National Wella Trendvision Awards is a nationwide hair competition for master stylists to beginning cosmetology students. This competition tests every person’s skill, knowledge, creativity and time to create a perfect look. I gave my very first competition a go in 2014 as a student. It was a very interactive experience for a young mind in that we had to put out ads for models, create a story board and overall game plan, create an outfit, work with photographers and so forth.
I was first introduced to this event by a representative of Wella Co., and was enthralled by the idea of my work being displayed nationwide and traveling to Las Vegas for the main event! Before I knew it, I was already filling out the information and entry forms. The next hurtle for me would be to find a willing model that would allow me to do extreme changes to their hair. You would think that in an entire school of like-minded creative people would allow you to do such things. Wrong. Surprisingly, everyone in cosmetology either likes their hair a certain way or are growing it out. To solve this little cinch I went to my good friend Craigslist for help. This was a really fun time of the process; as you can imagine I got some very interesting responses — everything from glamour shots, selfies, very personal portfolio pictures, to professional model works. I was very fortunate to come across a wonderful young woman, Alisha Haglar, a professional hair model for a popular salon in Austin. She had allowed me the creative freedom I was looking for and was spot on with all the requirements I needed to start my work.
Participants could choose between two themes for their looks: Fall or Spring. Me being a rebel to this Texas heat decided that Fall would be a more interesting category. I really wanted colors that stood out from the crowd. My original plan was deep reds and forest greens, which in my head looked wonderful! However, when I experimented on a mannequin it turned out looking more like a Christmas tree. After that realization I went in the direction of a bold Balayage blonde accent color in place of the green. Color is only scratching the surface of this competition; I still had to create a precision cut, makeup, wardrobe and find a photographer! Luckily everything fell into place over the course of two months work. It was honestly a full-time job along with all my schooling duties. I had met the photographer Wendy Gail through my model, who also happened to do all of the photoshoots for Urban Betty Salon. I had a custom dress that fit my model perfectly; all that was left was the shoot itself.
I was very rushed in the final stages to get ready for the shoot; a lot of things I wanted to do simply was not on time’s side, which I believe was a big falter on my part. There are no shortcuts in this competition to say the least, and if you stick to your plan even if it takes longer, your chances are much higher. The team decited on going to South Congress Street for the shoot which had a lot of interesting back grounds, textures and colors. We started around sunset, or golden hour, to give a warmer cast to the photos we were looking for to get that fall season feel. The shoot was the best part of this entire experience; you finally get to see your months work come to life as you adjust your model, communicate with the photographer and try different back drops. I felt a mixture of emotion as it all came to a close with submitting my before and after entry.
Did I advance in the competition? Sadly no, and after the finalists were announced, it was clear why. My look was too simple and I could have taken it a few steps further compared to the finalists. I am content with my work and going through this process, for I took away a lot from this competition. I now am aware that I can take more time and plan better for my final looks, be more bold and play with different textures to add more interest. I will also be forever greatful to my wonderful model Alisha Haglar and astounding photographer Wendy Gail for devoting their time and skills to a student testing her trade. To say the least, the hair competition world has not seen the last of me and I plan to test myself more in the near future.