September is finally here and for all you that have left school, it's also the start of something new! Some of you might stay on to sixth form at your high school and some of you might leave to go to college, it's all down to what you want to do! Since my blog is a place I like to share all my experience in my life, I thought that I would write a whole blog post about my experience with college. Fun!
When I was 15 and about to leave school, I was adamant that I wanted to be a Hairdresser and as soon as my exams were finished, I started looking into local colleges to see which offered the best course. I soon made my decision and even a few days after being accepted, I was straight to buying my kit and uniform. Excited was not the word!
The hairdressing courses took place off campus in it's own building but for induction we all had to go to the main building to be put into our classes. At first I was so nervous as I knew no body but when we were put in our classes and we started introduction exercises and games, I soon settled in and even made a few friends!
Now like I said above, our campus was a bit way from the main campus so the only other students we saw was other hair and beauty students or the child care students who were in the floors above us. That meant no boys apart from the ones in our classes and even then there was only 3. Gutted!
The course's classes themselves were divided up into two parts; theory and practical and both were equally fascinating to me. Although the practical part was fun as you could actually get in the salon and get practising on your friends or your dummy head, I did also enjoy the theory as there was so much to know about hair!
As well as all the theory about different styles of cuts and which shampoo to use for which hair type, we also had to learn a lot about customer services, risk and hazards and even the nasty skin conditions that we may come across. Gross!
The most interesting thing that I probably learnt in my lessons that I still use today is the theory behind depth and tones in hair colours. I never understood the difference between 1.6 or 7.98 on the home colouring kits in Tesco but after this course I finally know what they all stand for and I can now decide on which colour to buy just based off their number code. I have also included a few pictures of my work below to try and explain exactly what I mean!
Another interesting that I learned was about CIF which stands for Critical Influencing Factors. Fancy I know ;) This means that when someone comes into a salon and asks for a certain haircut, we as hairdressers have to take in a number of different factors to see if this style would suit the client. For example, if the client has a round shaped face, we wouldn't want to cut a bob coming in at the chin as this would just extenuate the roundness. You could also take into consideration the persons job and lifestyle for example, if someone wanted a choppy pixie cut or something else that needed a lot of styling in the morning - we would suggest something a little bit easier and quicker to manage.
As mentioned above, we also spent a majority of our time in the actual salon practising our cutting and blow drying on each other and on our dummy heads. As we progressed through our course, we started to learn more technical things like perming and colouring which we also practised on each other with. I normally came home with a different cut or colour nearly every week! For free as well!
There was so much that we learned through my two years of being in college and all of it seemed so interesting! Even when we had to do boring presentations and exams, I still didn't mind as it was something I enjoyed.
As well as working hard, we also got the chance to visit the Hair Show Live which is pretty much just like Clothes Show Live but it's just about hair. Amazing! I managed to pick up a few bargains while I was there and it was also super interesting to sit and watch demonstrations from fancy Hairdressers from Tony & Guy and GHD!
The last couple of months of the course were so stressful as most of us was desperate to get friends and family members in to finish off our last bits of practical. A few of my friends had finished weeks before me but they stayed and became juniors to help out whenever you needed them to fetch things which ended up being so helpful when you're rushing around with bowls full of bleach and handfuls of foil strips!
I never thought that I'd be so emotional when it finally came around to our last day. I knew I'd see my close friends outside of college anyway but even the people I wasn't so close with I felt a bit sad that I'd never see them again. Other than leaving college with my qualification, the best part of my college experience was the people I met. I've made a few very close friends and had so many great experiences but I also met my very best friend at college and we're still friends now after nearly 8 years!
Although I never followed through with becoming a hairdresser, taking this course was probably one of the best things that I did as I learned so much about Hairdressing (obviously) but also about myself!
If anyone else is unsure of what to do next after high school or if you've reached a point where you hate your job and want to try something, all I can say is go for it! I thought I wanted to be a hairdresser so bad that when I didn't like it, I felt a little lost. But now I know that I've found something I enjoy again and I can still go back to college to study whatever I want. Not knowing isn't a bad thing, it just means you get to experiment with different things more. And if you do know what you want to be, then great!
College is a great experience and I'd recommend it to anyone!