International Hair Show

Yesterday I tagged along to the International Hairstylists Society hair show which is one of the largest hair shows in the country. Having never been to one before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but “complete and utter chaos” comes fairly close.

Many of the stylists and models had been awake and preparing since 4am that morning for a 12pm show. Caffeine and sugary sweets were sustaining the tightly packed gymnasium sized hall. The fine line between sheer exhilaration and breaking into tears under the pressure was evident in the hallways and crouched in corners as entrants coached their models on posing and lay out hair pins before their event. For those of us who were spectators, our entry fee did not guarantee a seat, a view of the catwalk or even use of the toilets (good luck to you with 1000+ people wanting to do their make up! Lol.) But wow, that room had an energy to it you could set alight.

Event after event, models were herded into their seats for judging then lead over to the catwalk for 10 seconds of glory followed by the arduous and sometimes painful task of unraveling their hairdos. Then they could go home, finally eat something and have a nanna nap.

Towards the middle of the event, the crowd was urged into silence by the organisers. They killed the music and spent a full minute getting everyone to pay attention. Most of us thought something serious had happened, but it was just so the organisers could tell everyone off for leaving rubbish in the hallways and bathrooms and to let us know they didn’t want to pay for cleaners afterwards!

Despite the rushed, stressed, and relentless pace of the day, there were some real highlights – the talent. I discovered stylists and colourists that deserve to have their work in the national gallery. This was true art. Moving, inventive and ingenious.

Team spirit was evident in the many helpers and friends who had come along to support the entrants. The hair models had not only volunteered their time, but also their beautiful hair with dramatic chops and colour changes commonplace. The runway was littered with loaned designer clothing from local labels. It was this amazing sense of working together that made the day, despite it’s hardships, so memorable and positive.

Would I do it again? Hell yes. But with a packed lunch and empty bladder!

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