Entrants in the regional hairdresser of the year awards were required to think outside the square - creating dramatic looks with creativity and flair - under the watchful eye of four experienced judges.
About 25 stylists from Hawke's Bay and Palmerston North competed across eight events at Hastings Sports Centre yesterday, showcasing cuts, colours and up-do's which defied gravity and pushed boundaries.
While numbers were lower this year, it was a good experience for stylists to show what they can do, without being restricted by everyday shades or styles.
"It's a non-supreme year, supremes are where the winners of today would go and compete with other winners from all over New Zealand," president of the Hawke's Bay Hairdressing Association, Anna Henrickson said.
Categories included women's/ men's fashion cut, urban day style, night hair female and urban colour. Only the winner of an Oceanic Master Award section would go on to compete at a secondary Australasian competition in Melbourne.
Senior stylists and apprentice hairdressers alike had their chance to create something unique, while incorporating current trends. Everything from forest green to deep violet, red and orange appeared in the models' locks, while styles remained angular and clean.
"There are heaps of undercuts and shaved parts as well as block colours coming through," Ms Henrickson said.
Although a majority of competitors hailed from Hastings and Napier salons, there were two teams from Palmerston North and judges had also been brought in from outside the region.
"They come from out of town and don't see the stylists' look on the floor until it's finished, so if someone does know one of the judges, the judges only get to see the results."