Sport Clips Haircuts stylists ride the curl wave in “The Look” creative competition

El Paso Stylist Valerie Rivera is the winner among the franchise's 13,000+ stylists


Of the more than 13,000 professional stylists who make Sport Clips Haircuts their career home, six finalists were invited to showcase their creativity on stage for “The Look” competition at the franchise’s annual Huddle in Nashville, Tennessee. As the nation's leading hair care franchise dedicated to men and boys, this year’s focus on curls drew entries from talented stylists across the U.S. and Canada who are riding the “curly hair” wave.

The six finalists included this year's The Look winner Valerie Rivera, from Sport Clips Haircuts in El Paso, Texas, along with:

  • Ashley Chamaillard of Ontario, Canada – 2nd place
  • Samantha Burkman of Jackson, Tennessee – 3rd place
  • Brooke Hafenecker of Waterville, Maine – Honorable Mention
  • Cassandra Sanchez of Little Rock, Arkansas – Honorable Mention
  • Melih Solano of Albuquerque, New Mexico – Honorable Mention

“As a licensed stylist, I know firsthand how important opportunities for creativity, success, and growth are within the hair care industry,” says Stacia Kelley, artistic director for Sport Clips Haircuts. “'The Look' creative competition empowers stylists to unleash their artistic visions and enhance their skill set by entering looks they've created. For the finalists, it means a trip to our annual meeting and creating the looks on stage before thousands of supporters. It's an exciting element of what a career with Sport Clips can hold.”

She went on to add that even though Sport Clips doesn't offer perms in stores, the brand's professional stylists engage in ongoing training and are well-equipped to work with all hair types and textures, no matter the trend.

For the winning look, Valerie created a medium drop fade on her model with volumized curl and a design on both sides. She used Gibs™ Biofuel, as well Ultra Curl and Powder Play Light both by SexyHair® to finish and hold the style.

A drop taper fade was the take on curls Ashley chose for her model, with short to medium layers on top to spotlight texture and finished it with a cocktail of Gibs™ El Ray gel and Top Down Tea Tree.

Samantha went with a drop fade with texture on her model and took it up a notch with Gibs™ Con Man and Biofuel.

A take on a tapered mullet with scissor work on the top and back was Brooke’s choice for her model that was enhanced with Gibs™ Con Man, Styling Jam, and Brawler.

A faded undercut Cassandra created featured a curly top and freestyle design topped off with Defining Spray, Statement, and SexyHair® Curl Cream.

Melih’s burst fade was styled with Paul Mitchell® Lavender Mint Defining Gel and Biofuel and the model’s beard was softened with Gibs™ Beard Oil.

Judges for the competition included Jason “Skills” Dunn of Gibs Grooming, Jim Massey from American Crew, and Brandon Palmore of JPMS. The winner and finalists all received Nashville travel and hotel accommodations as well as a cash prize and an exclusive package that includes top-of-the-line tools, products, and swag from BaByliss, American Crew, Sexy Hair, STMNT, Blacksmith Blades, Gibs Grooming, ACTIIV, and John Paul Mitchell Systems. 

To find out more ways stylists can put their creative skills to work as one of the pros in men’s hair, check out