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Experts reveal competition winning secrets at Hair Expo


Industry personnel including twice awarded hairdresser of the year, Jayne Wild, disclose their tips of the trade for tasting success in hair competitions.


Chair of the event, Sharon Blain

A panel of six industry experts discussed what it takes to win hairdressing awards at the recent Hair Expo in Sydney at an event chaired by Sharon Blain. The panel included twice awarded hairdresser of the year Jayne Wild and her husband Gary Latham, legendary hair stylist Benni Tognini, photographer Andrew O’Toole and stylist and educator David Glover. The creative board divulged their tips of the trade to guide budding hairdressers to award winning success.

“The criteria is everything,” O’Toole said in his opening address, recommending stylists clearly examine competition briefs and determine exactly how their submission would fulfil the judging criteria. From his own experience entering competitions, Tognini stressed that success is only possible if the criteria are met. “They are the guidelines you have to work within and the rules of the game,” he said.


Andrew O’Toole, David Glover and Gary Latham

Latham proposed submissions should be designed with multiple uses in mind to make the most of limited budgets. Images submitted to hair competitions can also be used as advertising material or for salon calendars if planned wisely and in advance. “If you only do it to win, only one person’s going to be happy,” he said.

A fashion forward submission is crucial and Glover advocated staying abreast of trends and frequently perusing magazines. “Fashion will give you all the cues for hair,” he said. “Hair is the icing on the cake.” While fashion and hair are inseparable, he recommended being attuned with the former as it informs the latter.


Gary Latham, Jayne Wild and Benni Tognini

For those on a budget, Blain and Wild suggested using graduating students – “they are so talented,” Wild stressed. Artistic colleges provide invaluable grounds for sourcing stylists for photo shoots, makeup artists, photographers and models.

Most importantly, each panel member advocated working from a place of genuine passion. Without it, they said, success is not possible.

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