Tech Center Whoville Hairdo competition allows students a chance to think outside the box

Tech Center students participate in Whoville Hairdo competition

Hairspray and glitter floated through the air as students worked to create gravity-defying hairstyles.

Some hairdos included bows, others more extreme items like battery-operated light strands, Christmas ornaments or snowmen.


And while Carroll County Career and Technology Center cosmetology students got to have fun in recent classes participating in the sixth annual Whoville Hairdo competition, the assignment was about more than some holiday-themed fun before winter break. For many, it was a chance to push outside what students are used to doing, and learn to think outside the box when it comes to cosmetology.

Jordan Considine, a senior from Manchester Valley High School, worked on her mannequin’s Whoville hairdo Wednesday, meticulously sliding bobby pins around the hairline to attach a gold tinsel headband. The hair was pulled back into an updo with the hair splayed out on top and colored pipe cleaners placed throughout. Every so often, she stopped to add hairspray, setting the design in place before next week’s judging.

For Considine, the “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” themed assignment was a learning experience.

She didn’t know what to do when she first started, she said. And things didn’t go according to plan.

“I almost gave up,” she said.

But she went on Pinterest to try to get some ideas, and kept pushing through until she found a design that worked. It was hard, Considine said, because this type of assignment really put her outside of her comfort zone. She typically likes to work on more standard cuts and colors, she said.

But persevering, with support from the cosmetology staff, paid off in the end, she said. Considine said she was “very proud” of herself for working through the challenges and getting things done.

“Creativity is limitless,” she said. “When you feel like giving up, there’s always something out there.”

Wendy Litchfield, a cosmetology instructor at the Tech Center, said the students really enjoy doing the assignment.

There aren’t any rules, except for the fact that they aren’t allowed to permanently alter the mannequin.

“They can either make it something that was in the Grinch movie — the Jim Carrey version — or they can create their own holiday creation using an array of garland and lights and balls and any type of craft supply that you can imagine,” she said.

The creations are then judged by Tech Center instructors, Carroll County Public Schools Central Office staff and cosmetologists in the county, she said.

Brianna Harpy, a senior from Westminster High School, took some typical hairstyles and added a twist to them. She went with Dutch braids but flipped them up, and made bangs at the front stand straight in the air, a single ornament dangling from them. She said it took a while for her design to come together, but once she realized what she wanted to do, the assignment became a lot of fun.

She pulled inspiration from the Grinch movie, which was being projected on the wall during Wednesday’s class.


“We’ve been watching the movie on repeat for like five days,” she said.

Harpy said the assignment let her use her imagination a lot more than she normally gets to when she styles someone’s hair. With this assignment, she added, you can do anything you could possibly think of or want to.

The exercise really is just a chance for the students to try their hand at something different and learn skills they could use later in life, Litchfield said.

“We do it because if they ever end up wanting to work in the theater or like movies like the ‘Avatar’ … they get a feel that they can add lots of different things to the hair for whatever effect they want to give it,” she added.