Apr 10, 2023 - News

Austin salon owner takes home prestigious award

Allen Ruiz, an Austin-based stylist, took home the 2023 "Master Stylist of the Year" award at the North American Hairstyling Awards. Photo: Courtesy of The Professional Beauty Association

An Austin salon owner won "Master Stylist of the Year" at the North American Hairstyling Awards.

Driving the news: Allen Ruiz, co-owner of Ruiz Salon, nabbed the top honor this month at the annual awards, considered the Academy Awards of hairdressing.

  • There are 14 categories in the competition, and the prestigious "Master Stylist" category is by invitation only.

How it works: Ruiz was among 100 artists invited to submit their work, which was then reviewed by a panel of judges and narrowed down to five finalists.

One style from Allen Ruiz's award-winning beauty collection. Photo: Courtesy of Monty Montgomerie

The big picture: This latest win makes Ruiz a four-time NAHA winner, previously winning "Stylist of the Year" in 2007 and 2013 and "Salon Team of the Year" in 2011.

Details: Ruiz's winning collection of beauty images were inspired by the couture showmanship of ballroom and the moody elegance of film noir.

  • "I thought: How can we change this and make it really cool? What would be the next level to this?" Ruiz said.
  • Ruiz and his team meticulously placed rhinestones on wigs in Austin — each one "placed perfectly to represent their style." The looks were then assembled and photographed in Minneapolis.

What they're saying: Ruiz told Axios he initially thought his 2007 win was a fluke.

  • "All the little pieces of hair were shaped and formed by me, but it's a team of people in my salon," Ruiz told Axios. "I just hope that it inspires other local hairdressers to enter."

Of note: Ruiz, who went to high school and beauty school in Austin, has worked as a stylist for three decades.

  • He's worked as a creative consultant for Aveda for the past 28 years and serves as the company's global artistic director for hair styling.

Ruiz still cuts and styles hair at his Austin salons in Seaholm and West End.


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