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History of the Irish Hairdressing Championships

Irish Hairdressers Federation

National Hairdressing Championships 2016

The Irish Hairdressing Championships coined the Oscars of Irish Hairdressing have been run by the Irish Hairdressing Federation since its inception in 1974, showcases the best of the industries talent with technique based awards ranging from Cut and Colour Awards to Long Hair Up-styling and the more elaborate Creative Fantasy Award.

Participating in competitions is an extremely important part of the development of any career.  Stepping out of your comfort zone and facing a challenge is a fantastic motivational tool for all staff.  Now more than ever salons need to look at doing something different in their business. 

Competitions for hairdressers are the equivalent of the Oscars for Hollywood, it is where you can show-off your talent, skill and creativity and be recognised and awarded by an industry that has come to showcase some of the countries most talented names.

A hairstylist is required to have skill, technique and creativity amongst all the other elements that are part of the recipe for a successful hairdresser. However, it is in a competition that a stylist has the opportunity to push the boundaries, break the rules and get creative on a whole new level.

To stay motivated and focused in a salon may be difficult sometimes so by entering competitions you have a perfect way of challenging yourself with new ideas and finding new sources of inspiration.

When you enter any competition you are already a winner. Entering competitions provides you with a massive learning opportunity.  Watching what other hairdressers are doing and learning from them.

With an estimated 1,800 hair salons in Ireland employing close to 10,000 people, the Hairdressing Championships are the definitive awards for the Irish hairdressing business and have demonstrated the creative talent and artistic work of Irish hair styling professionals for almost 40 years.  The Championships consist of 11categories, ranging from basic skills in ‘Cut and Colour’ to the elaborate ‘Creative Fantasy’ and ‘Full Fashion’, and are an awe inspiring spectacle for visitors.

In 2016 the Championships will be held in the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, Dublin (the old Burlington Hotel) on Sunday 13th March 2016.  For further information please contact the IHF Office on 056-8833808.

The Competitive Edge


  • The countdown has begun for the Irish Hairdressers Federation Championships so the Directors of the competitions have lsited the most important points you should note to have the competitive edge.

The Rules

  • The rules will be posted to all IHF member salons. You can also download them from the IHF website www.irishhairfed.com READ them carefully and then READ them again!!! If you need clarification on any point just phone the IHF office and they will be happy to help you.

The Entry Form

  • Print your details on the entry form carefully. Make sure it is legible and that all questions are answered. Sent it to the IHF office before the closing date including all relevant fees. Some categories are on a first-come-first-served basis. Do not send cash in the post. You can also provisionally register on line on the IHF web site www.irishhairfed.com. However your entry is not "live" until your fee is paid.

The Make-Up

  • Spend time selecting a good model. No matter how fabulous your hair creation is, it will be the models job to "sell the look" for you. It is a bonus if the model is tall, however good looks and lots of confidence with a good attitude is vital.

The Clothing

  • It is vital you have the clothes styling right. Many a good overall look is ruined by not spending the time and effort on the clothes styling to complement and enhance a hairstyle. If you are not confiden tin this area then hire a clothes stylist.


  • Registration is also open the evening before the competitions. This is the best time to register. There are no long queues and no time-pressure on you. You will receive your entry tickets, competition arm bands and certificates of participation.

The Competition Day

  • If you have not registered the evening before you are advised to arrive early. Get in the correct queue. Have patience. Listen carefully to any insturctions given either directly to you by one of the IHF Executive committee or announcements made by the IHF over the public address system.

Getting Ready

  • There is a "holding area" for competitors who are next in line to go on the competition floor. You will be instructed what to do when you arrive in the area. You will then be guided in number order onto the competitionfloor and to your seat by an IHF steward. You will leave the floor from another area as by then the next set of competitors will be lining up to get ready to go on. An electrics test will be carried out when all competitors are at their seats which will ensure that all equipment is working. In some categories there will be an inspection by competition scrutinisers to ensure that all rules are adhered to. Do not start to work until the countdown is finished and you are told to do so. After your work has begun, you will be advised over the public address sytem at intervals as to how long you have left for completion of the task. Before the time limit for completion expires, seat or stand your model (as advised by the IHF) in an attractive, comfortable position, collect all you tools and get ready to leave the floor from the correct area when you are told to do so.


  • Judges have a difficult task. They have a time limit to do their job too and all models must be viewed and marked. While the judges are deliberating marks on the floor if a model feels faint they should get the attention of one of the IHF stewards wh will assist them immediately. Once judging is complete and the jury foreman has checked that all the formalities have been adhered to, the models may leave the floor from the correct area.


  • Results will be announced around 9pm and prizes awarded to the winners of each category. Remember... to be on that competition floor means you are already a winner. Yo have put yourself in an arena which many others could and would not do. Don\'t be disheartened if it is not "your day". It will come if you persevere!

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