Articles > Events > Aveda Congress Through Editor Eyes: Here’s What Really Happened
Last updated: October 12, 2023

Aveda Congress Through Editor Eyes: Here’s What Really Happened

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Photo courtesy of Aveda, Chelsie Lopez

8 Highlights You May Have Missed At Aveda Congress

Aveda hosted their first in-person Congress in five years in September. The event took place in Aveda’s hometown Minneapolis, Minnesota and celebrated the brands’s legacy, sustainability practices and education efforts. Congress included a slew of mainstage demonstrations, empowering conversations, runway performances and technical breakout courses lead by Aveda’s team of international educators. Oh, and as far as hair goes, nothing was off limits—there were storytelling braids, pastel hair colors, disconnected haircuts and extravagant editorial looks galore.


If Aveda Congress is on your bucket list, here’s a look at eight unforgettable moments from 2023’s celebration to hold you over until the next one in 2025.


1. The Yawanawá Tribe Blessed Aveda Congress’ Opening Ceremony

No Congress would be complete without the presence of the Brazilian Amazon-based Yawanawá tribe. Aveda celebrated their 31-year partnership with the tribe by bringing Chief Tashka and Lauren Yawanawá on stage to bless the venue and its 2,500+ show-goers. The partnership entails Aveda’s purchase of seeds harvested by the Yawanawa tribe to use for pigment in packaging and products.


aveda congress


2. Aveda’s Sustainability Efforts Revealed

Aveda celebrated their new B Corp Certification at Congress!


What this means: Aveda is verified as a business with high standards of performance, accountability and transparency across a number of areas including employee benefits, charitable giving, supply chain practices and input materials.


B Corps are certified by B Lab, an independent non-profit working to positively impact companies around the world. 


aveda congress


Read more about Aveda’s B Corp Certification here!


3. Mainstage Segments Included Demos For Every Hair Category

There were look and learn segments for styling, textured hair, coloring, cutting, barbering and major transformations. Educators talked through their processes and techniques, including demonstrations on how to finish each look.

Here’s some tips we learned:

  • For voluminous blowouts: Work volumizing products through dry hair and crimp at the root for added volume.
  • For instant pastel extensions: Dilute your preferred pastel hair color with water (instead of developer) then dip a blonde weft in it. More dips = more depth.
  • For shaping updos: Wrap a wire coat hanger in sheer pantyhose, bend it to your desired shape, then work into the hair to make a structured updo.


Here’s an exclusive look at some mainstage segments:

Photo courtesy of Aveda, Chelsie Lopez


4. Empowering Conversations Inspired Stylists To Become Better in Business and Life

Motivational speaker Ryan Leak (@ryanleak) encouraged the audience to ask themselves the below five questions to become more self aware and all around better in their personal lives and behind the chair. 


Here are the questions Ryan posed: 

  1. What’s it like to be on the other side of me?
  2. How can I get better?
  3. Who am I paving a way for?
  4. Am I enjoying it?
  5. What would I do if I couldn’t fail?


5. Here’s How Aveda Customizes Their Fragrances In-House

Another way Aveda controls their supply chain for best sustainability practices? Their in-house Botanical Aroma Lab where they source and test ingredients to create fragrances for all products.


Fun fact: Aveda pushed a signature scent through the vents at Congress so attendees could get the full brand experience.


Aveda’s fragrance families include:

  • Floral: geranium, ylang ylang and rose.
  • Citrus: ginger, lemon and neroli.
  • Earthy: marjoram, lavender and cardamom.



6. #AvedaPerformance Included Collaborations With These Two Major Fashion Houses

Day one of Congress ended with Aveda Performance; a showcase of fashion, artistry and a drone show lead by Aveda’s Senior Vice President Global Artistry Antoinette Beenders (@antoinettebeenders). “Hair is the fashion of the body,” she shared exclusively with BTC, explaining this was her inspiration for Performance. That idea translated on the runway as Aveda teamed up with ready-to-wear designer Stella McCartney and haute couture designer Iris Van Herpen to dress the models for the runway segments of the show—both of which share Aveda’s passion for sustainability.


Iris Van Herpen & Stella McCartney looks:

Photo courtesy of Aveda, Chelsie Lopez


7. This Year’s Editorial Hair Segment Featured These 3 Obscure Techniques

“Modern Mosaics” was the theme of this year’s editorial segment and according to Aveda’s Artistic Director Of North America, Hairstyling Brittany Dion (@brittdionhair) “Mosaics are a combination of natural elements being put into a really cool pattern.”


These techniques were used to create the Modern Mosaics Collection:

  • Airbrush painting designs on flat hair
  • Dip-dyed pastel wefts
  • Mosaics made from buntal straw glued on hair


See the looks up-close here:


8. Antoinette Beenders Offers Leadership Tips For Bosses Everywhere

After directing Aveda Performance and being a part of the Aveda team for almost two decades, Antoinette knows a thing or two about leading a team. When our team asked what leadership advice she can offer she said, “Find out what your team’s dreams are and reverse engineer a plan back.” Suggesting leaders have a responsibility to help their team achieve their goals.


Photo courtesy of Aveda, Chelsie Lopez


Want to rewatch Aveda Congress? Get digital access here!

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