eir VIP Publishing Power of Women Awards 2023: Here are the nominees for the Hair Care award, sponsored by Gerka Clinic

VIP Publishing is delighted to announce that the eir Power of Women Awards are back.

These awards celebrate the best and brightest female entrepreneurs in Ireland, across the worlds of fashion, technology, beauty, lifestyle, wellness and more!

The winners, decided by an expert panel and awarded at an exclusive lunch in Dublin’s Marker Hotel on November 17th, will be profiled in the December issue of VIP Magazine.

The Hair Care award shines a light on our mane heroes who have created some of our go-to products.

Here’s a bit more information about our inspiring nominees…

Aine Kennedy – The Smooth Hair Company

The Smooth Company was founded by Aine Kennedy after she spent eight years working in the beauty industry and earned her degree in entrepreneurship.

Aine saw a gap in the market for a hair product that could control flyaways and baby hairs, without leaving your hair hard or greasy. She successfully developed a unique formula for her incredible hair taming wand – which took nearly two years to perfect!

The Smooth Stick has not only become a fan favourite but has also become an internet sensation as Aine has documented her small business journey online and has racked up over 75 million views on TikTok.

The company has grown from packing orders in an upstairs bedroom with her grandad Billy, to becoming an internationally recognised brand in less than 18 months. The Smooth Stick launched in Brown Thomas and Arnotts stores in Ireland where it sold out in just four days, and most recently launched in the UK where it is now stocked on!

Onagh Chira (O’Driscoll) – Platinum Expert Hair

Onagh launched Platinum in 2011 with just three staff, and it has gone on to become one of Ireland’s leading hair extension businesses.

She started out at 19 with a mobile hair extension service called Luscious Lox Hair extensions, before opening a salon in Bray called All Dolled Up.

She then moved onto Platinum at the age of 22. Just over ten years on, Platinum has three state-of-the-art salons in Dublin, Galway and Cork, an award-winning aftercare range, a distribution company, and a training academy, with 650 stockists around Ireland and the UK. Platinum is highly regarded in the haircare industry, winning a number of prestigious awards.

Katie Jane Goldin – Hairtalk / LanaiBlo

Katie Jane Goldin is a passionate businesswoman and entrepreneur who runs and owns companies across Ireland, the UK, and Europe. She started her career in the beauty industry as a hair extensions distributor and was the first to market luxury hair extensions in the Republic of Ireland.

Katie is now the exclusive Irish and UK distributor for Hairtalk Extensions; one of the largest hair companies in the world. Katie is also the creator and manufacturer of the multi award winning LanaiBlo and LanaiPro Hair Dryer brand. In 2021 she opened up the distribution network for this brand and the product can now be bought in countries across the world.

Eileen McHugh – Hair Together

Eileen McHugh is a social entrepreneur who is dedicated to igniting creativity and passion while challenging societal norms through the transformative power of hairdressing.

She is the CEO of Hair Together, which runs personal development programmes that utilise hairdressing and barbering to help vulnerable people develop life skills, stimulate creativity, and build a brighter future.

With support from the hair industry, the barbering industry and mental health professionals, participants walk away with more confidence, higher self esteem and a passion to chase their dreams.

As someone who struggled with addiction for 14 years, Eileen knows the impact that learning valuable skills and being part of a wider community can have on a person. Hair Together is a crossover of her love for the hair industry and her experience with mental health and drug issues. She has worked with a diverse range of people through her programme, including teenagers from disadvantaged areas, young people in care, and women in the probation system.

Nancy Cavanagh – Belle Hair Extensions

Entrepreneur and owner of Belle Hair, Nancy Cavanagh started out doing house calls — and now owns one of Galway’s largest hair salons. The salon sells a range of top brands from Olaplex to Kevin Murphy, as well as its own range of hair extensions and clip-in ponytails.

Nancy also brought out her own range of brushes in 2017, The Belle Brush, after years of recommending multiple hairbrushes to her clients, and realising there was no one brush to cover all the necessities that hair extension clients needed.

The range has since expanded, from the BabyBelle, for on-the-go brushing or for kids, to the Belle Backcomb. The brushes are extremely popular, with professional hair stylist Jenny Rhodes McLeaneven using them on the set of global tv drama Bridgerton. Belle Hair has also amassed over 14k followers on TikTok, thanks to Nancy’s hair tips and tricks

Denise Pillips – Pelo Hairdressing 

Denise Phillips is a global award winning hairdresser and owner of Pelo Hairdressing. Denise wants to help people who are going through hair loss to feel their best again and regain their confidence through the introduction of specialised hair pieces, wigs and extensions.

Denise is a qualified hair loss practitioner with over 20 years of experience as a wig and scalp expert, winning multiple accolades for her services across the country and abroad, too. Her award-winning Pelo hair and scalp specialist salons are located in Dublin, Newbridge and Belfast.

Denise is also a co-owner of Voduz, a go-to place for all hair styling needs, creating hair care products suitable for all hair types; to empower you to ‘Create Your Own Crown.’

Anita Donoghue – Annutri

Anita set up Annutri with her co-founders in 2020 after she saw a gap in the market for a supplement that truly targeted hair growth and health.

Discovering that most hair products go directly onto the hair and mask underlying problems that need to be treated from within, she realised that in addition to a healthy lifestyle, taking a supplement with specific nutrients needed by hair can be extremely helpful in making it healthy, shiny and voluminous from within. Working as a single mother, she spent her evenings going to college before she launched Annutri.

Annutri is now stocked in over 300 salons in the UK and Ireland. Anita has scooped several awards over the course of her career, and the brand continues to change people’s lives who struggle with hair loss.

Sabrina Hill – Kopper Hair Salon

Sabrina Hill is the owner of Kopper Hair Salon, an award winning beauty salon in Cork City.

The mum of two boys, born 20 years apart, has kept her salon thriving over the years and all throughout Covid, despite restrictions forcing them to close during the pandemic. With over 100k followers on Instagram, Sabrina shares her hair tips and tricks with her followers from years of developing her expertise in haircare.

The Kopper ethos is that every client leaves the salon with a brighter smile, feeling gorgeous and walking taller. Kopper’s clientele have included many Irish celebrities and influencers, but Sabrina feels that the people who were there when she opened her doors on day one are just as important, and strives to make sure that everyone gets an exceptional hair styling experience.


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