By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
The hair displayed atop numerous models ranged from short, colorful blue or red spikes to U.S. flags with blinking lights. They were all signs of the ninth annual Hair and Talent Exposition Show at Killeen Civic and Conference Center this weekend.
The show featured a talent parade and model battle Saturday, and hair competitions – the stylist and barber bowl and hair battle – Sunday evening.
The hair battle was the main event, and saw seven stylists competing with a theme for a total of eight different styles on eight different models.
"A lot of people started on Friday night prepping the models' hair," said Deborah Williams, an assistant to the director of the show.
For stylists, such as Janet Ray of Killeen and Lisa J. of Austin, time prepping before the battle was important.
Ray spent about two months preparing ideas and practicing the hair styles before working from Friday to Sunday on the models.
"Just when you think you're finished, you're not," Ray said.
J., who works part-time at Bottomline Hair Salon in Austin, spent about two to three hours on each of her models' hair styles.
"You can tell we put in a lot of detail," J. said, looking at one her model's styled hair, which featured a black and white swirling loop in it.
The battle is really about creativity for the stylist, J. said.
"Stepping out of the box is what I call this," J. said.
The battle allows a stylist to step out from behind the chair – and the routine of giving a normal hair cut – and lets them showcase their creativity.
"This is for us to shine, not just of fix a hair cut," J. said. "You see what comes out with the creativity, when I put it out there. ... This is like another motivation of me."
The other big event, the stylist and barber bowl, showcased several different types of hair cuts, most of which were judged on how well the cut was made, Williams said. The competitions in this event included styles like the up-do, short hair, long weave, short weave, fantasy and more.
The fantasy is a special competition were the stylist is judged on their creativity, Williams said.
"They have to come up with something different," Williams said. "They have to use their imagination."
More than 10 Killeen stylists and barbers competed in the show against other stylists and barbers from Austin, Waco and San Antonio.
Also at the event, vendors for products, such as the Laran professional hair care system, were allowed to demonstrate the products for stylists and consumers.
"We are doing education classes about product," said Wanda Griffin, Laran vice president. "Today the focus is on the finished look and using the product."
Laran is used in only about 80 salons in Texas to date, but Griffin is hoping the distribution will grow.
The show was put on by Carolyn Brown, who runs Siverlistic Enterprises, a modeling group in Killeen. She said she enjoys putting on the show every year "to see all the creativity of all the stylists."
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7554.