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Celebrity Hairstylist Monaè Everett on Why She Founded the Texture Style Awards

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If you’re a hairstylist that welcomes celebrating all hair textures, then there’s one hair event that absolutely needs to be on your radar: the Texture Style Awards.

Created by self-proclaimed “diverse hair visionary” and notable celebrity hairstylist, Monaè Everett, this inaugural awards competition is the first of its kind to truly honor the diversity and beauty of all four textures of hair — straight, wavy, kinky, and coily.

“Research shows that 70% of the world has hair that is considered textured,” said Everett. “My goal with the Texture Style Awards competition is to create space for all textures to be celebrated. I also want to encourage stylists to step outside of their comfort zones and showcase their creativity in order to step into careers that go beyond working in salons.”

Whether you’re a novice or a pro, the Texture Style Awards is giving you the opportunity to showcase your talents and win big! From now until March 27th, stylists and salon pros will have the chance to submit photos of their work that represent one of the four hair categories. It costs $10 to enter for a single submission into one category and $35 for a single submission in all four categories. The winners will be selected by an esteemed panel of judges from across the hair industry including reps from Wella, Fromm Pro, and celebrity and editorial stylists.

As for the prizes? Well, winners can expect to receive a custom trophy, one-on-one mentorship with a Wella Company ambassador, up to $1,000 worth of prizes from sponsors, and tons of media exposure!

For those of you who are interested in learning more about the competition, The Tease spoke to Everett to get all the tea on what goes into founding a hair competition, the importance of celebrating all types of textured hair, and why she’s offering textured hair workshops for the stylist community.

The Tease: You’ve always celebrated textured hair in your career as a celebrity hairstylist and an educator. Was creating the Texture Style Awards always a goal of yours and why was now the right time to launch the competition?

Monaè Everett:  The Texture Style Awards came to me after hearing so many actresses and models complaining about the reality of there being so many hairstylists who could not style their hair due to their texture. I know from working that there are a lot of hairstylists who specialize in kinky and curly hair who can’t style straight hair. It’s my personal opinion that in order to be a hairstylist you have to style all four textures of hair. You are a hair enthusiast if you can only style textures of hair similar to your own.

I want to use the Texture Style Awards as a driving force to encourage hairstylists to style different hair textures. I also get a lot of hairstylists who want to do what I do and competitions like this can help to open the doors for them to do things outside of the salon. So, it just seemed like a win-win situation. And with people talking about hairstylists and what we bring to the game as well as the lack of diversity and inclusion, what better time than now to show that there are people of all textures and all nationalities that can do all hair textures.

This is truly a competition that seeks to honor all types of textured hair—from straight, wavy, kinky, and coily. Why was it important for this show to celebrate the full spectrum of textured hair?

Everett: I wanted to celebrate the hairstylist that could do all textures. So, I want to encourage hairstylists to enter all four categories. I also want to put it out there that your category of hair texture is whatever the final look is. So, if you have somebody with curly hair and you straighten their hair, you would enter them into the straight category. If you have someone with wavy hair and you set their hair and make it coily, you can enter them into that category. So, I really want to show how versatile hair is and how much stylists can do to change someone’s look and just highlight our talent.

What did the planning process look like for an event of this scale?

Everett: I have been working on this since about this time last year. I’ve just been thinking about what the industry is missing. I’ve never heard of a competition based on hair texture that has nothing to do with race. I want to make hairstylists better equipped to talk about hair texture and styling all hair textures. You know, I do classes but sometimes I wonder if people know where they can soar with the education that I’ve given them. So many people ask about working with brands and how they can get published and so, I said if we put together a competition, then they’re able to win and receive a ton of press features.

What are you really hoping that participants take away from the competition?

Everett: I want them to take away the importance of styling all hair textures. Like, I cannot emphasize that enough. I want them to take away that no woman should walk into a salon and be told, “I’m sorry that we don’t do your type of hair.” I want them to know that if they want to get into any runway work, any movie work, or any photoshoot work, that they’re expected to style all types of hair quickly and proficiently and have it look top-notch. I want people to understand that if you’re in such a revered position as being a lead hairstylist or a key hairstylist, it’s no longer acceptable to no be able to style all hair textures and I want people to have a little bit more of an understanding of what it takes to get to the next level.

A lot of hairstylists really believe that someone will come into a salon and pull them out and put them into these revered positions and it doesn’t work that way. So, joining a competition like this and placing, with all of the media attention you’re going to get as well as the prizes you’ll get from Wella and Fromm Pro, it’s just going to put you in a new position to catapult your career.

Tell me about Wella and Fromm Pro’s involvement as a sponsor. How did they get involved with the competition?

Everett: I reached out to Fromm because I do work with them and I thought that they would be an excellent tool sponsor. They’re sponsoring combs, brushes, and clips and I love that because no matter what hair texture you style, you need these tools. Then, I reached out to Wella Company because they are really taking a big initiative in being more diverse and inclusive. They were so gung-ho about helping and I was so excited that they brought on their entire portfolio of products including Wella Professionals, Sebastian Professional, and Nioxin —we’ve got the support of the whole family. So, I’m excited that both Fromm and Wella are going to let me display that you can use their products and tools on every texture of hair.

What can you tell us about the judges for the competition?

Everett : We are going to definitely post who the judges are. There will not be secret judges. We’re going to have celebrity hairstylists, salon professionals, and salon owners, as well as brand pros from Wella and hopeful, Fromm. Oh, we’re going to have the gamut in terms of judges.

In addition to founding the competition, you’ll also be offering virtual styling workshops through your Monae Life Academy. Why was it super important for you to offer these services to stylists and the greater stylist community?

Everett :  We want to make sure that we are offering hairstylists the classes and education they need to be able to soar. We certainly do not want hairstylists to say, “Well, I can’t do that hair texture, so I’m not going to enter.” We want to provide them with the skills they need. I do believe there are a lot of hairstylists out there who maybe don’t do all textures of hair simply because they have not found the right education —not because it’s not there, but they just haven’t found it. So, Fromm Pro is sponsoring the education. It’s going to be two days of education on March 1st and March 2nd. We’re going to do classes on each hair texture.

The most important part is that you do not have to enter the competition in order to take the classes. The classes are open to everyone. So, if you have a curiosity about hair texture, this is where you should be!

What impact do you hope that this competition has on the salon industry?

Everett: I want the hair industry to be known for simply styling hair. I hate that it’s so segregated. I want that to be a thing of the past. I want it to no longer be acceptable to have separate salons for separate hair textures. The long-standing joke is that the only two places that are still allowed to be segregated these days are church and the salon. I would love to do my part to at least take salons off that list.

Is there anything else that our readers need to know about this competition?

Everett: The readers need to know that I started a new Instagram account for the Texture Style Award (@texturestyleawards) that they need to come over and follow. They can even have their work be republished! We’re going through Instagram and choosing great shots to feature on our account and if they tag #TSAphotos, they’re work may be selected.

I also just want them to know that hair is fun. We got into this hair game to have fun and make people look beautiful. It would be great to get out of the political side and just take it back to having fun!

The interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

To be considered for the Texture Style Awards, be sure to submit at entry at https://www.texturestyleawards.com/. For all competition updates, please follow @texturestyleawards on Instagram.

Camille Nzengung
Camille Nzengung
Camille Nzengung is a Features Editor, based in Georgia, covering all things hair at The Tease. You can find her writing about the best hair products, the coolest hair trends, and all the exciting new hair launches.