Although this was not a required post, I thought it would be good to do a write-up on what I learned in my first class. In other posts, this would be a good post to reference back to, since it has details about any information I may be mentioning. Without further ado, here is my first experience with hairdressing! After a week’s delay, my partner and I have successfully completed a session with our wonderful mentor, Sarah. Since this was our first lesson, Sarah decided to get us started by learning the basics of hair anatomy. She showed us a diagram with the labeled parts of each layer of hair and its purpose.
The hair cuticle is the outermost layer and is responsible for the shininess, smoothness and general appearance of the hair. 90% of a strand of hair’s weight is from the cortex, or the middle layer of hair. There is protein in the core of the cortex that is called medulla. Medulla is also known as the innermost layer of hair, and consists of round cells. However, not everyone’s hair has medulla; the thicker the hair, the more likely it is to have it.
Sarah showed us this picture that showed a close-up of how the cuticle would look when the hair is healthy vs. extremely unhealthy. After the quick overview of hair anatomy, we moved into the fun stuff. Sarah decided to introduce my partner and I to heat tools. She had laid out all her different curlers, curling wands and flat irons so that we could see how many different types there can be, and hear about what each tool could be used for.
She got started with demonstrating how you can use a normal straightener to create either a pin straight or a curled look. For the pin straight look, using her sister as a model, Sarah first sprayed a heat protectant over the hair (although her teacher was not a strong believer in it). She then brushed out any knots until her sister’s hair was smooth, and divided the hair into layers to pin the rest out of the way. (Sarah explained that at salons, hairdressers have a special method for dividing the hair into four perfectly even sections). She proceeded in creating a pin straight hairstyle.
The first step was to hold a comb in her left hand, and the straightener in her right, with her right pinky loosely gripping a small section of hair. Secondly, while running the comb through the hair, she would slide the straightener down behind it, slowing down at the bottoms since the ends of hair tend to have a curl. Lastly, she brushed the hair once more to smooth the whole hairstyle.
Afterwards, Sarah did a quick demonstration on how you can create curls using the exact same flat iron. She began by wrapping a strand around the straightener while tilting it slightly upwards. Next, she slowly glided the straightener down with the curl still wrapped around it. She then slipped the straightener out, and with a final flip of the strand, voila! There was a perfect curl.
It was then my turn to attempt in using a flat iron. Using my fabulous partner as a model, Sarah helped guide me through the steps in straightening the once wavy hair into a pin straight masterpiece. I never knew that I had been straightening my hair incorrectly for all these years. We swapped roles after, and my partner straightened my hair as well. Quite soon, we were out of time so we both thanked our talented mentor and agreed to set up a day within the next two weeks for our next session. I can tell already that this project is bound to be an interesting and fun experience! I can’t wait for the upcoming lesson!