Expo

  • Paula Hibbard represents Youthworx with the Talent Development Project and the Adelaide Thunderbirds

  • Youthworx projects and opportunities include Dennis Langford, Richard Kavanagh, Alan White, Sssh, Paula Hibbard, Tracey Hughes, Excellent Edges and Hair Expo.


  • As a Director of COSBOA (Council Of Small Business Of Australia) the AHC had many face to face meetings with various Ministers, Senators and Commissioners at business conferences and meetings at Parliament House. These meetings place the presence of our industry to government for consideration concerning Education and Training, Small Business matters, the Fair Work Commission, ATO, FWO, WRAPS and Service Skills.

  • Wendy Blair and other members of the AHC successfully contributed to the development of the new Barber qualification, and the new Hairdressing Cert III with Service Skills. Wendy Blair and RTO Select also focused on accrediting over 50 colleges, and Faye Murray and the AHC facilitators now have hundreds of salons either accredited or completing Silver and Gold Salon Select.

  • Sandy Chong continues her role as Director of COSBOA (Council Of Small business Of Australia)

  • The Salon Select Smiles for Starlight national campaign raised over $77,250 for the Starlight Children’s Foundation

  • Youthworx members volunteered to work at the Starlight Pop-Up Salons in NSW, QLD, VIC, WA and SA.

  • The AHC completed two successful national tours – Expert Education with Tracey Hughes and Talk It Up  with Dario Cotroneo.

  • The AHC partnered with LiveED to bring education to regional areas for AHC BUSINESS EDUCATION AND PRESENTATIONS

  • Salon Melbourne: Youthworx teams present on the Spotlight stage.

AHC held 9 events at Hair Expo 2015 including:

  • Schmoozefest – a successful networking event exclusive only to AHC members

  • Youthworx performed on the Mainstage with the finalists from Hair Expo Apprentice/Student of the Year and New Creative Force

  • Youthworx presented at the Sunday night Gen Next show.

  • AHC presented Power Up Your Business Seminar with Jon Dee followed by interviews with the finalists of Hair Expo Business of the Year

  • AHC gets up close and personal, Interviewing the finalists of Hairdresser of The Year

  • AHC compered the Main Stage for the Hair Expo weekend

  • AHC presented Industry Training & Education Conference  with speakers from Education & Training Minister’s office, ASQA & Service Skills

  • AHC launches the revamped AHC EXPO stand 

  • Robert Lobetta, Tabatha Coffey and Eden Sassoon joined the Industry as AHC ambassadors.

  • Youthworx supported the Talent Development Program with the Whitehouse Institute of Design

  • Prema New York provide the opportunity for a Youthworx member to work backstage at New York Fashion Week

  • Youthworx members are given the opportunity to work backstage at Ssh 2015 amongst many other opportunities to work with Australian Educators.


  • Sandy Chong takes position of Director of COSBOA  ( Council Of Small Business Of Australia )       

  • AHC has representation at Hair Expo compering the Mainstage, Youthworx presents on Mainstage and Launch pad

  • ATO and Fairwork Ombudsman present at Hair Expo for the AHC. The AHC interviews Hair Expo finalists in Emerging Artist, New Creative Force and Apprentice of The Year in New Horizons seminars

  • All membership categories experience growth

  • Barber membership is established to assist in the developement of the Barber's qualification

  • Business seminars are held nationally covering Salon Culture and Business Culture with Justin Herald and Sandy Chong

  • New website is launched with a consumer focus for locating AHC Salon Select members

  • Digital campaign is launched focussing on driving consumers to Salon Select salons

  • Eden Sassoon becomes an AHC Ambassador

  • Youthworx participates in Starlight Foundation Pop Up Salons nationally with Sloans salon

  • AHC participates nationally with Industry Forums

  • AHC attends the NAB COSBOA Small Business Forum representing the hairdressing industry


  • AHC has representation and presence at Salon Melbourne and Hair Expo

  • AHC business seminar is sold out presented by key AHC members. Youthworx are on the Mainstage and Launchpad

  • AHC social media presence grows to 6 facebook pages plus Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Developed to engage and  connect all industry partners, educators and consumers

  • All AHC membership categories experience growth. Memberships cover all States and many regional areas

  • AHC invites stakeholders to Industry Forums with Service Skills and State Training to discuss Apprenticships

  • Global Synergy is launched by Emiliano Vitale and the AHC. Project includes finalists mentored by Emiliano Vitale, Sandy Chong, Matt Clements, Sam Overton and Leesa Smith. Winner of Global Synergy is flown to London to work with Emiliano Vitale at the Alternative Hair Show at the Royal Prince Albert Hall

  • Lesley Henshaw ( Youthworx ) accompanies Bernie Craven and the Kaya Collabrative project in Manila to teach hairdressing

  • RTO and teacher memberships grow. RTO Select is being delivered nationally

  • AHC attends the NAB COSBOA Small Business Summit representing the hairdressing industry


  • AHC becomes a member of COSBOA ( Council of Small Business Of Australia )

  • New website launched

  • IR and HR library and advice is launched

  • Hair Expo presentations. AHC presents industry facts at the  Top Salon Summit

  • Youthworx is launched at Hair Expo Launch Pad

  • RTO Select is written and piloted to 4 RTOs private and Government


  • Salon Select accreditation program launched to Australian salons at Hair Expo

  • Foundation Members Business Round Table. Associate memberships grow supporting the AHC

  • AHC Flood Relief Silent Auction, preparation for disbursement of funds raised to affected salons – raised more than $50,000


  • Salon Select accreditation program is developed to assist salon businesses. 70 salons nationally come on board to pilot Salon Select accreditation program

  • Constitution is formed. Salon Select criteria developed, short and long term business and financial modelling initiated. AHC becomes an official not-for-profit organisation and receives ACN. Registered in Canberra


  • Decision to form independent national body with distinctive all-embracing and un-complicated agenda.


  • Liaised with HBIA in developing a version of their “5 Faces” program – compared this concept with other successful industry programs such as those by the CPA for accountants.


  • National Roadshow seeking input. More than 1,000 salon owners participated across Australia. Overwhelming support for the AHC agenda and objectives.

  • Several working group meetings in major cities embracing all comers to develop the AHC rationale and structure.


  • The Australian Hairdressing Council

    An opportunity to make history and profoundly change our industry for the future.Service Skills facilitates a meeting with all Industry stakeholders, Hairdressing Think Tank  . Attendees include product companies, salon owners, RTO representatives, educators, industry media, State Associations, Industry service providers. A workshop identifies the needs of the industry. A decision is reached to develop an Assocoation with 1 national voice.