Summer is fading and the nights are rolling in, September is approaching and that means new terms will be beginning in colleges with a fresh batch of hair school students. Whether you’re returning for advanced tuition or starting completely fresh, it’s time to get excited about this new chapter. So what should you be expecting? I’m not an educator so I shouldn’t really be shouting about tips and other such things, but I can at least mention a few things that I picked up from my time in school and parrot some advice that people told me or I picked up from others all round the net.
First up, let’s talk kit, since we all love a good brush, don’t we? If you paid for a kit as part fo your class, it was probably quite expensive, it will probably, unfortunately, be full of things that are not very good. That’s OK though, at this stage, you might want to take some time to learn what you actually want and any preferences you might develop over time. I suggest almost immediately buying a good quality cutting comb. They’re relatively cheap and you’ll get a lot of use out of it over the coming year. You might even find that having a nice quality piece of kit in your hands at this stage can help to boost your confidence. Aside from the comb, just upgrade pieces of your kit as and when you begin to use them on a regular basis. As you use different things, you’ll get more of a feel for what you like and perhaps what’s lacking in your current piece of kit, which will really help you to make a purchase that won’t sit gathering dust for the next year. Doing it this way spreads the cost over the year and really helps to make you think about your tools, what you like and dislike and helps to get to grips in that whole area. Once you begin cutting real clients, which won’t be long (!!) you might consider buying a new pair of scissors. Buy the best you can afford, as a good pair of scissors will last you a long, long time. (You can check out my scissor buying guide for any help you might need here)
Clients and those first time nerves
Talking of clients… Don’t be afraid! All of your clients will be understanding that you are in school, they would all happily allow you to take your time and do the best job you can, rather than rush for commercial time and then sit and watch as your tutor fixes all your errors. Which is another thing to mention, hair schools have got to be the best kept secret in hairdressing. Whenever I tried to get clients through friends or family, or really anyone who would listen, people often felt concern about getting a cut at a school. The thing you’ll hopefully realise very quickly, however is that the school environment is really a great environment to get your hair cut in. The student will give each client 110% of their concentration and if worse comes to worse, your tutor will be on hand to either explain and allow you to fix, or if things are really bad, fix errors themselves. As a client, you really can’t go wrong. As a learner, this is something you should always keep in mind, if you consider the previous, there really is no reason to be nervous as there really isn’t anything to be nervous about. Well, except perhaps making the worlds most biggest most worst mistake ever!!
Which won’t happen by the way. As above, there really won’t be a mistake you can make that will end the world. You may feel like you’ve failed and you might not feel very good about making mistakes (For the record, I never saw a mistake that was actually something that could be considered “bad” or really anything that was worse than a minor hitch.), but try to see it another way; There will most likely never be a time in your life after school where you can make mistakes with more or less zero repercussions. If you do make a mistake, or if the cut or colour or whatever you do doesn’t look how you’d hoped, take a bit of time to reflect on what happened and try to see it as a positive learning experience. You’ll learn a lot from your mistakes and you can rest easy, knowing that you probably won’t make the same mistake ever again. Learn as much as you can, all the time, even if it’s from a mistake.
Getting the most from the short time
About that “learning as much as you possibly can”, this should be a priority for you. School isn’t a long time and after you’re done, expect to be paying a small fortune for education during the rest of your career. It’s so important to get the most out of it, so how can you do that? For starters, do your best to get along with your tutors, you may find this easy, you may not, but regardless, they know more than you and are a source of information you need to tap into. Ask questions about everything you can think, silly questions, difficult questions you can’t really explain, anything, just ask. I used to carry a small book around with me and when I was out in the street, I’d look at peoples hair and try to work out how it had been cut/coloured/styled etc. If I couldn’t work it out with any confidence (often), I’d write about it in the book, forming questions about what I couldn’t understand to ask my tutors during my next lessons. At first I worried that my tutors would get sick of me, but in reality the truth is that they’ll probably appreciate your enthusiasm and you’ll learn so much that wouldn’t normally be taught in the curriculum this way.
Aside from that, you should probably just enjoy it and you’ll be a star. Any other tips, feel free to comment and if you’re reading this as a worried student to-be, stop worrying and focus on how exciting this new chapter is going to be!
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