Hair & Beauty

Adelaide’s Sam James crowned Australian Hairdresser of the Year at AHIA 2024 Gala

Adelaide’s renowned hairstylist Sam James dazzles at the AHIA 2024, clinching the Australian Hairdresser of the Year title.

On Monday 1st July, the prestigious annual Australian Hairdressing Industry Awards gala night was held at The Star, Sydney, where the nation’s leading creatives gathered to celebrate their industry’s finest. Adelaide’s very own Sam James of SJ Establishment emerged as the star of the night, securing the coveted AHIA Australian Hairdresser of the Year 2024 accolade. This victory solidifies her reputation as Australia’s top hairdresser.

An advocate for local talent, Sam wore a striking gown by Adelaide designer Greta-Kate, honouring her South Australian roots during the ceremony. Sam James is not new to industry acclaim. Her string of accolades includes winning the AHIA Creative SA/TAS Hairdresser of the Year in 2021, being named Hair Expo SA Hairdresser of the Year four times, and achieving a Global Top 3 Avant-Garde position in 2022 for the international hair awards group AIPP. She has also led her salon to win AHIA Business SA/TAS Salon of the Year consecutively in 2021, 2022, and 2023, and clinched AHIA Creative Team of the Year in 2021.

In a recent significant career move, Sam James has taken on the role of Global Artist for the renowned hair care and styling brand Matrix. As part of this new position, she joins a select group of 13 artists from around the world, tasked with significant responsibilities such as fashion forecasting, global education, product research and development, organising photo shoots, and leading dynamic hair shows.

SJ Establishment reflects Sam’s dedication to excellent client experience. The salon features a modern take on salon entry, eschewing the traditional check-in desk for an immediate welcome into a fun and relaxed atmosphere. The space is known for its ever-evolving aesthetic, adorned with monthly featured artworks and a reputation for creating trendsetting haircuts, colours, and styles.

The Australian Hair Industry Awards, facilitated by Mocha Group and now in their twelfth year, serve as the national benchmark for excellence in the hairdressing industry, covering a broad spectrum of educational and business categories. In the third year of recognising Creative categories separately, the awards continue to be a key platform for industry acknowledgment.

Linda Woodhead, Owner and Publisher of Mocha Group, spoke about Sam’s win, saying “Sam is the perfect example of an industry leader and has been incredibly inspiring to those around her. Her winning collection showed off her incredible talent and I’m so excited to have her representing Adelaide as ambassador for the awards program and her local area. As with all our 2024 winners, she is now looked to globally as an innovator in technique, trend, and service. Congratulations Sam!”

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