Michelle O'Connor poses with her NAHA awards in January 2019 after winning in the Texture and Avant Garde Categories.
NAHA (North American Hairstyling Awards), the competition considered by many to be the most important beauty competition in the United States, is right around the corner. Submissions are due by August 8, 9 pm EST. Soon after that, selections will be sent to judges who will then pour over the entries. Finalists will be announced on Nov. 14, 2019 who are then invited to attend the awards ceremony which will be held on January 25, 2020 during the ISSE show in Long Beach, California.
There has been quite a bit of buzz about the judging panel for the 2020 NAHA. Several months ago an invite was sent out to the industry at large and potential judges submitted their credentials. Hundreds volunteered their expertise and the PBA (Professional Beauty Association - the producers of NAHA) narrowed it down 121 qualified members of the salon and spa worlds that according to the press release, "continue a legacy of fairness, diversity and elevation of the beauty industry."
So who made the cut? Included among the judges for this NAHA are former winners, influencers, top artists and MODERN's own Alison Alhamed and Maggie Mulhern (see the full list below.)
MODERN checked in with PBA to learn more about the new judging concept, and received answers to the following questions:
How has the judging changed this year? We are always looking for the best in the industry to be involved with NAHA. This year, we decided to do a call for judges to get more of the industry involved. Also, since NAHA is produced by the Professional Beauty Association, we wanted to make sure judges were members.
How are judges selected? A small committee of industry experts reviewed all of the applications and selected the most qualified.
How many judges are there? The final selection was around 130.
Please share an overview/breakdown of the judges (for example: 10 former winners, 10 editors, 15 international…anything like that): Our final list of judges includes previous winners, finalists, editors, photographers, top salon owners, industry icons, renowned stylists, nail artists, and makeup artists.
Who does the initial judging before sending the top 5 out to the final judges? A small committee of top industry pros conducts the first round of judging. These NAHA experts are verifying all competition and category rules were followed, and the work is NAHA quality. Then, those selections are expanded out to the larger second round, who choose the finalists. The final third round group selects the winners in each category.
JUDGES (in alphabetical order):