When MODERN SALON held a Twitter Chat with co-host Professional Beauty Association, the topic was the North American Hairdressing Awards or NAHAs and the questions were directed at NAHA finalists.  These uber-talented stylists and salon owners invested considerable time, talent and energy into their entries and the Twitter conversation discussed their process.  Below is a sampling of some questions and replies from the June 17 Twitter chat.

Q: What would winning this NAHA mean to you?

Caitlin DeGarmo:  It is such a fantastic thing to be recognized for doing something that you love so much, it would mean the world to me.

Heggy Gonzalez  Well to win would be nothing other than AMAZING!!

allen ruiz: Winning #NAHA this year would mean so much. I won in 1997 1st time I entered. Need to know I can do it again.

Lauren Moser: ‏ It is an honor to be recognized for my talents alongside those whose work I have long followed and respected

Q: Who are your mentors, people who have inspired and supported you along the way?

Sherri Jessee: my mentor @HelenOppenheim suggested I do a Gatsby collection. It was right on point with trends!

maryl velbeck ‏: the incomparable Nicholas French and H2Wu the amazing underwater and undersea photog!

Heggy Gonzalez: I am inspired by so many stylists, and even my students!! Julien D'ys is my all time fav!

Caitlin DeGarmo : I have had the best mentors! Eric Fisher, Ann Bray, @AJBray & Tricia Dool. All so amazing! #TeamFisher

MAINENTRANCE ARTISTS ‏: Our stylist/colorist icons are Eugene Souleiman, Vidal Sassoon, Anthony Mascolo, and Annie Humphreys

Sal Misseri ‏:  I've always looked up to @ruiz_allen and @MarkHSassoon i get inspiration from both and try to show that in my work

Lauren Moser :@LupeVoss is always there as a sounding board and inspiration and Rodrick @profilecorp for pushing me to chase my dreams#NAHA

Naivasha : Besides some of my all time favs are a part. Damien Carney, Sue Pemberton, Demitrious T. etc **bubbling over**

allen ruiz:  Role models include #AntoinetteBeenders #EarlyDouglass & many other greats

Alideveraux ‏: with me being a student I had a huge group from the @inspireaveda institutes that helped so much @DaleLeMonds

salonblushes ‏Vidal Sassoon, Mark Hayes, Peter Dawson, and Angelo Seminara

Dilek_O ‏ my mentors -DamienCarney - Sue Pemberton were the biggest in my career

Sal Misseri ‏ I've always looked up to @ruiz_allen and @MarkHSassoon I draw a lot of inspiration from both and try to show that in my work

Q: What was one of your challenges along the way?

Caitlin DeGarmo ‏ My biggest challengewas bringing out detail in my almost all black collection Thank goodness for wonderful photographers!

Lauren Moser ‏ I had to perform a corrective color on one of my models before I could even begin!

salonblushes ‏ finding models that would let me do anything I wanted to their hair!

Read more about the biggest night in hairdressing here.