Business Education

When is the Right Time to… Enter a Hairdressing Competition?

August 10, 2023

Entering competitions can be a great way to hone skills, explore your creative side and get your name out there, but before you dive into your first competition experience, TONI&GUY international artistic director, Daniele De Angelis, suggests you ask yourself the following questions.

  1. What type of competition do you want to enter?

There are loads of competitions taking place within the hairdressing industry, some are hosted by brands, others by the hairdressing media. Broadly speaking they fall into three main categories – competitions that test your business skills, photographic competitions that ask you to create hair-focused images and collections, and live competitions where you will be expected to create a look on a model in front of a judging panel (and possibly a wider audience). If you think entering competitions will be good for you, do some thorough research into what is out there, and which would most fit your skill set.

  1. Do you have the skills and experience?

When you have decided on the specific competition, read all the criteria and take a look at past winners and – where possible – their winning entries. Ask yourself: ‘Do I have the skills to enter and potentially win this competition?’ It’s no bad thing to decide to get more experience before taking the plunge; you want your first experience of entering a competition to be a positive one.

  1. Do you have the budget?

However clever you are with budgeting, most competitions will involve some kind of financial outlay, whether it’s for models and photographers, travel expenses or just your valuable time. Do you have the budget to deliver the standard of entry you want to achieve? Cost everything out and come to a realistic decision.

  1. Can you perform under pressure?

If you opt to enter a live competition, you’ll need to be confident at working under pressure. That said, sometimes the only way to build this confidence is to gain the experience of competing live. Just be aware that working under live competition pressure will come with a set of challenges. Practise creating your look in front of an audience of colleagues and friends as many times as possible – if you find it hard the first time, learn from it and take the experience forward to the next live competition you enter.

  1. What do you want to get out of it?

Before entering any competition, ask yourself what you want to gain from the experience. Are you looking for exposure within the industry? To grow your reputation locally? Or do you just enjoy challenging yourself and expanding your skillset? There is no wrong answer, but having a clear idea of why you are entering a particular competition will help you to maximise the outcome, especially if you do finalise or win. Have a plan in place of how you will market a win or a place in the final. Do you know who the best contacts are at the leading industry press? Or the news editors of your local newspapers and magazines? Are there any local influencers who you could invite to enjoy a cut or colour by an award-winning hairdresser?

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