Meet The 2019 Matrix Naha Awards Nominees |

The Matrix NAHA Awards Nominees You Need To Know About

photo of Jessie Amato
07 December 2018
photo of stylist hands cutting hair matrix naha matrix nominations
photo of Jessie Amato

Jessie Amato

Junior Beauty Editor

07 December 2018

The North American Stylist awards are equivalent to prestigious Hollywood awards for hairstylists. While actors and actresses are praised for their accomplishments on-screen, stylists and colorists are celebrated for their work behind the chair.

The NAHA awards highlight the brightest stars in the hair industry—with nominees taking home awards in categories including hair color, styling and finishing, hair cutting, and editorial. Finalists will head to Long Beach, California, on January 26, 2019, for the competition’s 30th anniversary.

This year, a few of our favorite Matrix artists and educators are nominated for 15 awards across multiple categories—the most nominations in the brand’s history! If you’ve never heard of some of these talented artists before, you’re going to want to keep them on your radar.

Ashley Stewart-Wright, Matrix Artistic Educator

The Matrix artistic educator and colorist at Parlor Hair Studio in Elsmere, Kentucky. is nominated for a chance to bring home a NAHA award in the Hair Color category.

Caroline Robitaille, Matrix Canada Ambassador

Robitaille has a passion for creating innovative hair colors—which earned her a nomination in the Hair Color category.

Chrystofer Benson, Matrix Artistic Director

Benson earned nominations in three NAHA categories including Editorial, Hair Color, and Team Of The Year with the Chrystofer Benson Collective.

As a Matrix global artistic educator, Benson travels the country sharing his expert knowledge on all things hair color. A master of vivid hair colors, he recently shared his 2019 color trend predictions with According to Benson, smoky hair colors are going to be everywhere in the next few months.

“A smoky color is not in it’s full saturation as a vivid...There are definitely the muted tones, but there is still a vividness to them,” Benson says.

Corry Hoffman, Matrix Technical Director

Stylist, colorist, and educator—Hoffman is a true triple threat in the hair industry. She’s nominated for the Team Of The Year award along with the rest of the Chrystofer Benson Collective team.

As a blonde hair expert, she recently shared her top tips with on maintaining blonde hair between salon appointments. Her number one rule for blondes: Hold off shampooing your hair immediately after a color service.

“Wait at least 24 hours after a color service to shampoo your hair and stretch out your shampoo days,” Hoffman advises.”All hair color fades with every shampoo—and especially blonde hair, which has probably been lightened and then toned. The more time you can put between shampoos, the less it will fade.”

Greta Coston, Matrix Artistic Educator

A previous NAHA Hair Color finalist, Coston is headed back to the competition with a nomination for Team Of The Year with the Chrystofer Benson Collective.

Lenny Strands, Matrix Technical Director

The Matrix technical director is also up for a nomination with the Chrystofer Benson Collective for Team Of The Year.

Danielle Keasling, Matrix Artistic Director

Keasling won the coveted Hairstylist Of The Year award at last year’s competition, and she’s headed back this year in the hopes of leaving with an award in the Style and Finishing category.

As a regular on our expert panel, she’s shared tips on everything from what to do when you spot your first grey hair, how to french braid hair, and her all-time favorite hair care tips.

Dilek Onur-Taylor, Matrix Artistic Director

Dilek Onur-Taylor is a Matrix artistic director, educator, and two-time NAHA winner. She’s nominated for an award in the Editorial category this year.

Fran Peterson, Matrix Artistic Educator

Working out of Salon Karma in Bluffton, South Carolina, Peterson is widely known for creating gorgeous texture. The Matrix Artistic Educator is hoping to win the Texture award at this year’s competition.

Michelle O’Connor, Matrix Artistic Director

After snagging a win in the Texture category for two consecutive years, O’ Connor is back for more. She’s nominated for her work in both the Editorial and Avant Garde categories of the competition.

Along with her work on movie sets and editorial shoots, O’Connor loves to share her never-ending knowledge of hair care with the world. She recently dished on her love of Matrix Total Results Mask with our team.

“The fact that the Total Results Mask comes in a neat little portable pouch with very little commitment of time makes it a win-win situation,” O’Connor explains. “At the end of the day what woman doesn’t want beautiful, shiny, healthy-looking hair? It took you less time than it takes to make a bag of popcorn in the microwave.”

Nick Stenson, Matrix Artistic Director And Celebrity Stylist

Stenson is known for far more than simply being an amazing colorist. He teaches thousands of stylists as one of Matrix’s artistic directors, works with celebrity clients, and has hand-developed some of the industry’s most popular trends. He’s earned a nomination in the Styling and Finishing category for a campaign with Ulta Beauty.

He’s shared expert tips with on various topics, including how to achieve light pink hair the right way and why the gorgeous hue is so popular for salon-goers.

“I think [light pink hair is] sticking around and will continue to evolve...Multi-dimensional pastel shades are where we are moving instead of one solid tone,” Stenson explains.

To learn more about the NAHA Awards, visit

Looking to make an appointment with one of our NAHA nominated stylists? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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