North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA)
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The North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) is the most prestigious photographic beauty competition in North America. Owned by the Professional Beauty Association (PBA), NAHA honors the professional salon industry's most talented and cutting-edge artists in 15 distinct categories of excellence. This star-studded awards ceremony features amazing artistic presentations, celebrity guests and endless inspiration!

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Expand Your Skills

From behind the chair to photographic work — master the skills of lighting, background and editorial work to create the perfect collection of images.

Get Outside Your Comfort Zone

Creating hair and an overall look for photographic work allows you to try new and different techniques that you could never try on your clients behind the chair.

Compete Against Industry Peers

NAHA isn't just for the industries top platform artists. In 2017, over half of the 16 winners were first time winners, and of those nearly 2/3 were first time entrants.

Get Published

NAHA Finalist and Winners' collections are showcased in publications and on websites throughout North America and around the world.




Entry Process Opens: December 1, 2017
Entry Deadline: February 8, 2018
Finalists Announcement: April 29, 2018
ABS Viweing Party: April 29, 2018


General Rules & Regulations

Use the following guidelines to ensure your entries are processed without any delay. You may want to use this as a checklist as you are going through the process.

What is NAHA

The North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) is the industry's preeminent photographic beauty competition. NAHA honors the professional salon industry's most talented and cutting-edge artists in 15 distinct categories of excellence. NAHA is part of PBA Beauty Week and is owned, operated and managed by the Professional Beauty Association (PBA). PBA Beauty Week is North America's largest, most inclusive beauty event, offering unlimited networking, education and professional growth opportunities to all sectors of the beauty industry. PBA Beauty Week is produced by PBA and hosted by Cosmoprof North America.


Entrants must be currently licensed cosmetologists and/or barbers currently residing in Canada, the United States, or Mexico. Exceptions are for Student, Nail and Make-Up categories ONLY.  The Student Hairstylist of the Year category is restricted to those students CURRENTLY enrolled in cosmetology school or performing required hours in a salon as of December 1, 2017.  Make-Up Artist of the Year is open to all licensed professionals and makeup artists. Nail Professional of the Year is open to all licensed cosmetologists and nail technicians.

Release Form

By entering NAHA, the entrant ensures that the photographer(s), models and all other parties involved in the production of each entry have authorized said entry. The entry system requires a signed release form to be uploaded to each entry and all parties involved must sign each release form. You are required to use PBA's release form. The use of Model Agency Release Forms or Photographer Release Forms will not be accepted.

Each category requires its own separate form. Forms can be found under each category below.

Image Specifications

  • Images no larger than 8MB
  • All image files must be in JPEG (.jpg) format
  • Resolution of at least 300DPI (CMPI not accepted)
  • No smaller than 8" x 10"
  • TIFFS, Bitmaps, PDFs, etc. will not be accepte.

Photo Usage Rules

If you are a finalist, NAHA submissions may not be entered into any regional or national, photography-based competition until the results of 2018 North American Hairstylist Awards are announced at the awards ceremony on July 29, 2018. This rule will be enforced with the maximum punishment being disqualification.

You may use images from the same photo shoot but the exact image must be unique*. Images used for commercial purposes digital or print (advertisements, posters, packaging, promotion, etc.), can hinder the blind judging process and may cause you to be disqualified.

*Cropping, converting to black and white or sepia tones, or reversing/flipping the image DOES NOT constitute as a noticeably different image and would still be considered for disqualification.

Artists will be credited when images are used. NAHA and PBA obtain the right to use, edit and modify any submitted images as NAHA or PBA determine in their discretion as appropriate in support of NAHA and PBA, including advertising, promotion or publicity associated with NAHA and PBA. Any photo used for advertising or additional purposes by PBA or NAHA will include a photo credit including the entrant's name.

Multiple Entries

You may enter the same collection of images into as many categories as you would like, with the following exceptions:

1. Salon Team of the Year Images cannot be entered into any other category just as any other non-team category cannot be entered into Salon Team of the Year.
2. Master Hairstylist of the Year Images cannot be utilized in any other NAHA category.
3. Hairstylist of the Year Images cannot be utilized in any other NAHA category.
4. Texture Images cannot be utilized in Styling and Finishing and vice versa.

In addition, you may enter into any other category as many times as you like, however, you can only be a finalist once in a single category. If you enter the same category, each entry must contain different images. You may use the same models for each entry, however the images submitted must be noticeably different* for each entry.

*Cropping, converting to black and white or sepia tones, or reversing/flipping the image DOES NOT constitute as a noticeably different image.

Unedited Images

Unedited images should be the same as your "final" images, directly from your photographer, but with no photo retouching, editing or manipulations. You will be directed to upload your unedited images along with the final images once in the entry system. Unedited images are used for judging purposes ONLY and will NOT be published or released by PBA in any way.

Hairpieces, Wigs, Extensions, etc.

There is no penalty for the use of wigs, extensions or other such hairpieces however full wigs are prohibited in the Men's Hairstylist of the Year and Haircolor categories.


Contact us at 800.468.2274 or email

Judging Information

Judging Process

A select panel of internationally renowned stylists, photographers and top beauty editors from consumer and trade magazines judge the entries and choose the NAHA finalists and winners. The judging process is completely blind and is taken very seriously. In no way do we ever jeopardize the integrity of the process. NAHA judging consists of three different rounds. In the first round, all unedited images are compared to the "Final" images to disqualify any entries that contain excessive photo editing or photo editing that breaks specific category rules. Entries that do not fit category criteria are also disqualified in the first round (i.e. Avant Garde looks submitted to the Haircutting category). All entries not disqualified in round one are then given individual scores. The top 20-30 of each category are then moved onto the second stage of judging. Round two and three take place online. Each judge on our panel is assigned specific categories to critique based on that particular judges' qualifications. Each entry is given a score and the top five (5) within the category are notified as finalists. Winners (i.e. entrants with the top score in their category) are announced at the NAHA ceremony Sunday, July 29, 2018 in Las Vegas, NV.

Judges take into consideration the following:

  • Concept or overall creative approach
  • Art direction and composition
  • Demonstration of skill in the execution of style, make-up and appropriate wardrobe
  • Harmony between photographer's execution and stylist's creativity
  • Appropriateness of image for concept
  • Technical ability corresponding to category entered
  • Amount of photo manipulation that was used to create the final look
  • Continuity of all images within the entry
  • Understanding of category entered

Judging Tips:

  • Were image manipulation guidelines adhered to?
  • Is the collection of NAHA quality?
  • Choose your model carefully: face first, look for a "striking" element like their bone structure, consider their body type and how it all relates to your vision
  • Get judges to really STOP on your collection; draw them in
  • Is your collection of images balanced?
  • Can each individual photo stand alone as a beautiful and flawless shot? Is the sum of the collection even more powerful than each photo?
  • Try to generate an emotion from your collection of photos
  • Research all winners and finalists of the past but be unique
  • Do not overdo it with makeup, jewelry, facial expressions or other distractions
  • Makeup should enhance the image.
  • Do not forget to emphasize a strong theme throughout your collection of images
  • Your background should also speak to your story or theme throughout your images
  • Practice your looks many times before your photo shoot
  • Do lots of tests of makeup and wardrobe.
  • Overuse of props and accessories take focus away from the hair
  • Avoid full body shots unless relevant to your theme and artistic direction
  • Be sure a story line or common theme is visible in your collection
  • Choose the background carefully so that it does not take away from you work
  • The photo should not be too "busy" thus distracting judges from your work
  • Keep the wardrobe, styling and makeup in each photograph consistent with the theme or storyline
  • Does the collection make you want to know how it was done?
  • Be mindful of the category you are entering. Not all collections belong in multiple categories
  • Do your homework, take charge and direct the process to create a unique look and feel for your collection based on the category you plan to enter
  • While entering the same photographs into multiple categories is allowed (please refer to the specific category requirements when entering), submitting your collection into too many categories is likely to dilute your chances of sticking out in one
  • Images in judging are displayed left to right. Consider the order of your photos and how strong the collection presentation is based on the order of your photos. Be mindful of the order when uploading your images into the entry system
  • Avoid photographic filters and other special effects as they distort the overall look
Entry Fees



$110 per category (Professionals)
$80 Student Hairstylist of the Year Category Only


$55 per category (Professionals)
$40 Student Hairstylist of the Year Category Only

All payments must be made in U.S. funds. All entries must be paid online at the time of submission using a credit card (American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa are accepted.)


Tips & Tricks PDF


The tip sheet is a concise list of the must-know rules and recommendations for entering each of the 15 categories

Webinar Part 1


Follow Charlie price and his team as they guide you through the critical first stages of a NAHA photoshoot in "Deconstructing NAHA: From Storyboard to Photoshoot"

Webinar Part 2


In Part 2 of the series, "Deconstructing NAHA: The Collection Comes to Life" learn how to turn a concept into a NAHA-winning collection.

Webinar Part 3


Part 3 of the series, "Deconstructing NAHA: Judging the Collection" gives and inside look at the NAHA judging process.



NAHA is part of PBA Beauty Week, North America's largest, most inclusive beauty event, offering unlimited networking, education, and professional growth opportunities to all sectors of the beauty industry. PBA Beauty Week is produced by the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) and hosted by Cosmoprof North America.