This day seemed forever away when I started school back on December 6th 2010. Looking back on my 10 months at Empire I realize how much I have changed and grown into the person I was always searching to become. Becoming a hairdresser was what I always wanted to be but thought it was too obvious of an answer – when soul searching at 18-years-old to figure out what direction to take in life. That’s why I attended 5 different colleges and tried out every major under the sun; ending up with a Bachelors degree in Business from Kutztown University. Still in the back of my mind I knew I didn’t find my groove. Finally signing up for beauty school at 25-years-old and completely changing my life was the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. It’s been a long bumpy road but I can truly say I’m happy from the inside-out everyday. I wish happiness for everyone who is in an unhappy position in their life, look inside yourself, be brave and follow your heart.
Finally graduated! I did it!
I’ve scheduled my boards for October 22nd, I’m so nervous but Empire has overly prepared us for our boards from our first day of school. Check back in a few weeks for an update on my boards :)
Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout school. I’ve made some great friends that I will never forget. XOXO
Thought of the day: “Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” – Bill Bradley
This weekend I attended the Masters of Beauty Tour in Philadelphia. It is truly inspirational to be in the presence of Nick Arrojo and his team of stylists. The morning started out listening to Nick talking about how to be successful and struggles he’s gone through to become an amazing hairdresser. Even thought he’s at the top of our industry he’s still always striving for bigger and better, always looking for ways to improve and inspire people. Nick and his team demonstrated cuts and color techniques as part of the morning show. After lunch we learned how to do the cuts and color techniques they demonstrated. I loved how it was so hands on, and Nick and his team walked around helping us.
Overall, it was a great day and I signed up for a skills class to take in the spring. The skill classes are held at Empire schools and are even better than the tour because you are in a small class and get close attention from Nick’s team helping you learn the new techniques. If you’re interested in signing up for classes visit www.mastersofbeauty.com – Hope to see you in the next skills class :)
Thought of the day: Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally. – David Frost
It’s been a few weeks of being full time on the salon floor and I have been very busy. I’m losing track of what day of the week it is! But I love it, it’s nice to be busy all day long, making people look good and the customers leaving your chair happy.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to help a friend donate her hair to Locks of Love. The minimum donation is 10 inches, colored and permed hair is accepted (bleached hair is not) and the hair must be braided or put into a pony tail before cutting. I forgot to take a picture of the finished haircut but she looked great with her new shoulder length haircut :) Thanks Bernadette!
Thought of the day: ”How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard
It’s sad to say but this was my last week of class and I’m officially a super senior (also known as a tech sheet student). I’ve finally finished my curriculum and will now be on the salon floor everyday of the week. Our schedule was structured 2 days a week in the classroom and 3 days on the salon floor. I’m excited to be in the salon everyday to get my quotas finished, I’ve completed all of my chemical textures, colors, nails, and facials. All I need to finish up are 40 haircuts, 30 shampoo styles and 8 scalp treatments. The countdown is on – 5 more weeks!
Today I did a spiral perm and it came out beautiful! The girl had long thick hair so I thought it was going to take forever, but I was able to complete it in less than 3 hours. She was so happy with the perm she gave me a big hug. Making someone that happy makes everything worth it, because your talent has touched that persons life. It was a good day :)
Stayed tuned for my final countdown until graduation!
”To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” ~ Anatole France
I’m in my last few weeks of theory before I’m out on the floor full time and preparing for graduation. I can’t believe how fast time has flown by! The next couple weeks are hair braiding and hair additions. I came to school unable to braid – I could braid a pony tail but could not french braid or corn row. I have to say by the end of this week my hands were sore from 2 fulls days of braiding, but I’m proud of myself because I have greatly improved and feel much more comfortable.
Above is my entry into our braiding competition and below is some of my classmates work.
After practicing braiding for a week we started hair additions, adding in braiding hair (the blue and orange hair) and learning how to glue and sew in extensions. It was tough at first because all last week I learned to braid only using my index and middle finger, but when you’re braiding in extensions you have to use all of your fingers to keep the knot tight and close to the head. I got the hang of it and did a pretty good job!
I really liked these few weeks of braiding and extensions. I’m super excited because next week we are making wigs! I’m going to make myself a big curly one :) I can’t wait! Check back next week for pictures of the wigs!
Thought of the day: “If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” ~ Gail Sheehy
For some crazy reason I love doing nails! This week of advanced nail I’ve been looking forward to since we did nails in pre-salon. We started out the morning learning the importance of the chemicals used, how to handle the chemicals, finding the perfect ratio of powder to liquid, how to size nails, and proper application of acrylic nails. I was able to apply my own nails (shown below) I’m proud of myself because that was the first time I’ve ever used acrylic.
While doing my nails I was thinking about how most people get their nails done at little shops in the mall instead of by a cosmetologist at a salon. I know where I live there are not too many other options but I used to go to a lady in Hazleton that had a little shop and she did my nails better than anyone. I’m sad she moved because she was awesome at nails. Moral of my story – give the nail tech at your hair salon a chance, because I’m sure she will do an amazing job :) The possibilities are really endless when it comes it nails, so ask your nail tech about all your options! And depending on what you want a lot of money can be spent on have them done so uniquely. For example, my teacher told us a story about how she ruined her favorite shirt so she cut little pieces off of it and put it in her nails under the acrylic! Awesome right? I never even knew such possibilities existed!
My next blog: Our school just got the equipment for Shellac Nails! This has become one of the biggest nail trends, if done right, should last for 2 weeks with no chipping! I hope to purchase the system soon :)
Thought of the day: “Do or do not, there is no try.” ~ Yoda
I grew up with a hairdresser in my house. Anytime I wanted my hair up or braided I’d just ask my Mom to do my hair. So I was never one of those girls that taught herself how to put he hair up or learned how to french braid – which makes long hair design a challenge for me. Monday I spent the day braiding, twisting, pinning, looping my blonde blonde mannequin. I did all right for my first time learning updos but I need a lot of practice. Some people in my class are naturals with updos and did a beautiful job on all of our assignments. By the end of the day I felt a little more comfortable but what I feel like I need to learn is how to take a hairstyle and break it down to figure out how to do it. This is certainly going to take time and practice to perfect. Do you have any updo tips you can share with me?
(4 strand braid and a knotted looped updo)
We’re finally starting artificial nails and I’m so excited because I absolutely love doing nails! First we are learning acrylic and next week we are learning shellac and nail art!
Thought of the day: ”Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway.” ~ Mary Kay Ash
Happy 4th of July!
I haven’t forgotten about all of you! I’ve been busy and out of school for a few days last week. Now I’ll be back to my normal blogging :)
During our weeks of color we went a bit off track when a student teacher brought in a guy to teach us more about men’s haircutting. He does have a cosmetology license, not a barbering license so he cannot ‘by law’ shave anyone with a straight razor in a salon. That is the difference between and hairdresser and a barber. Which to me is silly, in Pennsylvania we should just learn barbering while we are in cosmetology school I know there are other states that do include it in the program. Anyway, the presentation was great he taught us about fading and how he put his lines in the head first to mark where he wants to start and stop the fade and then goes back and perfects the cut.
It’s wonderful when professionals volunteer their time to come in and teach us something that they know. I know I’m always interested in the way someone else does a haircut, color, etc because I want to pick up new techniques. If you’re a professional and reading this and are interested in volunteering your time call any Empire School near you and tell them you are willing to come in and either speak or do a presentation. We appreciate it more than you know. Thanks for coming Patrick!
This week we’ve started speciality design and we’re doing finger waves, twists, cornrows, creative design and chemical relaxing. Next post will be pictures of my creative designs :)
Thought of the day: ”Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
It’s the first week of advanced color and since we had Monday off we only had one day of theory. For our practical we looked up pictures of peek-a-boo highlights and spent the afternoon replicating the picture or idea we found.
I decided to bleach the top of Angel’s head – there is a greater challenge in bleaching Angel’a hair than you know. Our mannequins are made of real human hair, BUT they have been tinted to make the whole head one color. Angel’s hair is dark but some of the hair strands are made of dark hair and some are blonde pieces colored dark brown to match. So when you bleach Angel, there is a great variety in the hair strands. Some are more stubborn than others and look a golden yellow and other strands are white! I found it interesting to see how light I can get Angel’s hair and as I suspected it wasn’t easy because I used bleach and 40 volume peroxide and put her in the wig dryer- twice. As a warning do not do that to a person. I did it because she’s a mannequin and she feels no pain.
(I was so excited to put pink on her hair that I forgot to put gloves on :P )
I was really pleased with my peek-a-boo highlights. The fun in these type of highlights are that you can style it different way to accentuate whichever colors you feel like that day. Anyway, this was a contest and I won fourth place :) Go me!
Next week is more of advanced hair color and it will be a full busy week! My aunt from Colorado is coming to get her hair done at school and I’m very excited :)
It’s finally the weekend! XOXO enjoy the sun :)
Thought of the day: “There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” ~ George Shinn
Today was the last day of corrective color. This week was short because Monday we went to the Easton hospital to do services for Nurses Appreciation Day, and Friday we are off for an inservice day, and Monday is Memorial Day – 4 day weekend :)
Anyway, today we had a dimensional color contest. I chose to use Courtney that we have colored in pre-salon, so she was colored and highlighted different on each side of her head. I did peek-a-boo highlights on Courtney taking larger slices of hair to be colored. I lightened her to make some blonde, some light gold brown and some red. I’m really happy with the outcome. I was able to practice highlighting with two different colors and then coloring in between the highlights. Go me!
This was a coloring contest and there were so many beautiful styles. AND I won second place :) My friend Jaime won first place below! So proud of everyone – we worked hard today.
Next week should be intense when we start advanced color – we were told it’s going to be a lot of coloring workshops. So check back next week for a peek at advanced color!
Tomorrow we are on the salon floor all day then it’s nice little holiday weekend!
Happy Memorial Day – Thank a Soldier this weekend!
Thought of the day: “And each man stands with his face in the light of his own drawn sword. Ready to do what a hero can.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning