Becoming a Hairdresser
Not everyone needs a four year university to follow their dreams
One sick day home from high school I sat on my iPod and watched all 72 videos of Cute Girls Hairstyles on YouTube. I watched braid after braid video completely fascinated with how beautiful hair could look. This was a start of two very strong passions; hair and spending countless hours diving deep into YouTube, and I will report, neither has changed.
I wanted to learn more, so I started watching makeup, hair, and fashion videos every chance I could get, and spent weekend after weekend trying different looks for practice. Don’t let it fool you, I too went through the scrunched gel curls and thick circular eyeliner phase, but we’ve definitely made a long way from here.
Now it wasn’t all roses and yellow brick roads to get to the comical, solidified in my decision making hairdresser I am today. I started at a four year university right out of high school. This school was outstanding. It was exactly everything I wanted but yet... it wasn’t. I couldn’t settle into anything. Major after major, nothing was quite right and being surrounded by people who had known they wanted to be a nurse since they were seven years old wasn’t making it any better. The classes were fine, the after class activities were better (but those are for another story another day). The degree and jobs that followed suit with those majors didn’t resonate with me that it was the right choice. So I was directionless.
One conversation changed it all. My suitemate asked, “if you could do anything what would it be?” I thought for a few minutes and said what I had already known for a long time—hairdresser and makeup artist. Her following response set everything in motion; “so why aren’t you?” A simple four-worded question that I didn’t know the answer to. Nothing was stopping me, absolutely nothing physically but maybe... mentally.
I knew I wanted to be a part of the cosmetology world where trends and creativity take lead but trade schools aren’t the normal. The questions you receive during senior year are not, “what are you going to do after school?” It’s “what college are you going to?” The moment you say you’re going to a community college or a trade school the tone of the conversation goes downhill, and you can feel the sudden shift of distaste in their voice.
There’s a certain stigma surrounding all those who choose a different route other than a four year school. Society makes an already difficult decision and makes it increasingly harder because now you’re not only making a decision about what your future is suppose to entail but now what others will think about what you choose and what it says about you. Are you coping out? Want the easy route? As if your pursued career has less value, takes less knowledge and is of lower status because it didn’t take four years to get to that career.
Here’s the thing, those people, the people who look down on non-four-year-degree careers aren’t the ones waking up everyday getting out of your bed, putting on your shoes and working your job day in and day out. Choosing a job, a career, a life is not a show and tell of what impresses the masses, it’s about choosing something that makes you happy. It won’t always be a vacation with no bad days there is no such thing as that, but it’s what sits deep in your mind that that is what you were meant to be.
I tell this now because I wish I had someone out there to tell me I don’t need to feel ashamed about my decision to be a hairdresser. Every career is needed. What would the world be like with all business men and no doctors? All teachers and no farmers? Completely eliminate one full career out of the economy and saturate a different career and everything would be out of balance. Every field is important it’s what makes our community as diverse as it can be. If I knew what I knew now I’d have less debt and would have been in my destined career for much longer. Every career, your chosen career is vital and if it doesn’t involve a four year school it just means you get to the good stuff faster.