Makeup Academy Diary #6: Enrolling in Hair School
I finally bit the bullet and enrolled in a Bridal and Fashion Hairstyling course in HD Makeup Studio Academy with class hours from 10am - 6pm last May 15-18.
At first, I did not want to formally enroll in an academy for hair. I consider myself a makeup artist, and hair was simply an add-on to the main service I wanted to provide. Heck, I did not even want to do hair at all. But after several client inquiries, and feedback from MUA mentors (thanks Dior, Paoie and Genzel!) I decided hair was non-negotiable.
For a few days, I tried to learn via the University of Youtube. It was hard, because Youtube tutorials often start in the middle, and they rarely ever give lessons on the formal structure and technique of the basics. Having learned makeup in a formal setting, it was hard for me to build hair artistry knowledge without the feedback of industry experts.
Ultimately, I'm glad I took the formal training. I have much more confidence in my skill set and I can actually practice skills on my own at this point - as compared to being completely lost the first time I tried to Youtube it. I will admit I didn't take the course seriously at first, but I'm glad the instructors (Jeave Gabiana and Steph Chua-Sing) pushed me to do more and trained my eye as to what makes good hair.
- They are not stingy with the time - the Academy opens much earlier than 10am, closes much later, and students are never asked to leave on the posted schedule. Practice is encouraged, and the teachers don't leave until the work is done.
- Feedback - the instructors are always available. They don't slack off and continuously go around the room to check everyone's progress. Time is quite limited though, so it is also up to the student to demand their attention and be clear with the help you require. I was consistently being corrected on sectioning, but it was up to me to express my exact difficulties so that they could be more direct and concise with their corrective instructions. If you are slow, shy or not able to pay attention to details, then you will not get the most of your teachers' experience nor your tuition.
- Inclusions - the tuition fee included a model and her meal for one of three practice days, and a model on graduation day. While doll heads are extremely convenient, it is crucial to have some kind of exposure to working on a real person. A doll head is easier to map and section, you don't need to consider pain nor comfort with it. A real person will be paying you money, so you should at least be trained not to leave hair on their faces and to be able to work with different scalp shapes and conditions.
- Professional - if you wanted to know the basics such as sectioning, setting and blow drying... AND all the little techniques that allow you to create VAVAVOLUME vs just volume, HD will help you with that. In 32 hours, I was taught the basics and given a small catalogue of basic hairstyles which I can confidently practice and refine by myself. As a bonus, I was taught all the little professional things as well- such as how to identify good tools, what preparedness on the job means and the quality of hair we should all strive to create every single time.
- Time - 36 hours is good for me, who plans to do hair professionally. I think if you have bigger ambitions with your hair career, such as wanting to do life-changing hair, four days is not enough. That said, I chose HD because they have one of the longer courses here in the Philippines, and graduate-feedback was generally good. I do not feel cheated of my tuition.
- Class size - we had 13 in our batch. It was a little too much for me but with two instructors tandem-teaching, it was manageable. I'd still prefer a smaller size.
- Scope - I was worried about a lot of irrelevant and unfounded things, but one thing was undeniable: posturing and egos are a huge deal here in the Philippines. I felt we spent too much time talking about this shameful artist, or this big-shot artist, so-and -so's huge mistake... The insight these anecdotes bring to light are useful, but at a certain point (and with only 32 hours) should be de-prioritized. I would have preferred to learn the standard steam iron sizing chart or a few more hairstyles over hearing these real-life stories and their lessons.
Overall, I enjoyed my time in HD Makeup Academy. I learned what I needed, the teachers were highly knowledgable and they do care about giving students the most value for their tuition. If you want to enroll with them, my advice would be:
- Prepare hairstyling concepts for graduation. The days are long, and suddenly we were about to graduate- I would have preferred more time to stew over my ideas as compared to tiredly poring over Pinterest in an hour.
- Research your tools. Once enrolled, don't be afraid to ask the brand and price of the tools they sell in the Academy- and make your own research about better tools or better prices. I would have preferred to source some of my other tools, but I enrolled late and didn't have the time to compare.
- Come prepared. They have a curriculum, but are very open to teach you anything else. If you have a hairstyle you've always wanted to learn, they'll be very glad to teach you how to do it. You only have 32 hours, there is no time to be shy. You need to make the most of your time!
You may check out HDMakeupAcademy.com for more information.