The Winner Takes It All! | How To Succeed in Industry Awards

October 06, 2023

Having just won Gold Editorial Colorist of the Year at the KAO Global Creative Awards 2023, Stevan Dulay, Owner and Creative Director of POMOhair, understands that industry awards are a pivotal part of both business and salon culture. Representing your best work on a global scale not only allows you to receive recognition from artists around the world, but it ultimately defines the self-development of your career.

We had an exclusive chat with Stevan to learn his top five tips for entering industry awards…

Tip 1: Research Previous Winners

When entering any awards, I believe it’s so important to asses the work of its previous winners. Is there a common theme over the years? Some of the specific things I would look for are: The type of models – bone structure, face shape etc. – the hair styling techniques and the colour palettes used. Essentially, you are researching the standards that have been set by previous winners, this will provide you with a clear target for your own end result.

Tip 2: Construct a Winning Idea

Now that you have the standard for your entry firmly set, you must construct your winning idea – this is the most enjoyable part! Be sure to stay true to your own style of hairdressing and never stop developing ideas throughout the journey. Once you have decided on a shape and colour, don’t hesitate to put it into practice – trust me, your initial idea will transform a LOT by the end of the process!

Tip 3: Align Yourself with a Market Leader

For me, this step is crucial for both yourself and your brand. I chose to align POMOhair with KAO Salon Division for a number of reasons, including the quality of products, education and development opportunities. Joining a market leader allows you to access mentorships and ambassadors with a wealth of knowledge and expertise that you can utilise for guidance on your entry.

Tip 4: Choose the Correct Photographer

Going back to Tip 1, evaluating the style and standards of previous winners cannot be underestimated when it comes to photography. You must find a creative mind that you can work with openly – someone that allows you to bounce off each other and push the limits of your creation. Having a high-standard photographer will increase your chances of success astronomically.

Tip 5: Believe in Your Own Ability

I cannot stress the importance of being true to your own hairdressing style and believing in your own work; push your ability to the maximum and have trust in the idea you have developed. Post-production, I always ask myself what I could have done better – if the answer is ‘nothing’, I know I have an entry ready to submit.

Whilst winning an award is a fantastic achievement, it’s important to remember that producing work you are proud of in order to better yourself as a stylist is equally rewarding in itself.

See Stevan’s winning award entries here: @stevan.dulay

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