Reader Questions Pt. 2

Continued from yesterday, a few more questions from Jess (Slightly edited):
Thanks for the heap of knowledge and insider tips! I would really love to go back to the school I am registered at…and ask to speak to teachers, along with a few other things….but I dunno. I kind of feel douche-y (its a word! really!) doing that this late in the game. Maybe after I hit up (Name of school removed), I’ll see where the wind takes me. I just know that because their school is set up to mirror a modern working salon, that I might be a bit distracted by all the pretty colors! “My” school is pretty basic, dare I say “ghetto”. No, no..not ghetto. Just not as trendy as the hair school down the street. They don’t update anything, they dont give you much info when you enroll, the tour is short and basic, and they dont offer financial aid. BUT it IS only $9,000-$10,000 to enroll. So I guess they figure it will sell itself?
I’m not too worried about the I know I have a community of trendier friends to practice on. The one girl that I am talking to, that goes there…is constantly dowing the place now.
Funny though..a few months ago, she was just GUSHING about how wonderful it was. But then some drama went down (of course) and she said that she basically sugar-coated everything, to get me to sign up so she could get a $100 beauty gift card (incentive program). And that the “TRUTH” is, her instructors play favorites, send you home all the time to incur overage charges with your hours, you dont get many clients, she is close to graduating and still doesnt feel confident with cutting..and ON and ON and OOOOOON. So now, everytime I get an email from her…I die a little inside. I’m worried about getting there and having a craptastic time. But that school has been around way longer than one down the street. So I do know that it can produce. Ugh. I know that she is just being a whiny, immature, over-grown pre-schooler. But still…she gets to me.
ANYWAY. I am starting a blog as well. The hair world NEEDS us. Until I start school, mine will be mainly filled with my own ideas and “knowledge” (using that term WAY loosely) about all things hair/beauty. I will give you the blog link once Ive created it. We can stay connected that way, or through email, or FB….the options are endless. I’m excited to have a “hair” friend who is actually in school! I love your blog and think its super funny/witty! So I half-expected you to blow me off since you can obviously rein in some much cooler than I! Thanks for not being a prick! 🙂

P.S. I’m changing my hair next week, for fall/school! Thought I’d mention that since its hair related. Right now (I should send you a pic) I have a ash blonde/ash brown magenta thing goin on. A friend of mine from Vegas, is a stylist and use to do hair there. She does it out of her home right now, and shes really good. Instead of bleaching hair, when adding bright colored highlights…she just uses extensions. So I have Magenta extensions right now..theyre a pain in the ass to maneuver around, but better than bleach! So next week I am switching to a dark/brown (maybe with a hint of purple) base, with dark purple highlights starting at the back and graduating to a light purple as it reaches my face. I am the “creator” of this vision and am pretty proud of myself for coming up with my own idea instead of looking for pics. Heres to hoping it looks good! (“P.S.” thingies shouldnt be this long. My apologies.)

Don’t worry so much about the trendiness of the school. Sure, it would be awesome to go to a hip school, like the Paul Mitchell school or the Sassoon school, but all that really matters is the education you get. If you’re taught the basics very well, you can figure out the trendy haircuts on your own. And there are lots of educational resources on the internet, if you have the cash. (And boy can you can spend a lot on education!)

All the big hair companies have pay-for-play educational videos these days. Just go to the website of every company that makes professional hair products, and look around for their professional/educational page. Sometimes they have decent free videos too. Sam Villa has some freebies on his site that aren’t bad at all. Lots of people sell DVD’s too.

About your friend, I see a lot of that at my school too. I would say that 95% of the girls in my school sit around all day long, dissing the school and trash talking the teachers/staff. If you listen to them, you might think my school is run by hatemongering Nazis who hate young people (because they’re jealous of their youth), who punish students all the time (for no particular reason), they don’t teach you well, the kit you get is crap, they con you into buying more stuff and purposefully set things up so that you end up having to pay for extra time to make up the hours you need to graduate.


The truth is that they all did it to themselves. I know it can be a bit intimidating to go into an environment where the large majority of students all seem to agree that the school is a heinous den of villany and treachery. It couldn’t possibly be that all the students are just crappy students, could it? Not that many?!


It could be, and is. Most of the girls at my school spend their time chatting, hanging out, fixing their hair, avoiding doing any actual work, they don’t study, and they just plain don’t show up for school a lot. While at school they shout at each other across the salon floor, talk to each other about their sex lives, drugs, alcohol, and other trashy things while working on clients. A bunch of girls didn’t even come to school on Saturday for a long time! The salon runs Tuesday to Saturday. It’s mandatory that you come on Saturday. And they just didn’t show up because they didn’t feel like it, every single Saturday.

Almost all of the senior class in school right now is on academic probation. For real!

Now, I don’t know if this applies to your friend, since I don’t know your friend. It could be that she is a great student and that school is crap. But from my experience, that’s not the conclusion I would jump to first. (And it sounds like you don’t entirely believe her stories either.)

I’m going to digress a bit here… You know, a lot of people expect guys to be amazing hair stylists, and a lot of girls feel that guys have an unfair advantage and succeed in this industry more easily than girls. People just expect me to be amazing (and while I may be some day, I’m definitely not amazing right now!), and think I have a free ride through school and the industry, they think teachers are nicer to me and give me better marks than them because I was born with two different chromosomes. Not because I work harder than them.

I think the school atmosphere is the perfect example of why this appears to be true. Socially, men are pushed away from careers like being a hair stylist – you have to fight against the current to become a hair stylist if you’re a guy, because there is a lot of real social pressure trying to stop you. But a lot of girls go into cosmetology on a whim, or because they like playing with their own hair, or because they think it will be an easy career where they can just hang out with their friends all day long.

So from a birds eye view, you might think it’s true: There are a few guys that seem to be doing better than average, a few girls doing better than average, and a LOT of girls just doing average and below average.

But it only looks that way because guys are pre-screened to weed out the ones who don’t really care. No man just “falls in” to being a hair stylist. A lot of women do. And you run into a lot of them in hair school. What you’re really seeing is proof that people who are determined have better than average chances of succeeding.

I can tell by how you write, and the fact that you e-mailed me, that you really do care about being a hair stylist. Don’t let the girls who don’t care stop you from being a great hair stylist! And don’t let their attitudes rub off on you. As I’m learning more and more everyday, this is an industry where you determine your own level of success. I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase a million times before (I know I have! Hello, entry level jobs at every company I’ve ever worked at…), but in the hair industry it’s really, really true. And the bottom line is, all the responsibility is on you, nobody is looking out for you, and a lot of the girls in cosmetology school are about as responsible and independent as a a member of the Royal Family.

Well I think I’ve rambled long enough, time for me to get off my soap box!

And it sounds like your upcoming hair chance would be great material for your blog – make sure to take lots of before and after pictures! See if you can get some in-progress pictures too!

Ps. I don’t think there’s anyone cooler to rein-in than someone as passionate about hair as you clearly are. 🙂

Pps. This only seems appropriate, after all my ranting about the majority of cosmetology students:

Leave a Reply