Contender Kristen Grieve of Rose & Onyx is vying for gold – with a few other colour highlights.
The “Bright Blunt Fusion Mullet Transformation” might not roll off the tongue, but the image strikes onto the retina with its neon cotton-candy pink and lime colours and its punk peacock flair: razor-straight, forehead-tight bangs and firework splash dazzles above. If this mullet is all business in the front – cherry business, perhaps – then the party in the back is having all the fun.
For Kristen Grieve, red seal journeyman hairstylist with Rose & Onyx Hair Company, it’s the dazzling and daring futuristic look that has earned her a place on the world stage at the Wella Beauty Envision Awards from TrendVision. That’s pretty good work for a first-timer, especially one who might never have put her best hair forward if it weren’t for the encouragement from her boss.
“I’ve known about these for a while. I’ve just always been a little bit too shy, or nervous, or not really sure if I should do it,” she said. “Lauren (Wilde) really helped me out with that, built the confidence up,” said Grieve.
Grieve is one of three finalists going to “virtual Vegas” for the awards in the category of Creative Artist for Canada. There, she’ll be up against Jerica Wentzell of Gingersnap Salon in Sudbury, and Olivia Chafe of Ukiyō Salon in St. John’s.
For a competition of this calibre, inspiration is everywhere on the international stage, while creativity and originality are the real cachet.
The hair artist explained that, while travelling to London, New York, or Tokyo weren’t practical during the pandemic, social media was much more accessible and still fertile and wild territory.
“It was just a lot of… getting inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest and playing around with colours and ideas of what I wanted to do, using mannequins to practicem” said Grieve. “The day of (the entry), I just did the colouring and did the cut as I wanted to. I even made changes. I didn’t actually do the original thought I had in my mind as I was doing it. I was like, ‘Oh, this will work better,’ so just adapting and moving throughout, as you’re doing it. And a lot of talking to Lauren.”
She also received a lot of input from the team, including Mya Kurpjuweit, who also entered the Canadian end of the competition this year, as did Mackenzie Andrews (of Bliss Hair). Proving that hair is a team effort, even colleague Brent Bain, barber at Rose & Onyx, took the photo to complete Grieve’s entry. She also consulted other competition-experienced salon mates to get their input.
It’s a very supportive salon team, Grieve said.
“Being able to bounce off ideas and just brainstorming with everybody was a great way to get myself going just because it was so new to me, and then the day of was just going with what I thought would work best and what would reflect on my model here and how everything was going.”
Now, it’s all a matter of waiting. The big competition takes place on Aug. 15 in Las Vegas. Grieve will compete virtually, meaning she will have six hours to do a hairstyle on a mannequin with another two hours for makeup.
If she wins, Grieve would receive paid attendance to the International TrendVision Awards Creative Retreat, including her flight and hotel accommodation.