My Very First Client
When people ask me what is the most memorable moment in hair school I answer without hesitation–my first client. The excitement, the terror. A great milestone for any future hairdresser. Your proudest accomplishment but also a students worst fear. Nothing can compare to that memory, and how it is forever imprinted in my mind. The beauty of hair school are it’s challenges; cosmetology pushes you to become a better you. Every phase of your education–another bridge to cross, another lap to run, the pressure is high but the rewards are priceless. Upon entering into Cosmetology school you have a curriculum of “Phases” each it’s own foundational core lesson and it’s own “challenge” The first phase is all book work and learning the basics. Teaching the student the “why” before the “how” ensuring they know the reasons why you’d use one technique over another, what bleach, perm solution, or hair color actually does, and making sure the student understands the fundamentals.
Phase 1 was a breeze! Pure excitement. I found myself for the first time in history excited to come to class, to crack open that book, and begin that exam. (I even read ahead at home!) I can ensure you that has never happened before. But, in the back of my mind I knew that day would come. The day I had to take what I’ve learned from a book and execute it on a perfect stranger. Peggy. She was in her mid 30′s a sweet and kind women with dirty blonde hair. Her roots were about 2 1/2 inches grown out and her ends were a 2 toned yellow. For a professional–peace of cake…but i’d have a better chance of singing the national anthem in Korean. This meant foils, my least favorite at the time. I couldn’t grasp the complexity of doing 500 things at once all while holding a conversation and a tail comb! I was terrified…I almost cried to my teacher Ms. Marie in the color room telling her I wasn’t ready and I just needed one more day. If she let me, I would use this method everyday until I was 40.
I took a deep breathe and remembered what I had learned. I just needed to take a step back and remember that this is all a learning experience, that Peggy was a nice women and that every client knows that you’re not a professional and for the most part come in with time and patience. I paced myself and made sure that my client didn’t know she was my first. With the help of my educator and educational tools and enough time to deliver a baby I finished! Her hair looked beautiful and I couldn’t have been more proud. She even gave me a $25 dollar tip! Way more than 20%. This memory is my most cherished in all of hair school, Peggy was thrilled and left feeling beautiful and rejuvenated, she couldn’t stop telling me how well I did and how amazing she left. That was the day I fell in love with this industry and a day I will never forget.
Just know my fellow students, these things take time! Even though it feels like an eternity you’ll do great and one day stand a professional on your own. Remember what you’ve learned and know that your educator is your greatest tool. You can do this! Start your career in beauty today.