Hairstylist Anthony Bayer

Young hairstylist Anthony Bayer has quite the pedigree. He spent many years working for Tony&Guy both here and in Melbourne, was national Label.m Ambassador and is a four-time Wella Trend Vision finalist. Ponsonby News talks to the owner of the newest salon on the Strip.

No, I’m a Westie! I’m currently living at my friends’ beautiful new home in Te Atatu Peninsula but I’m always in Ponsonby!

How did you come to be a hairdresser?
I worked in a salon after school and I really loved it. But the thing that inspired me was when I was 14 years old and I watched an Oprah episode in which her hairdresser Andre Walker was interviewed, he was fabulous! The next week I went to Sydney with my brother and he found the Andre Walker Hairdressing book in a sale - l was so excited! I still have it, it’s such a cool book that covers all aspects of hairdressing. After that I was sold.

You’ve done a fair bit of Fashion Week session styling. What was a highlight?
My favourite of the shows that I worked on was at London Fashion Week for designer Dora Abodi. All the models had wigs with fringes that were painted with gel to make a wet look, I loved it!

What led you to open your own salon?
I realised the moment I got back from Europe in November 2014 that opening a salon was that next step for me. I felt a lot of achievements I had sought were ticked off and I wanted to stay in Auckland but needed to take that next step. I have found that there’s only so far you can go within your hairdressing career in New Zealand without travelling or doing your own thing. I had also been working for someone since I was 16 years old and was over being told what to do. I had my own ideas and they needed to be used for my own business.

Tell us about the process...
Once I decide I want to do something I wish I did it yesterday, so 2015 was a long year for me! I approached my friend Paul Hala about renting a chair from him as an intermediate start, to see if my clients would follow and if I could save enough money and work for myself. I have to thank all my amazing clients for their loyalty and Paul Hala for giving me that opportunity.

About six months in, I was keeping my eyes and ears open for the perfect space. I found the best agent on TradeMe who drove me around Auckland over the next six months. I had a couple of spaces fall through but on Christmas Eve, Laura, the agent, called me before the space was even listed and in the first week of January I signed the lease. I’ve also been very lucky to have known Jase Richards who did my branding, family friends who are painters and builders and my mum who all came and helped set up - so a big thanks to them.

How will Anthony Bayer Hair differ from other Ponsonby salons?
We are a very European, boutique-style salon with a global approach, with award-winning stylists and high-quality products such as Keune that are more natural and don’t test on animals. At the moment there’s just the two of us. Director Hemi Kukutai works alongside me, he has 16 years’ experience and is an amazing stylist who has worked on beautiful fashion editorials, was part of the national creative team for Redken and received big awards such as L’Oréal Colour Trophy and Wella Trend Vision.

Who should consider Anthony Bayer Hair?
Anyone who wants good hair - and vegans, as we are a vegan product-friendly salon.

Your best off-the-top-of-your-head hair tip, right now?
Keune Dry Shampoo is a must, it keeps any style fresh!

ANTHONY BAYER HAIR, 16 Ponsonby Road, T: 09 361 3577,