A Review of NAHA and Why You Should Enter Next Year

byFaatemah Ampey | July 18, 2013

A Review of NAHA and Why You Should Enter Next YearWATCH NOW! NAHA 2013

Every year I attend countless hair shows and other red carpet events. The North American Hairstyling Awards or NAHA proves to be one of the most celebrated nights for beauty professionals, everywhere. It is the one time of year where we are recognized by our peers for hard work, innovation and the blood, sweat and tears that accompany our work. This is our Oscars and only a lucky few go home with the coveted NAHA trophy. This year, I was unable to attend the ceremony in Vegas but, thanks to Modern Salon Media's livestream, I sat at the edge of a computer glued to the screen!
A Review of NAHA and Why You Should Enter Next YearI talked to the winners to get inside scoop on what inspired their collections and how YOU can win NAHA! But, before I share how to win, here are my sails and fails of the evening. Drumroll please…


Favorite Artistic Presentation --Aveda's Trashionista left me in a trance. When did conscious get so cool?! Aveda always delivers innovation with swag. #prettytrashychic

Favorite Quote-Dimitrious said, "It is always better to fail at something original than to succeed at something that is imitation." #realtalk

Best In Show- Dita Von Teese with her flawless hair and striking sense of style. She set the red carpet on fire. #flawless


Favorite Oops-Sue Pemberton ("Colorist of the Year") initially couldn't get on stage to receive the award. She quickly recovered by giving a moving speech thanking Damien Carney for his contribution to her winning collection. #goodsave


Hairstylist of the Year - Allen Ruiz

I LOVE Allen's collection. It was my pick to win. I was fortunate to have worked with him and Antoineete Beenders on a collection for Aveda released earlier this year. Allen's advice for new hairstylist, "You get what you give. What you put into the business is what you're going to get out of it. As an artist, inspiring people to grow has helped me grow." I know from working with Allen, first hand, that he is dedicated to his craft and enjoys leading a team as well as being a team player. Allen, I had you pegged to win last year, but I guess this is your time! #wellplayed

Editorial Stylist of the Year - Sherri Jessee

Sherri got wind of The Great Gatsby remake and took inspiration from the roaring 20's. I absolutely adore Sherri's collection and her dedication to the craft. She is also an amazing makeup artist and I have had the pleasure of working closely with her on the Intercoiffure artistic team. Here's what Sherri had to say about winning NAHA, "It is a thrill to have the quality of my work recognized and an honor to be listed among such talented stylist." #mulititalented

 Men's Hairstylist of the Year - Matthew Morris
Matthew and I became friends while filming Bravo's Shear Genius 3. I asked Matthew what was his inspiration. "My inspiration was reading the rules, I was just trying to do what the judges told me too." Matthew's collection had a 50's poetic charm. The black and white photography, clean lines and flawless execution of styling would be enough to charm the pants off the judges for the coveted NAHA win. I must admit, the Men's Hairstyling was my favorite category this year! Matthew was also nominated in three other categories! #sheargenius

 Master Stylist & People's Choice- Dimitrious Tsioumas

I'd like to call Dimitrious a triple threat. Good looks, warm personality and the talent to match. What was the name and inspiration behind the collection? "The Eccentric. I looked at flamboyant concepts that have a timeless quality and an extremely decorative character. The idea of "the hunter and collector" chasing the exquisite and the unique, cherishing and mixing discoveries with daring the eclecticism."

 *Dimitrious also said he missed seeing my face at NAHA, this year, but no need to share such sugary details with all of you. *blushing hair wife*

Contrary to popular belief you don't need tons of money to win NAHA. I won with a collection on a shoestring budget. What you need is to be able to tell a photographic story that make the judges say, "WOW!"  Here's why you should enter NAHA:

1) Credibility & Notoriety
The industry is constantly looking for the next big thing. Winning NAHA gave me the credibility and exposure to educate and be published all over the world.

2) Exposure

I used to worry about How to get published. After winning NAHA I have to make sure I have enough work to publish when editors contact me.

3) To Elevate Your Talent

Even if you try and don't get nominated,it takes courage and vulnerability to submit. Competition help take you beyond your comfort and there is growth in the process. Not to mention you will never win if you never try!

4)Increase Your Earning Potential

No explanation necessary, you will be famous $$

 Finally, I leave you with these words: don't let fear paralyze you, let it propel you!

For the Love of Hairspray,

~ Faatemah

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