The Hairdressing Council of Ireland was setup as a 'Not for Profit' Organisation to make positive changes in the Industry such as attaining a National Hairdressing Apprenticeship

These are our aims and objectives

Council Objectives
To be the voice for the totality of the Hairdressing Industry in Ireland.
To lobby the government to develop a Professional Apprenticeship in Hairdressing.
On 8th December 2017, The Hairdressing Council were appointed the INDUSTRY LEAD for the development of the new Professional Hairdressing Apprenticeship.
To complete Surveys on the Industry and our Customers
Meaningful insights were gathered from two Training Surveys completed in 2017 through high participation from Industry members.
To lobby the Government and campaign to keep VAT realistic at 9%
This was achieved through the lobbying of TD's and Senators and regular visits to Leinster House.
To give Career Advice about the different avenues of the Industry
2017 RDS presence to promote Hairdressing as a career.
2018 RED presence to promote hairdressing as a career
A Career in Hairdressing Book, edition 7 is underway to promote growth in the industry and will be published in a digital format for wide accessibility.
To be a member of the Worldwide Organisation OMC (Organisational Mondial Coiffure)
We were delighted to join this organisation as a member in 2017
To have a competition team from all over the country represent Ireland and the Hairdressing Council at international events.
In 2017, Ireland had 17 Team Members compete at World Level.
To work alongside the Barber Council of Ireland
This alliance was established on 2nd January 2018.
To hold as many events around the country fairly.
Such as the first Apprenticeship meeting was held in Athlone with the Hairdressing Council, Image Skillnet, Synergy and the LCETB, The first Glamour Hair Ball was held in Athlone, the second in Limerick and included a hair presentation, and the third in Cork.

2024 / 2025
Executive Council

Debbie O'Keeffe Crinnion


Creative, versatile & passionate for education! Debbie is the owner of Montana Blu Hairdressing Academy, a business located in Fermoy, Co. Cork that helps support the hairdressing & barbering industry through education in Ireland & Northern Ireland. As well as running a successful academy, Debbie has recently been appointed Head of Education in Ireland & Northern Ireland for the ever growing professional hairdressing brand Osmo.

Before opening in 2017, Debbie worked with many influential & well known hairdressers & businesses over the last 25 years. This fostered her love of hairdressing, particularly in the field of education. Passion + Purpose is Debbies formula for doing what she does. Debbie prefers to be seen as a facilitator then an educator & loves to continue to learn herself. She believes that to be a good facilitator, you must first be a good student. Debbie is passionate about sharing all that she learns about the industry & helping her students to grow in confidence

Fiona Gainfort


Fiona hails from Wexford & is committed to bringing her 30 years Industry business experience to the Council and to contribute to its strategic direction and vision. She is passionate about exploring new and innovative routes to ensure Irish Hairdressing excels. Fiona enjoys working nationally with ETB’s in contracted training & is on the Management team of LMETBS National Hairdressing Apprenticeship in Dundalk.

Fiona and her husband Michael run Gainfort Hair & Beauty Supplies, Gainfort Salon Design & Gainfort Academies in Wexford & Waterford. The Academies have won 5 Business Awards & been voted RSVP Irelands Leading Beauty School several times .Gainfort has won Pro Beauty Supplier of the year at Hi Style Awards & Fiona was awarded Director of the year at the 2023 Women of Vision Awards.

Wayne Lloyd


As one of the founding members of the Hairdressing Council, Wayne is delighted to step up to the role of Vice President this year. In his role, he will continue to support the progression of the new Professional Hairdressing Apprenticeship and push the boundaries to get the industry regulated and recognised as the vibrant professional community it is.

Wayne has three progressive salons in Cork with a staff of 36 people. He has been at the forefront of Hairdressing Awards such as L'Oreal Colour Trophy, Ireland's Hairdresser of the Year BOB and Alfaparf Fantastic Awards. At the OMC World Championship, he won a bronze in progressive haircutting and at OMC World Championships in Kuala Lumpa won a gold medal in Cutting and Colouring. In 2017 he judged his first OMC World Championships. 2019 will also see him involved in getting Team Ireland ready for the OMC World Championships in Paris.

Bridget Haren


Bridget, from Ennis has over 20 years experience in the industry, She is the immediate past President of the Council and has been one of the driving forces behind the new Professional Hairdressing Apprenticeship development. She opened her first salon in 2009 and since it has gone from strength to strength to its current busy hub of activity.

Bridget is an award-winning stylist having won many National, International and World Championships Awards. Her salon has also won many Business Awards.

Noreen Phelan


Noreen has been immersed in the hairdressing industry since an early age. She has worked in Australia, New Zealand and Kusadasi. Since 1988 she worked as a hairstylist in Kilkenny, Thurles and Templemore. She then went on to open her own salons in Kilkenny and Templemore before going on to teach hairdressing in Youthreach in Tipperary Town and Nenagh.

She also worked in Sallynoggin College of Further Education until getting her dream job at Waterford College of Further Education where she is the Hairdressing Co-Ordinator since 2005. She has one daughter Charlotte who is 12 and they live in Kilkenny City. She is delighted to be part of the Hairdressing Council executive committee to assist with industry issues.

Anita Kirby


Anita Kirby has a long history of integrity, honesty and excellence in Training and Education and has worked diligently in the industry bringing with her over forty eight years experience. She is affiliated to the Trichological Society of London where she carried out her studies of Pure Trichology to become the first fully qualified L.T.T.S Trichologist in the area of Pure Trichology in Ireland.

Anita has always worked at worked in St Johns Central College for twenty-four years as course co-ordinator of the Hairdressing Department. She was an examiner for State Commissions, Solas and City & Guilds. She played a lead role in the development of the National Hairdressing Apprenticeship programme. Anita was Chairperson of The Hairdressing Educators & Teachers Fellowship (HETF) for 9 years a group of likeminded educators / teachers with members from all over the country. Anita was a board member of the IAHS International Association of Hairdressing Schools and has hosted the Irish National Schools Hairdressing Competitions. From its inception she has been there to give advice on the Executive Committee of the Hairdressing Council.

Maeve O'Healy - Harte


Maeve's message to you is JOIN the COUNCIL. Its time to 'spark joy' by tidying up the industry for its future. Maeve is over 40 years in the industry and is preparing various projects for the Council. The Apprenticeship is close to her heart for the future generation entering the industry. Those questioning it, please stay Positive and listen to the right people. Maeve holds a BA in Education & Training, A licentiateship of City&Guilds, and an HDip in Business Management. She is a multi-award winner with, most precious, her OMC Gold Lady Trophies in Worlds Best Avant Garde Stylist & Worlds Stylist of Year. She is vice president of AIPP Europe and is very proud to be a KNIGHT and an OFFICER of Intercoiffure Mondial.

Sean Taaffe


Sean Taaffe is the owner of Sean Taaffe Hair & Beauty Salons and Training Academies in Kerry which was first established in Killorglin in 1989. Since then the company has expanded 6 times, with locations in Killarney, Tralee and Killorglin and a team of 60 talented professionals.

2018 will see Sean Taaffe in Business 29 years. This no mean feat and has been proved so with a ray of business awards to the Sean Taaffe name including the ‘Irish Hairdressing Business Awards overall winner’.

At Sean Taaffe, education is the key to their success and to this end Sean invests heavily in both in-salon education and courses and seminars both in Ireland and abroad. They also provide hairdressing education for the school leavers and advanced education to the qualified hairdresser in either of their two training facilities Killarney or Tralee or on site in inliidual salons. They also organise regular seminars and workshops with some of the biggest names in Hairdressing from Ireland and abroad.

Sean has been a member of Team Ireland for many years with great success winning the team medals at the OMC World Hairdressing Championships in Frankfurt. He is also a Next Generation Educator for Alfaparf. Sean Taaffe Salon is a proud member of Intercoiffure Ireland.

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