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March 6, 2017

See All That Went Down At The Sebastian What’s Next Awards

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Imagine you’re in a hair competition where you fly into a location, meet your (randomly chosen) model, create a boundary-pushing style and creatively direct the clothes, makeup and nails your model will wear down a runway in front of about 1,000 people—all within 48 hours.

That’s what nine hairdressers from three countries did this past weekend at the Sebastian Professional What’s Next Awards. Now in its fifth year, the competition is for students, professionals and Coty Beauty brand-affiliated artists who created looks based on Sebastian’s A/W 2016 collection, Eclectic. But because Sebastian is all about What’s Next, the finalists found out they’d have to come up with a totally new look based on the S/S 2017 collection, Re-Charge.

Check out all the photos from this year’s
What’s Next Awards!


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See the finalists’ Eclectic looks that earned them a spot in the competition!

The show went down in Dallas, where the competitors randomly drew models, then had a few hours to experiment with their models’ hair and determine what they could accomplish. Each finalist had to bring his or her own tools and hair extensions, and were given a selection of Sebastian products to work with. (Fun fact: one competitor, Tonya Cuozzo, brought 20 pounds of hair extensions!)

On the day of the show, each finalist had about five hours (yes, only five hours!) to complete their creative style and get their model to wardrobe, makeup and nails (by OPI nail artists). And then…it was up to the judges. The panel included industry legend Robert Lobetta, 2016 Affiliated Artist WNA winner Gianpaolo Colombo, 2016 Professional Artist WNA winner Damaris Earlewine and Sergi Bancells of Estetica.  

BTC’s Lauren with industry icon Robert Lobetta.

The energy at The Bomb Factory in Dallas’ Deep Ellum neighborhood was completely electric—but there was certainly some sadness in the air. Sal Mauceri, Senior Vice President North America Professional Beauty and Global Nail at Coty Beauty and Carole Protat, North American Creative Director for Coty Beauty, gave special recognition to “Big Daddy” Fabio Sementilli, and encouraged hairdressers everywhere to continue competing and pushing their creative artistry in his honor.

Carole Protat (left) and Sal Mauceri (right) paid special tribute
to the late Fabio Sementilli during the event.

And that’s exactly what Sebastian International Top Artists Marylle Koken, Diva Poulos, Omar Antonio and Anthony Cole did. Besides presenting Re-Charge and showing some amazing cutting and styling techniques on stage, they also gave a sneak peek to the next collection, Twisted, which celebrates texture “by nature or by tool,” Diva said. 

Top Artist Diva Poulos gives her model’s curls a quick cut
onstage at the What’s Next Awards.

The event was live-streamed on Wella Education’s Facebook page, and hairdressers around the world had the opportunity to vote for their favorite look on Instagram. And to cap it off, the band Sixx:A.M. made a special appearance and tore up the stage with insane rock ’n’ roll.

Take a peek at all the photos from the
2017 What’s Next Awards!

And now…the winners of the 2017 Sebastian What’s Next Awards!

People’s Choice Winner
Luis Maldonado (@luis_maldonado_1)
Beyond Salon, Puerto Rico


Take a peek at this in-process video of how Luis added texture to his final look! 

Student Category Winner
Beverly Iwuala (@beverlyeze)
Ogle School, Stafford, Texas

Well this looks interesting! Check out this eccentric technique
Beverly used to achieve her final look!

Professional Category Winner
Laura Rocha (@l_v_r_)
The Harlot Salon, Venice, Calif.

Take a sneak peek at how Laura kept her model’s hair
chic, frizz-free and controlled.

Affiliated Artist Category Winner
Sabrina Cayer (@propagandecoiffure)
Propagande Coiffure, Trois-Rivières, Québec

Don’t be afraid to ask your model for help! Sabrina had her model
hold pieces of hair for her while she worked on adding texture.

So what do the winners get? The three category winners receive an editorial photo shoot and $1,000 cash. Beverly, the student winner, will also receive a tool kit worth $1,000. Pro category winner Laura will get the opportunity to work backstage at New York Fashion Week. And the affiliated artist winner Sabrina will receive a day of mentorship with Sebastian Global Creative Directors Michael Polsinelli and Shay Dempsey.


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