[VIDEO: Yaniv Shapira and Colin Walsh greet the 2012 Spread the Love finalists]

I just wrapped up the most incredible day of judging for Matrix’s 2012 Spread the Love competition, with some of my most favorite people in the industry. Though it was incredibly exciting and fun, it was one of the most challenging days I could have imagined.

The Matrix team had whittled down hundreds and hundreds of entries from newly graduated cosmetology professionals to 20 finalists and, today, after days of reading all the essays and bios, watching their video entries and reading their blogs, we got the chance to interview and select the six amazing individuals who will be a part of the Spread the Love team. And wow, what an inspirational/loving/beautiful group of finalists! Each competitor brought something unique to the table in terms of experience, personality, passions and desires. It made the entire process very rewarding, yet, as I mentioned, also very difficult.

See these winners don’t just leave with a title, they leave with an opportunity to travel the country, each week visiting a different city, for multiple months, visiting different beauty academies and salons, learning from their mentors (members of the Matrix Artist Team) and absorbing everything this beautiful industry has to offer. All in exchange for blogging/documenting their experiences through a Matrix blog, smart phones and cameras provided by Matrix. When the prize is a life-changing experience like this, it makes the decision that much more difficult!

Tonight, the winners will be announced, so I can’t break the news on who we picked, but I can tell you I hope that you fall in love with these 6 as much as we have!

Stay tuned for the scoop! AND TO MEET THE WINNERS!