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The Event:

For the past 15 years, Farouk Systems has been the official hair care sponsor for Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen, providing its team of stylists to help the contestants with their preliminary competitions, dress rehearsals and the live broadcast. This year’s Miss USA competition took place May 14, 2017 in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, hosted by Julianne Hough and Terrance J, along with Ashley Graham who captured the behind the scenes.

The Details:

51 contestants representing each state, including District of Columbia, competed for the winning title of Miss USA. The winner was Kára McCullough from District of Columbia holds a degree in chemistry and works at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. As the official hair care sponsor of Miss USA, Dr. Farouk Shami was on hand along with his team of stylists and staff to ensure all contestants were provided the best haircare and services to achieve the winning look.

“This year’s pageant had significant meaning with an emphasis on empowering women,” Shami says. “This year was also meaningful with several contestants being from our industry that included hairdressers and a makeup artist! As a community of professionals, we must take note of each contestant’s accomplishments and implement them in our own daily lives for the hope of a better future for the United States and the world. We are proud to be a part of this journey.”

Natural Texture Takes the Crown:

Besides being the embodiment of beauty and brains, the newly crowned Miss USA has amazing hair. McCullough was the only contestant to rock her naturally curly texture at the competition, and it obviously paid off.

Farouk Systems Global Artist Albert Luiz was responsible for creating McCullough‘s flawless look. He played up her natural texture by defining curls and adding volume and shine using CHI products and tools.

“The new Miss USA came to Las Vegas with a plan,” says Luiz. “She wanted to win under her terms by staying true to herself and her natural hair texture.”

Luiz has been doing hair for Miss USA since 1993, when every Miss USA contestant rocked similar looks—set curls and teased—but says now it’s all about the competitors embracing their uniqueness, individuality and “twist” on life. He says McCullough wanted her hair to looks as natural as possible. He only curled what was going to be seen and left the rest of her curls natural because of their already amazing shape and volume.

When MODERN told McCullough how gorgeous her hair looked, she replied by saying, “Do what makes you comfortable.” Spoken like a true Miss USA.