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Jose Quintero, Daily Press

Local stylists compete for national prize

BARSTOW • Barstows Fantastic Sams location is home to two hair stylists who are among the finalists in the company's national Artistic Styling Awards contest.

Jodi Renteria and Rosa Pickett have each been styling and cutting hair for more than 20 years and are anxiously waiting to find out the results of the contest.

The pair submitted entries in a contest that was open to all licensed Fantastic Sams stylists. Pickett is a finalist in the glamour look category and Renteria in the male cut and style category.

For Renteria, this time is always the most stressful and exciting time of the year. Renteria has earned various regional awards, but never at the national level. She was the first runner-up for stylist of the year in 2012.

Renteria is hopeful this year’s entry will claim the national prize, but her entry was put together at the very last minute.

“We have to have a model that we cut, color and style; well my model got sick the night before the photo shoot,” Renteria said. “So I had to get a hold of a model I used last year and had to throw something together on the spot. I had the pompadour hairstyle in mind, but for this model, I had to choose a different color than the one for the model I planned on using. It was very exciting and stressful.”

As for Pickett, she got to enjoy a less stressful situation. Pickett said she cuts hair because she enjoys chatting with clients.

“I have been in the business since 1984 and I just enjoy talking to my customers — I do this for fun,” Pickett said.

Michael Graham opened the Fantastic Sams, located at 971 Armory Road, in 1984.

Graham is appreciative and proud of his staff, not just for the national finalists, but all his stylists for the business’ daily operations.

“The one thing I can say about my staff is they are real pros,” Graham said. “They take pride in the haircut they send out our door. You can go to the best place in Beverly Hills and you would get the same exact style or cut you get here. I really mean that.”

Pickett and Renteria will find out the results of the contest Oct. 27 at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. The categories have been narrowed down to three entries each, and the winner will receive a cash prize and have their work published in various hair and style magazines distributed throughout the nation.

“The cash prize is nice, but the biggest thing about the competition is getting your work published in the books you see at every hair salon,” Renteria said.

Jose Quintero can be reached at 760-256-4122 or

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