With all of the cutting-edge (pun intended) hairdressing techniques stylists use today, it’s kind of crazy to think that highlighting caps and perms with toxin chemicals used to be the norm. We thought it would be fun to chat with a few top hairstylists and ask them to share the worst piece of advice they learned in hair school. And let’s just say their answers did not disappoint. Scroll through for some stories you won’t believe!
Hairstylist: Carlos Ortiz
Clients: Emma Roberts, Mindy Kaling, Selena Gomez
Beauty school confession: The worst thing I was taught to do in beauty school was use cuticle remover (!!!) to remove hair color stains from skin after a color process. Horrible idea! This is actually very bad for skin.
Hairstylist: Diego Miranda
Clients: Alexa Chung, Naomi Campbell, Emma Stone
Beauty school confession: The worst advice I remember is “If you don’t have cuts on your hands, you aren’t a good hairstylist.” Clearly not true. It's all in the hair-holding technique and how far across you take the scissors. There is no need to cut yourself at all. Also, creating highlights using a cap and hook. You can get a much more organic look by teasing all of the hair and applying color on the tips using your fingers.
Hairstylist: Mitch Stone
Clients: Tyra Banks, Naomi Watts, Salma Hayek
Beauty school confession: The first and best beauty school lesson I will never forget is “When cutting men’s hair and cutting around the ear, make sure to use the just tips of the sheers.” I learned the hard way—when you get too close to the base of the sheers, you will cut the ear! Ears bleed very badly, and you can’t fake your way around blood spattering all over a guy’s face!
Also in beauty school, one of my instructors was very thinning/texture sheer happy. He taught us to do an entire haircut and layering with them. Everyone’s hair model turned out looking like a frizzy explosion! It was the worst! Thinning sheers were a newer tool at the time.
Lastly, the old bleach cap from beauty school—yikes! Not only does it break the hair off when you remove it, but the bleach bleeds and gives you orange roots. And it gives blond snakes all over your head. Don’t use this one in real life.
Hairstylist: Cynthia Alvarez
Clients: Keke Palmer, Becky Gomez, Dascha Polanco
Beauty school confession: In beauty school you learn loads of different hair techniques. One in particular is the perm. Yes, the dreaded ’80s perm. Yikes! This took about a whole week to learn, and I still have yet to do a classic perm on a client. It’s outdated, the chemicals smell terrible, and it’s damaging. There’s new technology, which allows for easier, safer ways to achieve volume and texture.
Now that I think of it, beauty school really only taught us classic techniques and failed to incorporate current trends and modern hair. I remember asking my instructor which was her preferred method of seamless extensions, and she said the best technique was to glue (using black hair glue) extensions directly onto the scalp, especially for when installing a full head. Even back then, I knew that technique was dated, and most hairstylists frowned upon the method due to the damaging effect on the hair and scalp. While beauty school teaches you the fundamentals of hairstyling, your education definitely doesn’t stop there. Trends are ever changing, and as stylists, we need to adapt and always be willing to learn new techniques.
Hairstylist: Jamal Hammadi
Clients: Jennifer Lopez, Eva Mendes, Drew Barrymore
Beauty school confession: The techniques of doing hair were very outdated—specifically, all the intense looks that used so many chemicals. We were doing perms (when perms where out of style) using old techniques. School was just behind on what was trendy! I am all about embracing natural texture and keeping hair healthy while having fun with new looks natural or not. And helping clients find their most beautiful and flattering looks, that work with their hair texture, face structure, and overall lifestyle.
Not necessarily the worst thing, but I did have a certain client who always fell asleep while I was styling her. I would prop her up with my headstand and towels and create insane looks and show my colleagues. All the while she was asleep!
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