Clean and modern salon

31 Jan How to Become a Cosmetologist in Phoenix, AZ

Cosmetology is an exciting field and growing fast. It’s no surprise that many people are considering a career in cosmetology. For someone with a passion for artistry, improving people’s lives, and building relationships, cosmetology is a great choice! You do not need many years of training to become a cosmetologist in Arizona. In fact, you can finish training in as little as a year. Here’s our roadmap of how you can get from where you’re at right now to becoming a cosmetologist.

Clean and modern salon

Basic Requirements

Before enrolling in cosmetology school, you have to fulfill a few standard requirements. These include:

  • A high school diploma or GED is usually required
  • Government-issued ID
  • Filling out a student application

Enrolling in Cosmetology School

Researching cosmetology schools is an exciting and essential part of the process to becoming a cosmetologist. While you are looking at different schools, there are a few important factors to consider:

  • Is the school accredited, and does it have a good reputation?
  • What financial aid options are available?
  • Does the school teach the courses you are interested in?

Choosing an accredited school is important for various reasons, including the validity of your degree, rigorous coursework, high licensing exam pass rates, and job placement. Choosing to go to a school with a good reputation matters because employers will see your school’s name and recognize you have been trained well. Attending a reputable school gives employers a reason to trust your skills and helps you achieve your dream job more easily.

Accredited schools also have financial aid options, whether federal government student aid or school-based aid and scholarships. Accredited cosmetology schools will have someone available to help you learn more about what financial aid is available.

Hair supply flatlay

Cosmetology Programs

When you’re looking at different schools, it’s important to make sure the school includes courses and programs you are interested in. Cosmetology schools often include esthetics programs or other supplementary classes in related areas.

Choosing to get an additional license can be beneficial for your career and job opportunities in the future. You may even be able to get a tuition waiver from the school if you complete multiple programs.

State Licensing Requirements

Each state’s requirements to become a licensed cosmetologist vary slightly. In Arizona, to be licensed you must:

  • Graduate from an accredited cosmetology school with training on important aspects of cosmetology like hair cutting, hair coloring, salon management, makeup, and skincare.
  • Complete 1600 hours of training
  • Pass the state exam, which includes written and practical components

Accredited cosmetology schools train you to sit for the state exam, and they usually have high pass rates for students. Choosing a good school will help you be more prepared for the exam.

Transferring a License from Another State

If you’ve already gotten your license in another state, you can transfer your license through the Arizona Board of Cosmetology’s license-for-license reciprocity program without enrolling in cosmetology school again. This licensing process includes:

    • Submitting an application to the Arizona Board of Cosmetology for a cosmetology, esthetician, or nail technician license
    • Submitting proof of licensure in your home state or country. However, those requirements must be comparable to Arizona’s.
    • Paying required fees

    We Can Help

    If you’re wondering how to become a cosmetologist in Phoenix, we are here to help you! At Aveda Institute Inspire Greatness, we prepare students to sit for the state exam and become trained cosmetologists. Get in touch with us and we can answer your questions about enrolling in cosmetology school, financial aid, the state exam, and more.

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02 Jan What Different Styles Can I Do With Short Hair?

Whether you’ve recently cut your hair short or you’ve been sporting cropped locks for years, it’s easy to stick to one safe hairstyle. If you’re not sure what different styles you can do with short hair, you’re in luck! There are plenty of styles for you to choose from. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Pompadour
  • Undercut
  • Waves
  • Half-bun
  • Slicked back


From Marie Antoinette to rock and roll icon Elvis Presley, the pompadour has gone in and out fashion for centuries. A pompadour paired with a short haircut (in the style of contemporary pop stars like Miley Cyrus and Janelle Monae) is a more modern take on the look. It’s a cool, fashionable way to add some red carpet-worthy volume to your hair. A pompadour looks great with dramatic nighttime makeup, but can also be dressed down with softer colors for the daytime.


If you want to get even edgier with your ‘do, try out an undercut. This funky yet versatile cut can be worn with a bob, shoulder length hair, or a pixie cut. The top layer is kept long and the hair on the lower half of the head is shaved or buzzed. It’s totally up to you how long or short you want your top layer to be. An undercut can even be combined with the aforementioned pompadour if you really want to do something unique!


Who says you need long hair to rock the beachy look? The ever-popular beach waves can be worn with shoulder length hair and even bobs! Waves are a timeless look, so if you’re looking for a classic, pretty hairstyle, this is a great option. You can create beachy waves using a curling wand, straightening iron, or just by braiding your hair while it’s wet and sleeping on it. Add some texturizing spray to your waves and you’ve got a beautifully effortless look.


Got a new lob you’re not sure what to do with? Try out the trendy half-bun style. All it takes is an elastic band or two. Your bun will be a little small, but it’s a cute and practical way to rock an on-trend look. This trend has been seen all over red carpets, Instagram, Pinterest, and magazines and it’s not going away anytime soon!

Slicked Back

Few short hairstyles look more sleek and chic than slicked back hair. Sleek buns and ponytails are great for longer hair, but this is a good way to rock the slick look with short hair. This look works with all hair types and is easy to create with a flat iron, fine tooth comb, texturizing cream, smoothing product, and strong-hold hairspray. Be a little bold and try out this sleek, sophisticated look with your short hair.

Love Hair?

If doing hairstyles like these is something you’re passionate about, consider our cosmetology program at the Aveda Institute! We can teach you the hair cutting, styling, and coloring techniques you need to become a professional stylist. Contact us to learn more!

Learn more about why you should choose Aveda here!

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22 Oct Aveda Congress 2018 Recap

Every other year, Aveda holds the Aveda Congress, which is a large three-day conference that brings together Aveda professionals from all corners of the globe. It’s an exciting and inspiring time for people to connect, share, and inspire one another over the the course of several days. Some of our own staff had the incredible opportunity of attending, and even a few received some amazing awards. Events like this are just a small part of what make the Aveda network so amazing.

What is the Aveda Congress?

The Aveda Congress is all about bringing the Aveda family back together to celebrate our talents and dreams with one another. The event features speakers, guest artists, performances, and so much more all crammed in the space of a few days. It’s an immersive and exciting experience that gives people the chance to learn, network, and develop themselves. Workshops are held throughout the event as well, which can give people the opportunity to sharpen their skills in anything ranging from hair cut and color to makeup and styling. The Aveda Jam put the cherry on top to make the Aveda Congress the premier beauty event in the country.

Why Aveda Matters

The Aveda network is made up of thousands of people who share a passion for beauty and a love of the earth. We share a common mission to help other people and to protect nature while we’re at it, and that’s why Aveda has such a strong focus on naturally-derived products. Being responsible to the world around us is incredibly important. Aveda Congress is an opportunity to bring that vision together and share the things we each learn on our own spread across the earth. For many people, coming to Aveda Congress feels like coming home!

Inspire Greatness at Aveda Congress

Not only did people from the Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes attend the Aveda Congress, some of them were even featured and recognized. Heggy Gonzalez, the creative director from our Provo campus, led a segment featuring educators from all over the place, including Gilad Maimon from Tucson. Our owner and founder, Dale Le Monds also received the ONE CARE award from Aveda for his incredible philanthropy and generous giving back to the network. On top of all of that, Anne Skubis, the director of our Tucson campus and an Aveda Purefessional, was inducted into the Aveda Institute hall of fame. It was amazing to see our talented team featured so heavily and celebrated at the Aveda Congress!

Join The Aveda Network

They say that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes is where you can take your first step. When you join a program at Aveda Institute you can become a part of the Aveda network where you can continue to foster and develop your beauty skills throughout your career. Does that sound like a place you want to be? Reach out to us at one of our campuses located in Denver, Provo, Tucson, or Phoenix to learn more about what you can do as a part of the Aveda network!

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Ali Haller posing with family

05 Sep Alumni Spotlight: Ali Haller

The graduates of Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes never cease to amaze us! Ali Haller is no exception. In fact, she is exceptional. She is a NAHA winner and great example of never giving up and pushing yourself beyond your limits. She learned to ask herself, “Why not me?”. She realized her only limitation was herself and that she wasn’t going to get in her own way.

About Ali Haller

Ali is a recent graduate from our Denver campus. Her story is one of tremendous growth and perseverance. She had already experienced a desk job and owned a landscaping business with her boyfriend by the time she started at Aveda Institute Denver. Though she loved the work, she felt that she wanted more of a career, and she was at a turning point in her life. One day, Ali decided to sit down and write out the values she sought in a career. She knew for sure she wanted to help people feel good about themselves and be able to express creativity. Plus, she wanted to be able to self manage her career and work toward what she wanted. At one point she considered becoming a therapist, but this left no room for creativity.

Then she had an “a-ha” moment. Hairstyling! This would give her creativity, freedom, and the ability to help people feel good. She decided to go to cosmetology school, and she started her beauty education from square one. Growing up, Ali was a tomboy. She had never used a blow dryer or makeup, she didn’t know there were different kinds of brushes! Yet she started on her journey toward her dream career.

What Made Ali Choose Aveda Institute?

Ali began her beauty education at a different school. Though she wasn’t happy there, she refused to quit. As fate had it, this school went out of business. This pushed Ali to tour Aveda Institute Denver. During her tour, she noticed many things that she didn’t have available to her at her previous school. It wasn’t just a matter of someone coming in for a haircut, the focus was on giving the guest the Aveda experience. Guests left feeling beautiful and cared for. Ali wanted to join the beauty industry to help people feel good, and she quickly realized that her personal values aligned with Aveda’s values.

Ali standing with Aveda Institute people in front of Aveda sign

She had already completed 500 hours at her previous school that she could have applied to her new education, but Ali didn’t want to opt out of any classes. She was excited for the educational and extracurricular opportunities provided by our school. She didn’t want to miss out on any of them. She made the tough decision to essentially start her hours over. Ali said her experience at her previous school really helped her appreciate the Inspire Greatness Aveda difference. She had never experienced the level of support and extra opportunities before.

In 2017 Ali attended Beacon, a program to help students prepare for their future in the beauty world. Students get the opportunity to learn from industry icons, attend industry events, and connect with other beauty professionals. While Ali was there she was inspired and moved. Listening to award-winning stylist Vivienne Mackinder speak about her experience in the editorial world made Ali realize that she wanted to create artwork with hair as a career. She then got the opportunity to experience the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) in 2017. This dream started her path to the 2018 NAHA.

NAHA Winner

After Beacon, Ali was determined to pursue her dream of editorial hairstyling. She introduced herself to our Director of Education, Brad VanDyke. She offered to buy him coffee and asked his advice on what she should do to pursue her dream. This was just the beginning. Ali knew what she wanted to do and she was going to do whatever it took to get there. She talked to as many educators as she could. The curiosity of, “How do I do this?” is what drove her. She felt that she was in the perfect place to follow her dream. The opportunities provided to her at at our school were so helpful. She began the process of applying to NAHA. The first step was being chosen to represent her school. To her surprise, she was!

Ali and three other students all flew to Utah to do a photo shoot for their entries. This experience was different from anything she had done before. She had a base plan and tried to keep an open mind. Her background in landscape design was her inspiration and after toying around with different techniques, she found one she liked. Tiling different colors in the hair really stood out to Ali, and her hair designs were born.

3 images of models with tiled hair submitted to NAHA 2018

Having to let go and allow her inner creativity to shine was challenging but also very educational for Ali. She learned so much about herself in this experience. She was so excited about her designs, but she recognized that the competition was steep. So she waited to hear.

She was shocked when she received notice that she won!

She hadn’t expected it at all, knowing how good some of the other entries were and what she was up against. It was a huge moment for her and an opportunity she was so grateful for.

Life After Graduation

Ali’s biggest goal after winning NAHA and graduating was to maintain her momentum. She said, “Just because I won doesn’t mean that was the end. It’s just the beginning!” Ali is always looking for opportunities to continue her education, assist on shoots, and soak up all the knowledge she can. Currently, Ali is working at Three Cutters salon, an Aveda concept salon owned by Brad VanDyke. She chose to work here for the comfortable, supportive work atmosphere and the educational opportunities. She will be part of the apprenticeship program there in November, and she’s really looking forward to it.

Advice For Future Students

Ali truly believes in the importance of education. She believes that one can never truly be done learning. There is always more to learn and new ways to improve, especially in an industry that is always changing. Her advice to fellow learners is to not be too hard on yourself. This is something she still tells herself every day. The biggest lesson Ali took away from her experience at school was to always fight self doubt.

So often we, as human beings, have criteria we tell ourselves of what we can or cannot do. It’s not until we change our mindset and get out of our comfort zones that we are able to learn more about ourselves. We should always be pushing our boundaries to learn and grow more.

In school Ali often faced the feeling that she didn’t want to do something. She took this discomfort as a sign that she should give it a try. It was in these difficult and uncomfortable moments that she grew and learned what she was capable of. She encourages learners of all kinds to persevere through the difficult times and believe in themselves to continuously improve and grow.

Know What You’re Made Of

Recently, the Aveda brand has been challenging people to #knowwhatyouremadeof by coming up with three words that describe themselves. We love this idea and have been asking our staff and students to share what they’re made of. So we also asked Ali. Her three words are: grit, dedication, and curiosity. She is always persevering through difficult times, she is dedicated to continuously bettering herself, and she is always looking for new ways to educate herself. What are your three words? Share them with us on social media. Find us on Facebook and Instagram.

Know What We’re Made Of

Ali proves that no matter where you are in life, it’s always possible to analyze where you want to be and make a change. Have you considered getting your education in cosmetology or esthiology? Contact us at one of our locations: Denver, Tucson, Phoenix, Provo. Learn more about how you can make a change in your life and start working toward your dream career!

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student doing models hair

22 Feb How Does Aveda Inspire Greatness Stand Out?

student doing models hair

Aveda is well-known for its products and its accomplished name. Aveda is unique in the way that the foundation of the brand is not built on style or beauty. Rather it is built and centered on love. Aveda was created with the idea that individual beauty is directly linked to the beauty of the world around us. Founded in 1978, Aveda has continued to practice love through education in beauty. After reading a bit about Aveda you will see how it differs from other brands and, in turn, makes us different than other cosmetology schools.

What Makes Inspire Greatness Stand Out?

Aveda was built on the foundation of practicing love. Obviously that’s not the conventional way a beauty, is created. Aveda stands out in more ways than one from other brands. We know that using ecological brands that has a social cause behind it are important to you. It’s important to us as well!

Our Programs

Here at Inspire Greatness, we offer a wide range of programs to excel in. If beauty is your calling, we have the resources for you. If you enjoy teaching then learn from us! We also have programs for those who are interested in spa or massage therapy.

Our diverse programs is filled with passionate people that are eager to learn from the best and to teach the best.

Extra Opportunities

When you decide on Aveda Inspire Greatness, you are deciding on endless possibilities. We want to see our students succeed so we offer a number of resources such as:

  • Modern styling tools
  • Workstations
  • Incredible facilities
  • One-on-one help from professional instructors

Not only do we provide resources for success, we also offer off-campus experiences to those that are accepted. These off-campus experiences are opportunities for growth growth, networking, real-world experience, and personal improvement!

  • New York Fashion Week
  • North American Hairstyling Awards
  • Study Abroad
  • The Power of Products

    Aveda is very well-known for our products. We offer products for every need, from hair and face treatments to makeup. We want to not only help you feel beautiful but to also be sure what you are putting on your body is safe and beneficial.

    Join Aveda Inspire Greatness!

    As you can see, Aveda is not just a beauty brand. We strive to make this beautiful world a better place to live and to show you that the beauty you have is within yourself. If you are interested in the beauty industry, you should consider an education with Aveda Inspire Greatness. Experience the Aveda way today!

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19 Jan Massage Therapy – The Aveda Difference

Are you looking for a career that can give you the freedom to be your boss and help other people? Look no further! Aveda Inspire Greatness Institute offers a comprehensive massage therapy program (at our Denver and Provo locations only) that can equip you with the skills necessary to become a skilled massage therapist. As an Aveda Institute, there are some things that make our massage therapy program significantly different from other comparable programs. We have the Aveda difference!

What Can I Learn at Aveda Inspire Greatness?

Nearly every massage therapy program around the country teaches the same set of basic massage principles and practices. Western massage is rooted in what are known as “Swedish Massage” techniques, which is the most prevalent type of massage in the country. These techniques emphasize releasing pain and tension though massage by kneading, effleurage, stretching, tapping, and many more!

Teaching the basics of massage therapy is the core of the program, but it’s also important that our students are equipped to be successful professionals. Our massage therapy program covers the basics of best business practices, as well as practices that can help you build and manage a book of clientele. If you have a job in massage therapy, you either work for a business or you own the business, so we want our students to be ready to handle either case!

The Aveda Brand

The Aveda brand was born in 1978 from the mind of Aveda’s founder, Horst Rechelbacher, a prolific beauty expert and protector of the earth. The roots of the brand come from the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda, which is a holistic health, wellness, and medicinal system that is still widely practiced throughout India to this day. Horst worked closely with Ayurveda experts to develop a brand lifestyle of holistic wellness that Aveda practices worldwide.

Massage Therapy and the Aveda Difference

Being an Aveda student isn’t just an occupation, it’s a transformative lifestyle. Horst believed that everyone wakes up each day with the ability to choose how they would influence the world. All of our choices, no matter how small, add up to a lifetime of change in the world. This is why Aveda takes special concern for the products that are used on clients, emphasizing the use of plant-based products as part of the regular massage routine. Not only that, but Aveda carries an earth-centric focus with the products created for health and wellness. Renewable, recyclable, and cruelty-free products are all integral hallmarks of what it means to be Aveda!

Massage therapy students at Aveda Institutes aren’t simply taught to perform massage. They are taught to care for the entire well being of their clients. This starts with the plant-based massage products that ensure that the client is receiving nothing but the best the earth has to offer. Students can also offer elevated massage services that use Ayurveda-inspired techniques to enhance wellness. Energy work, chakra alignment, and Aveda’s trademarked Aromaology are all taught to massage students to help them stand out among the massage therapists that graduate from a cookie cutter curriculum. Standing out from the rest is just a part of the Aveda difference!

Experience Aveda for Yourself

If being a health and wellness professional is something that interests you, Inspire Greatness Aveda Institute is the place for you to explore your potential! Check out our program pages to learn more information about our Aveda branded massage therapy programs available both in Provo, Utah and Denver, Colorado. Take the first step on a new journey today!

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hipster woman with pixie cut and round glasses outside with a backpack

02 Jan What it Means to be Award-Winning

Year after year the Inspire Greatness Aveda Institute strives to break records and win awards. If “Inspire Greatness” is a part of the name, then it’s something we have to live up to as a school! This year was no exception for us as we’ve found more ways to continue to excel. Here we’ll highlight some of the awards that we’ve received in the past year.

Salon Today 200 Awards

The Salon Today magazine has an annual awards issue called Salon Today 200. These awards are designed to identify exemplary business practices and standards in beauty schools. This year, Inspire Greatness was privileged to win two awards and are honored to be selected above all of the great schools considered in 2017!

Salon Today 200: Philanthropy

The Salon Today 200: Philanthropy award is given to beauty schools that lead with their hearts. Schools that win this award search their communities for causes where they can make a positive change. These schools help their communities out of the goodness of their hearts. At the same time this service can grow the business as the school becomes a force for good in the community. Inspire Greatness was one of the schools to receive the award this year, and a picture of our Denver students making sandwiches for a good cause was featured on the website!

Salon Today 200: Technology

The Salon Today 200: Technology award is given to schools that use innovative technology to improve the cosmetology industry and keep salons running strong. Inspire Greatness has worked hard to maintain a lead on cutting-edge technology, and this year we received the award for it!

STAMP 2017 Awards

The STAMP 2017 awards are also put on by Salon Today. This award is a national-level recognition and celebration of schools that use the best marketing and promotions in the country. This year Inspire Greatness was given a STAMP 2017 award for our inventive use of Snapchat geofilters!

Modern Salon Excellence in Education

Here is Modern Salon’s description of the excellence in education award:

“MODERN SALON Media has collaborated with the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS) to develop MODERN SALON’s Excellence in Education program. The purpose is to help the professional beauty school community gather, share and celebrate examples of great salon education experiences and beauty career development happening across the country.”

The program is very comprehensive, and this year Inspire Greatness Aceda Institutes were selected as a finalist for three different categories: placement, school culture, and technology. We’re so proud of this accomplishment!

The Importance of Winning Awards

Inspire Greatness strives to be more than just a beauty school. Living up to that name can facilitate a higher quality of cosmetology education. Reach out to us for more information on the things we to do be a stand-out school on a national level!

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stylist working with a guest in a professional salon

18 Dec What Makes Aveda Different?

Aveda is a beauty industry household name. Their products and logo are things that most people are at least somewhat familiar with. Aveda products even have a distinct scent that most people recognize and love. What many people aren’t familiar with is the story and values behind the Aveda company.

The Beginning

Aveda was founded by an Austrian man named Horst Rechelbacher. He was an accomplished hairstylist who was working for some of the most famous people in Rome by age 17. When he turned 20 he started competing in and winning many of the 1960’s big hairstyling competitions. He traveled to many of these competitions which is what brought him to the United States in 1963.

Horst was in Minneapolis, Minnesota for a competition and was involved in an unfortunate accident with a drunk driver. During his recovery, he decided to settle in Minneapolis and call it home. He opened a chain of successful salons and did that for many years.

In 1970 Horst took a retreat to India where he discovered a new way of life. He learned and practiced the ancient art of Ayurveda which focused on balance of the mind, body, and spirit. It also taught him that this balance was an important ingredient in beauty. This renewed way of seeing things also served as the foundation and inspiration for his new company, Aveda.


The Aveda Difference

Why does the story of how Aveda was founded matter? The experiences and motivations that led to the founding of Aveda do make a difference. Aveda was founded on the belief that all things are connected. It was founded on the idea that beauty is about more than simply looking good, but it’s about feeling better about yourself too. The Aveda culture is less about the bottom line and more about making a difference in the world.

This means that if you’re looking at buying an Aveda product, you can buy with confidence. Aveda strives to create products that are natural and healthy for both earth and body. If you’re an aspiring beauty professional, the story behind Aveda can directly impact your life too.

Aveda Institute

As the Aveda company grew, they formed partnerships with schools. If you choose to go to school at an Aveda Institute, the culture, caring, atmosphere, products, and much more comes with that education. We pride ourselves on guiding and helping our students become amazing beauty pros and awesome human beings. We want our students to learn and grow personally as well as professionally.

Want to find out for yourself? Contact us to take a tour of your Inspire Greatness Aveda Institute campus to feel the difference!

Being an Aveda Institute Student

Becoming an Aveda Institute student can be like joining a family. It can be fun and exciting. Many, if not all, of our graduates have left school with great friends and a better understanding of what it means to be a beauty professional.

Here are a few examples of a what it can look like to be an Aveda Institute student:

aveda student working back stage

Extra Opportunity

In addition to becoming part of the Aveda family when you enroll as a student, there are some extra learning opportunities you can take advantage of. At Inspire Greatness Aveda Institute we encourage our students to apply to work or compete in:

Learn more about these opportunities and how they can help you build a stronger career in the beauty industry. You can also see what it’s like to be a NAHA nominee or winner.

Ready to Get Started?

Are you excited to join the Aveda family and to start making your mark in the beauty industry? Contact your campus. An admissions representative can help you build a plan to starting the journey to your dream career! We can’t wait to hear from you.

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Aisling Campbell accepting NAHA student hairstylist of the year 2017.

02 Oct 2017 NAHA Student Hairstylist of the Year

Aisling Campbell is an Inspire Greatness graduate from our Tucson, Arizona campus. She is an example of what it means to be not only an amazing beauty school student, but a leader in the industry.

What makes Aisling stand out as a beacon of beauty industry leadership? She recently competed in the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA). This competition brings in world renowned hairstylists and well-known fashionistas from around the world. Competing in NAHA is a big deal. Winning NAHA is a huge deal and that’s exactly what Aisling did!

Here are some of the details about what NAHA is, how the competition is run, and what Aisling did to receive this great honor for her family, friends, peers, school, and self.

Student of the Year

NAHA has sixteen different categories that hairstylists can compete in. Competitors use hair design, hair color, and makeup artistry to create a look that fits into one or more of these categories. Once the competitor makes their vision a reality on their chosen models, they collaborate with a professional photographer and do a photoshoot. The pictures from this photoshoot become their entries for the NAHA competition.

Licensed cosmetologists can compete in as many categories as they want. They can use multiple submissions for different categories, or they can use the same submission for multiple categories. The one category that is the exception is the Student of the Year. This category consists of beauty school students who don’t have their cosmetology license yet. Students who don’t have a license yet can only compete in this category. This means they have one shot, and one shot only to win.

How to Win

A judging panel that consists of reputable hair stylists, photographers, and fashion industry editors look at the photos that are submitted. They scrutinize each entry looking for something creative, imaginative, and artistic. The judges are very particular and have trained eyes in this particular area. To win, competitors have to create a look that stands out, tells a story, and represents the future of hair design.

Getting Nominated

There are three rounds of judging that competitors have to endure. The first round eliminates any entries that have been photoshopped too heavily or don’t fit into the category and the remaining entries are given a score. In the second round, the entries are scored again to identify the top 5 entries. These last 5 are the category nominees. The third round identifies the nominee with the highest score or the winner.

Inspire Greatness Leading the Pack

Out of the 5 nominees in the Student of the Year category, 3 of them were Inspire Greatness students. We are proud of how hard they worked and the incredible creativity that they displayed.

Aisling Campbell was not only one of those finalists, but she won the NAHA Student of the Year Award. Her choice of hair design and her creativity stood out to judges and set her apart from the competition. Aisling and her team made flawless choices in wardrobe selection, background, makeup, and of course, hair styling. The judges’ jaws dropped and Aisling’s submission won their hearts.

aisling campbell naha submission with bob style

We couldn’t be more proud to have a student like Aisling who goes above and beyond to expand the boundaries of fashion and hair design. Way to go Aisling!

Do You Have What It Takes?

If you want to become a NAHA competitor and you think you have what it takes to make a name for yourself in the beauty industry, check out our cosmetology program. You can contact us to start building your career in the beauty industry. We are excited to help you get started!

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One of Chelsea Newman's NAHA 2017 entries.

02 Oct Aveda Institute Featured NAHA Nominees

The North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) is part of the Professional Beauty Association’s Beauty Week. It is held in Las Vegas every year and gives beauty industry professionals opportunities to network, display their talent, and create new styles and fashion designs. NAHA has 15 different categories that hair stylists can compete in:

  1. Avant Garde
  2. Editorial Stylist of the Year
  3. Haircolor
  4. Haircutting
  5. Hairstylist of the Year
  6. Makeup Artist of the Year
  7. Master Stylist of the Year
  8. Men’s Hairstylist of the Year
  9. Nail Professional of the Year
  10. Newcomer Stylist of the Year
  11. Salon/School Design of the Year
  12. Team of the Year
  13. Student Hairstylist of the Year
  14. Styling and Finishing
  15. Texture

Within these categories, one winner is chosen out of several nominees.

How NAHA Works

NAHA competitors work with photographers and models to create entries for their chosen category. The competitor, or hairstylist, creates a look that they think is cutting edge and will lead the future of hair design. Once they have created the perfect look on their chosen model, they do a photoshoot. The resulting pictures get entered into the NAHA competition.

Renowned stylists, artists, photographers, and beauty industry editors are selected as judges. They judge the pictures according to specific standards and criteria. Things that the judges consider while looking at the pictures include:

  • The creative approach
  • Demonstration of skill
  • Technical ability
  • Amount of photo manipulation
  • Harmony between photographer and stylist
  • Appropriate wardrobe choice

These are only a few examples of the things that the judges look at.

Stylists have to be absolutely on-point to create a look that will stop the judges in their tracks and make them swoon. NAHA is one of the most prestigious awards a hairstylist could win, so every detail matters. Stylists and photographers have to carefully consider:

  • Model characteristics
  • Photo background
  • Makeup styles
  • Wardrobe
  • Props and accessories
  • Creating a storyline for photos
  • Much, much more

Competing in NAHA is a great opportunity for hairstylists to exercise their creativity and come up with new and exciting looks.

Inspire Greatness and NAHA

At Inspire Greatness Aveda Institute, we encourage our students to get involved in the beauty industry through events like NAHA. This year, we had three students who were nominated for Student Hairstylist of the Year. We are proud of these students for their amazing accomplishments and hard work to become beauty industry leaders.

Nominee Number One: Mallory Cross

Mallory is one of our Aveda Institute students from Denver, Colorado. The styles she created for NAHA were truly unique and eye-catching.

Mallory used colorful dreadlocks to create a look that was fresh and fascinating. It speaks to her roots in Denver and stood out to the judges to get her nominated for Student Hairstylist of the Year. Great job Mallory!

mallory cross naha entry

mallory cross naha entry with purple hair

Nominee Number Two: Chelsea Newman

Chelsea is another of our Denver students. She created some stunning hair designs that set her apart and helped her stand out.

We are proud of Chelsea for her hard work and amazing success in NAHA. We can’t wait to see what she becomes and her leadership in the beauty industry after she graduates.

Nominee Number Three: Aisling Campbell

Aisling is one of our Tucscon students. She was inspired by the strength of women and her Irish heritage, as seen in the red haircolors. Aisling was not only a nominee, but also the winner. See our blog on Aisling.

You can see Aisling Campbell’s NAHA entry photos here.

Becoming Part of the Aveda Family

Do you dream of working in the fashion industry and becoming a hair design artist like Chelsea and Mallory? Competing in events like NAHA are a great way to get there. At Inspire Greatness we want to see our students succeed in this aspect and do everything we can to help them achieve great things.

NAHA is not the only thing that our students can participate in. Another opportunity we provide for select students is to work backstage at New York Fashion Week with the Aveda team. We also have a study abroad program so students can travel and see beauty from an international perspective. These are the kinds of experiences that help set Inspire Greatness students apart and help them achieve greatness in the beauty industry.

Do you have what it takes to be the next NAHA nominee, New York Fashion Week artist, or travel abroad student? Contact us to get enrolled and start your journey to becoming the next big thing in beauty and fashion. We can’t wait to help you live your dream!

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