Varda Hairdressing


VARDA is amongst an elite group of New Zealand Training Providers holding the Best Practice Quality Mark from the New Zealand Hairdressing ITO. This status guarantees quality assessment practices.

NZQA assesses the standard of education for Tertiary Education Organisations through a regular system of external evaluation and review (EER). Through periodic EER, Tertiary Education Organisations are held accountable to their students, employers, funders, quality assurance bodies and other interested parties

NZQA rates VARDA as Category 1: Highly Confident in Educational Performance and Highly Confident in Self-Assessment

VARDA is rated Excellent in all areas from NZQA’s External Evaluation and Review.

VARDA offers the highest level of training with trainees gaining nationally recognised and approved qualifications by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.  These qualifications are highly regarded by the industry.



Hairdressing is part of the fashion industry it's fast moving and dynamic.  Opportunities are everywhere! You are only limited by your commitment, imagination and passion.  How far do you want to go?  Consider…

  • Working in a commercial salon and/or on cruise ships, movie sets or backstage at the theatre.
  • Maybe ‘your thing’ is the catwalk? 
  • Working backstage at Fashion Week? 
  • Designing and producing beautiful photographic work and having it published. 
  • Becoming a Platform Artist or Technician if you love the limelight!
  • Owning your own salon, becoming a great business manager. 
  • Becoming the future educator VARDA is looking for… dedicated to training the great hairstylists of tomorrow?



‘Real People - Real Services’ is the key to all great training.  VARDA prides itself on ensuring trainees complete a large percentage of their training in practical situations.  This increases confidence and gives validity to training.


How Varda Hairdressing Training Works?

Your tool kit is put to work right from Day One!

Trainees attend practical training sessions in VARDA’s on-site salon.  Initial work is carried out on mannequins and progresses to “real” models and clients.

Trainees are given the opportunity to take part in photo shoots as well as internal and external competitions.

“Work experience” opportunities are offered allowing trainees to observe and be a part of the diverse atmosphere of commercial salons.

Getting a Job in Hairdressing

VARDA’s long standing history of graduate employment is extremely high.  VARDA has excellent relationships with a large number of salons located throughout the Waikato and beyond.  VARDA’s programmes provide solid on-ground skills to take into the workplace.  

Maximise Creativity and Inspiration

VARDA’s trainees are encouraged to:

  • Develop creativity - take part in VARDA’s internal competitions. 
  • Take advantage of theme days and creative workshops.
  • Work with ‘real clients’ to grow artistic talent and gain experience.
  • Work at shows and charity events to showcase flair and grow experience.
  • Compete in regional competitions and gain confidence. VARDA is known throughout New Zealand for its on-going supply of high quality winners. 

Prospective employers use competitions as a great recruitment opportunity when scouting for new staff.

Varda's Training Team

VARDA’s tutors love the ‘fashion and funk’ that hairdressing represents and are very motivated to share their skills with trainees.  All are fully qualified hairdressers with teaching qualifications.    Each tutor is a registered Assessor with the Hairdressing ITO and has extensive industry experience.




Salon Support Tutor.  Lisa joined the VARDA team three years ago and has been in the hairdressing industry since she left school. She completed her apprenticeship in Hamilton and has since worked in Christchurch, the UK (England, Scotland and Ireland) and in the States (Austin, Texas).  She is very passionate in her desire to train quality hairdressers for the future of the industry.



Youth Guarantee Tutor.   Jazz joined the VARDA team a year ago and is an extremely passionate hairdresser who loves the creative side of hairdressing.  She has an excellent relationship with her students and is rewarded when as they succeed and find themselves.



Youth Guarantee Tutor and with VARDA for 2 years.  Shaz has been in the Hairdressing Industry for over 14 years.  She loves her role as a tutor, is extremely motivated, down to earth and gives her students encouragement and an extra push in the right direction.  



Vocational Pathways Tutor.  The Vocational Pathways programme is new to VARDA and Lorna enjoys the change and challenge.  Lorna  studied hairdressing in Auckland, has been in the industry for 20 years and now enjoys a quieter life in Putaruru.  She loves catching up with her nieces and nephews and she is proud to be their favourite Aunty.



Ashlee is the newest member of the team.  She has been in the Hair and Make-up industry for over 8 years and was ready for change. Ashlee looks forward to sharing her knowledge with our lucky students.

Hairdressing Unit Standards

Complete all or part of Level 1 - 4 unit standards with VARDA. You choose depending on your personal circumstances or employment options.

VARDA separates programmes. The time to make a decision whether to complete ALL or PART of the of the unit standards is at the end of the Salon Support or Youth Guarantee Programme

VARDA’s Emerging Stylist Programme positions are highly sought after therefore entry is subject to all current course requirements being met

Varda Open Days

VARDA holds regular open days and information sessions throughout the year.  We invite you to come to see what we do.  We will take you through VARDA’s training salon.  This is a good time to answer all your questions.

Thinking About A Second Year Of Training?

Entry in to the Emerging Stylist Programme is sought after therefore subject to all current course requirements being met.

Second Year Training - VARDA gives consideration to:

1.    Graduates from the Salon Support Programme or Youth Guarantee Programme (or equivalent) with all required units.
2.    Trainees who have exceeded minimum attendance requirements and demonstration of professional behaviours.  

        Note:  The higher your attendance, the more chance of a position.

Order of priority for Year 2

1.      Current trainee
2.      Trainees who have previously trained with VARDA
3.      Trainees from other training providers and salons

Who can enrol?

New Zealand domestic trainee:

  • New Zealand citizen.  This includes citizens of the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau
  • New Zealand resident or permanent resident currently living in New Zealand
  • Australian citizen currently living in New Zealand
  • Australian permanent resident with a Returning Resident’s Visa and is currently living in New Zealand

How Do Hairdressing Qualifications Work?

Once you have the Salon Support qualification there are two options to complete your training:

1. Complete the Emerging Stylist Qualification, Level 4.  This is a further year of training (see Eligibility Criteria); or
2. Become an apprentice in a salon.


3. Work with HITO to complete final standards.

It is generally accepted that a trainee who has completed both the Salon Support and Emerging Stylist Programmes can complete this in 2½-3 years.  This depends on trainee motivation, experience and that of the salon they are employed.  They do not need to be an apprentice.

Trainees who find work under a Training Agreement (Apprenticeship) will complete any remaining unit standards as an ‘Off-Job’ trainee with the Hairdressing Industry Training Organisation (HITO). They may choose to return to VARDA and attend approximately twenty days in Year 2 and ten days in Year 3.  Trainees who choose to become an apprentice generally take up to a further year to gain the Professional Stylist Qualification.

When making the decision to take further training following Year 1, consideration should be given to current employment options and personal circumstances. This is the reason VARDA separates programmes. The option to make this decision is at the end of the Salon Support or Youth Guarantee Programmes.

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