Derek Elvy

"Keep it Simple. You have a set of senses, use them wisely." - Derek Elvy

Derek spent over 40 years driving the NZ hairdressing industry forward.  In 2017 Derek was inducted into the NZHA Industry Hall of Fame.  He is renowned for his artistic flair and creative, out-of-this-world, avant-garde eye.  His attention to minute detail can lead to a different thought pattern and blurs the line between art and hair.

Derek is the founder of Buoy Salon & Spa.  He set up his dream Salon in suburban Wellington in 1988.  2017 marks 30 years of creating beautiful, thought-provoking hair - 30 years of phenomenal in Wellington.

Since Buoy's inception, Derek and the Buoy team have constantly been in the media eye and have consistently placed in the industry's top awards shows in Australasia.

Derek is one of the most awarded hairdressers in NZ and Australia and has won seven Australasian titles including NZ Hairdresser, and Avant-garde Hairdresser of the year.  His works have been published internationally and he has been the driving force behind many creative wonders.

He worked on Lord of the Rings assisting with ‘elven’ hair, collaborated with high profile fashion designers and has also worked on ad campaigns with the likes of WOW and World and has created trends internationally for Wella, amongst many others.

 “The luxury of finding a place of belonging - not in the limelight, not as a weapon of choice, but in an industry where I can ‘just be me’ and shed some enriched light on the possibilities.” - Derek.

Derek Elvy's acceptance speech when inducted into The Hairdressing Hall of Fame 2017.





Nov 2017

Industry Awards Best New Entrant

May 2018

Salon of the Year 2018

Nov 2017

NZ Salon of the Year 2017

Nov 2017

Excellence in Marketing 2017

Nov 2017

L'Oreal Grand Salon of the Year 2017

May 2017

NZHA Industry Hall of Fame

Dec 2005

Sebastian Professional Designer of the Year

Sep 2003

Australian Hair Fashion Award

Oct 2008

Black & White Designer of the Year

Oct 2003

Sebastian Grand Salon

Sep 2003

AHFA NZ Masters

Nov 2002

Schwarzkopf Professional Hairdresser of the Year 2002

See all our Awards


Jul 2018

Why Buoy is Wonderful

A) Putting your customer first 


Mar 2017

Best place in town


Feb 2014

Service was great from beginning to end

Very good to see Derek back in the salon. I came away with a great haircut as well as enjoying our conversation.   


See all our Reviews

Derek Elvy's latest news

Exclusive Laser Evening

Celebrating living in your best skin ever. We have invested in the most advanced Laser technology and holding an exclusive invite-only event to celebrate. 100% of ticket sales donated to Mary Potter Hospice in memory of the late Derek Elvy.


Wei Jiang Wins!

Wei Jiang won big in the weekend at the Wellington Regional Hairdressing competition held by NZ Association of Registered Hairdressers.


Buoy NZ Salon of the Year 2017

Buoy Salon & Spa wins 5 of the most sought after awards in our industry.
Salon of the Year, L'Oréal Grand Salon of the Year, Excellence in Marketing, Business Stylist of the Year Chinney Yeap and Best New Entrant.


NYFW 2018 BTS with Michael Beel

Michael Beel flew to New York early February to work backstage at one of the most prestigious fashion events in the world... New York Fashion Week. This was his prize for winning Industry NZ Hairdresser of the Year in 2017.



To celebrate our 30th year the Buoy Salon team created this internationally published collection with some of the worlds most talented creatives.


Derek Elvy's Memorial Event

The King of Avant-Garde's life will be remembered in true Derek Elvy style on Monday 23 April, 4pm, The Pines, Houghton Bay, Wellington.


A message from Derek's fur baby Boots

I am Boots, Derek Elvy's son. Thank you so much for all the love and support you are showing my Dad's family and friends. It is truly heartwarming to us all. I am keeping warm and cozy in my new home. I miss him so much.


Derek Elvy Inducted into NZHA Industry Hall of Fame

Derek Elvy - what a phenomenal career


Derek Elvy's New Home Celebrated in NZ House & Garden

Learn more about Derek Elvy's most recent creative journey. Turning a Chocolate Factory in Featherston, Wairarapa into his home/living gallery. Get your hands on the March issue today.


Derek Elvy published by Hairdressers Journal International

This year yet again Derek's extraordinary talent was acknowledged and published by Hairdressers Journal International.


What would you do if you had 100 days left?

What would you do if you knew you only had 100 days to live? We ask a selection of New Zealanders to share their stories about what they would do, or how this topic impacts on them.


Buoy launches new Website

Buoy Co-Owner & Managing Director Phillippa Middleton explains why creating a new online platform was so important to her vision to be the leaders in the Salon and Spa, and online.


Thanks to the extraordinary team

Derek was recently cared for by the extraordinary team at the Blood Cancer Centre and Radiation Treatment Department, Wellington Hospital.