Well what an event we had! The 2023 Wahl Barber Expo was located in Newcastle NSW at the start of March, and after all the dramas of covid which affected us all, it was really exciting to bring the barbering industry back together for an event of education, exhibitors and the Layrite Deluxe Barber Of the Year competition.

As it was the first live barbering event since our premier in Brisbane 2019, it was pleasing to see so many people make the journey to Newcastle to partake in the event and support the industry. This was despite the unfortunate circumstances at the Newcastle airport which caused the delay of many of the attendees and in the case of some, were not able to get there in time at all. 

Aligning minds, networking and supporting the growth of the industry are all critical steps and we feel especially thrilled to have been able to bring this to you.

We were honoured to have Wahl as the naming rights partner for the event and want to express our gratitude to Wahl’s management team for their support and drive behind the Expo. A truly wonderful brand that embraces what this industry is about and we look forward to ongoing partnerships with Wahl in the future.

The Wahl Barber Expo was a mix of education, expo and live barbering – starting with the education sessions. We had the privilege of seeing talented industry educators on stage displaying their learnings, all with industry credibility and most importantly passion.

A big thank you to Luke Munn, Jordan Tabakman with Club products, Ministry and Blacksmith Barber academy’s, Rob Szincsak & Wahl and Anthony Taverna with Proraso for sharing your insights and knowledge.

Barber Brands International in conjunction with Layrite Deluxe, sponsored The Layrite Deluxe Barber Of The Year competition, where we saw over 30 competitors literally battle it out for the overall title.  An amazing event that showcased the class and level of barbering we have here in Australia. It was truly a pleasure to watch the barbers put themselves out there in front of a live audience on stage and bring the best they could and of course a MASSIVE congratulations to Samuel Tate from State Barbershop in Gosford NSW for taking out the title. Not only did he take the title but also a cheque for $5000 for the win and a platform from which to continue to launch his career. Congratulations Sam!!

The second place spot in the open division belonged to Daniel Banford from Hearts & Minds Barbershop in Toukley. Danny also won the creative competition as well, which was judged by our audience, so a winning day all round for him. Congratulations Danny!!

Third place went to Jayden Waaka from Tommy Guns Carindale QLD. Congratulations Jayden!

The competition was fierce and with so much talent on stage it was up to the crack team of judges, headed up by Dan Dixon, to make the final decisions. We had 9 judges in total including Dan, Mark Rabone, Lino D’Adderio, Sandy Chong, Brenden Vengoa, Chris Dunkley, Rob Szincsak, Rocco D’Amore and Suzi Kelly and we want to thank them again for their dedication, time and commitment to this event – true legends all of you. 

We want to thank Barber Brands International for their ongoing support of this event. Their support enables us to bring talent from the industry out to showcase. This is powerful and only unites us further. Thank you Barber Brands International.

We also launched the apprentice division this year and it was extremely pleasing to see the future of the industry in such a high class.  This event was proudly sponsored by Proraso Australia in conjunction with TAFE NSW. Two amazing businesses that united to bring the future of the industry to light. Thank you to the Proraso and TAFE NSW teams for your support and recognition of the industry.

Developing the future is always key and to see the contestants battling it out in a high pressure situation was amazing. The title was hotly contested with Mason Stonnell from Luigi & Sons on the Gold Coast coming out on top. A wonderful achievement and we’d say this man has a very bright future. Congratulations and well deserved Mason!

Second place went to Levi Mastroianni from Sonder Mens Barbershop in Mona Vale, NSW. Well done Levi!

And third place went to Thomas Davies from Tommy Guns Carindale QLD. We salute you Thomas!

We also couldn’t have run this event without the support of Hair & Beauty Kingdom and Salon Furniture Australia who graciously supplied the competition chairs. A wonderful industry supplier of industry products from wetlines to shop accessories and fit outs They also had a wonderful exhibit to showcase their brands and we want to thank you for the effort and commitment to the event. 

We are excited about next years’ competition and we hope to continue to see the talent on show for us all to observe and learn from. Entering a competition like this is no easy task and to all competitors we want to thank you for putting yourselves out there, taking the time to express your creativity, learning live on stage and for the passion you all brought to the event.

To the exhibitors, the displays and diversity of the stands was incredible. From giant grim reapers, snake handling courtesy of King Brown Pomade, free tattoos courtesy of Dr Pickles, product samples and bags, free haircuts and education as well as raffle giveaways courtesy of Proraso, it was great to see what is on offer in the industry, including new brands coming to market.

A massive thank you to:

  • Wahl
  • Barber Brands International
  • Osaka Scissors
  • Tucker Browne
  • Comfortel
  • Hair & Beauty Kingdom
  • Proraso
  • CLUB Products
  • Jericho Naturals Beard Care
  • Cowboy Grooming
  • Sun Zapper
  • Dastaan
  • King Brown
  • Dr Pickles

They are all Incredible companies that devoted time and energy to be there and support the industry. It was a pleasure to see you all there and we hope the patrons enjoyed your exhibits as much as we did.

To all of you who attended, thank you. We want to continue to bring this event to the industry and ensure it grows year on year. It is vital that we continue to unite, network, collaborate and aim to grow our wonderful industry and the only way we do this is together.

A great amount of talent, knowledge and passion was on display and we hope that you benefited from it as much as you could.

Stay tuned for details of next years’ event, including the Barber Of The Year Competition and don’t forget to subscribe to The Cutthroat Journal magazine in support of this years’ Expo and our drive to bring you relevant industry events and content. Also, you can still buy a Wahl Barber Expo t-shirt from our online shop, plus some other leading barbering hygiene essentials by Zexa as well.

Thank you all again and see you next year!

The Cutthroat Journal team.