Your Hairstylist is entering a Competition – What does that mean for you?

As a client you depend on your hairstylist being there with great ideas the minute you sit down in the chair at your appointment.  You trust that they know what will look good, how they can change-up your look that little bit to keep your style fresh and your hair looking fantastic.  So what does it mean when in chatting with your Hairstylist at your last appointment she mentioned she’s entering a hair competition? Is it like the Styling Olympics? Fastest haircut? Highest performing colour formulation? If you’ve been left wondering you aren’t alone.  Many clients aren’t aware of the many opportunities for Hairstylists to challenge themselves in their craft, but as with any skill there is always a way to take your work to the next level.  Since we’ve got some pretty amazing competitive work on the horizon I wanted to take a minute to briefly explain what you will very soon be hearing lots more about!

Hair Competition

Ok – the basics!

Even though there are other ways for Hairstylists to compete what I’m referring to in this blog is a photo-based competition. Happening annually in Canada there are 2 large photo-based competitions, the Contessas (Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Awards) by Salon Magazine, and the Mirror Awards by Canadian Hairdresser Magazine.  These competitions bring the best of Canada’s talent together and measure their creativity through the photo-shoot collection(s) submitted by the entrants.  Collections are judged by a panel and finalists are then notified and invited to attend the Awards Night where the winners are announced!

What exactly is a collection?

For photo-based competitions like the ones mentioned above, a collection is a group of images based on a ‘look’ or theme the creating Hairstylist has envisioned.  Generally the looks are fashion forward, sometimes a little avant-garde and differ from the everyday work a Hairstylist regularly does with clients.  It requires a Hairstylist to push themselves creatively on a different level to bring not only the hair, but the models, makeup, nails, wardrobe and poses together to create a feeling to the collection of images that is strong enough to jump out at the judges and grab their attention.  With entries coming from all over the country, getting a collection to stand out is no small task.  Creation of a collection requires exceptional vision, patience, passion and of course practise.

Collections are entered for judging in one or more unique categories, each of which requires different elements to be included in the collection for it to be considered.  Some examples of categories include Canadian Colourist, Provincial Hairstylist, Hairextension Artist, Avant Garde Hairstylist, Newcomer of the Year, Editorial Hairstylist of the Year and many more.

The Bottom Line

So what does all this mean for you as a client? Will your appointments be any different if your Hairstylist is doing these competitions? It really depends on how you look at things.  The short answer; doing competitions demands a different level of creativity and that could very well transfer into new, more creative suggestions for your hair.  The long answer is that any Hairstylist willing to open themselves up to the process of being judged by their peers, on a country-wide scale, spending hours and hours on end creating, practising, testing and measuring their ideas simply for the love of hair, is someone extremely serious about their career.  Someone willing to go that extra mile, try new things and always be pushing themselves towards something bigger than what they are creating right now. Whether you see benefits to that for yourself is up to you but I think it warrants some consideration.

Hopefully this has shed some light on a different part of the Hair Industry for you and helps to make photo-based hair competitions a little more understandable.  I don’t think I even need to remind you to stayed tuned for some pretty exciting updates from the Studio on this subject, but seriously – stay tuned!!

Thanks for listening,


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