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Last updated: February 27, 2018

Announcing the 2018 Sebastian Professional What’s Next Awards Winners

The sixth annual contest brought it back to where it all began 🌟

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The Sebastian Professional What’s Next Awards turned six years old this year, so the brand—founded in Los Angeles in the early ’70s—brought the competition back to where it all began. Fourteen finalists from seven countries had less than four hours to create impressive hair for the chance at career-changing prizes, all in the heart of downtown LA. Keep reading for a look at the winning hair and the artistic presentations that inspired the 600-plus attendees!


The Contest: Shape Your World

The finalists spanned four categories:

  • Student
  • Professional
  • Affiliated Artist
  • International


Chosen for creating exciting looks based on Sebastian’s Twisted collection, the 14 finalists had to create entirely NEW looks on preselected models for the competition. The inspiration for the new look? “Shape Your World,” the idea that Sebastian exists to enable new possibilities for self-expression. Each finalist category had a different angle, from free spirit to avant-garde, and after spending 3½ hours creating their look, including working with a makeup artist and wardrobe stylist, it was time for judging!


The Finale: Live in Los Angeles

The judges scored each finalist based on whether the look fit with Sebastian’s brand aesthetic and the technical skills required to achieve the final style. The judging panel:


  • Sebastian Professional Creative Visionary Robert Lobetta (@robertlobetta)
  • Celeb stylist Dominick Serna (@domdomhair)
  • Stylist and salon owner Erik Gutierrez (@hairerik)
  • International Sebastian artist Latoya Velberg (@latoyavelberg)


BTC’s Haley and Lauren were so stoked to see the iconic Robert Lobetta!


Before the winners were announced, Sebastian Top Artists took the stage for some insanely creative artistic presentations—scroll through the slideshow for a glimpse!


@shaydempsey1 at the Sebastian What's Next Awards. (photo: @sebastianwna)


The Winners: Career-Changing Opportunities

Before we reveal the winners, check out the fantastic prizes:



  • $1,000 cash prize
  • Assist at a Sebastian-sponsored editorial photoshoot
  • Stylist starter kit valued at over $1000



  • $2,000 cash prize
  • Sebastian-sponsored editorial photoshoot
  • All-inclusive trip to NYC to assist backstage at New York Fashion Week


Affiliated Artists

  • $1,500 cash prize
  • Sebastian-sponsored editorial photoshoot
  • 2-night trip to city of choice for day of creative mentorship



  • All-inclusive trip to Los Angeles to compete at the live finale
  • 1-day editorial photo shoot mentored by Robert Lobetta


And the winners are…




Sebastian 2018 What’s Next Awards Student Winner: Rachel Alvord (@raydragonslayer), Bellus Academy, Poway, Calif.
Sebastian 2018 What’s Next Awards Professional Winner: Keisha Mines (@lamacevisions), Nirvana Hair Salon, Richmond, Va.
Sebastian 2018 What’s Next Awards International Winner: Rosallie Asmar (@rosallieasmar), Bjorn Axen, Stockholm, Sweden
Sebastian 2018 What’s Next Awards Affiliated Artist Winner: Jonathan James (@neongods), The Harlot, Los Angeles, Calif.


See all the finalists’ looks below, and congratulations to everyone!


Sebastian 2018 What's Next Awards International Finalist: Danny Van Tuijil (@dvthandcraftedhair), DVT Handcrafted Hair, Vienna, Austria


Watch the highlight reel!