Wahl Professional has been leading the barbering industry for nearly a century. Now, Wahl is transforming the industry’s barber battle events by crowning the top 3 winners of a first-of-its-kind online battle.
And on Tuesday, September 19th, they changed the life of Benny Machado when Wahl Education and Artistic Team (W.E.A.T.) member Rick Morin surprised him as the Wahl Online Barber Battle Grand Prize Winner at his barbershop in Newport News, Virginia.
“First of all, I was in expectation that I was going to service a new client who was eager to get a cut, but when I saw Rick Morin, I came to the conclusion that I was the winner,” said Benny Machado. “Needless to say, I was extremely excited.”
Social media played a large role in spreading the word of the digital battlefield, with entrants hearing about it on Twitter, Facebook, and particularly Instagram. Benny’s historic win and highlights from his video were broadcast to Wahl Professional’s Instagram and Facebook followers on Friday, September 22nd, garnering thousands of views for the conclusion of the historic competition.
“An online battle has not been done by any other clipper company,” said Aaron Flick, Senior Marketing Associate, Professional Division, Wahl Clipper Corporation. “This was an opportunity to bring artists from across the country into one competition. And we received a lot of high-quality work from many talented artists.”
Benny took home more than the full 5-Star line of clippers and trimmers from Wahl Professional. Most importantly, as Grand Prize winner, he will have an honorary one-year position on the highly coveted W.E.A.T. beginning in January 2018. In fact, the grand prize was a common reason for entrants.
“I chose to participate in this battle because I have the desire of becoming an educator and inspiring others,” Machado said.
“Benny will have the same privileges and exposure as if he were a permanent member of the team,” said Laura VanderMoere, Global Director of Education for Wahl Professional. “He’ll represent Wahl as an industry influencer and role model for future students and licensed professionals. He will be included in video shoots, marketing campaigns, and educational events. We’ll also ask Benny to present at our three major shows next year, including: International Salon & Spa Expo, America’s Beauty Show and Premiere Orlando.”
Second-place winner Andrew Rosario received three Wahl clippers and three Wahl trimmers, while third-place Jose Montejano won the 5-Star Barber Combo from Wahl Professional.
The accomplishments of Rosario and Montejano were announced on Wahl Professional’s social media channels and Ambassador Program. Short vignettes from their submission videos accompanied the announcements to cement their worthiness of the honor.
All three winners received a Wahl prize pack, a Cordless Magic Clip skateboard, and an exclusive commemorative clipper to cement their status within the barbering industry.
Preparing for Battle
Each contestant was allowed 15 minutes to create a video showcasing their mastery of three cuts: a Classic Pompadour, Bald Fade and a Creative Cut that was entirely up to the barber or stylist’s vision.
The battle also allowed each entrant to showcase what they’re most known for. Rosario deftly demonstrated his famous skin fade. Montejano perfected the Pixie. And Machado created an over-the-top custom cut.
“I pushed it to the limit,” said Andrew Rosario. “I was editing my video up until just a couple of hours before the deadline.”
Judges used an in-depth scoring system, awarding points on criteria including styling techniques, precision of blend, difficulty of the cut, and the overall look. Significant consideration was given when determining how online submissions should be scored.
“As the founder of the largest barber event in Texas (TX Barber Expo), I wanted to make sure the judging system was the same as if it had been a live or in-person battle,” said Rick Morin.
What can future entrants learn from those who have already done it? That depends on who you ask. “I know it sounds simple, but you won’t have the opportunity if you don’t enter,” said Morin. Machado echoes this sentiment. “Through this process, I have learned that you should never take for granted the opportunities presented to you."
Montejano puts it a little simpler. “Find good models and don’t hold back,” he said.
The winning masterpieces can be seen in motion at wahlbarberbattle.com.
Artists who want their chance to compete for the ultimate barber bragging rights are encouraged to register for the Wahl Ambassador Program at wahlpro.com, as details for the next competition are expected to be released early in 2018.
[Images courtesy of Wahl Professional]