Monthly Archives: December 2009

Tis the Season to be Jolly…

I know its been a week since i posted, but with the holidays and everything, you’ll just have to forgive me!

Last week completed our third week of school at Regency Beauty Institute – but it flew by because we were only there Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Thursday we were off for Christmas Eve, Friday there is never any class for us evening goers, and Saturday was another day off for the holidays…

We focused on razoring and the square form.  We also got to do some more thermal styling and actually perform the Square Form Cut on our Kimmie head…her hair is SO short now!  We learned the clippers over comb technique, the shears over comb technique, more about weight lines and blending…then, to round off our week – we got to perform the State Board haircut (uniform layered form) using only a RAZOR – OH EM GEE – if we aren’t comfortable with our razors now, i wonder if we ever will be…lol.

Back - super short!

Sides - wow!

Front - poor Kimmie!

This week we have more thermal styling and we get to review trichology and the cutting techniques we’ve learned because on Saturday we get to TEST OUT of this workshop!  whoo hooo!!!    Once we test out of this workshop, we’ll move on to the next section – Hair Coloring – oh yes, i am so looking forward to that – i WILL have a pink or purple strip somewhere on my head, i can feel it…lol.

now, i’ve already got my Procedure Cards ready to go – and since i’m off all week from work, i’m finishing up my Beauty Book today and tomorrow.  I also made sure i had all of my worksheets together.  My friend Ali has volunteered to be my Practical Test Model for the haircutting portion of my test on Saturday – i hate that we have to perform the solid form cut, not because its hard, just because it makes everything ONE LENGTH and Ali looks better in layers…but i’ll fix it that evening after school…lol.

OH!  And we got our super awesome Student ID’s so now i can go shop at Armstrong McCall’s and get the student discount at Sally’s, M*A*C, Sephora, etc etc… FINALLY!  I feel bad because the “older” students STILL don’t have their student id cards  – but the office is supposed to be working on that.

This is a short week too – we only have class tonight (Monday), tomorrow and Wednesday – then Thursday we’re out for New Year’s Eve and there’s no class on Friday and then Saturday we go in to test out…whew…

I’m waiting on the photos to upload so i can post Kimmie and Kimmie II’s haircuts for you, so if there aren’t any photos – check back in a little while and they should be up 🙂 (Editor’s Note :They are up now!)

Thanks for reading!!!

You’ve Got to Admit It’s Getting Better

WOW – what an absolutely amazing week!

This week has just flown by and of course with the holidays right around the corner I can only assume that next week will as well!

My instructor has been trying to figure out how we can have a Student Council for the evening classes since we have one for daytime or if its all the same – so far, we still don’t know – but i REALLY want to be a part of Regency Beauty Institut Student Council!

This week we learned about the Uniformly Layered Form and the Graduated Form, we learned about cross checking our work (always check the opposite way of the part) and the big one – SECTIONING…lol.

We were shown how to section in 4, 5, 6, & 8 sections… personally, I like the 8 section way the best.  Sectioning is what allows you to work on smaller areas of the head – and within each section, you create subsections which allows you to have CONTROL over the hair.  Never let the hair control you. 😉

Other things we covered this week included finger/shear positions (parallel and non-parallel) and partings – horizontal, vertical, diagonal forward, and diagonal back – PLEASE dont ever confuse partings with sectioning…lol, the instructors don’t like that.

The biggest and probably most important thing we learned, and I say most important because it seems everyone is having a hard time with it for some reason, is DISTRIBUTION.  Distribution is the way the hair is positioned according to the part.  There is Natural (or ZERO) distribution which means the way the hair falls naturally from its part – usually straight down.  There is Perpendicular – which means you are holding the hair at a 90 degree angle from the part – STRAIGHT OUT from the part – but remember the head is ROUND.   Perpendicular is THE MOST IMPORTANT one because it is what is used for our State Board Haircut – which I must say, is a pretty easy haircut.  Shifted distribution is when the hair is combed/brushed any way BUT 90 degrees and is usually used to blend the areas between layers.  Last, but not least is Directional distribution, which is when the hair is combed straight out FROM THE HEAD (not from the part which is perpendicular) in either vertical or horizontal directions.

We also got to begin moving into Thermal Styling – kind of – and used the Marcel Irons – for those of you who don’t know what Marcel irons are – think about your curling iron – now, remove the awesome spring that shuts the clamp around the barrel and replace it with a non-spring loaded clamp that you have to use your hands to keep closed.  Now, also remove the awesome electrical cord that gives you a steady heat – and all plastic bits and pieces that tell you when the iron is ready to use – so now you have a metal rod with two pieces and a handle right?  Now, let me give you a miniature oven to stick it in in order to heat it…

UGH – let me just say that I’ll take my Clairol curling iron or my Chi Flat iron or my Revlon crimper over these Marcel Irons ANY TIME!   LOL, a lot of salons use Marcel Irons that are heated in the mini-stove, so I’m REALLY trying to learn it, but gosh dang it those things get HOT.

I burned my doll’s hair. not too bad, but still – burning hair is never a good thing. and it stinks.

Also, i was at a slight disadvantage because the “older” students have already taken hair styling and kind of knew how to decide on styling a head based on its hair form- we haven’t taken that yet, and since i’m not a girly girl, i know how to straighten it or flip it out – that’s it…lol.  my poor Kim – burned hair and all – she still looks good!

On a brighter note!  I cut my husband’s hair Friday night – and did a damn fine job I must say!  I like his hair a certain way, but when he goes to get it cut, they always cut off way too much – he likes it super short on the sides and then leaves some of his curls on top – well, Friday, he had a head FULL of puffy hair – and I told him I was ready to cut it…lol.  We used the clippers to cut the back and sides (3/8 guard) and then I used horizontal partings and perpendicular distribution to cut the top, cutting off about 1 1/2 inches – leaving enough for his curls to activate when he gels it.

it was AWESOME!  I’ll post pictures as soon as I can.

THEN, my daughter wanted HER hair cut – and she has SUPER long hair for a 6 year old, which I LOVE, but I agreed she needed a TRIM – nothing more.  But to make her feel like we had really done something, I did a graduated layer in the front and now it just bevels towards the front and frames her face so nicely.

When my husband picked me up from school on Saturday, I made him get out so my instructor could look at his hair…lol.  I was told I did an excellent job for never having cut a man’s hair before – YAY!

I’m really “getting” the hair thing – its still not my passion – but I like it and I think I’ll eventually REALLY like it.  Our next section is Thermal Styling and we’re also going to be working on the Square Form and Combination Form haircuts.  We’ll also be getting in to braiding which is part of Thermal Styling for some reason – not quite sure why yet, but I’m sure they’ll explain it to us.

Next week we only have class on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday because Thursday is Christmas Eve, Friday is Christmas Day and Saturday is….the day after Christmas i guess is a holiday now..lol.  We’ll be back the next week for Mon-Wed – then off that Thursday for New Years Eve.  Friday we don’t have class then on January 2 we come back to test out of the hair cutting workshop – WOW!

These next two weeks are going to be BUSY BUSY BUSY!! There is a lot of stuff to cover, and I hope they adjusted the teaching plan for the holidays, because when I just looked at our curriculum calendar, it doesn’t look like they realized we would be missing 5 whole class days (which is like a whole week of class time) before we test out of this section!

But, whatever – we’re smart and we’re fabulous – so we can totally handle this!

Let me know that you’re reading this – I love getting comments & seeing people subscribe & tell me why they’re excited about joining Regency’s team of awesome students!

Take a Look Around (Shreveport Campus Tour)

Ok, so I know I told you all I was going to review the kit on Sunday – but I had forgotten completely that I was hosting a cookie exchange that day!  However, I did remember to take lots of pictures of our campus on Saturday, So i’m going to give you a virtual tour instead:)  AND, you’ll kind of get to see the kit briefly!  All is not lost.

Saturday was a LONG day – we were there from 8:30 to 5, we got to meet the “day walkers” (j/k they were the full-time students who are currently on Saturday rotation – and they are AWESOME and FRIENDLY and HELPFUL – )

I did my first “layered” cut on Ms. Kim – whoo hooo!  She’s so pretty.  If there is anything I’m taking away from this class it is to TAKE MY TIME and don’t rush through it.  I see some of the other students who want to get done just for the sake of being done, but I take my sweet time because I want to make sure I’m cutting properly – trust me, i’m pretty sure my clients will rather it be done correctly over quickly, not saying i’m taking two hours to cut long layers or anything…lol

SO!  On to the tour o f my Regency Beauty Institute Shreveport Campus – oh, and all of these are taken with my iPhone, so pardon the quality 🙂

Entryway –  this is the first thing you see when you walk in to Regency Beauty Institute, be it to make an appointment, or come in to sign up for classes, or on your way down the hall to go to class.  This is where the POS (Point-of-Sale) computers are and where all appointment, follow-up appointments, and retail sales are made.

To the right of the entryway is our product display.  As you can see, we are a Redken retailer (YES!  LOVE THEM) and an O-P-I Nail Product retailer – You get a free bottle of polish with a mani or pedi – which is pretty awesome too!

If you were to take an immediate right past the Retail section, you’d be walking in to the Salon area.   We have 5 or 6 rows of salon chairs / mirrors/ stations – whatever you wish to call them – for us to provide hair services.

To your left you’d see our dispensary – this is where all the chemicals and towels are kept.

At the beginning of your hair service, you will likely be taken to our shampoo area.  Here you will see our Shampoo Bowls/Chairs and our Dryers – so neat and pretty!

And of course – our Shampoo/Conditioner Bar where we stylist students select our shampoo & conditioner.

We also have a facial room, but there was a client in there so I couldn’t snap photos there because I didn’t want to disturb them – but its pretty awesome.

Our mani/pedi area was also occupied – but there are three or four mani/pedi chairs in that area that are uber comfy.

Now, if you were coming to the back of the building for class, right past the reception area you would pass my favorite spot – the Coffee area!  It is on the right.  You’ll notice that we make/serve Community Coffee – which is produced right here in Louisiana, and happens to be one of my favorites!

Directly at the end of the first hall is the Kit Display – (see, I told you you’d kind of get to see the kit).  Except for the bottom row – those are prizes reserved for Student Master Designers (part of the STAR Program).

To the right and left are classrooms (which I didn’t take photos of) and down the other hall are our lockers.  So Shiny!  And roomy!!!

At the end of the hall on the left is our break room 🙂  YAY Snack Machines!

this concludes our tour of the Shreveport Campus.  I’ll try and remember to update this post with photos of the mani/pedi stations & the facial/waxing room – I’ll take those photos tonight 🙂

Isn’t it Pretty?!?

12 Hours Down, 1488 To Go…

Day 2 has come and gone and overall it wasn’t to shabby! we learned about trichology (the study of hair) and how hair is “made” by the body. we also got to check in our O.P.I. nail kits – whoo hoo!! Our instructor  touched on procedure cards and what is to be required when we take tests. we have to have ALL of our worksheets – our procedure cards & our “Beauty Book” in order to take our test or we don’t get to take it.  Then we’d have to wait for that section to come back around because there are no make-up dates or anything like that…which I can totally understand.

We had to read Chapter 7 Trichology & Chapter 9 HairCutting for homework that night.  UGH!  I forgot how much homework sucked when you go to school at night – BUT, it does help when what you’re reading is interesting and it was VERY interesting – so I stayed up until midnight without realizing it.

Day 3 (and this is no particular order) we checked our homework and started on our Haircutting workshop.  We got to play with Ms. Kim (our Mannekin), and our shears!  WHOO HOO!  We learned how to properly apply a chemical drape and a shampoo drape and a styling drape – THEN we got to actually go hands on with our Mannekins to learn how to shampoo!

I didn’t know before reading the book that there were so many steps to a good shampoo!!!  Luckily, I used to have great stylist who actually DID do all the steps, so even though I didn’t know the proper terminology (at the beginning of the night) I knew the movements…lol.  We went over effleurage, petrissage, tapotment, friction & vibration and then got to put them in action.

VERY VERY AWESOME!! A lot of it was common sense – but you know what they say about common sense, it’s not always that common. 😉

Mannekin heads are very tricky when it comes to caping because you have to work around the Mannekin stand.

(If it is bugging you that I spell Mannekin this way instead of  Mannequin this way – its because it is the brand of Mannequin that we are using….not because I can’t spell =- trust me, its hard for me to type it that way too…lol)

Anyway – we brought our shears, our butterfly clips (which are NEVER for hair – only for capes/cloth), our pelican clips (which are for hair) the Mannekin stands (black and white – thank goodness!  I have to use both extensions on the white one because i’m so tall!!!), our all purpose combs**, our rattail combs, our spray bottles, and of course, our textbooks and notebooks.  Our instructor wanted to make sure we knew what everything was and put our hands on everything.  Especially when we were going over the section about our shears because it teaches you how to hold them properly – and how to palm them – and how to hold them and a comb at the same time.

** I was unaware of the fact that our all-purpose combs actually have the inches MARKED on one side of them – lol… I also found out that I can’t eyeball an inch 😉 but that comes in due time.  Poor Mannekin Kim – luckily it was only one two-inch piece and its underneath and i’m sure she’ll be bald by the time we’re done with her anyway – which is probably why we have TWO of her!**

Last night we also took a quiz on trichology – I made a 4 out of 5.  WHOO HOO.  The one question I missed was about the four different porosities of the hair (Porosity is the amount of moisture the hair can absorb), and I had forgotten the proper terminology,  – They are Uneven, Resistant, Average and Extreme in case you were wondering. but I still felt good about my quiz.  Its weird, but I like quizzes – I also like to write a LOT of notes, even if it is printed out on a worksheet for me.

We also went over our Hair Cutting Workshop Worksheet #1, which was our homework from the night before.  At the end of the night we got more homework…blah…. Worksheets #2 & #3 for Haircutting.  Again, at least the material is really interesting to read, so I don’t mind so much.  PLUS – its the cornerstone of why we’re all there to begin with!

You know, it is really awesome that the first Workshop we are going through is haircutting.  The girls that started in October started with Chemistry and then did Skin & Nails (i believe)…so at least we’re all on the same page and learning something new together!

We had a great time last night and I’m really looking forward to what we’ll learn tonight.  There’s no school tomorrow because it’s Friday, but then I’ll be there Saturday from 8:30-5 and then, my first week of school will be COMPLETE and I’ll actually have some time to post some pictures for you guys!  WHOO HOOO!

Regency Beauty Institute Kit reviews will probably be up on Sunday, so be sure to subscribe (over on the right hand side) and you’ll get an e-mail once its been updated!

Have a great day and try to make a difference in someone else’s world today!!

So It Is Written, So It Shall Be…

Me 12/07/09

Ready for Class!

Last night was our first night of class at Regency Beauty Institute.  I was so super excited!  I arrived at 5:00 on the dot (so glad my hubby & I could work our schedule out that way) to begin class at 5:15.  I met three other girls who were starting with me – One of them is 18, no kids & works at a fast food chain during the day – Another girl is 21, has an 11-week old baby and stays home with the baby while her family works during the day.  The third girl is early 20’s, has a 5 month old, transfered from another beauty school because the class sizes were too large, and works as an assistant to a tattoo school owner (i think she & I will get along great since I have 11 tattoos!).  I’m the oldest in the class, followed only by the instructor.

My first contact of the night was with Ms. Vera who is the assistant campus manager and now acting campus manager as the previous CM was no longer with the company.  Ms. Vera is a very joyful woman who seems to take great pride in her job.  I met with her and paid my very first tuition payment – WHEW – so glad that part is over! lol.

When it was time for class to begin, we were lead to one of the classrooms where we were introduced to Trena, who will be out Workshop instructor for the next 4 months.  Trena was a very interesting character.  She told us that she would begin class at 5:30, so we had a few minutes to relax and chit chat before we began.  Poor Ms. Trena was a little sidetracked as the person who had previously used the classroom still had materials all over the place and she couldn’t find half of the papers that she needed to get started – but it was ok, we joked with her and overall she seems to be a very happy person.

Everyone seemed fairly happy to be there – some were a bit nervous and one seemed like it didn’t really matter to her – BUT,  I know it mattered to ME and I refuse to let other people get in my way.  One thing I love is that Regency Beauty Institute has a ZERO TOLERANCE for negativity on campus (and probably off campus too…lol).

Ok, back to the class – of course, it was just like an orientation – full of Rules and Regulations – not much more.  They basically read to us straight out of the student handbook – We learned about what is expected of us attendance wise & that we get two late passes a month – which we were told we should A) use wisely and B) don’t let go to waste by not using them.  This bugged me because I don’t plan on being late – I’m paying good money to be educated, I don’t want my hours getting messed up because I was late, purposefully or not, but I guess I understood what she was saying, I just don’t think it should be promoted or encouraged.  We learned about Regency’s Mission and Culture too.

We were also informed that our instructors are there to “teach you the techniques and requirements that you need to meet in order to pass the State Board exams”.  We were told that we weren’t there to learn “all that fancy stuff” and that we would be taught everything we needed to know in order to pass our exams.  This bugs me too, because, though I know she didn’t mean to, she came off as I’m-going-to-teach-you-the-bare-minimum-in-order-to-get-your-license.  Now, I’m sure we’re going to learn tons of really great stuff.  I’m sure it was just a rough night for her because it was a long day for her since she had been there since noon and she was used to being there at 5:15…but, I think maybe she just worded it wrong.  She says she teaches her classes the way she wished classes were taught when she was in beauty school.

There were also two other students there who started a few months ago.  Since Trena was the only instructor there – they had to sit in with our new student orientation.  At first they were reading the text book, as Mr. Trena told us there was some bad news coming – she didn’t think we were going to be able to get our nail kits or our textbooks that night because they were out of them – BUT, Ms. Vera was there to save the day because she had called Regency Headquarters on Saturday and they had overnighted our materials!  YAY – we were getting everything after all!

We talked about dress code –  which I previously covered – but it was also added that we were allowed to wear grey pants.  WHOO HOO.  oh, and no hats, lol – that part I missed previously somehow, since I showed up in my super cute hat! but they told me it was fine as long as I put it in my locker during class hours.

The two “older” students, who are younger than me but older to the school, decided that they wanted to go do a pedicure on each other while we were in orientation – so they were given permission to do so.

We continued on and talked about the STAR Program.  This is when I got excited again.  One of the perks of becoming a Master Student Designer is that you get to go on a paid-by-the-company trip to Chicago for a Hair Show – however, what stinks is that you have to qualify as a Master Designer by the end of January, and I won’t be able to qualify since I won’t be on the floor by then – SUPER UBER SAD!.  BUT, there are more perks to becoming a Master Student Designer like getting FREE STUFF!  Makeup kits, t-shirts, shears, all kinds of goodies are available…  I’ll go into more depth about the Star Program in another post as I work towards it, but you should know, that it DOES require that you be out of the workshops and actually on the floor doing salon work (aka guest services) as part of what they track.  They also track your attendance and your grades, your Guest Rewards participants, your Guest Feedback…etc.

We watched a dvd on Financial Aide – whooo hooo.  lol.  nothing I didn’t know already, but it was required.

We finished paperwork that other people hadn’t done yet – haha, I was the ONLY ONE who had EVERYTHING completed – eager much?

We were then shown how to clock in / out at 8:15, which I didn’t understand why we had to wait until exactly 8:15 but whatever – Then – dun dun dun!!!  We got to break open our kits.  YAY – we had to go through the checklist and hold up each and every single item.  And trust me, there are a LOT of items – I’ll review the kit soon too…probably tonight – but I want to wait until I have EVERYTHING.

BUT, before we could check our nail kits – we were told it was time to go.  We taped our nail kit checklist to the tops of the unopened boxes with our names on them, then took them and locked them in the dispensary.  Trena was ready to GO!  we were all trying to hurry and get our stuff together and get our kits out to our cars so we could come back in and clock out at exactly 9:15 per her instructions.  I really hope its not going to be like that every night.  I mean, I work a full-time job during the day so I want to go home just as bad as the next person, but I’m not a rush rush kind of gal.  She kept telling us that she had been there working since noon and I kinda wanted to pipe up and tell her that I had been working since 7 am and hadn’t had anything to eat yet, so she wasn’t the only one ready to go.

OH YEAH – no food or drinks in the classroom – only in the break room – which we get to use for 15 minutes once a night – whoo hooo vending machine dinner 🙂 lol.  What stinks is that I’m addicted to coffee and we can’t bring anything in the room except clear bottles with no-spill lids that can only contain WATER…. which is better than nothing, but i know i’m going to be dragging butt without coffee if I’m having to pay attention after 7pm after being at work all day… thank heavens for the coffee in the guest services area (which I will make and clean up after since I’m the only one who drinks it at night evidently)

Oh, I’m also the only student that smokes & Ms. Vera is determined (already) to make me quit…lol – mostly because she had to let me back in the building during our break we had earlier in the night after I took a quick smoke.  I like Ms. Vera a lot!  I made sure I went well past the school entrance so that I wasn’t looking like a bum standing in front of their doors smoking – i went to the side of the shopping center and smoked and then came back, washed and sanitized my hands, downed some coffee and went back to class.

we were told that there was some kind of rivalry between night and day students and not to be offended if the day students didn’t talk to us because they were really just jealous that we had the best class – a little competition isn’t a bad thing, but a rivalry isn’t really a good thing either – I was sure it was an exaggeration until the “older” students told us that it was not only true, but that sometimes the day students wouldn’t even talk to them.  WOW.  I will break that tradition, I promise – it’s in my nature to be friends with everyone, so I don’t foresee

I asked whether or not we’d have a Student Council now since there are 6 of us in the evening part-time class.   They don’t think so since the school hasn’t been open 6 months yet, but we’ll see I guess.  I’d really like to be a part of that.

First impression of the instructor wasn’t the best, but I’m sure we’ll do better tonight now that all of the formalities are out of the way and we will begin going through the text book and having lesson plans in place.

Ms. Trena promises to help us immensely along the way if there is something that we just aren’t grasping.  We were told that she won’t leave anyone behind and that if anyone in the class isn’t getting something, we’ll go over it again and again until everyone understands it.  That’s a good thing too, but I don’t like too much coddling.

We’ll see – it was one night – so I’m seriously hoping that it can only get better.

Dressed to the Nines

From the Regency Beauty Institute Student Handbook:

“…Students must come to school dressed in a professional manner…”

the following must be worn at all times during school hours:

  • Solid black Apron *
  • Solid Black trousers or dress pants, knee length or longer skirts, or black dress;
  • Solid, print, or patterned shirts or sweaters in white, black or grey
  • Solid black shoes, dress boots, or open backed shoes

What that boils down to is that Regency Beauty Institute has a pretty awesome dress code :

Black closed toe shoes – Black pants – Black, Grey or White on top.

Jewelry, scarves, headbands, and other accessories can be in any color.

sounds easy enough right?  well, i thought so too – BUT,  now that i’m limited i’m finding all kinds of awesome COLORED tops to wear…lol. but that’s another story.  I also keep finding really freakin cute sleeveless shirts – which are prohibited – but again, that’s another story.

I have a lot of black  and white shirts – a LOT – so my husband didn’t understand the need for me to have more…HA!  Let’s just say he’s not a fashionista.  He also doesn’t understand the fact that i’m going to be working with chemicals…which is why i prefer not to wear white.

Plus, i want to look at leas SEMI professional – so that requires an upgrade (at least a little bit) to the wardrobe i currently have.

I didn’t want to spend a ton of money, after all – it is nearly christmas and i am on a tight budget – so i headed to Burlington Coat Factory where i scored three grey sweaters, two black sweaters, and two black pairs of comfy dress slacks for about $40.00 – YAY ME.

now shoes – the only black shoes i have are peep toe pumps, which are NOT closed toe, no matter how you squint your eyes, and a pair of black sneakers that i wore during the haunt, and one pair of black boots.

looks like those boots will be getting a starring role in my wardrobe from now on.  Luckily  – i like them, so its all good.  I’m heading out with V., one of my girlfriends, for some shoe shopping later…hopefully i’ll score a good deal on some flats or something.

* this is the only thing that saddens me b/c i have a pretty awesome pink bowed – skull & crossbone print apron that i want to wear realllly bad.

Now, once I make Student Designer, and then Master Designer, I’ll be allowed to wear whatever professional dress i want – as long as i have my name tag on – this makes me happy too.

that’s enough for today.  I’ll be back later to talk some more about the rules of the school

Let’s Get This Party Started! or also known as FINANCIAL AIDE

The first thing I did when I decided to go to cosmetology school was RESEARCH! I started by looking up the local schools in my area that offered cosmetology programs…lucky me, there were four to choose from.

Now, I’m not knocking any of the other schools in my area, but one school had been around for quite sometime and after seeking out and speaking to some of their students – they were still teaching methods of hair and makeup from the 70s and 80s – no thanks – I’m a forward moving girl and I need a school that’s going to do the same. Although, even though their website was “new” and “not really set up to be seen yet”, the owner/admissions guy called and answered a lot of my questions which really put me in the right direction. This school was about $12,000.00 for the program, classes were from 8:30a-5:00p and they accepted Financial Aide. well, another reason they were out is that I work a full time job…so no going there anyway.

The next school i checked with focused mainly on massage – they were a massage school who happened to also offer cosmetology. I’ve got friends in their program, as we speak, and they like it ok – but their class sizes were too big for me – i need to know i can depend on the teacher to have enough time to answer questions and not just expect us to figure it out on our own. I tried contacting the school via the web, and by phone, and to this day have not heard ANYTHING from them, so obviously they ARE too busy for me anyway and I definitely don’t want to go to a school that is too busy to talk to new students – someone has to take the place of the graduates, right? Also, their classes were full time only – tuition ran about $13,000.00 – a little higher, but its a newer school too.

The third school was out of the running from the get go because I’m currently working at a law firm and after handling a few cases wherein i had run ins with the owners – let’s just say i didn’t want them to a) get my money or b) be responsible for my future… and their classes are also behind the times, and their school property was less than par on looks and modernization…so I can only imagine the classrooms and instructors….tuition here runs right around $12,000.00.

wondered to myself if the older schools were lower in price because they were only teaching older methods and styles and not moving towards new technology – then said “eh, who cares, i’m not going to either of them anyway”.

So then, I found THE ONE – Regency Beauty Institute. Not only are they accredited, but they are also NEW to MY AREA which meant the class sizes were going to be small. I looked at their webpage and fell in love – but I didn’t want to jump the gun, so, i filled out their website “get info” card and waited for more info to come my way.

While I was waiting, I started researching the Financial Aide / Student Loan aspect of going to school – its THE ONLY way i was going to get to go, heaven knows we don’t have a lot of “extra” cash floating around – who does? so, the first step I took was to fill out the FAFSA to see if I even QUALIFIED for a government grant. Oh wait, you’re probably either saying “smart move girl” or “what the heck is a FAFSA?” –

the FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aide – is a GOVERNMENT program that is FREE – it says so right in the NAME – to help you find out if you are eligible for a government education grant – which is an amount to be determined by your eligibility and that does NOT have to be paid back… kinda like free money for school. You need to check your dependency status first, to see whether or not you need to claim your parent’s income.    I’m old and married – ok, i’m not old, but i am married which means i can’t beg off mom & dad anymore – well, not legally anyways.  You can check your eligibility here and you may want to have these documents handy to make the process move a little smoother.  Also, you should take into account the deadlines for filing. Oh, and be sure you get the school codes (you can do a search through FAFSA) for ALL of the schools you are even thinking about applying to – this way you won’t have to edit your FAFSA and it won’t delay the process. It doesn’t mean you HAVE to apply to those schools, just that you might.

I went ahead and filled out my FAFSA and then waited for it to come back as to whether or not the government would be so kind as to bestow upon me some kind of assistance so I could go to school – they kind of give you a heads up at the end of the process by telling you whether or not you qualify, but they don’t tell you for how much – unfortunately, I don’t qualify because my husband and I just barely made over the limit – I was super sad. but I started looking at loans – Sally Mae & Staford & this loan and that loan and I was at ends with my options – but I knew, somehow, it would all work out.

Then Kathy called me. Kathy, my Awesome Admissions Chick with Regency. She called me one Tuesday evening, sometime after 7ish – which was THE BEST TIME to call since i’m always so super busy, and at the time Tuesday was actually the ONLY day I didn’t have SOMETHING going on – and she answered a TON of questions for me. Now, this was the week of Halloween and I was working with the Gas Light Players for their Gentleman Death’s Shocktale Terror Show at the Louisiana State Fair, and I was working, and I share a car with my husband, and my daughter had ballet class, and umm… yeah it was intense. but luckily, Kathy was able to laugh at life with me and go through the motions on what to expect and set me up for a tour of the campus. She wanted me to go that week – but there was NO way i was going to make it that week – i still had shows to do, not to mention the day job. Speaking of which, what were the class hours anyway?

Kathy explained that they had TWO programs at Regency – a full time (8:30-5 M-F) and a part time/evening class (5:15p-9p M-Thurs and 8:30-5p on Saturday) = YAY! finally, a part-time class that would almost perfectly fit into my schedule. And I knew that they accepted financial aide, but did they accept student loans? Yes, and Kathy was going to get Elizabeth, the Financial Aide Goddess to work with me on that. WHOO HOO! What more did I need to hear? The campus is where? less than 5 miles from my house? How did I not know it was there? Oh, it’s BRAND NEW – just opened a few months ago! WOW!

So I set up my campus tour for the next week – I was going to meet Christina, the campus manager for a quick tour. I showed up a little after 6 and waited for my turn. All I could do was stare at the awesome front counter – so much so that I had to take a few pictures with my phone in order to tease my friends who had no idea what I was doing.

The front desk of Regency Beauty Institute Shreveport

So pretty! and then it was my turn – well, mine & another girl’s turn, we looked together. The other student-prospect was trying to get out of another one of the schools from above and transfer over – which they could also do. We got to see THE KIT – photos will come later I promise – and then we looked at the mani/pedi room, the waxing station, the styling stations, the washers, the receptionist desk, the retail area, the class rooms, the practice rooms and the break room. sweet deal I say. I went ahead and filled out my application and paid the enrollment fee which was discounted to $75 for a limited time – whoo hoo – and then i got to take a test.

that wigged me out – a test to get in to beauty school? who ever heard of such? lol. Just kidding – it was super simple, i think mainly to make sure you can read and write and arithmetic well and can comprehend instructions. Fortunately, there was no test for common sense or else I surely would have failed. Christine started to explain to me about filling out FAFSA – i beat her to the punch and told her it was done and that I was waiting on Elizabeth the Financial Aide Goddess to give me a call. She was happy that I already had the ball rolling – then I had to pick the day that I wanted to start. December 7 or February something – ummm might as well go for December – OH MY this has been the longest 4 weeks.

well, I finally talked to my Financial Aide Goddess / Guru Elizabeth about a student loan and Elizabeth was able to help me secure one for almost the entire amount – only leaving about $4k for me to come up with. OH GEEZ! I’ll never make it! but then she let me now that the school would help finance that portion… whooo hooo! so now, i’ll make a monthly payment to the school to cover my tuition portion that wasn’t paid by the loan, and that will get me in the habit of paying that every month so that when I get out of school i’ll be used to making payments and can start paying my student loan off! Sounds like a plan to me!

WHEW – so that’s how it all started. Christine sent me home with an awesome little packet full of info on the school, the student catalog and handbook, and a bit more information on filing for a student loan…and I was a happy camper. Over the last few weeks Kathy has kept in touch with me about how excited she is for me, and I’ve shared with her how excited I am too. She’s pretty awesome to take time out of her day just to send me a letter of encouragement…

Now, there’s only 6 more days til I get to go to school – YAY – and though i’m sure my head will explode, i’ll document it as best I can.

The next post will go into some details about what the dress code is, some more facts about the school, and my general excitement