August 1, 2017

The Power of Competition by Ms. Ashley

 The Power of Competition by Ms. Ashley

Ashley Paulson

NATVA 2017 Finalist

Hays Academy of Hair Design-Salina Campus Manager

When I was in hair school at Hays Academy, I was introduced to the opportunity of competition. I remember being on the clinic floor after doing a peer’s color and Mr. Melvin saying, “Have you thought about competing in the Sassoon cut and color competition coming up?” I laughed, thinking it sounded way too intimidating for me to ever be interested in something like that. A couple months went by, and I ended up doing that exact same competition. Though I did not place, the experience that came with it was by far just as rewarding. I found a new confidence and competitive edge, and promised myself that I would compete again someday.

Being an educator, I get to watch our students compete multiple times a year and capture their work in a photo. I have witnessed many of our students succeed in top spots in Sassoon, Wella TrendVision, and Sebastian What’s Next. For me, that has always been just like actually competing because I felt like such a big part of their creation. However, about a year ago I felt like I needed to lead by a better example and decided to enter into Wella TrendVision. I was so inspired by the trends and felt really proud of my work. Again, I didn’t place; but again, I felt proud of my work and confident, so I still craved more. In September last year, I had the chance to compete in Sebastian What’s Next Awards live at a Midwest Schools show in Omaha and took first. The prizes were amazing, the pride still there… and I wanted MORE!

Being selected for NATVA, I truly believed this was a dream come true, and was so very excited to represent Hays Academy of Hair Design at my full potential. One thing I have learned in all the hours of preparation for the show is that you really have to become the trend you are trying to portray! Researching the era or look you want your audience to see and be able to tell a story with your look is way more powerful than something that just looks great. Also, finding a mentor through the competition process to bounce ideas off of is very important! For me, when my mind is running wild with too many ideas in too many directions, she is able to reel me back in and ground me. Though I did not place at finals, I had an incredible experience that only fueled my passion to compete even further. Being able to represent Hays Academy of Hair Design and lead by example for my students is something I take a lot of pride in.


To summarize…

-If you are scared to compete: good. If you weren’t nervous or scared, your overconfidence  would likely hinder you.

-Find a mentor; someone that has been in the industry and has also competed!

-Research your trend; the more you know, the more confident you become.

-Don’t give up! If you don’t place this time, or ever… you will never regret trying!

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