5 Questions with NAHA-Nominee Julie Kocanyar

The North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) honor the professional salon industry’s top talent each year during the Cosmoprof North America show at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. In anticipation of this year’s event, we talk to the nominees who share their inspiration, excitement and advice.

The Texture award recognizes stylists who design looks that complement the individuality of diverse hair textures and exemplify their ability to work with textured hair. We talk with Julie Kocanyar from Kaizen by Sal Misseri in Chicago about her first ever entry and nomination.

What was the inspiration for the collection? 

The ’90s played a huge part in this collection. I wanted my first entry to emulate the styles that remind me of my childhood. 

How were the looks created?

All three looks were created by manipulating the natural texture provided by the model. 

What inspired you to enter NAHA?

Ever since I started cosmetology school I wanted to enter NAHA. I loved watching the announcement videos, and seeing all of the finalists’ work. I would (and still do) examine each and every photo for hours. Last year I was able to attend NAHA for the first time, and told myself I wouldn’t come back until I knew I tried myself and entered. Five months later I had my collection ready and entered for the first time. It was the best decision I’ve ever made! 

What was your reaction when you heard you were a nominee?

I literally ran out of the room when we, the Kaizen team, were watching the announcement video together. Actually, I was sitting on the floor when my name came up so I technically crawled out of the room. I couldn't stop shaking and my makeup was running down my face, but gosh was it worth it. I can't express how honored I am. 

What advice do you have for others who are thinking of entering NAHA?

DO IT! It is such a satisfying experience no matter the outcome! ...oh and get yourself an amazing team to work with!

About: The Professional Beauty Association is the largest and most inclusive trade organization representing the entire beauty industry. PBA exists to elevate, unify and serve the beauty industry and the professionals who improve people’s lives.