How To Enter The BTC One-Shot Contest As A Bridal Hairstylist

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One Shot Contest for Behind the Chair is a contest for hairstylists.  Beauty professionals from all over the globe enter each year to compete for one of the coveted awards.

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What's it like to enter into the Behind the Chair One Shot contest? I recently spoke with Alexandra Wilson to find out what this experience is like, what it’s like to attend the event, and what kind of tips we can consider if you are thinking about entering the contest. Alex is a braiding specialist, bridal hair business owner, and educator based in Rhode Island. She’s been doing weddings for about a decade and also works with Salon Centric and the Behind the Chair team. So, the biggest piece of advice Alex has for someone who wants to enter is to “just do it.” Ask yourself, what's holding you back?

Other things to consider when it comes to entering, people should try and stick to one or two categories that you truly feel passionate about instead of spamming all the categories. Because what it comes down to is like for example, say you do place, say you do win, but it's for something that you hate doing. Why would you put that out there? Too many people try to be a jack of all trades, and they think that's the way to make them so much money. But when you’re a jack of all trades, you’re a master of none. So, don’t you want to master something? And then have that thing you feel passionate about be the thing that represents you.

Instead of spamming all categories, maybe enter one style multiple times, but use different angles, different accessories, and stuff like that. If you’re really trying to get noticed, you can enter as much as you want. But the key point is to only enter quality work. Don't do a style that you hate. That isn't the best representation of your work. Don't post it. You only want to post something that you feel confident in and you feel good about.  

Formatting your entry is also a key strategy to consider. Like for example, how important is a caption? Should you really focus on trying to get as many likes for it? Or what information about your entries actually matters in the long run? Alex shared that she doesn’t really think captions matter that much. And maybe that sounds bad but it seems like half the time people don't read them anyway. And the caption is not really going to matter if they click on a photo and see that it's amazing. They're not gonna be like “oh, did they write a good caption?” The thing that really helps is if your photo has been shared by other people. That boosts engagement because the more a photo has been around, and the better engagement it has, the more likely it is to show up at the top, like when you click on the hashtag.

You really want to focus on getting good engagement, so that your photo comes higher in the explore feed that the Behind the Chair people will see it. And you also really need to focus on making sure that it is an amazing photo of your work that they are seeing. So consider how you can create the best photos. Everyone has their opinions, but generally the best photos are taken in indirect sunlight. A lot of people don’t know this, but go outside in the dead of winter on a snowy day, and you’ll get the best photos. It's the best and most true lighting, especially with hair styling, and especially with a lot of the textured styles. You can really see that softness, the details, the braids.

We’ve seen so many entries that are beautiful, but the lighting is just not there. Behind the Chair will not choose a photo unless it has all of the components done well. They’re looking for a clean backdrop. Make sure the model isn't wearing a shirt that has a bold pattern that's taking away from the hair. They’re looking at the way the model's head is posed, and they’re looking at the lighting. So, if it doesn't have all of those components, your photo is not going to get picked. Remember that taking a good picture is so crucial. The founder of Behind the Chair says that brick backdrops are terrible because they're red, they're bold, and they usually are so distracting that they take away from the hair. So you really want simple backdrops, mostly solid colors. If you have to take your photo in a salon, at least really try to blur out the background. The other thing is making sure that you have consistency in your photos. You should use the same type of lighting, the same backdrops, have your models wear a black or white t-shirt. If you can build consistency and repetition, people will know your style, and recognize your feed, and overall branding for your clientele. So, consistency builds that brand recognition really quickly.

Now let's talk about once people have entered the contest. What kind of benefits come from either entering the contest or at least placing? Why should people care about this contest? Why should they enter? Alex says that it really pushes people past their comfort zone so they can grow as artists. It really motivates people to think outside the box and be different. It also builds better habits, when it comes to taking photos of your work, branding, and consistency. Your social media helps build engagement and all of that momentum just builds your brand. So, if you’re trying to grow a following on Instagram, or you are trying to get noticed by brands, or possibly looking for brand partnerships, or anything like that. It can be really beneficial to getting your work out there and showcasing your skills. It pushes you to be better.

So, what is the actual Behind the Chair show like beyond the hair portion of it? What is the awards ceremony like? Alex gave us some insight on what it feels like to actually be in the room. She says it's like the Grammys of the hair world. It’s like three to four hours long, you’ll see people in cocktail attire, and the energy is definitely high. It’s just so inspiring to be there. People give speeches, the music's going, and the lights are going and it pumps you up. It’s just so amazing to be among so many people who have like minded goals like yourself. It's a feeling like no other, a really nice sense of community. You never know who you're going to meet, and who you're going to hear, and what’s going to inspire you, and where that could bring your career. So, I hope this has inspired you to put yourself out there and experience more of what this industry has to offer. You never know where life can take you, but you’ve just got to remember to always keep trying. Like Alex said, “just do it.”


What's Next? Register for my FREE training, The Essential Systems You Need In Your Bridal Beauty Business To Achieve Higher Levels of Success & Freedom.  You can watch on demand and learn the exact blueprint I teach to my students inside Next Level Bridal Business on how to grow strategically and sustainably without burning out.