How to Get Your Best Shot and Build Your Collection for NAHA!

Will you win at North American Hairstyling Awards? With your skills, attention to detail, and creativity, we think you’ve got a shot! Becoming a finalist or getting to the podium may seem daunting, but GlossGenius has your back with some tips and tricks to help you along the way.

1. NAHA Rules & Regulations

To get your best shot for the most prestigious beauty industry photo competition in America, you have to know what you can and cannot do. Be on top of general rules and category-specific ones by reading through them on Professional Beauty Association's site. Now, do it again to make you know them by heart! For all of your dedication and hard work, we don’t want a small mistake to hold you back.

Some things that we find particularly important for you to keep an eye out for are:

  • Eligibility: Are you a licensed cosmetologist, barber, nail professional, makeup artist, or cosmetology student attending school in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico? If so, then you’re good to go!
  • Release forms: Sign them. Print legibly or type up your responses since NAHA does not take responsibility for spelling mistakes.
  • Categories: They matter. You can submit up to three relevant collections per NAHA category. Because NAHA category guidelines are different, check to make sure your works are appropriate.

2. Image Specifications

Let’s make sure everything about images is crystal clear! There are a lot of rules, so buckle up and enjoy the ride as we go through all the NAHA 2020 image specifications you need to know to win:

  • Photo manipulations: Whether you’re your own stylist and photographer or you’ve hired a team, be sure that your images follow NAHA required formats.     Remember that clean, polished photos with a focus on your artistry are infinitely better than over-filtered pictures. Special effects and props can detract from your look.
  • Unretouched photos: You must include unretouched photos for each of your NAHA final submission images in your collection. This means these photos come right from your (or your team’s) camera. No edits allowed! These pictures are only for the judges to make sure that your final images are not over-manipulated. Nobody else will see them, so don’t sweat it.
  • No names on photos: Keep your name and salon logos off your NAHA submission photos. NAHA judges are not supposed to know whose work they’re evaluating. If they do, then you’ll be disqualified.
  • Image size and type: Images must be no larger than 8MB. They have to be 8x10 inches with a resolution of 300DPI (CMPI not accepted). Also, the required image file format is the JPEG format (.jpg) (.tiff, Bitmaps, PDFs, etc. will not be accepted). You can check file sizes and types by following these steps.    
  • No social media (yet): Of course, you’re proud of your finished products! Just don’t post your NAHA collection yet. Final images found on social media can disqualify you.
  • Pay attention to NAHA submission order: Upload your images into the system in the sequence you want them to be seen. This can make the difference between the raise of a brow and “wow!”  

Be super careful to make sure that you follow these requirements! Images that do not will not be processed by NAHA!

3. Resources

You’re not in this alone! Whether in-person or online, there are resources everywhere. While the GlossGenius blog has you covered for most things beauty business-related, here are some of our other favorite ways for you to find inspiration and advice this competition season:

  • Mentors: Take the plunge and reach out to that NAHA winner or finalist you love! They didn’t get to where they are today without others to learn from, so they’ll probably be happy to answer a few questions. We recommend trying to email them, slide into their DMs on Instagram, or Facebook messaging!
  • Interviews: If you’re not ready to reach out to the biggest names in the industry, then find what they have told others. For example, see what Baker, Charlie Price, Chrystofer Benson, and Eric Fisher had to share about creating world-class entries with Aveda.  
  • Online videos and news releases: Check for videos put out by the Professional Beauty Association, like this NAHA tips video, and news updates to stay on top of competition information and guidelines.
  • Network: Talk to the hairstylists, barbers, nail technicians, and beauty professionals you respect to get their insights and perspectives. Have some fun and make friends while you’re at it!
  • Photo galleries: Study collections from winners and finalists from NAHA 2019 and NAHA 2018 for motivation and to reflect on your own work.

4. Mindset

It can be stressful to enter one of the most important beauty competitions in the world, so here are some ways to make it manageable...

  • Trust yourself: We believe in you! Make sure you put express your voice throughout your NAHA submission collection. It should have a unique theme, show case your technical mastery and vision.
  • Be early: We all procrastinate, but try to be ahead of schedule for this competition (quick tip – if you’re a GlossGenius member you can easily mark these dates right in the app!). It’s always better to have room to plan, make adjustments, and be ready for the unexpected than to rush at the end. Don’t wait until right before the deadline to submit.
  • Have fun: It’s cliché but true. You’ve dedicated your life to your art and profession, so enjoy the process and your dedication will come out through your work.

NAHA2020 can be an incredible marketing opportunity for you. Take your best shot, and we wish you the best from GlossGenius!

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