Competition Overview

Intro to Competition

The annual Color Outside the Lines online social competition returns to the Professional Instagram page. Paul Mitchell® invites you to show off your hair-coloring skills-on a model or a mannequin head-for a chance to snag incredible prizes, including a trophy and a cash prize!


  • Entries accepted starting Wednesday, April 1, 2020
  • Entries must be posted by Friday, May 15, 2020 11:59 p.m. PST
  • Grand Prize winners announced on Instagram @paulmitchellpro and Facebook @PaulMitchellHairCareUS Monday, June 1, 2020

National Categories

We're looking for master colorists (licensed within the U.S. and Canada; see official rules for details) with top talent:

  • Best Creative Color Entry: #PMPOP
  • Best in Blonding: #PMBLONDE
  • Best PM Educator Entry: #IAMPM (Must be currently contracted in the United States as a JPMS Educator to be eligible. Does not include Artistic Directors.)

In response to current COVID-19-related restrictions preventing students from being able work in supervised environments, the Student Category has been eliminated.

International (outside the U.S. and Canada) contest details can be found under the International tab.


Each category winner will receive:

  • Color Outside the Lines trophy
  • $1,500 (USD) cash prize
  • Paul Mitchell® products and tools valued at $1,500 (USD)
  • Winning looks featured in Paul Mitchell® Professional marketing collateral including:
    • New and Now, Salon merchandising and brochures


  1. You are required to have an Instagram account. Post on your Instagram profile your competition look(s) and hashtag the category you are entering (see National Categories section).
  2. Contest hashtags must be in the caption (not in the comment).
  3. Submissions must include tagging @paulmitchellpro and #COTL2020
  4. You may post as many pictures as you’d like for any or all categories.
  5. All images must have been created on or after April 1, 2020.
  6. All images become property of JPMSTM.


Our friends at Pivot Point are offering a 25% discount on mannequin heads, tripods and holders to all members of the JPMSTM community, through April 30th. For U.S. orders, use code PMCOTL20 during registration. To order in Canada, email Laurie Grier and mention Paul Mitchell Color Outside the Lines Contest.


Give your submission some extra zing with the addition of a fun overlay! Simply download the overlay provided here, add to your camera roll, then use an editing app, such as Over or PicsArt, to add the graphic to your final image.

Click here, to download your COTL overlay.


The contestants will be judged for individual vision. All judging is done blindly; the judges from John Paul Mitchell Systems® will not know the names or identities of the entrants during the contest.

  • 70% Hair color technique, choice of colors, and how the hair color respects the cut and style
  • 30% Overall vision, creativity and interpretation of trend

Official Rules

  • Submissions on a mannequin head are accepted. If a model is used, all entrants are required to obtain a Model Release form.
  • May only use Paul Mitchell® Professional Hair Color and lightener products to achieve your final look.
  • If the model has been retouched, please include the unretouched photo with your submission. Photo filters are discouraged.
  • Each entry must consist of one hairdresser and one mannequin head. Only the hairdresser whose name is in the social post can cut, style and color the hair and receive the award.
  • No extensions, wigs or hair pieces permitted.
  • No full-body pictures. Must show from the waist up only.
  • All model and stylist participants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Color photos only; black-and-white images will not be considered.
  • Entry photos that have been previously published cannot be considered.
  • Photo rights during the competition are reserved for Paul Mitchell®. Upon completion of the competition, all photographs may be used by both Paul Mitchell® and the entrant.
  • Deadline for social posting is Friday, May 15, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Entries received after this date will not be considered.
  • Any failure to comply with the rules of this competition will render a competitor liable for disqualification.
  • It is the contestant’s responsibility to perform a patch test prior to a hair color service.
  • Click here, for the complete list of Official Rules.