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Cochrane hairstylist finalist in Canada-wide Spring is in the Hair competition

“Editorial stuff is not the norm we get to do every day. It’s something exciting to do to be more creative.”
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Chatter’s owner Dana Mawer Spring is in the Hair style entry. Submitted Photo

COCHRANE— A Cochrane hairstylist is ringing in the summer with a runner-up finish in the Canada-wide Spring is in the Hair competition.

Cochrane Chatter’s owner Dana Mawer said it was exciting to compete in Spring is in the Hair.

Spring is in the Hair is a Canada-wide competition hosted by Chatters Hair Salon. During the competition, hairstylists were required to create a consumer spring look and submit a professional photo.

“It was a style that consumers could do and recreate,” Mawer said. “There were a lot of beautiful entries— I was blown away by them.”

The winning look boasted Hollywood waves with hair extensions Mawer transformed into flowers. She also added little decorative flowers flowing through the model's hair.

“They [the judges] are looking for a flawless picture. They don’t want to see any fly-aways, the lighting needs to be perfect … There has to be so much perfection with the hair,” Mawer said.

Before entering into the beauty industry, Mawer was a pipefitter helper.

While she was unsure where life would take her, Mawer always loved working with hair and make-up.

She soon transitioned into hairstyling and fell in love with the job immediately.

Mawer is no stranger to competition. She is a veteran of the beauty industry. She has been a hairstylist for 18 years and with Chatters for 16 years.

“I’ve competed a lot— I won stylist of the year in 2011. I’ve been a finalist to other things as well,” Mawer said. “Editorial stuff is not the norm we get to do every day. It’s something exciting to do to be more creative.”

Mawer also participated in fashion week in Vancouver in 2019.

For her, the journey to crafting a signature look is the best part of a competition.

Gaining a runner-up prize has only fuelled her love for hair syling.

“Just not doing the not the norm, every day, kind of hair fuels your passion,” Mawer said. 

Running and owning Chatters and being the mother to three children keeps Mawer extremely busy, she said, but she works to ensure she has time for hair competitions.

“Hair is my passion,” Mawer said. “I make the time because I love what I do.”

Competing elevates her abilities as a hairstylist and ignites ideas when working with clients.

She added the tips and tricks she learns at editorial shoots or fashion weeks can also be brought back to the salon and used with clients.

“It excels your level of expertise,” Mawer said.

She looks forward to competitions because she can exercise her eye for trends while engaging in her other passion photography.

Mawer will draw on Pinterest for inspiration and work with her model's hair to create an epic style. From there she will play and plan to create a signature look.

It took countless hours preparing for the Spring is in the Hair competition. Completing the model's hair and the photoshoot for the competition took about six hours alone.

“We did more than one look, but we can only submit one picture, but I did probably three other looks,” Mawer said.

The Spring is in the Hair competition was different this year, as the competitors were unable to meet in person due to COVID-19.

In a typical year they will meet at a symposium with a 1,000 people, this year everything was online.

“It’s still as exciting,” Mawer said.

She watched the announcement with her family, waiting with bated breath to see if she placed in the competition.

It was incredible seeing her friends, family and community rally around her and vote for her winning hair design.

“People came out of the woodwork to support, that was cool,” she said.

Mawer typically competes in the Dare to Hair competition in the fall and is debating submitting another style.

“Anytime something comes up I do try to do it,” she said.


Chelsea Kemp

About the Author: Chelsea Kemp

Chelsea Kemp joined the Cochrane Eagle in 2020 as editor, bringing with her experience as a reporter and photojournalist. She writes about politics, health care, arts and entertainment and Indigenous stories.
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