Perfect blonding and bonding. Stunning transformations. The ultimate in creative and fantasy color. Innovative enhancements and placements. Beautiful color and curl. The honorees in the first class of the new OLAPLEX Pro Artist Awards demonstrate best‐in‐craft techniques, results and vision.
The program also connects and celebrates the community of talented professionals who use OLAPLEX to bring their best work to life every day for color clients across North America.
After processing more than 22,000 photo entries submitted via Instagram June 25 through September 25, from artists using their favorite OLAPLEX products and dedicated hashtags, OLAPLEX Ambassadors narrowed the field to five finalists in each of seven categories. Finalists of the OLAPLEX Pro Artist Awards were announced in December 2021, then public online voting commenced. Winners were revealed during a special live stream ceremony in January 2022, hosted by OLAPLEX Senior Educator Tiffany Cathleen.
"The caliber of work is nothing short of breathtaking," Cathleen told the livestream audience. "It was so difficult for the ambassadors to select the finalists. The quality is so impressive. And the voting for winners was intense!"
Winners of the first OLAPLEX Pro Artist Awards are:
- Hair Color: Quyen Tran (@qtran)
- Blonding: Skyla Chaffin (@SkylaColors)
- Fantasy Color: Stephanie Walker(@lunabelle32)
- Olaplex Transformation: Jen Guido (@jenthehairmagician)
- Extensions and Wigs: Teya Karina (@teyakarinahair)
- Curls and Texture: Krystn Torres (@krystn.beauty)
- Bondshell: Tessa Scissorhands (@tessascissorhands)
Talented, influential OLAPLEX Ambassadors had the tough task of judging the seven OLAPLEX Pro Artist Award categories to select five finalists. They were:
- Haircolor: Bianca Hillier
- Blonding: Justin Anderson
- Fantasy Color: Guy Tang
- Olaplex Transformation: Tracey Cunningham
- Curls and Texture: Christin Brown
- Extensions and Wigs: Chrissy Rasmussen
- Bondshell: Chad Kenyon
Each of the five finalists in each category received a prize pack including OLAPLEX product and exclusive swag. The seven grand prize winners will gather for an all‐expenses paid trip to Los Angeles for a customized, intimate education experience with the OLAPLEX Ambassadors, along with a special award to display.
Follow all the winning artists and watch for more compelling content to emerge from their immersive OLAPLEX Pro Artist Awards grand prize experience. In the meantime, see their awardworthy work and get inspired as they share their creative passion, OLAPLEX tips and tricks, contest advice, and pride in being recognized as an innovative, professional artist. Catch it all in the exclusive interview coverage below:
Reaction Time: Learning and Celebrating the News
Winning the Pro Artist Awards is transformative and humbling, winners agree.
Hair by Skyla Chaffin
"I’ve been blessed with so much support from not only my personal family but my salon family and clients," explains Blonding honoree Skyla Chaffin (@SkylaColors). "I believe 100% that the community of people I’ve surrounded myself with are the reason I won, and I celebrate each and every time I get to talk about this experience."
Hair by Stephanie Walker
Professional validation is thrilling, adds Fantasy winner Stephanie Walker. "I am a huge fan of Guy Tang, who looked at my work and chose me as a finalist—omg. Then, my kids and I were watching the winners announcement livestream and my name was called. I still can't believe it."
Before and after by Jen Guido
"I was surprised to be noticed by OLAPLEX, such a large brand, and shocked in the best way," adds Jen Guido (@jenthehairmagician). "I had a lot of amazing people support me in voting daily. I kept my hopes neutral because I know there were other great transformations in my category. When I found out I won, I really felt the love from my guests, friends and family."
Bondshell winner Tessa Scissorhands (@tessascissorhands) was watching the livestream video and "felt like I blacked out when Tiffany said my name!" She forwarded the link to a family group chat, called her significant other and, of course, posted it on social media. "I was not ready for the amount of support I received."
Krystn Torres discovered she was a finalist for Curl and Texture when she noticed @olaplex mention @krystn.beauty on their story. "Once I connected the dots, I screamed. When I was watching the Facebook Live of the winners ceremony, as soon as I heard the start of my name, I jumped off my couch, jumped around and got so happy and loud that I'm surprised my neighbors didn't come check on me," she recalls with a smile. "Once composed, I shared the exciting news with family and friends."
Imagine winning the very first hair artistry competition you enter. That's what happened to Teya Karina, winner in Extensions and Wigs. "With so many talented stylists submitting entries across Canada and the U.S., I was honored and beyond grateful just to be selected as a Pro Artist finalist."
On the day of the live ceremony, Karina and her partner watched from her phone. "As each category’s winner was announced, my heart raced," she recalls. "When I heard my name, it truly took a moment to register. This is such a defining moment in my career, and I feel an overwhelming sense of gratefulness to the OLAPLEX team, the OLAPLEX ambassadors, and everyone who voted for me in the final round of the competition. I may still be in shock right now."
Hair by Quyen Tran
"I was honestly surprised to learn I was a finalist and winner in the Pro Artist Awards, admits Hair Color winner Quyen Tran (@qtran). "I just posted my daily work that I normally post on Instagram and added the few OLAPLEX contest hashtags to it. Today, I'm just super grateful that my photo was chosen among so many talented artist, and I'm excited to think about all the opportunities in my career. I think winning the Pro Artists Awards is the start of more big things to come."
Personal Passion: What Sets a Creative Stylist's Work Apart?
There are so many creative and talented hairstylists, enthuses Walker, with a nod to the OLAPLEX community and private users group. "I feel that what sets me apart is I really get into painting rainbows. I love vivid hair and photography, as well as finding the right accessories to make my hair photos stand out. I just love hair so much!"
Loving hair in all its natural forms is what Torres says distinguishes her artistry, and her success in the Curl and Texture category. "I completely work with the natural curl patterns in a way that brings the individual curls out while creating an overall cohesive shape."
"I want my work and profile to look different from others', so I try to be more creative with my content and color placement," explains Guido. "I take time to create a more unique image to showcase my work, because that's what people see and how they develop their first impression of you."
Chaffin agrees it's essential to always try new things. "When you look at my work there’s a wide range of different styles," she says. "I really, truly try to be as authentic to myself as I can be," adds Scissorhands. "There is nobody
else out there like you, so why would I try to be like anyone else? If I can’t be myself, the love for my work doesn’t show."
Tran stays authentic by specializing in and being passionate about lightening darker and Asian hair. Karina says her edge stems from her obsession with personal growth and I’m continuously looking for ways to self‐improve. "For this reason, I never stop actively seeking to learn, develop, and grow. I approach everything with an open mind, and I am constantly adjusting my methodology and techniques as I learn from my wins and losses."
Tips + Tricks: Working with OLAPLEX
Pro Artist Award winners have deepened their understanding and appreciation of OLAPLEX benefits and results, and offer generous guidance to stylists who want to expand or start their
- Take your time. "Today’s clients want transformations," says Guido. I feel safest doing complex transformations when there is no time crunch. Let every step of OLAPLEX do its job by using the correct measurements and not rushing the process. The payoff is better looking and longer lasting color."
- Get certified. "OLAPLEX has free certification," encourages Scissorhands. "Learn about the products, learn how they help the hair. Educate your clients. They will thank you for making sure their hair feels amazing."
- Find your favorites. Walker is a long‐time fan, and enjoys exploring the line, especially for her vivids work. "I love the way my clients hair looks and feels after using OLAPLEX. Number 6 is definitely my favorite product. I love to mix it with number 7 for a perfect blowout."
- Smooth things over. Karina's favorite hair hack she offers stylists and colorists new to Olaplex it to apply Olaplex No.6 Bond Smoother over flyways and split ends to ensure a seamless finish. "This also helps improve the overall look of the client’s hair for photos."
- Diversify your talent. "The best tip I have for hair stylists is to work with as many different hair textures as possible," says Torres.
- Stay up to date. Follow what OLAPLEX and its community of faithful users are doing on social media, advises Chaffin. "Sharing the new products while educating clients on the existing ones is key to having beautiful hair to work on."
- Get engaged, ask questions. Tran suggests stylists using OLAPLEX get comfortable watching and asking other stylists how they personally use the innovative products, and with commenting on their posts to do so. "Everyone seems to have tips and tricks—you might learn a thing or two!"
Contest Advice and Encouragement for Stylists
You have to enter to win any competition. But Pro Artist Award winners agree there are professional and personal benefits to participating that go well beyond the thrill and pride of winning the grand prize.
Just do it. "Entering contests and tagging OLAPLEX and other brands you use are some of the best ways to build exposure," adds Guido. "Whether or not your work is selected as a winner or shared by others, you are growing yourself and your content." Guido says she has entered plenty of other contests that she has not won, but along the way, she discovers and connects with supportive stylists with a common goal who inspire her every time she open Instagram.
"You still win by getting new followers, ideas and being creative enough to try something new."
Have fun with it, urges Scissorhands. "Don’t compare yourself to someone else’s work. Share your work, tag the brands you love, the accounts you aspire to work with, and anyone with whom you would want to collaborate."
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, adds Walker. "I just turned 40 this year, have been doing hair for almost 20 years, and finally found that thing I love to do—rainbow hair. Do what you love!
Go for it and give it your all. Many hair artists strive for perfection and that may lead to negative habits, being overly critical of oneself, or fear of failure, acknowledges Karina. She asks peers to recognize that an award is not merely public recognition for talent. "Awards recognize your journey and everything that comes with it— including your abilities, your struggle, your efforts and all of the moments you turned doubts into hopes. It's time to take a leap and share your work. You can’t manifest dreams that you’ve never allowed yourself to have."
Be confident in your work. "Believe in yourself to the point where others have no choice but to notice you and your talent," enourages Torres. Enter all your work. You never know what will get noticed, says Tran. And tagging OLAPLEX could grow your page. You might be next! If you’re already posting on Instagram you might as well find your community of artists, agrees Chaffin. "Tagging and sharing the work you’ve created is the best way to do that. Enter those same posts into contests . Because, who knows? You could be the next OLAPLEX Pro Artist!"
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.