Tag Archive | opinion

Can You Achieve Healthy, Relaxed Hair?

Girls who relax their hair will occasionally get the dreaded question: “Have you ever thought about going natural?”  Why is there a push or lean for women who relax to go natural?  The most common answer to that is that relaxers are damaging… or are they?

Opinion
The idea that relaxers aren’t good for your hair honestly depends on what your version of “good” means.  To say that a chemical relaxer “damages” hair is an opinion.  Do not forget that hair is dead – that’s why it doesn’t hurt when you cut it.  The only thing that you can do to your hair is … preserve the dead state.  It’s almost like taking a junk car (hair) and smashing it (applying a relaxer) and saying that it’s damaging to the car.  The car already doesn’t work.  So if your hair is already dead when a relaxer is applied… is it really damaging the hair?  Preserving dead hair is all what being natural means.  After all, a single strand of hair only has a life of about 7 years before it sheds.

Relaxed hair doesn’t grow long
Yes and no.  Again this depends.  When girls relax their hair, it is usually also blow dried and straightened.  It might even be bleached for color.  Those three processes alone can “damage” the hair even on natural/preserved hair.

You’re trying to meet European standards of beauty
No no and nope.  Do not believe for a second that anyone relaxes their hair and thinks “boy, I sure do hope I look whiter today!” People do not understand and underestimate the difficulty and time spent on natural hair.  It is not in everyone’s desire to spend hours detangling, washing, twisting, or deep conditioning every week.  The texture of natural hair can also be extremely difficult to manage especially if we haven’t been used to it.  Hair is hair.  It is there to be manipulated.

So with that being said, is it possible?
It all depends on what you think is healthy.  Hair is dead.  Whatever changes happens to your hair just depends on how much you value hair being preserved.  Why do you think our common hair products have those weird, periodic table ingredients in them?  They’re essentially… preservatives.  So why the push for natural ingredients?  Natural ingredients cause less “damage” to the hair as they don’t create buildup or further, slight chemical changes.  So it’s all an opinion.  If you choose to relax, let people know that all hair is dead.

 

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Picking a cosmetology school?

As a college student, it is the norm to think about my future.

I really want to get into cosmetology school in the future.  I already enjoy doing my hair, nails, and makeup so why not become a card-carrying, licensed professional?  My ultimate goal would be owning a natural hair salon since I feel there is a lack of stylists who are familiar with our textures.  There are too many horror stories with naturals going to the hair salon.

I would also like to help the community by putting together a program where people can get free haircuts and hairdos for interviews and school.  I would call it “First Impressions”.  The first day of school or a job interview can be heavily impacted just by the way you look.   I would like to achieve this by doing fundraising to buy the tools, sterilization, and venue to run the program.  Fundraising activities could be hair shows, selling wigs or weaves, and portions of my own salon services.  I would then like to build a team of other licensed professionals to help with the program.  Future expansion projects could mean adding in donated interview clothes, or having speakers come in and give interview tips.  I would time these programs around popular job fairs, August (first day of school) and January (back to school).

My main obstacles with going to cosmetology school is choosing the right school and coming up with the money to attend.  I really don’t want to go to a high-end school just to learn something that they’ll teach you in a community college.  At the same time, I don’t want a community college to look bad on my resume (not always the case).  With a profession like cosmetology, I believe your portfolio speaks more than what school you went to.  Half of these great MUAs and hair stylists on Instagram or Youtube never stepped foot in a cosmetology school.  I just really want to say that I am licensed to perform these services.  Also, cosmetology school is expensive.  Roughly between 10k-25k.  So before I actually dive into this, I will of course have to work a job, get my life together, pay my previous student loans, and then revisit this again.

Paul Mitchell
I visited Paul Mitchell in the Fall of 2015.  I brought my roommate with me.  When we got there, the teachers were enthused to see me.  I took a tour and they talked about the history, the kit I will get, and the costs of attending.  What I disliked about the school is that they seemed eager for money… right away.  They basically told me that I should postpone my senior year of college and attend their school instead.  Then, they tried to convince my roommate to also attend the school after she showed no interest of attending.  I managed to see the current students in action and they seemed very relaxed.   I can tell they were very liberal and probably have not gone to college yet.  I spoke with the students briefly and they said they loved the school.  Overall, my experience at Paul Mitchell was good but I did not leave feeling excited.

  • Tuition: $15,000
  • Materials: $3,500

 

Aveda
What really drew me to Aveda is that my three favorite hair gurus are licensed from Aveda – TheGlamTwinz and MoKnowsHair.

Kendra and Kelsey (TheGlamTwinz)

Monica Stevens (MoKnowsHair)

I visited Aveda July of 2016.  I was in a group tour but I did not bring anyone with me this time.  The person giving the tour seemed more realistic and professional.  I visited the school during a holiday so I did not get a chance to see the students.  The school seems very hands on and challenging.  Again, the tour guide went over the kit I will be getting, the history of Aveda, and the costs of attending.  By the way, the tour guide put a lot of emphasis that we will be getting an iPad as a part of our kit… I can get an iPad on my own *eye roll*.  Overall, my experience at Aveda was better than what I experienced at Paul Mitchell.  I liked that it seemed more serious, professional, and caring.  They also stressed that their products are all natural and that they love to give back to the community.  However, because it was so similar to Paul Mitchell, I now see them as competitors selling the same product rather than two unique entities.

  • Tuition: $18,000
  • Materials: $2,500

 

Community College
I haven’t actually toured this particular community college but I learned a lot from their website.  Their cosmetology program is new and it usually takes about two years to complete (instead of 1 year at the high-end schools).  Also, with this two year program, you will earn an Associate degree in Applied Science in Cosmetology AS WELL AS your license. High-end schools only offer a license.  Also, this community college offers classes for you to become a natural hair specialist, separate from their core cosmetology program.  Not only that, it’s also cheaper than the high-end schools.  Sounds like the way to go, right?  Yes, I am leaning towards this option definitely.  I feel like getting a degree AND paying less is getting more bang for your buck.  Granted it takes longer but years honestly go by quickly than you think.

  • Tuition: $5,250
  • Materials: $5,800

If anyone has an experience with a cosmetology school they went to, please comment below!