They came with their glitter. They came with their rollers. They came with their ornaments, hairpins and blowers.

On Wednesday morning, the cosmetology students at the Carroll County Career and Technology Center were preparing for the eighth annual “Whoville” hair contest, crafting coifs fit for the mayor of the village made famous by Dr. Seuss. Or maybe a Grinch.


Instructor Wendy Litchfield said the assignment prepares students for creating theatrical hairstyles so they have portfolio items for theater or editorial work.

And she’s enjoying what her students have come up with so much that some professionals can’t compare. After going to a production of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas," she thought to herself, “My kids could do better.”

The finished styles will be judged by Carroll County Public Schools’ Central Office staff and visiting cosmetologists on Dec. 18. Ten winners will receive prizes.

The students create their “Whoville” hair on mannequin heads, but there’s no hot glue or piercing pins allowed. The rules state that they can’t permanently alter the heads, so students build elaborate bows and mount holiday decorations using resources like hairspray and braids.

Westminster High School senior Rebecca Higgins said it took about eight total hours to craft her blue and silver “Winter Wonderland” style. She started with a miniature metallic tree for her color palette. The biggest challenge, she said, was mounting the tree onto the model’s hair.

Each style had a name. Some were puns such as “Queen La-Treefa” or “Resting Grinch Face.”

Tara Shifflett, also a Westminster senior, went all-in on realistic evergreen garland for Queen La-Treefa. Pieces of garland wrap all around the model’s head almost like a wig, and Shifflett hung ornaments from the branches.

It was a lot of pinning together to make the whole creation strong enough to stand up, she said. Although she enjoys all kinds of assignments in her program, fun and creative looks are her favorite.

The contest drew interest from other departments, too. Two fashion students dropped by in the morning to check out the finished designs.

For Madelyn Bowers of Francis Scott Key High School, the focus was creating a sleek and clean bow from the ponytail on the back of her model’s head, using all of the skills she had learned for creating updos. She decorated with silver bells and a few touches of silver glitter.

Some of the names for the styles described the stylist’s inspiration, such as “It’s that time of year!” by Jacky Rivera of Winters Mill High School. Soft spiral curls around the shoulders drew the eye up to red and white decorations and two strings of working lights pinned to frame the face.

She was inspired by the warm glow of the holiday season, she said. “It’s beautiful when everything is lit up.”