10 questions with Danny Pato of D&M Hair Design

Danny Pato of D&M Hair Design was just named the New Zealand hairdresser of the year at the illustrious Schwarzkopf Professional Hair Expo Awards.

The Awards celebrate the New Zealand and Australian hair industry and set the industry standard across Australasia. This year's judging panel was comprised of 25 specialists from the region and 12 from beyond; an impressive who's who of the hairdressing world. The prestigious award did not come as a shock to anyone familiar with his work, except Danny himself. We caught up with the  humble and hilarious hair maestro to talk winning, vibrant dye jobs and embarrassing himself in front of Rachel Hunter.

Check the interview out:   


  1. What ran through your mind when you found out you won the award?
    When they called out my name at the awards ceremony in Melbourne, I actually went into shock. It was amazing to have the support of the entire D&M salon team there with me!
  2. What is your most memorable or hilarious hair styling story?
    Years ago, when Rachel Hunter first came to D&M, I got so excited and star struck (Trumpet!) that I actually introduced myself to her as Rachel.


  1. You Autumn/Winter campaign was full of vibrant colours. What are your tips for maintaining a vibrant dye job?
    Try to stretch out your time between washes by using a dry shampoo, and when you do wash, use a lower water temperature and products specifically designed for coloured hair (e.g. Oribe Shampoo & Conditioner for Beautiful Color)
  1. What hair looks do you see as being big in the coming months?
    The Wob. That’s a wavy bob. A great looking Wob is a hot mess of effortlessly tousled waves, falling elegantly to the chin.
  1. What is the most daring look you have ever created?
    I love that we live in a time where having what was once considered “daring” is now quite normal. Bleached, brightly coloured, shaved and asymmetric are now part of what we do every day.
  1. How do you think New Zealanders differ from other countries in terms of our hairstyling?
    It’s hard to make a sweeping statement about this because New Zealand is such a beautifully diverse place, but I can say that there are some really fashion-forward Kiwis with hair that’s very on-trend internationally.
  1. Other than this awesome achievement, what do you consider your career highlights?
    My salon, D&M. My business partner and I started it nearly 10 year ago, and I am so proud of our salon family.
  1. What inspired you to get into hairdressing?
    I have five sisters. Someone had to do it …
  1. What tips do you have for stylists trying to be successful in the incredibly competitive world of hairdressing?
    Not everyone gets to make a career out of something that they love, so make the most out of every opportunity. And never stop learning!
  1. What does your personal hair routine consist of?
    I change my hairstyle quite often! At the moment I’m trying to grow it out, so it’s pretty low maintenance other than a trim every six weeks. I use Oribe Gold Lust Shampoo and Conditioner in the shower to encourage growth, and style using Oribe Dry Texturising Spray.

Photographer: Mara Sommer
Art Director: Danny Pato @ D&M
Hair: D&M hair design team using Orbie Australia
Styling: Rachel Morton
Makeup: Aimie Feibig using Bobby Brown
Fashion Credits: Charlotte Cho, Monique Burgess, Amy Li, Michelle Wright and Badi Yeung, all from their AUT Fashion Design graduate collections.
Post Production: Anna Lee Hart
Model: Elisabeth Grace @ Unique