SOCIAL MEDIA

20 September 2013

What Beauty School Taught Me


 My graduation flowers: chosen because I was elected "Most Colorful Hair and Clothes" at my school. Seems appropriate.

I'm licensed.

I've completed my state board exams and all required hours of training as well as far more than the minimum number of times that the state requires for each individual service. (By the time I got out of school, I was nearly 600 haircuts in).

What have I learned? My Grandpa always taught me not to let any year of my life go by, not to let any difficult experience pass, without learning something, for if I didn't learn anything, that time that I spent, the pain that I went through, had been for naught.


Since September 2012, I have learned plenty.


I've learned that 1500 hours is significantly longer than it sounds.

I've learned that if I ever own a business, I will make treating my employees and clients who pay to keep my business going with grace and respect a top priority--this would include providing employees and clients with clean restroom facilities. Pinching pennies and making an extra buck wherever you can is not worth making everyone who knows the way you run your business hate you.

I've learned that a strict dress code is just another word for "cruel and unusual punishment." But that's just me. I know lots of people in the world live with dress codes and enjoy their life but, man, that's gotta be tough. Wearing all black is cool once in a while, but 4 days a week for months on end wears me out.

I've learned that when you work in a service profession, some of your clients are going to treat you very poorly, and other clients are going to act like you're the the best part of their day. Sometimes the mean ones will give you really good tips, and sometimes the good ones won't leave you any tip at all, but you don't mind because they are a pleasure to serve. People are funny. The good ones make up for the bad ones, and the interesting clients are the best of all.

It's the experiences that stretch you, that get you out of your comfort zone, that you will be most proud of. I recently had a client who didn't speak a word of English. They assigned her to me, because I understand Spanish better than any of the other cosmetology students. I quickly discovered that my cosmetology-related Spanish is not that great, and that her Peruvian Spanish sounded slightly different than the Mexican accents I'm used to. But I did manage to understand what she wanted, and I was able to let her know that I understood. She left happy, and I was proud--that experience taught me that even though I might not be fluent, I was able to handle a Spanish-speaking client and give her the haircut she wanted. Hurray!

I've learned that I really, really love writing. My passion is for working with words. I never get enough of it. During slow times at school I'm constantly jotting down ideas and outlines for blog posts or magazine articles that I want to write, and when I get home, I can't wait to get on the computer and start typing away. Funny how it took beauty school to teach me that.

I also learned how to perm, cut hair, change its color, and give an enjoyable facial, manicure, or pedicure. I've also learned that I never, ever want to go to a salon to get my hair permed, colored, or higlighted, and that I will never get acrylic nails or a pedicure. Learning about all those chemicals and the negative impact that they have on the health of your hair and skin was an eye-opener for me. Add to that everything I learned about salon prices and sanitizing procedures, and I'm even more likely to stay away. This doesn't mean I won't put crazy colors back in my hair--I'll get Angel or Lizzy to help me do that at home someday. And I'll keep painting my own nails and toenails. But you probably won't catch me in a salon unless I'm working!

Furthermore, I did NOT learn how to wax eyebrows. I simply refused. I'm not a fan of hot wax + skin.
Anonymous said...

So happy for you and all that you learned! Congrats!

Imogen said...

Congratulations, that is a wonderful achievement. I just love this way of thinking, being able to learn from every experience.

Carolynn Markey said...

Congrats! I bet you are happy to be done! I can't wait to see what you do next :)

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

Eeek. I get my hair coloured in a salon and I sometimes go in for a mani and pedi. Am I ruining my health?

bisous
Suzanne

After Eleven Blog said...

I have friends in the hair business and I've heard similar things, especially the one about how the shop owner treats them - and hey, as far as dress code goes....stay away from the 3 b's and other than that let them dress how they want...no boobs, no butt, no belly - ha.

Whitney said...

Congrats girl!

I had a job years ago where we had to wear all black. It was easy, because I never had to pick out an outfit, but I hated it. I

Elizabeth said...

Congrats Rachel! I'm due for a haircut...I want to be your next client! I've never gotten acrylic nail, though I did get UV gel a few times, and regretted the damage it did.

Angi said...

You learned some great stuff! CONGRATULATIONS on finally being licensed!!! I'm so happy for you!

Lenya said...

Congrats Rachel! Your Grandpa is a very wise man.
I totally understand that you refused to learn how to wax eyebrows.

have a lovely day sweetie.
Lenya

Angela Wiebe said...

fantastic post! Brought back so many memories of my beauty school days!! Congrats on getting your license!!

Deidre said...

Wow! What a big year for learning :) I always wonder if I'm a good hair stylist client...I think probably not. Not because I don't tip (well, i don't, but in Australia they don't tip so I'm not being rude) but I just always feel weird chatting about life with a stranger! I'd feel much better about it if it were a blog friend :)

Anonymous said...

Congrats to you! What a great accomplishment. I can see how wearing black all the time could be depressing too. I also enjoy working with words. Writing has been so fun these days for me. :)

xoxo

lisa said...

I had a job for a couple of years that I had to wear black everyday and I think it scarred me ;) I rarely wear it anymore! I just got my hair done today by a friend fresh out of hair school. It's so much work- what a great accomplishment!

LeiShell said...

Congrats! What an accomplishment! I think it's ironic you do hair and such but won't get it done yourself! I just got mine done today. I do agree with acrylic nails though. Those things wrecked my nails when I did them. Enjoy the next venture! No more school!

Dressing Up For Me said...

I too am not a fan of hot wax and skin and the service profession really requires lots of patience especially when treating clients but it develops your social skills. ;)

Areeba said...

Congratulations!!! You learnt a lot! :)

kateprs said...

Congrats! I used to go to the salon when I was able to get my mom to pay for the fees, but now that I am on a grad student budget, that's not happening. I cut my own hair and paint my own nails. I didn't know that pedicures could be bad for you-- in fact I thought the opposite!

P.J. said...

Congrats! It's a profession where you should always have work. I've actually been debating going back to school -- barber school -- as it's something I always though I wanted to do when I was a kid. I think it would be a fine choice! :)

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

You are one smart cookie! I wish I knew ANY of this stuff, especially with my hair. I'm terrible with it =-(

Laura Darling said...

You got quite an education at beauty school! :)

Annetta Bosakova said...

This was so awesome to read!! I loved "I've learned that a strict dress code is just another word for "cruel and unusual punishment." "

Lanaya | Raising Reagan said...

Congratulations on your license! And I love your graduation flowers - what an honor that your classmates bestowed on you! :)

¤´¨)
¸.•*´
(¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
Raising-Reagan.com

AiringMyDirtyLaundry said...

Yay for being licensed. That's awesome. Waxing stuff freaks me out too. I refuse. It's why I rock bushy eyebrows.

DressUpNotDown said...

Congrats!

My sister (the Stylist) just left a job where she had to wear black and/or white every day and no patterns/prints! She was getting more and more grouchy the longer she worked there. She now works for Armstrong McCall and can wear color and patterns with abandon (which she does of course).

Lesson learned...us colorful people cannot be forced to wear Black, we just can't take it for very long. :o)

www.dressupnotdown.blogspot.com

Nicola Kirsty said...

I'm so incredibly behind the times but I Iove the new look of this place!

Congratulations on graduating :) Those flowers are gorgeous.

Sam M said...

That's so great that you were able to finish and take your exam. I bet it feels so good to be done! I totally agree about the acrylic nails. Bleh.

Veronica Lee Burns said...

So excited for you! All you've learned, all you've grown in and all the new to come!

Maggie B. said...

Congrats!!!

Gotta say - as nasty as it probably is, I love my acrylic nails. But that's because my actual nails are horrible and don't grow at all. =( And I also love pedicures. =)

And... dress codes are evil. So are crappy bosses.

Chelsey Patti said...

Interesting post, thanks for sharing Rachel! ...though, now I don't want to go to the salon any more either... haha

http://chelseypatti.blogspot.com