OBITUARY: A well-known Hawke's Bay hairdresser who once won gold at the world cup of his profession has died.
Brent Hape passed away at Mercy Hospice in Ponsonby, Auckland, on Christmas Day after a battle with bowel cancer.
He was 56.
Hape's career spanned more than 40 years and saw him compete and succeed at the very highest level within his industry.
Following in the footsteps of his mother Val, he began his trade at the age of 15.
Despite no official hairdressing school training, Hape, originally from Hastings, took up an apprenticeship with Brian Green before working at Cut Above hairdressing salon.
After a number of years perfecting his trade, recognitions and awards began flooding in.
Hape travelled to Japan in 1985 to take part in one the most prestigious events within his industry – the Hairdressing World Cup.
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With more than 150 hairdressers from 60 countries taking part, Brent walked away victorious in the foreign competitors' category, cutting competition and long-hair styling section.
The then 23-year-old, who had spent five years in Sydney, was then announced the overall winner of the esteemed competition in Tokyo and took home a US$3000 prize.
After his success in Japan, Hape travelled across the country and the globe in pursuit of furthering his talent.
Spending time in England, where he attended Vidal Sassoon's academy and Tony and Guy's school, Germany, where he worked with Wella, Canada, United States and more, he picked up numerous awards.
Hape then came back to the shores of New Zealand, opening his own open cutting bar at Auckland's Victoria Park market.
After four years at the high-status venue, Brent became the co-owner of Brent's Hair Design in Hastings.
He ran the salon for more than 15 years conducting thousands of haircuts, with six-weeks' wait for a cut at peak period of the year.