In an effort to elevate the hairdressing industry 12 years ago, a group of hairstylists got together and founded the Malaysian Hairdressing Association or MHA.
“It was a rather under mined trade at the time and we wanted to build more awareness, be it dealing with hair product companies or the Government in relation to the industry,” said Datin Winnie Loo, president of the MHA.
The MHA just celebrated its 12th anniversary in Kuala Lumpur with the biggest hair show and fashiontainment to date, with the theme “It’s Time.” The event was attended by 800 well-coiffured guests.
The show was aimed at creating a platform for local hairdressers to showcase their work to a larger audience.
Sixty theatrical hair creations were unveiled, presented by over 25 local hairdressers including James Wong from A Cut Above, Avier Ng from Tenze Studio, Alice Boon from a+b Hair Studio, Elmer Tay from La’Mode, Juno Loo from Juno’s Perfection Studio, and Nick Koh from Signature Hair Salon. Famed Australian hairdresser Atilio Dusa highlighted the latest trend in hairdressing, supported by Evo Malaysia.
The event also celebrated hairdressing and fashion evolution, with dresses designed by Keith Kee of Keith Kee Couture, and fashion stylist and designer, Cris Yong, recipient of the “MHA Industry Creative Award.”
There were performances by Elee, 2016 winner of the Hairdresser Got Talent title; electric violinist Dennis Lau; local artistes Winnie K and Vic Teo; and dancers from The Dance Company by Peter Choo, who won the MHA Entertainment Award.
Loo was honoured with the MHA Lifetime Achievement award. “What an honour to be recognised by the industry I love and on an auspicious occasion that I am hosting as president. ‘It’s Time’ is more meaningful now,” she said.
In her speech, Loo said being a non-profit organisation, MHA’s growth depended on support from the industry, and she thanked all supporters from L’Oreal, Elgon, K Gloss, PCQ Hair & Beauty Products, Shiseido and Evo Malaysia.
“In over a decade, we definitely have changed people’s perception of our trade and even Matrade look us up for fashion week support,” Loo says of MHA’s progress.
Loo said they have also provided a platform for the young ones to shine and to encourage the future generation to learn unity and teamwork.
According to her, Malaysian salons have over the years, evolved favourably where many hairstylists have been named brand ambassadors, elevating their profiles in the industry.
“Salon service wise, it is a very individual feeling about standards but I can say many local salons have achieved international standards too,” she said.
With over 400 members, they are relatively small despite an affordable life membership fee of RM360, Loo said.
“I constantly encourage our committees to grow numbers and I hope, after this gala, younger hairdressers see the opportunity and potential of the stage given to them if they are creative.”
Loo has helmed MHA as president for two years now and she commented that while she loves the industry, the role is time consuming and takes her away from her work and family life.
On the likelihood of relinquishing her role as president, Loo said, “If I ever quit, it’s because I believe in grooming future hairdressers to shine and lead the industry to a whole new level and to bring in more young members.”
Part of the proceeds from the show will be channelled to two charities in Ipoh, Perak – ULC Blessing Management and Services for Children with Disability.