This year the Canadian Hairstylist Awards, also known as The Contessas, handed out 24 coveted awards to the biggest names in Canadian and international beauty. Founded in 1988, The Contessas is recognized as one of the most esteemed professional beauty competitions in Canada and celebrates top talent in hair, colour, makeup and nails.
The awards show gala, held every November, is produced by Salon Magazine and was hosted at the Westin Harbour Castle Conference Centre in Toronto. The packed house was treated to three spectacular stage presentations from Moroccanoil, Pulp Riot and Wella Professionals.
The Contessas brings together the entire industry to share their knowledge, inspiration and passion for their profession, while highlighting, promoting and recognizing the industry’s best and brightest stars.
Faze caught up with one of the big winners of the night, Tasha Pinheiro, the recipient of the prestigious Student/Apprentice Hairstylist of the Year Award.
Faze: What inspired the collection?
Tasha: I’m inspired by classic looks like vintage pin-ups, but I’m also drawn to more rebellious types of beauty like tattoos and piercings. I was trying to define myself as a stylist and figure out who I was as an artist. I realized these two looks are so opposing and may not fit together, but then thought ‘why not?’ because that’s who I am. So, I brought them together. The first image I created in hair school and held onto it, then over the next seven months, inspired by that image I created the other two.
Faze: When did you first realize you wanted to work with hair?
Tasha: When I was 16 I got a hair cut that changed my life. I went to school the next day and was more confident and not as shy, I felt I could take on the world and thought, ‘That’s awesome!’ So, I started doing my own hair, I took a razor blade to it and loved it. Then I started to do my friends’ hair and from there I knew it was what I wanted. But, my parents didn’t want me to do hair and said, ‘Absolutely not,’ so I went the traditional path of university and college and took three different programs (unrelated to hair). One day I was speaking with my hair stylist and she told me that she competes and does stage work and other amazing things. She inspired me, so I started over and went for it.
Faze: What’s your advice to others who aren’t doing what they love?
Tasha: It’s never too late to do something else. Just go for it. The worst that can happen is that it doesn’t work out, and you can always go back to what you’re already doing. At least you would have lived your life with no questions, and you tried.
Faze: What have you learned about yourself during this competition process?
Tasha: That I am my biggest obstacle. All the negative self-talk and the voices in my head that said I’m not good enough, or I don’t know what I’m doing, or I haven’t been doing this long enough, all of that is just shenanigans.
If you want an award-winning hairstylist to transform your locks, you can find Tasha at Deeva Hair in Kitchener, Ontario.
BIG WINNERS OF THE NIGHT
Canadian Hairstylist of the Year
Aveda Institute Toronto. Toronto, Ontario
Master Colourist of the Year Award
Taz Hair Co.Toronto, Ont.
Canadian Makeup Artist of the Year
Facesbyabie. Fingal, Ontario
Canadian Nail Artist of the Year
European Standard by Olga Khazova. Medicine Hat, Alta.
To see other big winners of the night and to learn more about the Contessas visit Salon Magazine.