I remember the feeling, sitting in my junior college math class feeling very insignificant. "
I have no idea what i’m gonna do with myself, but I know it can’t be this.” By the end of that semester I sat my mom down to explain to her why i’m not going back to college, and why I wanted to look into cosmetology school. I wasn’t sure what her reaction would be, but I should have expected the expression on her face. Excitement. She’s a hairstylist herself and had been for over 10 years. Of course she would be cool with this.
Awesome. Let’s do it.
The next day I was googling away. Where do I want to go with this? What school should I go to ? Of course my first instinct was to go with the coolest looking school, with the fancy products, and the colored hair, with the well known name. Paul Mitchell BABYYY! So I thought. When my mom saw that tuition bill. She wasn’t as into it as I was. ” What do you mean I can’t go there??!” I said ( with MAJOR attitude I might add) That’s when Mama Jackson dropped some knowledge on me. She told me I was to pick a school that was affordable and had the best passing rate. Ugh. What a buzzkill. But, she was right. Here is a tip anyone looking into Cosmetology, Esthetician , or Nail Tech schooling. The primary reason why you are going to school is for your license. Basic training yes, but the main focus is getting your certification. Your real learning and expertise will happen once you’re out in the field. Trust me.
At the time my mom was teaching once a month at West Valley Occupational School. It wasn’t fancy , there were no fancy products, no big name. However, WVOC had a 100% passing rate at the time. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT?! So that meant that every student who stepped foot into that school that completed their 1600 hours ( California Hours ) passed their state board test and received their license. Wow.
A few tips I can give to new Cosmo students…
Ask Questions! Ask questions until you’re blue in the face. No question is a dumb one, and to be completely honest that’s what school is for. Don’t just stop at your instructors, ask the Demo Volunteers, ask your Clients, ask fellow classmates. This is the fun part about school, obtaining as much outside information as possible. Don’t Feel bad for it either. This is how you become steps closer to being an amazing stylist, Because sooner or later it will be you answering the questions.
Don’t be Tardy to the Party. Cosmetology school Is where a lot of your habits are formed as a stylist. Skipping school for lame reasons like being tired, or partying too hard the night before isn’t acceptable. If you can’t be on time for school, chances are you won’t be on time for clients. That’s a very easy way to lose them.
Don’t Be afraid to Fail. You burned all of your dolls hair off? Good. Left the bleach on too long? Great! Your color came out green? Awesome. This is the time to do it, Don’t be ashamed of your mistakes. Big or small. This is what will make you a dope stylist in the future. What a perfect place to be when you mess up. You have your instructors to help. The scary part is when you have your own clients and all you have is yourself to refer to. So enjoy the help and use it to your advantage.
Take Theory Seriously! When I was in school all I wanted to focus on was the practical portion of it all. Theory is VERY important when it comes to passing your state board test. You don’t want to be scrambling around a month before your test cramming in study time like I did. Trust me it’s WAY too much stress that way.
Utilize ALL Opportunity. This is a MAJOR key. In school a lot of opportunities came up for me. Competitions, assisting gigs, additional classes, hair shows. I was apart of as much as I could handle. I was apart of a national competition that was 100% paid for by my school. I took the best blowout course from an awesome company called Ergo after they came in for a demo. I worked for free doing photo shoots, plays, hair shows. Anything I could get my hands on, I did it. It taught me how to conduct myself in the workplace early on. It taught me incredible patience, and it gave me confidence for life after cosmo school.
So, have fun because before you know it you’ll be clocking out for the last time. All in all Cosmetology school was the best time of my life. I made relationships with stylists I still talk to today. I’ve even gone back to teach my own demo class. Turns out six years later when I compare schools with others, everyone always says I had the best schooling and yes WVOC IS THE BEST SCHOOL EVER! I truly believe it was because I made it the best experience I could.