To Hair Is Human; To Give, Divine

The Big Hair Ball is January’s mane event

By Waynette Goodson    Photographs by Lynn Donovan

“Higher the hair,
closer to heaven.”
— Parlor Salon


It was 2002, and my country needed me. I got the call from the World Championships of Hairdressing, known as the “Hair Olympics,” to join the U.S. team to model for their stylists competing for the gold. (Yes, this is a true story. Think of the Indie hit movie Blow Dry.)

Before I could say “shampoo,” I was on the floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center, positioned amid rows upon rows of salon chairs and numbered mirrors, with 10,000 spectators looking on in anticipation. Three-hundred stylists from more than 40 countries had gathered here to hair off in events like “Classic Cut & Style” or “Hair by Night.”

When the judges announce “Start!”, my stylist, Stephanie Loy, begins furiously pinning layers of my hair to the top of my head. As if we were performing surgery, she barks at me “Water!”, “Wax!” or “Freeze!” and I pass her the right products (this is a timed event, of course).

“Stop! Step away from the models! Do not touch the hair!” The battle of the bouffant is over. The result? It looks as if I’m wearing a sleek, futuristic orange helmet — neon orange. One alfalfa sprout springs from the top of my head. And the shape in the back looks like a “V” at my neckline, which is dyed a plum purple color.

Out of the 100 competitors, we would place ninth in the world. Not bad for my then 23-year-old junior stylist who also took home the highest honor: the Grand Prix Master Alexander de Paris Trophy.

True, the World Championships of Hairdressing can’t be compared to the physical contests of the Olympic games. Still, these brave stylists’ javelins and shot puts are their blow dryers and curling irons, which they use to create modern interpretations of hair designs that epitomize the art of hairdressing.

Yes, hair is art.

And there’s no better place to enjoy the craft of coiffure locally than the annual “Big Hair Ball.” The eighth annual event will take place January 25 at Grandover Resort. The theme: 20/20: A Landmark Vision.

Be forewarned: This affair is no pixie cut. The 2019 Big Hair Ball attracted more than 1,000 revelers and helped raise more than $315,000 to help fund the Greensboro programs of Family Service.

Proof positive that hair is power.  OH

For more information, go to

Waynette Goodson enjoys “Club Level” membership at Blasted Blow Dry Bar where she gets her long locks washed and styled twice a month.

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