Paul Mitchell Announces First-Ever Hair Color Contest

Image courtesy of John Paul Mitchell Systems

Paul Mitchell has announced its first-ever hair color contest, "Color Outside The Lines." Beginning January 1, 2016 and running through April 29, 2016, colorists of all backgrounds and specialties form around the world are invited to show their skills by entering the Color Outside The Lines hair color contest. Competitors have the chance to win amazing prizes, including a trip to present their winning work at Paul Mitchell's signature industry extravaganza, Gathering — and claim their title as an industry-leading hair colorist.

How To Enter
Participants should first identify which of the three categories they are eligible to enter:

  • Best National Entry (within the U.S. and Canada)
  • Best New Talent (licensed within the last 5 years; U.S. and Canada only)
  • Best International Entry (outside the U.S. and Canada; to see a complete list of participating countries, please visit the website, here)

From there, top talent should seek inspiration from one of our two mood boards:
MOOD BOARD A: Charming Illusions

  • Soft blends of gradients of color create fluid transitions between diffused tones and contrasting hues.
  • Delicate pastels, muted pops, neutral tints and romantic sheens give hair a fresh play on what could be natural.
  • Color blending looks effortless and smooth with hints of colors like grayed pinks, sun-­faded purples, lime golds and other hazy, dream-­like formulas.

MOOD BOARD B: Graphic Block

  • Strong graphics and bold geometric shapes create interest and a loud statement.
  • Sharp contrasts of bold and bright hues create definition and precision while adding a modern feel to the look.
  • Black and white layered with vibrantly colored geometric shapes like magenta, high-­gloss yellow, jellybean green and electric blue create playful combinations that make a statement.

Then, begin to create an entry look for submission. Participants should be mindful of these friendly tips when planning a photo shoot:

  • Study the mood boards and make sure your work suits the mood you are entering.
  • Storyboard your concepts down to nail polish, poses, props, etc. Practice the looks before the shoot.
  • Be selective when choosing a model, makeup artist, fashion stylist and photographer. These essential people will make your best work even better and elevate the average shoot into award-­winning territory.
  • Create a timeline and do your best to stick to it. Time management is very important on a shoot!
  • Make sure the final image submitted reflects your best effort and goal for the competition.

Once this has been achieved, it’s time to finalize submission by uploading a completed entry form, all necessary releases, head diagrams and images at

Additional Contest Details

  • Entries accepted starting January 1, 2016
  • Final entries due by April 29, 2016, 11:59 p.m. PST
  • Finalists announced May 16, 2016
  • Finalists present at Paul Mitchell’s Gathering in Las Vegas, August 15-­16, 2016

Grand Prize Winner in Each Category:

  • Grand prize trophy
  • Airfare and hotel accommodations to attend Paul Mitchell’s Gathering for an on-­stage presentation
  • Feature in a trade magazine
  • Participation in a Paul Mitchell collection shoot
  • Feature in Paul Mitchell’s New and Now
  • Blog post, social media coverage and a feature on
  • Paul Mitchell Professional Hair Color Master Artist Kit

Top 2 Finalists in Each Category:

  • Finalist trophy
  • Airfare and hotel accommodations to attend Paul Mitchell’s Gathering for an on-­stage presentation
  • Blog post, social media coverage and a feature on

Best National Category Only

  • 1 runner-up per state; up to 50 total
  • Certificate of Recognition
  • Neuro Style 1” Styling Iron
  • Feature on

The contestant will be judged for individual vision. All judging is done blindly - the judges will not know the names or identities of the entrants during the contest.

  • 70% Hair color technique, choice of colors, and how the hair color respects the cut and style.
  • 30% Overall vision, creativity and interpretation of trend

For more information on Paul Mitchell’s Color Outside the Lines contest, full details for how to enter, official rules and tips from the judges, please visit

More in Events