The North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) are presented every year at a spine tingling, goose bump-inducing star-studded ceremony in the glittering city of lights, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Known as the "most prestigious hair styling competition in North America", NAHAs are likened to The Oscars of the professional hairdressing world.
Indeed, they exemplify the true dedication, unwavering inspiration and explosive excitement, of the hair and beauty industry.
Note: For more information visit: North American Hairstylist Awards For 2010 Judging Process
Spectacular performances, artistic presentations by the industry's leading hair stylists, as well as special appearances by famous fashionistas like this year's Nancy O'Dell make the NAHA Awards Ceremony a non-stop party. It's the most inspirational beauty event held every year!
Over Six Hundred Talented Hairdresser Attendees
Over 600 of the most driven and talented hairdressers from around the world competed for the coveted 2009 NAHA trophy in 12 categories of professional hairdressing.
Judges for the NAHA include 60 of the most respected hair stylists, consumer beauty editors and trade magazine editors in the industry. Each judge, in total confidence, determines their top five in each category to determine the initial NAHA finalists.
The judging takes into consideration hair design combined with make-up, photography and overall presentation. Once the finalists are selected, the final judging is held to determine the ultimate winners.
The 2009 NAHA Awards Ceremony was especially sweet for all of us proud North Texans in attendance to honor and support Toni & Guy's (TIGI) Darian Bishop, one of the esteemed five finalists in the Avant Garde hairdressing category.
One of the most difficult categories to capture, Darian blew away the competition with her eye popping, mouth-dropping hair designs. This unique and complicated hairdressing category is judged according to the artistic, visionary and innovative elements infused in each of the three mandatory hair designs.
Darian let her imagination go wild sculpting three individual award winning Avant Garde designs which brilliantly integrated new dimensions of hair color, shape, textures and design. Darian's body of hair work demonstrated her vision of where hair can go in the future and embodied the most experimental concepts in expressive cutting-edge hair.
After accepting her 2009 NAHA award coiffed in her own edgy hairstyle with matching hat Darian told me "it's definitely an honor to win a NAHA award and to be considered among the best of the best."
Widely Respected Hair Educator For TIGI In Carrollton
A widely respected educator for TIGI in Carrollton, Darian shared some of her secrets to sculpting her NAHA award winning Avant Garde hair designs which often incorporate wigs, hair extensions and a myriad of add-on pieces.
She noted when creating the hair designs "it's all about being seamless. Which is what I tried to accomplish." Darian confided "believe it or not, one of the models actually had hair about this long" at which point she held up her fingers measuring approximately two inches.
In response to my amazement she laughed and said "it's about making it look like it could be her hair. It's about keeping it tasteful, but at the same time making it look real."
Volumes Of Tresses
Indeed, looking at her entries it was hard to imagine the models with anything, but volumes of tresses.
When describing her NAHA hair category Darian said "Avant Garde is slightly out of the box, it's the vision, it's really truly unique" and it's all about using hair to create "an art piece." Which she does magnificently utilizing her own favorite sculpting medium, that just happens to be hair.
Her love of creating Avant Garde hair designs springs from her belief "to keep things fresh in the hair industry, to constantly keep things new" you have to push the envelope.
Teaching Avant Garde Hairstyling To Her Students
Although she has captured such a prestigious hairdressing award she will continue to be a full time educator for TIGI. She told me "I love teaching, I love sharing with other people, I learn so much and it's made me strong" in the hairdressing world.
Does she teach Avant Garde hair designs to her TIGI students? Yes, she has in the past and plans to in the future. She noted it can be a very difficult subject to teach because its tricky "figuring out how to share that creative element. There's obviously some foundation, but the true artistry comes from within".
The North Texan hair guru believes "you can teach the foundations" and then hope "the artistic talent kicks in".
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Original Publication Date: 07/30/09 - Revised Date: 08/16/10