Danny Pato | Hairdresser of the Year, Again!

Danny Pato, co-owner of D&M Hair Design in Ponsonby, is two-times winner of New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year, being awarded the title in 2016 and 2017. Verve caught up with Danny a couple of weeks ago for a fun interview while he was having a well-deserved vacation in Bali.


Name and occupation?

Danny Pato, creative director of D&M Hair Design, editorial session stylist, and dad to one dog, Bruiser.


Where do you live?



Why did you decide to become a hairdresser?

I grew up with a mother, two nanas, five sisters, five female cousins and six aunties, so I decided to pick up the scissors at a young age.


What do people think you do? 

Their hair.


What do you actually do? 

Work on the floor full-time as a hair stylist, run a business managing team of 12 people, training the team, and on Sunday and Monday I am a session stylist. I also organise charity projects, hold industry seminars, write hair commentary for media, create campaigns, as well as renovate houses and pay the bills.

Whimsy, D&M Hair Design Salon Campaign

From where do you draw your inspiration? 

Fashion designers, artists, music, pop culture, movies and a lot of arts and architecture.


What lesson have you learnt the hard way? 

Don’t judge people before you know them.


What is your favourite place? 



What makes you laugh? 

People impersonating other people.


What is you philosophy on life? 

Nothing’s impossible; keep challenging yourself.


What is your favourite word?

Why? It made my mum pull her hair out when I was younger!


What is the best advice you have been given? 

Be yourself.


What is on your to-do list for the next year? 

Shoot two salon campaigns. Organise the D&M charity exhibition. Host two look and learn seminars. Create hair looks for 40 models at AUT Rookie show. Develop a secret creative project. Move house and renovate. Develop a hair show for Hair Expo 2018.

Feline, NZ Hairdresser of the year 2017

If you could invite five people to a dinner party (dead or alive), who would you invite? 

Nelson Mandela, Madonna, Zaha Hadid, Michelle Obama and Steve Jobs.


Describe yourself in three words? 

Driven, forward-thinking, passionate.


Where do you get your morning coffee? 

From my husband.


Is there anything else you would like Verve readers to know about you? 

I’m a clothes hoarder!


Pick A Side:
Swimming or jogging?


Tea or coffee? 


Books or podcasts? 


Movies or theatre?


Pizza delivery or fine dining? 


Massage or stroll in the park? 


Flamingos or leopards? 


Gucci or vintage store? 



D&M Hair Design

Redmond St, Ponsonby | 09 376 3666 | info@dandm.co.nz | dandm.co.nz

Photographer: Mara Sommer