Q&A: Hairdresser Michael Beel  

Michael Beel is a hair extraordinaire working as Salon Owner and Creative Director at Buoy Salon and Spa in the Wellington CBD.

With over 24 years of experience in the professional hair industry, Michael is no stranger to the world of hair. He has been a part of Fashion Weeks in New York, London, Australia and New Zealand, as well as styling lookbook and magazine cover shoots. His illustrious career also includes many awards, such as New Zealand’s Hairdresser of the Year 2020 and Industry Editorial Stylist of the Year 2016.

“The higher the hair the closer to God.” – Miss Dolly Parton (Michael’s favourite quote).

He talks to us about his favourite place in Wellington and the best advice he’s ever been given.

You have just won lotto, what will you spend it on?

 I would buy a small rural property in central Otago, somewhere like Clyde or Alexandra, make chutneys, relishes and jams, and sell them at the farmers market at the weekend for gin money! I absolutely adore the sky and the scenery down there as I grew up in that part of the world and it has a massive attraction to retire down there. But I need to win lotto as property prices are next-level crazy!!!! 

Where do you work and what do you like about it?

 I work at Buoy Salon and Spa. It’s a wellington institution and has been going for over 38 years. Consistently winning awards and always creating beautiful effortless hair and skin for the Wellington movers and shakers. I’ve been there for over 24 years, yes I know I only look 21 lol (good hair and skincare do wonders!) and the thing I’ve always loved about it is my fellow team members… I know it’s cliche but we are a family and you walk in and feel enveloped in the love and care we give each other all while doing a cheeky laugh and ribbing in the back room. 

What book is beside your bed? 

I’m currently reading Anna Wintour’s biography by Amy Odell. She is the editor at American Vogue and has been a massive influence on fashion and pop culture. A strong woman who takes no prisoners but actually while reading it has a massive heart and sense of self.

What’s your favourite place in the wider Wellington region and why?

 I adore Kaitoke regional park. Going for walks thru the native bush, a splash in the river in summer and picnics and just breathing in the air is amazing. Being in people’s personal space, as a hairdresser, 10 times a day, 5 times a week… I need space and a chance to reset my batteries so I can give it back to my clients. Getting out in nature recharges and grounds me and if I haven’t had an opportunity to do it for a few weeks I really notice it.

What’s the best advice you have ever received?

“Take every single opportunity that comes your way as life is short.”… I’ve really done this and it’s given me so many amazing opportunities like working with celebrities like Rita Ora, Sigourney Weaver and Scarlett Johansson. To working backstage at NYFW, London and of course New Zealand Fashion Week. I’ve travelled all over the world for my job and I’ve had some crazy experiences but I lost my parents when they were relatively young so I know that life could change tomorrow and I want to have as few regrets as possible when I’m old and making my chutneys in the country.

Who’s the most important person in your life and why?

My partner Sidney. We met in 2000 when a mutual friend set us up and we are finally getting married next year in February at Prefab Hall. It will be the party of all parties. He’s seen me at my worst and at my best and loves me unconditionally regardless. He is my biggest fan but keeps me grounded at the same time … that is no easy feat. He’s my rock and I can’t wait to call him my husband xx 

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