On your marks… get set… cut and colour…!

No, we’re not talking about speed hairstyling, we’re talking about the pros and cons of hairdressing competitions.

 Hairdressing contests aren’t for everybody, but they are a great way to get you and your salon some valuable attention if you don’t mind pitching your talents against your other competitors. Even if you don’t win, they’re a fantastic opportunity to meet lots of other people, expand your network of contacts, and see what everybody else is doing. But what should you bear in mind before you take to the stage, the tiny details that will give you the best chance of success?

 Here are a few suggestions: 

Rules are there for a reason!

Don’t make the judges’ lives easier by getting eliminated because you didn’t follow the rules, especially when it’s often so difficult for them to make a decision that they’ll look for any reason to discount an entry. Make sure you know what’s required and stick to it. No shortcuts, no deviations.

Understand the judging

competitions there is a mixture of a photo element and a live element, so if possible find out how many points are applied to each and work as hard at the photo as you do live-and-onstage. And remember, a bad photograph can ruin all your hard work and a model who looks great in the photograph may not be right for the onstage competition. As a rule, a darker haired model should be photographed on a lighter background and a lighter haired model should be photographed on a darker background, while the model you’re taking onstage with you (if you’re able to select your own model) should have a classic height and shape.

And don’t forget to get the accessories right, too. Especially in photo headshots!

Do your homework

Competition judges often travel up and down the country – and sometimes across the world – to adjudicate at contests like yours. So try and find out what they’ve liked and disliked in the past. For example, some judges can be very picky about the way you work regardless of how fabulous the results are. If they’re looking for a winner who’s neat and clean they won’t appreciate hair dye spattered across the floor or a work-area that’s a cluttered mess.

 Also, investigate what parts of the industry your judges are coming from because that will be a big clue about what they’re looking for. For example, the editor of a magazine will probably be in search of something creative but commercial – the kind of cut and colour that will look gorgeous in print. On the other hand, a judge whose background may be fashion and runway could possibly be looking for something more dynamic and adventurous.

Enjoy it!

This is the most important advice of all. A hairdressing competition is an opportunity to show off your skills, whether you win or lose. Be proud of what you’re doing and don’t let the pressure get to you because everyone is here to see your best work and they all know what competition nerves feel like. Be gracious when you win but don’t get down on yourself if you lose because hairdressing contests are often won by the smallest of margins, for reasons it would be impossible for you to predict. With each competition you’ll grow more comfortable and you’ll get much better. Just smile and enjoy the moment.

 If you’ve entered a hairdressing competition, what would your best piece of advice be?

Stay in touch

If you are interested in receiving more information about LHAA, our courses and events sign up here