Since its humble beginnings in 1989, NAHA finalists and industry elite have brought this iconic photographic beauty competition to new heights year after year. NAHA continues to recognize the beauty industry’s most talented artists and advance the careers of stylists around the world. Nothing makes us happier than meeting artists we REALLY want to root for… Good people who love the industry, value education and aren’t afraid to put in the hard work

This is Cynthia’s second year not only entering NAHA, but being nominated! We are so proud of our Hair Nerd contributor for following her dreams and always surprising us with the things she’s doing.



What one word describes how you felt when you hit submit on your entry?



Cynthia Valdez NAHA 2016

How does competing help you as an artist?

Competition keeps me inspired to create and think outside the box. As an artist I strive to find my individuality and creating competition work allows me to explore and find what that is.



Biggest worry about the night? Is it what to wear or acceptance speech?

My biggest worry is to have a speech prepared. I’ve never won any awards of any sort that require a speech so that kind of freaks me out however, I try not to think about it too much hopefully I get to be up there and I don’t forget to thank my peeps.



Tell us your life story in 3 sentences

Small town girl, big dreams.

Grew up around hairdressers and the definition of success was someone creating art for a living. (Go mom)

Eccentricity and social anxiety ruled my life since a young age but I’ve never let that win the battle, have never backed down and here we are.



If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?

I know for a fact I would be working in The beauty and fashion world either doing Fashion PR /marketing or pursuing an editor role at some magazine.



Describe the creative journey of your NAHA shoot in emojis.



Real life advice to someone entering the world of cosmetology.

You don’t have to know what you want the moment you graduate but be very in tune with what you DONT want your career to be. Once you find what you like and don’t like make your journey about the things that you love and never settle. #truelife



I knew I was a Hair Nerd when…

When traveling to hair shows with my mom as a 10 yr old was the highlight of my summer… ❤️