The past six months have been tough for the hair industry.
Salons and barbershops were forced to shut up shop, we were left cut off from our clients and colleagues, and many of the usual creative gatherings that hairdressers look forward to throughout the year were postponed or scrapped altogether as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But amid the closures and cancellations, Wella Professionals was determined to keep spirits up and the inspiration alive. With some quick thinking and hard work from their head office team, TrendVision 2020 was able continue under a different guise – just as this year saw entry to the contest go fully digital on Instagram, the regional heats took on a new format to allow entrants from across the UK and Ireland to compete on an online stage.
Things may have felt a little different, but as #MyTrendVision Spotlight Competitor Roisin Hynes highlighted, hairdressers are hugely adaptable and receptive to change, and this was reflected in the response to the revised digital tasks. Contestants relished the chance to flex their creative muscles and welcomed the opportunity to pursue a goal when so many of their artistic outlets were unavailable. Video submissions provided a fresh challenge and tested skills that many entrants had not had to rely on before.
TrendVision judges also had to take a different approach, considering each entry alongside the existing criteria as well as a unique set of parameters resulting from the remote submission and assessment process.
“As it’s my first year as a judge, I have to say I was gutted that I couldn’t get to meet the competitors in person at the regional heats,” said #MyTrendVision Spotlight Judge Mary Geoghegan. “However, I’m thrilled that Wella made sure that the contest could still go ahead, with competitors sharing their creative vision with us in a less pressurised environment in these exceptional circumstances. I’m so thankful that we all still get to be part of this amazing contest.”
“Ordinarily, I really enjoy the personal touch and getting to know the creator of the image,” explained fellow #MyTrendVision Spotlight Judge Clayde Baumann. “Being able to hear the journey and justifications and decisions made to come to the final result gives me an insight into the person, and can also sway how I look at each particular image. Thankfully, video submissions still allow this and offer the next best thing to meeting and chatting to entrants face to face, enabling you to still gain a subjective view of their work.
“Additionally, judging digitally means that you can be a lot more meticulous at analysing the resulting image in an atmosphere where you are not influenced by surroundings or anyone else’s opinion,” he added. “Being able to zoom in and magnify is also really helpful rather than looking at an image posted to a board. This adds to judging objectively.”
“It also allows us more time,” added Luke Benson. “We can really carefully consider things like the before shots, returning to images to take into account the interpretation of the ideas competitors wanted to get across. I think it’s the best thing Wella could have done in the situation, but it also has a lot of benefits.”
ghd Key Educator Grant Williams agreed: “Digital judging has allowed us to look at different details within each entry. Whether the photographic entries were taken in salon or on set, we were always making sure everything was completely clear and finished to a high standard. I definitely think digital judging has a place in the future of the TrendVision Award.”
One final (virtual) hurdle
Those who have made it to the final face one last round of scrupulous remote assessment, following their creation of an entirely new look, again submitted digitally. What will the judges be looking for when selecting their 2020 champions?