Saturday, January 31, 2009

Warning! Warning!

Oh, the stupid things you learn in cosmetology school! Since the days have been pretty boring as to what exactly we're doing (going over different color applications) and I can't repeat some of the conversations going on in the classroom as I'm trying to keep this kid-friendly (not that a kid would really read this), I have decided to share some of the truly useless (or useful, if you do use these things) factoids on some products.

First: Buying Salon Brand products in the grocery store. BEWARE! You think you're getting a stealing deal and it's so convenient...BUT there is such a thing called diversion. What happens is somehow the bottles are sold to some disreputable schmuck who will usually empty the real products and either fill them with less quality products that are REALLY bad for your hair (for the shampoos) or *gasp* lotion (for the conditioners). There have been lab tests done from the products on the shelf and probably 80% of the time, they're not the real product. Beware.

Second and last: Did you know you could technically perform a perm with Pantene Pro-V shampoo? It's true. If you roll the rods, apply the Pantene Pro-V shampoo (I think it's the shampoo, it's something in that product line), let it sit like a normal perm until desired curl formation is achieved, then neutralize it like a normal'll perm the hair. Scary, huh? THAT is what we're putting on our hair, people! Well, not me, because I've always hated Pantene.

But wait...another I've heard about but have no evidence for: If you use Prell shampoo, you might want to stop. I used to subscribe to a beauty e-zine that was e-mailed to me on a daily basis. Basically, Prell touts super-shiny hair if you use their product. When the editor of this e-zine was in beauty school, many years ago (won't say how many), they conducted an experiment. They took a lock of hair that had been cut off that day, put it in a puddle of Prell shampoo and left it overnight. The next morning, the hair had been completely dissolved. If it does that overnight, think of the damage it's doing to your hair while it's on only a few minutes! The reason it makes your hair so shiny is because it is literally stripping everything imaginable from your hair. Please, Please, PLEASE don't use Prell daily. Maybe once a month, year, lifetime to remove build-up, if it's like lacquer and won't come off any other way.

*End Rant*

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Not much to report today. We went over some procedural protocol when meeting with a client. Pretty basic stuff I had already learned by listening to some of the CD's they had provided to us.

But the big news is...I kinda found out what my haircut is going to be like! She says it's going to be short enough that I probably won't be able to pull it back into a ponytail. Probably a good thing as my hair has been pulled back every day this week. Except maybe Monday. I think I straightened Monday. She say's it's going to be madly layered with shorter layers and longer layers and it's going to be an A-line cut. That's all she'll give me.

In other news...I really want to get another tattoo (Ash, stop reading!). I can't find anybody to design it for me, though because it's kind of an obscure idea. I want a tattoo of The Three Fates. Not the nasty hag-like ones that traditional Greek mythology portrays, but winsome ones. I want it to go down my spine. I want one woman (I probably want them all hooded, just because then I don't have to deal with too much detail with the faces) spinning, maybe with a drop spindle. That represents the first Fate spinning the thread of your life. I'll show what the drop spindle looks like below. Then a line of thread waving down to another woman who is measuring the thread made. That represents the second Fate measuring how long your life is. Then another thread waving to the third Fate, who is holding a pair of scissors to cut the thread. This represents them choosing when your life will end.

Soooooooo...if anybody wants to design a tattoo for me, I cannot pay, but would much appreciate it if you're doodling to draw me a tattoo that can go down my spine. Any takers?!

Here is the original idea of the Three Fates:

Here is a picture of what a drop spindle looks like:

Also, please NO NUDES! I want these ladies clothed. And I want it tasteful. I don't want impressionistic or distorted. I want them to look like real people.

Thank you to anybody who takes on this challenge. I promise pictures if I ever get a drawing I like and get the tat done!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I love my instructors

Have I mentioned this lately? I love them! Love, love, love them! They both love curly hair.

A while ago, we were supposed to create a poster board called our dream board, full of things we want in out lives, not just hair related. I put up things like I want a house with land, a chef, to eventually get married (maybe), learn how to spin flax and remain close to my family. The usual suspects for me. Then I also put that I was to become a certified curly hair specialist. What a round that sent off around the room! Both of my instructors congratulated me on that dream and said it would take me many places, but didn't know there were places you could certify in cutting curly hair.

They both love to cut curly hair and love it period. They always make examples of myself and the other girl in the class with curly hair. They even tried to talk her out of relaxing it. I think she might have listened. I also happened to pass on the website and revealed a lot about my hair styling routine. Like the fact that I only shampoo every 2 weeks. The instructors said that was great if I can get away with it. I also revealed that I cleanse with conditioner in between like you would use a shampoo. They were fascinated! Tonight was a fabulous night!

Oh, yeah...maybe on to the learning. We learned how to bleach virgin hair (again, using conditioner) and how to bleach a regrowth. This was much easier and made perfect sense to me.

Yesterday, we were going over hair color formulations and I made a comment about henna and some of the girls in the class were shocked to find out this color wasn't my natural color. Okay, first, I have roots that are about 1/2" long. I would think it's pretty obvious it's not my natural color. Second, it's flaming orange red! How often do you really see that? And third, we've made numerous comments in class not to bleach my hair because nothing will happen because it has henna on it! Seriously, people...seriously.

Monday, January 26, 2009


We began going over the chemistry of coloring hair today.
This was my brain before class...

This was my brain after class.

I got the information in theory, they just kept chucking curveballs at us and it kinda made my head spin. And it didn't help that I had a guy in my class who says he's being coloring hair for quite some time and kept on giving the wrong answers. I had to reason my way out of the wrong answers every time! I was about to do drop-kick him in the eyebrows! Okay, I really do love him, but seriously...

Still no word on when the haircut is going to happen or if it is going to happen.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's about freaking time!

Oh, yeah, baby! Today, we finally learned "how" to do weaves. They won't let us play with real hair color yet, so we had to use conditioner. Talk about sucking eggs! We learned how to do what they call the diagonal slice. It's used for a more obvious hair color. It was a challenge to get the foils to stay where they needed to be because the conditioner was too slick. Then we learned the horizontal weave. That's for the more natural look. By then I had mastered the "SunshineGrrl method" of making my foils stay in place, but still wasn't 100% successful. When it was over, we pulled out the foils full of conditioner and just brushed out the hair of our mannequins. They need all the conditioning they can get...

In other news...I'm going to get my hair cut. I signed up for a no-cut challenge and I should have known better. Once my hair gets to a certain length, it just goes blah. I'm there. So, I talked my instructor into cutting my hair and she's planning on making it curly friendly. She's going to cut it wet, but then style it curly and catch any stickie-outies.

In sadder news, the other girl in my class with kinky hair is going in on Saturday to get her hair relaxed. Sadness! Just give me time...I'll get her to embrace her curls. I have to admit, they are a mess right now, but I think it's just because she's going in 1,000 directions all at once and is so exhausted she can't function.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Temporarily Out Of Commission

I know I haven't posted every day about my classes. That's because I've been out of commission with a cold that I got from my classmates. It made the rounds, I tell you. So, I ended up missing two days because I was sick and one day when I broke my ankle/foot/whatever. In "CORE" training, you can only miss 3 days total before you have to begin again. So I had a discussion with my instructor who was almost in tears because she was so afraid that I would have to start over. That was really touching. We made a pact that I wouldn't miss any more class, come hell or high water. I like class too much to miss it. If I'm sick and I think I'm contagious, I guess I'll go buy some medical masks so I don't pass it to others.

On an up note, I talked my instructor into cutting my hair. She's all over doing a cut that looks great curly, which I love. Right now, it's just in that in between stage where I really can't do a lot with it and it just isn't flattering when it's this long. Being able to pull it up in fancy hair do-dads are great, but it just doesn't look right with my face shape. So we're going to fix that!

Today, we went over color. I am amazed and overwhelmed with information. We went over the structure of the hair, how it interacts, the reaction of alkaline products versus acidic products. It was a super-fun, interesting, engaging night, but overwhelming just the same. Thank goodness PM has made it relatively easy to do color.

So, yeah. Nothing too exciting, just getting a little more intense now.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fabulous News!

Well, ladies and gents, I have been asked to be part of a blog group called The Daily Curl! I guess they were looking for more members and one of the posters on Naturally Curly thought of me. ME! So...after going through an interview of sorts, I was in! Now, not only do I get to post about my experiences in cosmetology school, I also get to post about one of my other passions...curly hair! Could life get any better? I submit that it cannot! Thank you Jillipoo! And thank you Jaime for giving me a chance at this. I hope I don't let either or any of you down!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Slight Change of Plans

Since I'm so obsessive about curly hair and all the products and techniques and jazz...I may occassionally interject hair observations into this blog. If you like the idea...great! If not...too bad, skip past them. This may or may not include product reviews, new routines I've found that I love, teaching curlies in my class how to treat their hair right, ranting about societies stereotyping of curlies, the overwhelming compulsion to chuck hair products at people who have tragic hair and the list goes on.

Hope at least some of you will enjoy it!

I'm so lame...

So today, I have nothing to do and I actually remembered to bring my mannequin head home to practice on. I'm supposed to be practicing braids, and french twists. So what do I decide to do with my boredom? I decided to see if my mannequin head had curly hair! So, I rinsed her hair, applied conditioner (PM Detangler if you're curious. It had dimethicone in it), rinsed again and lo and behold...she had wavy hair. I towel dried her hair and put her on the stand and forgot about her for a bit. When I remembered, I turned around and without product she had some waves and even some spirals!

And me, being the me I am...decided to take it a step further. So I rewet, scrunched out the excess water, then popped her back on the stand. I applied some product that is in my arsenal, but doesn't work for me (PM Extra Body Sculpting Foam), scrunched it in with the head facing down like I scrunch in my products. Then, since there was a significant amount of frizz (did I mention this is some seriously damaged hair?), I mixed up a concoction of water, Fruit of The Earth Aloe Vera Gel, LA Looks Absolute Styling Sport Gel and a smidge of Jessicurl Rockin' Ringlets to encourage more curl. I also tried plopping, but it's not so successful on her. The frizz seems to have significantly reduced. are some before pics. I'll post more after once she's air-dried and I've scrunched out the crunch.

The Frontal Shot. This head is surprisingly feminine. I think my other one looks like a man. And yes, those are clips in her hair. I'm using them to put some volume in her hair.

The side shot. I tweeked the color a little bit so you can see the curls better.

And...the back shot. I may be a little vain, but I think it looks like my hair from the back. I also tweeked the color on this one so you could see the curls better. Hold on, lemme see if I can find a pic of the back of my head.

Okay, maybe not quite.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Yesterday, we did a grand mixture of stuff. We started out the night doing inverted french braids, which were surprisingly easy. Then we moved to corn rows. I thought my head would explode. Those things are hard! And it didn't help that my mannequin head's hair all pushes forward. I ended up doing the braid on the crown of the head toward the forehead. Then finally, we finished with french twist. Those are surprisingly more difficult than I thought, but not too difficult.

I'm going to vere slightly off subject here because it's my prerogative. There is one instructor who wanders in all the time. He's so funny. One day last week, he was observing while we were doing french braids and the such and somehow I mentioned that my hair won't stay in a french braid. He assured me that it would. Well, I had my hair in a fake-it-til-you-make-it updo, so it probably looked longer than it is and I told him that. He insisted he could make a french braid stick. I whatevered and moved on to my next task.

So lately, he's been dropping by and (this is where I think I'm getting a little full of myself) he always seems to stop by me and just stand there. And he seems to be fascinated by my hair. Granted, it's bright red...and curly-ish, so that's usually a source for some fascination with some people even though I don't get it. Yesterday, I had my hair in another updo and I must admit, it looked pretty pimp. He came by and had been helping me with the corn rows, then just dropped by later. Somehow (conversations with him are random) we got on the subject that I haven't had a haircut since April (turns out it's more like June-July, maybe later, but it's still been a while) and he was slightly flabbergasted. Then I mentioned that it doesn't show since I wear my hair curly and don't have to worry about damage. He graciously agreed, then asked me exactly how long my hair is. I told him it was about an inch or two past my shoulders and he seemed surprised and said, "Oh, so it's pretty short." 'Scuse me...this is the longest my hair has ever been! I kept my sarcastic retort to myself and agreed because it is technically pretty short. Guess he expected it to be longer from the faux updos! point is...I can't tell if he's flirting (could be gay, I can't tell. It would be a crying shame if he were) or just wants to get his hands on my hair. I must admit, I have a half-crush on him. What makes it even more fun is that he's totally not what I go for normally.

So, the rest of the night was spent trying to duplicate a hairstyle we picked out. Because my head was so nasty, I decided to go wet it, condition it and dry it so the hair would fall backward instead of forward. Then I had to dry it. It took me so long to dry it that I didn't get a chance to actually try my style. Bummer. But I brought one of my heads home so I can practice everything this weekend.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Soooo excited!

Since we have to wear all black to school, I've been going slightly batty. I am a colorful person and wearing all black slightly depresses me. But I have found a solution! I just went and bought a bucketload (seriously) of colored makeup! This is going to be so much fun! As I experiment, if I end up with a really good makeup day...we'll just call them face days, just because I can...I'll have to document them with you. MAYBE with destructions on how I did it, though that might be a bit difficult, since I do a little here, then a little there to fix, then again on the other side to make it look more like the other side. I'm hopeless.

OH...I'm so excited. I have peach, blue, teal, lime green, orangish, avocado green, navy blue, powder blue, olive green...the list goes on.

Oh happy day!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dear Lord, kill me now!

Tonight, we did shampoo sets. We had some ghetto mannequin (not mine) heads that had the worst cuts known to man(nequin). I know I'm just a beginner, but I can usually make hair do what I want. Trying to wrap this severely uneven hair around plastic tubes was tortuous! And it didn't help that they had you put what they call GOOP (GOOP, people!) in the hair to make it easier to wrap. The consistency of this stuff was snot. I know, some of us on joke around about one hair product called Kinky Curly Curling Custard being snotlike...this GOOP (also known as setting lotion) takes the cake, people. Hands down. And if you put too much in the hair and combed it, it fell out of the hair like sheets of slime. I have to was slightly difficult to keep from gagging around this stuff.

So, after I wrapped as much as I could of my mannequin head in curlers, we put them under the dryers. By then it was too late to do anything else, so later, we're going to learn how to style it into the old-lady helmet by backcombing, so it'll last for an entire week.

Thank goodness, I'm in a night class and actual shampoo sets are few and far between. Kinda makes going longer almost worth it!

Didn't go to school last night

I'm pretty sure I'm damaged in some shape or form. To the effect that I didn't go to class last night. Maybe from our pimp team building activity, since I stretched further than any human with my short legs should be forced to stetch. And it didn't help that I slipped on the ice outside the school (my bad for parking on an ice mountain), and slipped on some ice in my driveway. I'm too broke to go see a doctor, so I had a friend who is a nurse check it. She says most likely it's either broken bones in the foot (won't go see a doctor if that's the case because they said one more break and they were going to have to pin it), or a crack in the ankle. I think I'll choose to believe the crack in the ankle theory. I have a walking boot left over from the last times I broke the bones in my foot, so she just said to wear it in the boot for 6 weeks and if it still isn't getting better, go to a clinic that will allow me to make payments.

But I will be attending class tonight, regardless of the soreness, achiness, or whatever else seems to ail me right now.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Team Building Exercises. I HATES them!

Today, we had the team building exercises. First, there were 5 people chosen out of my class to be part of a fictional committe to plan a party. Guess who got picked. Yours truly. Fabulous. Then we all got a piece of paper that stated what role we had inside the group. One was irresponsible, one was a good leader, one was a slut (seriously), one was stupid ideas and one was the comic. We were not allowed to see our own label and after a round of questions, we had to guess what role we were labeled as. BTW, we were not given a list, it was just taped to our chests. Turns out I was the comic. I don't know if that was on purpose or just by happenstance. Either way...creepy.

Then we had our team building activity with another class. We were each given a book and had to get across the room without touching the floor, always had to be touching somebody and couldn't speak or laugh. Not only that, but they could change the rules. People were being blindfolded, tied together, and one girl even had both her legs tied together. I was one of the lucky ones to be blindfolded. Turns out after they blindfolded me, there was no rule saying I had to keep it on. Great, nice to know after the fact! One poor guy got sent back like 5 times! Oh, yeah. And there were anchors that couldn't move, so we had to go around them. And there were some students who had to wait for another to pass them before they could complete the exercise.

Number one problem was the personal space. I normally don't like touching people and like my own personal space. That wasn't going to work today. I ended up hugging, holding hands tightly and even full-body contact with people. Awkward! But it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Guess this class will burst my personal bubble, huh?

And oh, yeah. I totally got slapped on the butt by one of my fellow students. was a female. It's nice to know they like me enough to be playful like that and I don't take's just unexpected. I love that I mostly get along with everybody in the class. Didn't expect that!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Oh. My. Gosh.

I'm a broken female. I don't know how I got to the ripe old age of 29 without knowing how to braid hair, but I have. I feel like I should turn in my woman's card right now.

If you can't guess, we practiced braiding tonight. The braids we learned were completely awesome, but geez! They were complicated! And the way they showed us how to do them was so confuzzling. First of all, the mannequin hair is just nasty. We found all sorts of random tidbits in the hair, from fuzz to actual thread. Thank goodness none of them had lice or other nastiness! My poor mannequin's hair was all sticking forward. I couldn't get it to lay back off her (I use the term loosely) face.

It was a fun, if slightly frustrating night. We learned how to do a cable braid (4 strands), bamboo braid (I can't even explain it, but it looks awesome), and I think a french braid. I seriously thought my brain would explode. I'm so damaged. But hey, at least I can retain my woman's card now that I officially know how to braid. It might not look good and I probably couldn't actually do it on a human head because the human would be curled in a ball in excrutiating pain, but at least I officially know, huh?

On the upside, I got permission to bring in my own products for days when we're doing each other's hair, which will not be very often according to my instructor.

Oh, yeah. We also got an introduction to PM products. It's a freaking good thing that my thoughts cannot be broadcasted. I'm pretty sure I would have been kicked out of school. Even though PM has amazing hair products and I'm slowly being brainwashed into wanting to use them, I couldn't help but almost snort at their propaganda. "Infused with lightweight silicones to help improve the condition of your hair" my ass. And pretty much all their Deep Conditioners have massive amounts of protein. That's fabu for the average bleached, damaged head of hair, but what about the people in life who need moisture, dang it?! Dry hair needs love, too...*sniff*

The Product Hunt

Last night, I talked to my instructor and told her I have a sensitivity to sulfate shampoo and silicones and asked her if it would be possible for me to bring my own products in to use instead of theirs. She suggested products that might be silicone free (Yeah, right), and was looking at them and didn't really even know what to look for, so handed the bottle to me to look through the ingredients. How can a company produce a graduate that is supposed to push products when they don't even know what's in them?

After determining the one product she thought might be silicone free had silicones in it, she went and talked to the head of the night school program to see if he knew of any products that might fall into my guidelines. They even trekked over to the store (in the school) and looked at all the bottles of shampoo and conditioners, including the new PM Pet products (Seriously, it's exactly like it sounds. Paul Mitchell products for pets). Lo and behold...nothing is sulfate free or silicone free, including the pet products.

It was suggested that I contact JPMS (the John Paul Mitchell System) by e-mail and ask them if they had any products that were silicone and sulfate free. I got home last night and hopped on their website and looked for the Contact Us part on the site. I found it, but no e-mail address. I Googled it, no dice. So, this morning, I called the number. This is one difficult company to get ahold of a live person. I had to leave a message and they're supposed to get back to me. So I'm temporarily on hold in my search to stay sulfate and silicone free while in school.

I have a feeling eventually they'll relent and allow me to bring my own products in to use, but I think I have to jump through the hoops to show due process. Guess we'll see, huh?

Edited to Add:
I heard back from JPMS. The prognosis is bad. While their shampoos are silicone free, they all have some kind of sulfate and not the coco-betaine or whatever kind. All of the conditioners have silicones in them, which would explain why all of the shampoos have sulfates in them. Bummer.

Oh, the horror!

Last night, as you know, was mini-scalp massage, shampoo, condition and blow-dry. Anticipating this activity, I did not wash my hair, just sprayed with FOTE (Fruit of the Eart Aloe Vera Gel), JMO (John Masters Organics) Orange and Silk Protein Gel mixed with hot water. I was trying to impart some moisture before it was lost. A losing battle, I now know!

We received our kits and book bags last night. We weren't anticipating receiving them until the end of next week because they were ordered late. So we went through the kits, made sure we had everything we needed. This includes a detangling comb, metal rat tail comb, regular rat tail comb, regular combs, taper comb, 6 round brushes (3 thermal and 3 boar bristle), one paddle brush, one scalp brush (but it's so hard, I would be terrified of using it on a scalp for fear of removing all the scalp while brushing), one denman looking brush and one regular brush. It also came with a mirror, clips, hair dryer with nozzel concentrator (what the heazy with not getting a diffuser, huh?!), 3/4" curling iron, flat iron, clipper set, mannequin scissors, regular haircutting shears, thinning shears and thinning blade, haircutting cape, chemical cape and an apron. Phew! You get all that?! Wait, there's more! I got two mannequin heads with a tripod stand. Yes, it is my pleasure to tote these around during my time at school.

Ladies. Have you ever gone into a hairstylist for a color, cut, DT, anything and mentioned to them that your hair is super-damaged? Trust me now when I say we've seen worse. The mannequin heads are nasty. Not only do they look drag-esque, but the hair has been super-processed to make it clean. It's grossness. On the upside? We get to decorate them however we want! Helloooooooo Sharpie collection! I'm thinking maybe drag queen. I wonder if I could pull off putting convincing freckles on them? Hmmmm...

Anyhoo...back on track. After ensuring that all our stuff was in our kits, they took them back. Took them BACK! They say to ensure that we don't lose anything, but I have my suspicions. We did get to keep our mannequin tripod and the heads. And our bookbag. We'll get our kit back in bits and pieces.

Then we moved on to the mini scalp massage, shampoo, condition and blow dry. I must admit this was scary to me. As I said, most of these girls seem to have straight hair. What are they going to do with me? We got our demonstrations, then we set to work. I was the first "guest." My partner grabbed a bit of scalp treatment (they were out of the usual tea tree oil) and did a fantastic job on the massage. Next was the shampoo. I had broached the subject with my instructor about me being sensitive to sulfates and silicones, but I'll get to that in another post as it's loooonnnngggg. She washed me, then applied conditioner, then rinsed...all with cool water as the hot water supply had been depleted by students on the floor. Great for the hair cuticle. NOT great for the guest!

We walked back to the classroom where she began to dry my hair. I think this girl has some experience in drying hair because I was quite impressed with her technique. However. The dryers they gave us get really hot and she was using a round boar bristle brush with a metal barrel. She was so intent on getting the hair taught and straightened well, which I appreciate. But the end result is that I think I might have a few heat blisters on my head. She didn't aim the airflow down the hairshaft. Just aimed it through the hair and into the metal barrel of the brush. She made a comment or two about how hot the barrel got. You would think she would have translated that to how hot the dryer might be on my hair/scalp! I bit the bullet and didn't say anything like, "Son of a biscuit woman, you trying to fry eggs on my scalp?! That dryer is hot!" Or, "That is going to leave a bald spot from the 2nd degree burns I just received there." Okay, it really wasn't that bad and I'm too lazy to really come up with something pithy. Maybe later.

It took her all of my allotted time and hers to get my hair dried to her satisfaction, but the end result was actually pretty fabulous. The more time goes by, the more people are enamored of my hair. Last night it was the depth of color and how shiny it was. Even without heat protectant products in it. Yes, my hair will scream for the next little while. After class tonight, I think I'll slather on a DT, just to placate the hair gods. I mean, I need my hair to look really good at my Grandmother's memorial service...

Sorry for the poor quality of the photos, but this is all I could get. Hope it shows up! And here are the results:
Apologies for the mega-flash. You can see how well she did.
The color doesn't show up so well...

The back. Again, the color doesn't show up too well.
I think this one makes it looke like the ends are black. I assure you, they are not!

Maybe this one is the one where the ends look black...again, they're not.
I like this because it shows the depth of the color.

Here's your cheeser smile for the camera. At the beginning of the night, my face wasn't so shiny and the freckles were hidden better.

Stay tuned for tales of the sulfate and silicone free search...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Day 2

Day two was much better than day 1. It was slightly hectic as my locker to lock all my stuff in was occupied already and it was snowing again. No matter. I made it and that's all that matters.

Day 2, we learned how we think. We did a "personality test" to determine whether we were Stringers or Groupers. Stringers, simply put, love order and a structured learning environment. They are list makers, plan every detail, etc. Groupers are very general. They like to learn a little bit of everything and can easily get distracted by other more interesting subject matter. They plan things in a broader aspect and usually do it all in their head instead of on paper. Anybody wanna hazard a guess as to what I am? I am a Grouper.

We did an exercise where the Groupers (5 of us) formed a group and the Stringers (2 groups of 4-5) formed groups and we had to plan a vacation. We had to figure out where we were going, how we were getting there, what we were going to do and what we needed to bring. Not unexpectedly, the Stringers made detailed lists and chose one location and chose many activities. Us poor Groupers...we chose 3 countries, 3 modes of getting to them, alcohol (I don't drink, but apparently my classmates are a bunch of lushes) and one other activity was planned for each location. And it was all listed in pictures. Guess we really are broad-spectrum thinkers, huh?

After that, we paired off and learned how to drape a guest (client). We learned how to use those funky haircut papers that looks like crepe paper. Ew. Then we learned how to drape using 1 towel, then 2 towels. Then that was pretty much the end of the night.

My partner lately (for the past 2 days, we end up sitting together) and I were talking with out instructor and sharing funny stories about our fathers, who all seem to be the same way (they fiddle and love to jimmy-rig things together to make them work). And we're products of our fathers, which make us good candidates for the school because you usually have to creatively solve something. We've had that as life experience, so we're right where we need to be.

Oh! And it is officially out that I henna my hair. My instructor cornered me during break and asked me if my hair color was natural (our colors are similar). I replied that it wasn't and she expressed relief as she would have to beat me down if it was. What a compliment...she likes my hair color. BUT. She asked what colors I use. So I revealed that I use henna. I expected a cringe and a lecture, but she was surprisingly cool and just told me to remind anybody who tried to lighten my hair that bleach doesn't work on me.

Day 3 promises to be interesting. We're learning how to shampoo, condition, scalp massage and blow dry. The scalp massage is done with tea tree oil and some carrier oil. They asked if anybody is allergic to peanuts. Guess who is? Me. Fantabulous. I'm already a problem maker. So, we're going to make an adjustment for me. Also, I don't use sulfate shampoos very often on my hair, so a fellow poster on suggested I just set my standards right now and bring my own hair products in to use and just say that I'm sensitive to sulfate shampoos and silicones. Brilliant! So, I'll further my problem-maker status tonight. The hair dryer portion kinda terrifies me as without product, my hair turns into a triangle of frizzy poof. Wish me luck!

Positive friends are wonderful!

Feeling out of my element with this new school dynamic in my life, I decided to post on my favorite hair board (Yes, hair board! You wonder why I'm going to cosmetology school now?),, about how I was feeling. There was a wonderful outpouring of encouragement and positive feedback. That was probably the sweetest thing I've experienced in a while, since my family was not so supportive until I actually started. Thank you all! Your words mean more than you probably know.

Everybody was utterly wonderful and supportive with my post and made me feel better about my decision and suggested I start this blog, which is why it's in existence now. So, here you go, peeps! I'll try to keep it updated, but sometimes life happens. I'll probably have more to write about in the next 10 weeks because that's part of the Core learning that teaches you everything you need to know.

In the Beginning first day in school was Jan 5th. I was supposed to start last March, but work prohibited me from starting. Then I got sick, then I had to be out of town, trying to take care of my Grandmother. Life always seemed to get in the way. It seemed like it was going to do it again when my Grandmother passed away and the family scheduled the memorial service for the Saturday after I started classes. Luckily, it turned out that they're flying me up Friday night and I come back Sunday night, so I will not miss any class. And trust me, I do not want to miss this class.

I am attending Paul Mitchell: The School. PM has an excellent reputation, plus I've met the owners and know them to be one of the most wonderful, friendly people alive. The atmosphere is so much fun. The people there are amazing!

The first day of school was a little nerve-wracking. It was snowing, I didn't know where I was going, I'm terrified of new situations, hate change and don't know what people will think of my hair philosophies. I went to class and we had to go over the legal mumbo-jumbo required by the state and that took up pretty much the whole night. My instructor is a total crack-up and I can tell already we're gonna have good times in the class. We have 4 men in out class and roughly 12 women. The first night, the men were sitting on one side of our little "U" shaped desks, pretty much like a snowball dance. I hated those things. Accursed dances.

It was still snowing and the school wanted to let everybody go so they could get home safely before the roads became icy or worse.

Thus ended my first day in class.