A St. Albert beauty professional was among the winners recognized for their artistry at the 2015 North American Hairstyling Awards, the equivalent of the Oscar Awards for hairdressers.
Marlo Steenman received the 2015 NAHA Haircolor of the Year Award at a star-studded gala on July 12 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. This was Steenman’s first time competing at the competition.
“I’m still trying to wrap my brain around this,” said an excited Steenman, whose work resembles sculpted hair art.
“All of a sudden you get into an elite club where you’re meeting the best makeup artists, photographers and stylists. It’s neat and the recognition boosts your business brand.”
Her collection titled Eclipse encompassed three photographs of models sporting minimalist, blunt-cut avant-garde hairstyles. The hair is tinted with thick stripes and bands of brilliant colour.
The award is a game-changer and has propelled Steenman to the top tier of the styling world where name recognition builds an international brand.
Since the award announcements, 17 international magazines have interviewed Steenman including the Professional Beauty Association, Bangstyle, Modern Salon and Salon Magazine.
With this kind of name-branding recognition, businesses are sending boxes of gifts – scissors, brushes and hair products.
“They’re looking for feedback. Companies are putting out a lot of new products and they want you to endorse them.”
Steenman is a Marvel College graduate and has styled hair for 26 years. She now operates Hair By Marlo through The Men’s Room, a salon for men in Edmonton.
Nestled in the back is a full-service ladies salon where Steenman, known for her big mass of curls and even bigger personality, creates art with women’s hair.
She’s also a working stylist for Revlon Professional at photo shoots, providing product education to clients and designing hair for shows.
A mother of two young children under age eight, Steenman has been part of the show circuit for 17 years. However, she only started competing four years ago.
Steenman was lead colourist for Revlon Professional Contessa Show 2014 and a finalist twice. Although the Canadian show is a prestigious event, the revolutionary career-maker is NAHA.
“It’s a photo-based competition where you submit three different models and colour changes that tell a story.”
Steenman hired famed Utah photographer Jake Thompson, to capture the images.
“We are friends. I work for Revlon Pro as a guest artist and that’s how we met.”
The Eclipse collection took eight months of planning and creation.
“You make sure it’s absolutely perfect. It doesn’t get pumped out overnight,” she laughs.
“But when I made the top five and I was the only Canadian, I already felt like I’d won.”
Steenman points out that although women are the major force working in salons, the beauty industry is male-dominated in the decision-making positions such as general managers, national sales representatives and famous stylists.
“For me to go to this competition and win is an accomplishment. I worked really hard and I want other people to see it’s a professional industry. I’m very proud of what I do and I’m passionate about what I do.”