Tips and Tricks To Winning NAHA

Maggie Mulhern | January 15, 2015 | 7:54 AM


Are you IN?  The 2015 North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) are right around the corner and the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) has released a list of tips and tricks for those interested in entering. The deadline for the 2015 competition is February 19, 11pm EST.

NAHA Committee Chair, Michael Shaun Corby, additional NAHA committee members and judges and PBA staff, have put together this list to give applicants an idea of what to do and what not to do before submitting their final NAHA applications online, offering suggestions on how to get the most out of the process.     

“Over the years we’ve noticed applicants making little, simple errors that get them disqualified,” says Jessi Marshall, PBA Director of Education & Industry Programs.  “These errors could have been prevented had they just double-checked their entry and NAHA rules. We want as many applicants as possible this year, so we are hoping applicants will use these tips and tricks and get to the judging process without being disqualified.”

NAHA 2015 Tips and Tricks:

  • Read the rules carefully.  Don’t be disqualified for small mistakes in your application. Double check that your application is filled out correctly and that your submission photos meet all the necessary requirements and Photoshop rules.
  • Watch the free NAHA webinar series.  Featuring previous judges and winners, this webinar series will answer many of your NAHA questions.  From finding inspiration and creating your entry to conducting a photoshoot and submitting your application, this three-part webinar series covers important topics that every NAHA applicant should know.      
  • Get a mentor. Past NAHA finalists and winners have a wealth of knowledge to offer new applicants.  Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and to learn from other stylists.    
  • Use online resources to save money on your NAHA photoshoot.  Entering NAHA doesn’t have to be expensive.  Take advantage of resources that offer photographers, models, etc. for photoshoots on a budget.            
  • Depending on the category you enter, keep hair, makeup or nails the focus of your submission photos.  Keep submission photos simple, polished and clean with the focus being the styles you create with hair, makeup and nails to showcase your abilities as an artist. Don’t rely on props to carry your images or let them be the focus of your NAHA shoot.
  • Don’t include your name or the name of your salon on your submission photos.  NAHA judging is blind, so marking your submission photos will get you disqualified. 
  • Be careful what you share on social media.  Posting final images could get you disqualified.    
  • Don’t wait until February 19th to submit your application.  Give yourself enough time to double-check your entry against the competition rules and be confident in your entry before you submit it.  Submit your work early to eliminate stress and catch any last-minute mistakes. 

In addition to offering applicants tips for entering NAHA, PBA is also excited to announce Michael Shaun Corby as the new NAHA Committee Chair. As a renowned international platform artist, styling and cutting genius and Hollywood insider, Corby regularly raises the bar on innovation at Alterna Professional Haircare, where he is the Global Creative Director.  Since entering the professional salon industry 25 years ago, Corby has been in demand by top celebs and world-renowned stylists alike. Prior to joining Alterna, Corby was a stylist for more than 10 years, creating fabulous hair that has graced chart-topping music videos, must-see television shows and A-list films, and the hottest runway shows in Los Angeles and New York.

“Chairing the NAHA Committee is a great honor. As a Committee, we take pride in rewarding individuals from all walks of life, from the newest talent to the genius legends of our industry. The future looks bright as we look at a variety of opportunities to grow the NAHA award into a NAHA brand,” says Corby. “We would like to reach a bigger audience and bring more recognition to the NAHA brand not only in the form of recognition and showcasing the greatest talent in North America, but also offering a variety of new venues, forums and education. So many exciting things on the table I can’t wait to dig in with the Committee to help maintain the legacy of NAHA while growing the brand to the next level.”

NAHA is the most prestigious photographic beauty competition in North America. Each year, individuals are recognized in various categories for their outstanding skill and artistry in the professional salon industry. Entry and recognition in NAHA adds prestige to a salon professional’s portfolio and places him or her among the industry’s brightest and most talented artists. NAHA is part of PBA Beauty Week, North America’s largest beauty event hosted by Cosmoprof North America and will be held on July 12, 2015, at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, NV.

For more information and to apply, visit and stay connected to everything NAHA 2015 on social media using #NAHA2015.   

Dilek Onur-Taylor, Winner: Texture, 2014

Sherri Jessee, Winner: Editorial 2012


Nicholas French, Winner: North American Hairstylist of the Year 2012

Nicholas French, Winner: Avant Garde 2010


All photos by Roberto Ligresti


Chat with Nicholas French fresh from his NAHA win.

A comprehensive interview with Nicholas French offering his own tips and tricks on winning NAHA.





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