Buzz of excitement as hairstylists go head to head


MORE THAN 400 competitors from 24 countries snipped, coloured and crimped at the RDS in Dublin yesterday as part of the Organisation Mondiale Coiffure European Championships.

The competition, being held in Ireland for the first time, ran alongside the Irish Hairdressers’ Federation national championships.

Under bright white lights, dozens of mirrors were arranged in rows at the centre of the main hall yesterday. There was a buzz of excitement as hairdressers stood above their glamorous models with brushes, spray and scissors flying.

Pop music was drowned out by the sound of hairdryers and regular time checks put pressure on competitors.

When the Junior Trend Cut was finished, the hairdressers walked away from their creations and their models stood up so the judges could examine them.

Dressed in black leotards and lace tights or floaty white dresses, the women all had short, sharp styles. One model, sporting a perfect bob, was dressed in black shorts, high heels and hold-ups, and looked like a dancer from Cabaret.

A second, with a graduated, asymmetrical cut, stood so perfectly still she could have been a shop-window mannequin. Judges weaved in and out between them, as did young men with sweeping brushes collecting black, blonde and pink clippings from the floor. Among those competing was Shirley Mulvaney from Salon 2 in Sligo. She said she was happy with the result of her work – a short, funky, asymmetrical style, tinted with red and violet. It was her second year to take part and she was more organised than before, she said.

Further along, at the Creative Gents Senior, rows of male mannequin heads were preened and tweaked into what looked like a military flat top, only taller and with orange and yellow highlights. Terho Pievilainen from Finland said he brought mannequins to the competition because they were cheaper than paying the costs associated with live models.

He had tried to achieve a square shape with his style, while also trying to give a sense of movement to the hair.

“It is very hard to do, very technically difficult,” he explained.

Ian Dowling, from Brown Sugar in Dublin, had an entirely different challenge. His entry for the Junior Fantasy category was called “Marie Antoinette” and involved five hours of spraying, rolling and frizzing. It featured feathers, beads and lace as well as copious amounts of hairspray.

“I like to get hair to do things it shouldn’t be able to do,” he said.

Alin Jaleru, from Royal Chamber Barbers in Malahide, Dublin, competed in the Fashion Long Hair Gents. He had prepped his models on Saturday night, but was interrupted by five members of the Irish soccer team who all wanted a trim. “I couldn’t tell you which ones,” he said.

The competitions, which are open to the public, continue until 5.30pm today alongside the Hair and Beauty Expo 2011. Winners will be announced tonight.