Five Minutes with Jason Chong Li – NZ Editorial Stylist of the Year

Interview by Yasmine Ganley

Hair by Jason Chong Li

Photos by Guy Coombes

A big congratulations goes out to Jason Chong Li from Stephen Marr’s Newmarket salon who has just been awarded New Zealand Editorial Hair Stylist of the Year! Jason Chong Li, also the youngest of the four New Zealand finalists, will take part in the prestigious 2013 Schwarzkopf Professional Hair Expo Awards in Sydney. The finalists were selected by a panel of 20 independent industry experts from both Australia and New Zealand who reviewed close to 200 entries.

We got five minutes with the very talented hair stylist to chat about what the award and hairdressing means to him. Jason’s beautiful collection of imagery created for the awards are as seen below. Photos taken by Guy Coombes, makeup by Amber D for M.A.C, hair by Jason Chong Li and models styled by Emma Gleason.

-Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Jason Chong Li. I’m a senior stylist at Stephen Marr’s Newmarket salon.

-Congratulations on winning Editorial Stylist of the Year by Industry! Tell us about the award and what winning this means to you?
I think it’s amazing to have this award in NZ and it will be very exciting to see how it grows in the future. Stephen Marr salon introduced session styling culture to me the day I joined the company. We are known for being the go-to salon when it comes to session work and the salon has been supporting me in doing this for the last few years, so I’m really happy to take this award for the salon.

-And you’re about to go to Sydney in June as one of the finalists for New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year, part of the prestigious Hair Expo Awards! Can you tell us about this competition?
I’m so happy to be a part of the final stage in this competition. I have been wanting to do the Hair Expo for a while now. It gives us the freedom to use our creativity to create a collection of six photos (which have to hit the judges in the face if you want go anywhere in this competition!). It’s tough and hard work but I really enjoy the whole process and being a finalist this year was my goal. I feel really honored to be amongst the other finalist, they are all amazing hairdressers. Anyway, I’m just sooooo happy other people like my vision of hairdressing.

-How do you go about choosing hair styles for these competitions?
The most important thing to me is showing who I am as a hairdresser through the collection. So I really started to think about how I would like girls to wear their hair or how I would like to wear my hair if I was a girl.

-What is your must have tool of the trade?
Mason Pearson, tail comb.

-And the secret to great hair is….?
Putting some thought into it and practicing styling your hair.

-Who has great hair?
Grace Coddington.

-Who’s hair would you love to do?
My mum. She just had a terrible haircut.

-What would be your most memorable hair styling job to date?
Directing the Zambesi show at NZ fashion week for last couple of years. I am so thrilled to have had this amazing experience with this much loved brand.

-What is the best thing about living and working in Auckland?
The air, the lovely people and the freedom.

-How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
Eating out with friends, watching some movies or TV and tennis. And I like spending time with myself too.

-What else is coming up for you this year that you’re excited about?
I am really excited about the Hair Expo in Sydney in June. I will be attending the Hair Expo as a finalist for the first time and I will be on stage as part of the team with the current NZ hairdresser of the year, Mana Dave. We also have some other exciting stuff to do over there which you will find out about soon!

-Where can people find you for hair appointment?
I am at the Stephen Marr Newmarket salon Tuesday to Saturday.

For an appointment with Jason, call us on (09) 488 0585.

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