The first day of beauty school, like in any other academic setting, is pretty anticlimactic. I was terrified and nervous the night before, but quickly realized how pointless my worries were as we reviewed guidelines and protocol for hours on end. In the afternoon, it was finally time to explore the studio lab where our class would hone our skills.
The cosmetology lab is different from your typical university setting. It looks and feels like a real salon, with sleek stations lacquered in black. As our class entered the salon, we noticed three-foot tall packages sitting at every station. Within seconds, we each rushed to a box and ripped it open—it was the beauty kit we'd all been dreaming of. Beauties, picture Christmas morning. Makeup, styling tools, and products galore—it was a magical moment of oohs and aahs as everyone gushed over the items included in the tuition fee, and it was ours to keep! I'll take eye liner over textbooks any day.
I expected to be somewhat grossed out by special-effects makeup or fake blood, but I quickly changed my mind when I met the seven creepiest items in my beauty arsenal: the mannequin heads. Every student receives seven heads to practice their skills on, each with a different complexion and hairstyle. Beauties, did you know that the mannequin heads are labeled with human names? It took me a moment to adjust to the frozen smile of "Brittney," the long-haired brunette, and the plastic expression of the "Ken" doll. Really original names, I know.
As I was getting acquainted with my new friends, I heard a classmate shriek from across the room. "Oh my gosh, this doll has lice!" she yelled. I thought she was being obnoxious and ignored her cries. But after more students found eggs in the mannequin heads, my teacher nonchalantly mentioned that we might find dead lice eggs—called nits—in our kits. "Don't worry about it, they rinse out," she casually noted. I stopped in trepidation. "Don't worry about it?" Gross! After a minor panic attack and several hand washes, I learned that the hair on the mannequins is from third-world countries, but it's processed and boiled so much that no living lice could ever survive. Unfortunately, the eggs were still intact even after we shampooed the heads, so I had to comb them out one by one.
The whole mannequins-infested-with-dead-lice-eggs fiasco made me realize that beauty school certainly isn't a boring career path. It's filled with new challenges daily, and no day is ever the same. In this concentrated beauty environment, those who adapt succeed. I'm pals with my mannequin friends now, but I hope that's the buggiest situation I'll ever have in my beauty studies.
Beauty Apprentice is getting an expert beauty education from inside the academic lines and reporting her experiences exclusively for Beautylish. She's not afraid to dish on the beautiful, the ugly, and the just plain weird parts of beauty school. "It's hard work and long hours, and I'm ready to divulge everything they don't tell you in the brochure."