An Olds hairstylist will be on a flight to Paris in September to represent Canada at an international hairstyling competition.
Lee Cenaiko, who has been inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany’s actress Audrey Hepburn, qualified for the competition by placing well and gaining skills at two regional long hair bridal hair styling competitions in Edmonton and Toronto.
Kelly Kalmbach, team manager at the Canadian Cosmetology Teams, said this has allowed Cenaiko, 56, to become part of the national team.
In the recent Edmonton competition, Cenaiko placed second drawing inspiration from Hepburn’s retro hair. She weaved the front portion of the hair giving it a “veil or a hat type of look.”
“Because right now brides do go for a classy, retro look,” said Cenaiko.
She is hoping to draw inspiration from Hepburn, once again, for the international hair styling competition – OMC World Cup.
Kalmbach said there are other potential candidates from Alberta who may also make the Canadian team – from Camrose and Calgary. Details will be confirmed closer to the deadline in June.
Cenaiko said she has been working towards making it on the Canadian team for a couple years.
“I’m excited, humbled too, nervous and overwhelmed in some ways,” she said, about representing Canada internationally.
In Paris, Cenaiko will compete in the Prestige Bridal Style and Prestige Gala Style categories. Both styles include an overall look, Cenaiko said, with hair, dress, makeup and shoes, on a model.
“The model has to wear the overall look and own it.”
Some competitions like the Prestige Bridal come with a time limit – 30 minutes.
“It’s a race against time,” said Cenaiko.
Cenaiko said she enjoys taking part in the regional competitions given the excitement, the adrenaline rush, and the learning experience. She said she stays focused during competitions, and lets her hands do the work.
“I always get sweaty palms,” she said, with a chuckle.
Cenaiko, a former computer programmer, got into hair styling when her husband opened up a salon when the Canadian couple was in New Zealand. They moved back to Central Alberta about 26 years ago and Cenaiko got back into hair styling about eight years ago. Today she is the co-owner of Zebedeez Hair Design Is An ART in Olds.
Cenaiko practices on mannequins and models every week. In preparation for the international competition, she said she will practice two to three hours every day.
She enjoys the creativity and the fact that “no two days are the same” in her industry.