The third annual North American Hairstyling Awards were held March 3 in Rosemont, Ill. Licensed cosmetologists, barber stylists and students who had entered the competition held their breath several times during the evening when they heard the words, "And the winner is . . . "

Selecting the winners was a prestigious group of judges including Rona Barrett, Charles Bush, Leland Hirsch, Angelika Schubert and Kathy Smith. They based their decisions on originality, creativity, style, fashion appeal and technical execution.The categories and winners are:

North American Hairstylist of the Year - Mary Bonanno-Brunetti of Next Hair, Deer Park, N.Y.

Women's Makeover - Rebecca Hayes of Michael Christopher Designs at Bloomingdale's, King of Prussia, Penn.

Men's Makeover - Lillian M. Blanchard at Bloomingdale's.

Avant-garde - Jerome Pinsonneault and Wendy Williamson of Jerome, Calgary, Canada.

Classic - Flavia M. Scarfo at Bloomingdale's.

This year, the sponsors of the competition presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Paul Mitchell, an innovative hairstylist who has contributed greatly to the professional salon industry.

Jacqueline Summers, executive editor of Modern Salon (one of the sponsors), said, "This is the only competition in North America that honors the work of the stylists who make our industry such an exciting, innovative force in the world of fashion and beauty."