Industry News

Semi-Finalists Announced for 2018 Sebastian Professional What's Next Awards

January 10, 2018 | 11:27 AM

Sebastian Professional has announced the North American Semi-Finalists for the 2018 What’s Next Awards National Competition. This hairstyling competition offers Hairdressers At Heart – students, industry professionals and affiliate artists – the opportunity to express their artistry and showcase their creative talents. Each year, Sebastian Professional releases a hair collection to inspire competition entry and capture What’s Next – this year, that collection is Twisted. Influenced by the deep sea’s lasting moisture, bounce and elastic flexibility, Sebastian Professional revisits curly hair with its Twisted Collection and product line, showcasing curls by nature and by tool.

 “The 2018 What’s Next Awards National Competition is designed to challenge students, industry professionals and affiliate artists to bend the rules, reshape the industry, and ‘twist’ things up,” said Carole Protat, Senior Creative Director, North America Coty Professional Beauty. “We are thrilled with the overwhelming number of Twisted-inspired entries, and want to thank everyone who entered or mentored talent for this year’s competition.”

 The 2018 Sebastian Professional What’s Next Awards National Competition Semi-Finalists are:

 Student Category:

-Diane Keplinger, Bellus Academy

-Christy Mae Jensen, Bellus Academy

-Shani Gottlieb, Beauty Schools of America

-Naomi Catt, Beau Monde Academy of Cosmetology

-Lindsey Mills, MC College

-Phalen Vaughn, Bellus Academy

-Victoria Odom, Ogle School

-Audrey Colburn, Beau Monde Academy of Cosmetology

-Natalia Davila Corredor, Advance Beauty College

-Jorie Beemsterboer, Bellus Academy

-Zane Bess, Sassoon Academy

-Rachel Alvord, Bellus Academy

-Rita Risley, Bellus Academy

-Amber Riegle, Salon Alesandro

-Brooklyn Fackrell, Taylor Andrews Academy

-Erika Salazar, The International Institute of Cosmetology


Industry Professional Category:

-Keisha Mines, Nirvana Hair Salon

-Adrian de la Parra, Bellus Academy

-Rochelle Wright, Continental School of Beauty

-Lindsey Fluke, Spa on the Avenue

-Reno Prezio, Bellus Academy

-Elle Schimberg, Red Stella Salon

-Liliana Gonzalez, Bellus Academy

-Jimy Kosmakos, Spa on the Avenue

-Marc Mapile, Dej Salon

-Hannah Deahl, Salon Gallery for Hair

-Sierra Johanson, Taylor Andrews Academy

-Laura Rocha, The Harlot Salon

-Kaitlin Butler, Bellus Academy

-Erica Keelen, Studio Sage

-Stevie Gomez, The Harlot Salon

-Stephanie Anderson, Taylor Andrews Academy


Affiliate Artists Category:

-Lisa Smith, Mint Hair Lounge

-Jonathan James, The Harlot Salon

-Lindsay Overland, The Studio Hair Design

-Vanessa Fortino, Salon Alessandro

-Anna Holaday, Salon NESOU

-Samantha Gunn, Eric Alt Salon

-Anthony Cress, Studio 4 Salon

-Rian La Fleur, Atelier Isabelle Rose

-Janet Algeciras, Hot Heads Salon

  Using Sebastian Professional products exclusively, entrants were tasked with creating cutting-edge hairstyles, with complementary wardrobe and makeup. Each Semi-Finalist entry was shared in an online gallery on Sebastian Professional’s What’s Next Award’s website for consumer voting. All entries were judged on the following criteria: consistency with the Sebastian Professional brand, technical finish and tie to the Twisted Collection, overall appeal and total number of fan votes.

 This year marks the first-time the Sebastian Professional What’s Next Awards Competition was open to International artists. Nine National Finalists (three from each category: student, industry professional and affiliate artist) and five International Finalists will be announced on January 18, and advance to a Live Finale Competition in Los Angeles on February 25. For more information about Sebastian Professional’s What’s Next Awards, please visit

About Hairdressers at Heart

Stylists are committed to being the best, perfecting their craft with every cut. Wella is here to advance the salon industry, one stylist at a time. Hairdressers at Heart is a program created to help stylists develop their talents throughout their career. Our goal is to be a vital partner to salons, empowering individual stylists and our entire industry. For more information:

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