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  • Writer's pictureEmma Ward

How I Prepare For a Hair Competition

Hey babes, it's that time of year again! If you've known me for awhile, you know that I am obsessed with competing in the Contessas! Every year, Salon Magazine puts on a killer photo series competition for hairstylists, nail techs, and makeup artists around Canada. Contessa somehow stands for Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Awards. I've competed two years in a row now, going on to the third this year! In previous years, I've done one collection and just entered into one of the many many categories. This year however, I've decided to be even more ambitious (who needs sleep?) and enter two collections in two different categories! In my first year, I made it into the semi-finals as an apprentice! This announcement sparked something in me that has yet to be put out. That year after the competition I poured my heart and soul into more education. I couldn't get enough, and I wanted more. My second year, I made it into the finals in the apprentice category again! This year however, I'm entering into the big leagues. As I'm a licensed stylist, I can no longer be a big fish in the small pond kinda thing. I'll be competing with stylists who have been doing this for far longer than I have. Honestly, the best part of these collections is the work that goes into it. I LOVE the rush from creating something that is entirely my vision and having a team of talented vendors to help me make the vision a reality. I don't want to give too much away about this years themes are story lines, but just you wait! Now for the real tea, what goes into making a collection? Whether it be for a competition, salon advertisement, or just a personal project, a lot of time and effort goes into these photos. Typically, a hairstylist pairs up with at least a makeup artist, photographer, and models. Although it can go way beyond even that. Some stylists also hire designers, nail technicians, consultants. assistants, essentially the list goes on and on. For myself, this year I have a photographer, models, assistant, designer, and a nail tech. So how do I find all of these people? I'm very fortunate to work with amazing artists within the beauty community throughout the year. This provides me with a huge benefit when it comes to competition season. Personally, I like to work with a good ol' fashion bartering system! I offer my hair services in exchange for other services like makeup and photography. While I run the show during the photoshoot, I also choose professionals that I trust to do their thing! This gives me time to focus on just doing hair and having an absolute blast.

As I write this, I'm in the middle of the week long adventure of Contessa time! This means that I have three models coming in this week for their colour and cut makeovers, and then on Sunday we shoot all day long! I can't wait to share this adventure with you guys, it's my absolute favorite time of the year. xoxo, Emma

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