I have a great amount of respect for hairdressers. The utmost respect. I don’t think they’re dumb, I don’t think they’re doing it because they’re unqualified to do anything else, and I always compliment the crap out of everything they’re doing as a last-ditch effort to try and save my hair from turning into a disaster. I don’t know whether it’s from lack of direction, stubbornness, or insufficient visuals that I kept getting bad haircuts at proper salons, but mark my words, it always seems to happen. So I generally just figure “screw it, if they’re going to stuff up my haircut, I may as well not be paying a mint for it”.

Surprisingly, the first trip I chose to make to BrisHair (Brisbane School of Hairdressing) was when I had just entered university and wanted to get rid of my frustrating, bum-length hair. That’s just what I asked from them and that’s just what they did. They transformed my Rapunzillian locks into a very stylish pixie cut and I was absolutely thrilled with it. They were so mortified by the prospect of cutting 60cm of hair off the top of my head (and that I wouldn’t like the end result) that I had multiple hairdressers simply swarming around me to help each other out. It was time-consuming, it was thrilling, it was glamorous, and it was only $10 (at the time). They did a very good job and the only time I’ve ever strayed from them since is when, by impulse, I went to an advanced salon and they near shore all my hair off and I left in tears and a substantially lighter wallet. Never again.

So anyways, my hair was getting a bit long and Amish-like as of late, so I booked a session at BrisHair and off I went, scouring the Internet for hairstyle ideas that were both low-maintenance and suited the shape of my face. In my desperation (not to do any study of any kind), I even signed up to InStyle, a virtual makeover site, and checked out a few nice haircuts for myself. And then went a bit mad and added a face full of makeup for good measure (as shown in the picture below on the very left). This is Emma Stone’s haircut. I think she’s a great actress and I like how effortless her hair seems all the time so I downloaded a bunch of photos of her from different angles, showing off her hair, and ended up taking my laptop to the salon (you can see a peek of it in the middle picture below).

My “student” was an Aussie; a very friendly blond middle-aged woman who had just left a high-paying job because she wanted to do something fun for once in her life (I think she was a top tier accountant?) and had been studying hairdressing for around 8 months. She was a very lovely lady and we got along great. I tried not to distract her too much with my talking, but I do really have the gift of the gab. She seemed not to mind and she conducted her work carefully and meticulously to make sure she didn’t stuff it up. I had booked my session in later in the day (around 3PM) so there were less customers and plenty of students approached us to give tips and comments, and of course the teacher would come around every five minutes to check up on her student’s progress and show her exactly how things should be done (as you see her doing in the middle picture). By the end of the session, there were about four people watching us, and together making sure that not a single hair was cut incorrectly on this girl’s head that day.

The third picture is the results from the haircut–I really, really loved it. My last Lookbook post, “We’ll Run Wild” really shows off my new haircut the best, as it was taken before I washed all the shiny out of it. All my friends comment “they barely touched your hair!” but they were truly all over it–sweeping layers from chin down, a subtle blended side-fringe, and at least 4 inches in length was cut off the ends. It was like the hairy mountain ranges underneath the hairdresser’s chair.

To sum all this up, you shouldn’t turn your nose up at hairdressing schools. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a good haircut. I got this amazing haircut for $12 and this is is what went down for that:

  • A consult with the student and her teacher where I showed off 10 pictures of Emma Stone’s haircut and they analysed what they could do to achieve this look for me.
  • A brain massage from the student (I know this practically comes as standard but damn, I enjoyed it)!
  • Very careful consideration of my feelings (and my hair!).
  • Constant check-ins from the teacher who would zoom on over every time the student called to make sure she was doing a good job (which she was anyways) and constantly remind the student of the battle strategy ahead.
  • Several insights and opinions from different students and teachers around the room on what needed to be done to maximise the awesomeness of my haircut.
  • Two hours of carefully cutting hair to my every specification.

I wouldn’t go anywhere else, and I hope this gives you the courage to give the hairdressing schools a shot, too. Your wallet will thank you!

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