Meet The Regis Rising Stars!

October 28, 2018 | 12:55 PM
Color Winner: Krystin Gross
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Creative Winner: Amanda Killen
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Men's Grooming Winner: Spencer Dolan
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Texture Winner: Sidney Applegate
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Congratulations to all the salon professionals who entered the MODERN SALON Rising Star Contest, presented by Regis. All the votes are in, and MODERN SALON is proud to recognize and celebrate the great work, creativity and passion of students and “newer talent” stylists and barbers, all licensed no earlier than 2015.

After MODERN editors and Regis Vice President/Creative Jamie Suarez narrowed more than a thousand entries into the “Top 10” in each of four categories—Color, Creative, Grooming and Texture—the MODERN SALON community voted and chose the grand prize winners. Each has the opportunity to be part of a collaborative photo shoot experience Suarez (@jamiesuarezhair). Images from the photo shoot will be featured in MODERN SALON magazine and on digital platforms.

The MODERN SALON’s 2018 Rising Star Winners, presented by Regis, are:

  • COLOR: Krystin Gross
  • CREATIVE: Amanda Killen
  • GROOMING: Spencer Dolan
  • TEXTURE Sidney Applegate

Watch for more editorial coverage of the Rising Star grand prize experience in the coming months. In the meantime, here are quick spotlights of the four Rising Stars, with comments on what winning the first-ever Rising Stars contest means to them and descriptions of their entries.

Rising Star Krystin Gross graduated from New York Beauty and Barber Academy in Elmira, NY, in 2017. She says she is honored to be the Rising Star for Color, and thankful that Jamie Suarez of Regis and MODERN SALON created this contest to find the ‘newbies.’

“When you are a new stylist, sometimes it feels like you will never get recognized because there are so many big players out there,” she says. “I have been a fan of MODERN for as long as I can remember and have always dreamed of having my work featured. So if you work hard and set goals, anything is capable—dreams do come true!”

Gross’ winning work—her “Ethereal Goddess”—was influenced by a few of those big players she mentioned. She experimented with Stephanie Lawrence’s shine line technique, Mustafa’s waves and Megan Schipani’s “floating head” style of photography.

“I am always drawn to unique color pallets and these are some of my favorite shades,” Gross says. “When you color melt, you can create these beautiful tones.”  Rising Star Amanda Killen attended the Aveda Institute in Tampa Bay, FL, and earned her license in 2016. She says winning the Creative category is especially gratifying, given the talent of the other stylists who entered and were selected as finalists.

“The visibility and learning experiences this Rising Stars opportunity provides are tremendous,” Killen says. “I hope by being recognized for doing what I love, I can inspire other stylists and mothers like myself to creatively engage in their careers without believing they must make compromises or fit preconceptions that don’t support their individual hopes and dreams. Killen calls her Rising Star submission “Female Fortitude.”

“I styled this look using soft blush tones and romantic textures that are typically associated with femininity and contrasted them with strong structural braiding and bold graphic lines,” she says. “It symbolizes the diverse ways we as women identify and express our individual strength and prowess.”

Rising Star Spencer Dolan started his professional journey by attending cosmetology school in 2011 at Artistic Academy by DePasquale in Morris Plains, NJ, but says he had to move through some personal challenges before earning his license in 2015 and starting his career in earnest.

“For me, winning this contest in Grooming represents the power of perseverance and dedication,” Dolan says. “A lot of my early motivation in doing hair was misdirected and selfish. It was only when doing work that made others feel good became priority that I was truly able to be passionate about the work that I was creating. I have come from the complete bottom and turned my life around and made some of the best work of my career and I couldn’t be prouder of where I am today.”

Dolan calls his winning image “Defiance,” and describes it as “perfectly placed chaos, fit for a groomsman who dares to defy the standards of modern men’s grooming.”

Rising Star Sidney Applegate earned her cosmetology license from Carousel Beauty & Spa Institute in 2016, and says winning the Texture category has put her one step closer to realizing her dreams. It feels like a new door has been opened, and I can’t wait to find out what’s waiting for me on the other side!”

Applegate calls her winning style the “Textured Faux Hawk,” and describes it as a combination of twists and braids pulled into a curly, voluminous faux hawk, with a bold and fierce eye to finish the look.

Watch for more exciting contest opportunities from MODERN SALON and from Regis. Follow @modernsalon and @jamiesuarezhair on Instagram for the latest updates and opportunities. 

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