I frequently get asked about where I get my hair done.
It’s something curly girls just know to do when they see a curly comrade with a decent cut and style: run at her quickly, stranger though she may be, and ask with anxious elation who is in charge of her locks.
In fact, all women sorta know this trick. Love your home girl’s hair color or cut, ask her where she got it and go there, fingers crossed her stylist will make you look all glow-y and skinny and pretty and cool too.
In my case, the answer (like is so often the case with friends and acquaintances who inquire) might surprise you.
For the past four years I have gone to the beauty school in Frederick: The Temple, a Paul Mitchell Partner School.
Cut, color, blow outs, everything hair-related, they are my go to location for hair awesome here in Frederick.
Each time I say it people balk, because YOU LET A STUDENT DO YOUR HAIR?!
I get it.
Making the choice to go to a beauty school is a tough one. It requires a leap of faith of sorts, and pushes us into the unknown. No one wants to be in the unknown when it comes to hair styling, so let me help you get a little familiar!
10 Things to Know About The Temple
1. The Temple is a beauty school. Those doing your hair are in training to become pro stylists so, while they look like the real thing, they aren’t. At least not yet anyway. That’s not meant to frighten you off, it’s just a disclaimer to say that things there work differently, and the learning element is the reason why.
2. Your stylist will be supervised. So don’t freak. It’s not like they’re letting some just-graduated-from-high-school teenager play dress up with your hair. Each “future professional” as they’re called on site, is assigned a learning leader. Their learning leader helps make sure that you don’t come out looking like a fiend on a month long bender. Before they go to work with the scissors (or the color or the flat iron or anything) they will consult with you about your style and then bring their learning leader in for a look-see.
3. Expect your service to go long. Going through the entire process takes some time. Because your stylist is still in the learning phase of their career and you are new to them, they aren’t going to be as quick as a long time pro who has been cutting your hair into the same bob since you were 14. Plan to be on site for a while, but remind yourself that it’s worth it.
4. Bask in the awesome that is the price tag. Never, in all of my years of being a customer have I paid over $80 for my services, and that includes when I want to look extra fly and get a cut, full foil, and a blow out! You can’t even get a decent foil most places for under $75.
5. Prepare to have the best hair washing of your lifetime. They teach them the fine art of head massage and they never disappoint.
6. Know who to ask for. Your stylist will probably be different each time you come. The future professionals are constantly moving up and moving on through the program so expecting to book with the same person in six months is maybe not happening. But, that doesn’t mean you have to fly blind. I have a couple of security measures I take to ensure that my experience is top notch. First, I always ask for a Phase 2 professional. I know that they’re probably going to graduate soon and therefore have slightly more experience and confidence in themselves and the process. Also, when I know my current stylist is about to graduate, I go ahead and ask her for a recommendation on who she thinks can handle my hair best after her. I’ve always gotten great advice.
7. If nothing else, go for a color. I have been to salons across the nation, including curly hair specialists in New York and I have only one time been happier with my color service (and, in fairness, that’s when Ted Gibson, celebrity stylist from What NOT to Wear did it). They do an amazing job with all types of coloring there and I always leave happy.
8. It’s a cool place. You go in and it’s funky and hip and fresh and cool. You feel like you are about to come out looking like a supastar. That’s a feeling I enjoy and it sure beats when I go to that place my grandma uses and everyone is getting wet sets and gossiping about what happened last Tuesday at their senior social.
9. Try some of their other services. They don’t just do hair! They also do makeup, nails, and some waxing services too. And kids! Young people are welcome to come in for an economical haircut too as long as they’re over age 5.
10. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Your future professional’s primary goal is to be an awesome hairstylist and to do that they are open to direction. That doesn’t mean you need to be bossy or mean about it, but if you feel like something isn’t going quite right (like the one time, someone wanted to cut my hair wet!), speak up. Just politely inform them that you prefer something done another way and they are happy to discuss it with you.
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