Our Unmask a Hero contest has finished out the year on a high note, as once again the top winners of the final two cycles submitted truly outstanding work. The grand prize goes to Stephen Adams of Minneapolis, MN, for the third-round; and to Kayla Clark of Willingboro, NJ, for the fourth round.

Below are details of their winning looks.


Stephen Adams Unmasked

The artist: Stephen Adams

The salon: Moxie Hair Salon, St. Paul, MN

The service: Hair was lightened with foils, using It’s a Blonde Thing™ Keratin Lightening System®, to a level 9.
A formula of KeraHold® in ultra-light violet pearl blonde mixed with ultra-light ash blonde and violet Intensifier was applied throughout the hair. The hair was then washed with Timeless Color® Fade-Defy Shampoo, and treated with Color Therapy™ Metamorfix™ Multi-Purpose Color Protector to help lock in the color.

The story: Stephen, a pro with nearly 30 years of experience as a stylist, educator, platform artist and salon owner, named his Minneapolis and St. Paul salons Moxie because his lifelong motto has been “take risks,” and he believes that to achieve success, one must have the “moxie” to do what no one else has done.

That motto certainly is evident in Stephen’s stunning work below!

Unmask a Hero winner 3@stephenadams

The entry: “I thought, ‘It’s always awesome to challenge yourself and push yourself.’”

The award: For his work, Stephen was flown to New York City and went behind the scenes with Deb Gavin during a photo shoot; he also received $250 in cash and a $500 Keratin Complex gift bag.

The reaction: Finding out he had won, Stephen says, “I was surprised, and quite honored.”


Kayla Clark unmasked

The artist: Kayla Clark

The salon: True Colors Hair Salon, Mt. Holly, NJ

The service: An ombre on the ends with It’s a Blonde Thing and Metamorfix pigments in extreme red-violet and extreme red. Shampooed with Keratin Color Care, and styled Keratin Complex Intense Rx®, Infusion Keratin Replenisher, Sweet Definition Texturizing Sugar Mist, Thermo-Shine Thermal Protectant Mist and Flex Flow Flexible Shaping Hairspray.

The story: Kayla’s regular client, Tia, came in with her mother to get her first hair-color service. They all agreed that an ombre would be the best option. “My instructions were, ‘Nothing too grown-up,’” says Kayla.

Kayla, who has been a stylist for over nine years, explains that she chose this formula and technique “because we wanted a red that would definitely be seen—especially since we were only doing the ends. Since it was only going to be a little, we wanted it to be noticeable. I used the Intense Rx and Infusion treatment to help further protect those freshly processed ends.”

Unmask a Hero winner 4@k4yl4_l3n33

And Tia’s reaction upon learning that Kayla’s color service (shown above) had won first-place honors? “She can't believe that her hair won a contest. She’s really excited!”

The entry: “Honestly, I thought it would be cool to enter; even if I only won $250 worth of products, it would be totally worth it. Never did I think I would win first place.”

The award: Kayla’s winning look will be featured in a print ad campaign in the January issue of Modern Salon magazine; she also received $250 in cash and a $500 Keratin Complex gift bag.

The reaction: “I ran in the back room of the salon and screamed to my boss, ‘OMG, I just won Unmask a Hero!’”