Hairstylists in Grand Rapids don’t often get the opportunity to show off all they can do creatively, which is why The B.O.B. started the Mane Event four years ago.
“It started with an avant-garde competition so stylists from local salons could show their creative hand at work,” said Angela Shea, executive assistant to the director of catering and special events for The B.O.B. “Then we added the glamour category to also show the other side. It is a hair competition, but the whole outfit and theme of the model really is what’s being judged.”
The competition has grown tremendously, with more than 36 area hairstylists set to compete this evening from 8-11 p.m. at Eve, located within The B.O.B., in one or both categories: avant-garde and glamour. In addition, the event is expected to draw nearly 500 attendees.
Elliot Yared, hairstylist from Rubies Salon, is competing in the event for the first time and is excited to have the opportunity to show off his abilities as well as learn from other stylists in the community.
“I think it’s a great way to get into the community, see what talent is out there, network and get some feedback from people who have been doing it longer than you,” Yared said. “I love taking different opportunities to learn different things. Really, it’s an educational reason to have fun and be crazy and do what you love.”
Yared has competed locally in other stylist competitions, including Rooftop Couture earlier this year as well as being involved in styling for fashion shows and print work.
“There are so many different venues for doing hairstyling and cosmetology,” he said. “My particular one is being with people, doing fashion shows, runway, editorial print work. I think it’s really what people want to put themselves in. Some people don’t know that opportunities like that are available so that’s why I think it is crucial Grand Rapids puts these ideas out there, to let people know we are getting bigger so there are opportunities for us to expand and do different things in our field that we want to do.”
He added that it’s not just opportunities for hairstylists but for artists in general that he is seeing increase as Grand Rapids grows.
Attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite styles in both categories, and those votes will be taken into account by the judging panel as they cast the final votes. Judges for this year’s event are: Nedra Harju, certified master Redken colorist from Salon Mauji; Jerrad Matthew, owner of Matthew Agency; and Victoria Upton, publisher/owner of Women’s Lifestyle Magazine.
Tickets are $5, and a percentage of the proceeds will go to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.