Whether someone speaks English or is born in the USA does not determine the talent an individual possesses.
One of the things that makes the USA great as it is is the fact that people from all over the world come to live and share their talents with others.
We see this with Olympic runners. We see this in pro hockey, baseball, soccer, golf and numerous other sports.
We see this in hospitals, doctor offices, emergency rooms. We see this in universities, high schools, special education schools.
We see this in signature restaurants, diners, coneys and pizza joints.
We see this in supermarkets, produce markets, and specialty markets.
And we see this in hairdressing. In the past two years, we have seen what the Italians have done with Kemon both artistically and technologically. We marvel at it but more importantly, we learn from it. It's no coincidence that the last two of three winners for Hairdresser of the Year have been Kemon Artistic Coaches and the other winner a Kemon hairdresser.
This year, Irina Miasnikova, owner of Pigalle Salon & Med Spa in Southfield, MI took the honors. Irina came to the USA in 1995 and when she was asked by one of the judges what inspired her to create the looks on stage, Irina simply replied, "It came from the heart."
Last year Tomy Lulgjuraj from 6 Salon won. He brought his little girl on stage. The year before Denisa Cita from BonCiDello Salon & Spa won. She was proud as a peacock.
I have always stated that Michigan has the best hairdressers and can compete with any state. The reason is simple, when it comes to hairdressing, Michigan is global.
So yes, it makes the competition more competitive. You think the Red Wings bring in the Swedes to lose games? But what I have witnessed watching the Artistic Team in motion at other salons is this sense of learning, excitement and fascination that I haven't seen in a long time.
There are those that have something to say about the globalization of hairdressing or that the contest is rigged for Kemon people. The facts speak for themselves and the judges don't know one finalist from another. It's purely talent based and like any competitive event, the one with the most talent wins.
The crowd of over 700 loved the event and its cause to support the American Cancer Society. It was a proud moment indeed.
For 2010, changes are in place already to reduce the noise level, shorten the show, and heighten the competitive juices: Hairdressers using any brand will be able to enter the fray.
But for the next few months, it's Irina's time to bask in the glory. It is well deserved.