Hand Tied Weft came on the scene like a Victoria’s Secret model struts the stage. Before that wildfire caught, I was already researching companies that taught the application. I found what I thought was the best company to train with. I’m beyond happy to learn a new application. The experience? Not so much!
For the past eleven years, I’ve taught hair extensions while also training with other companies to make sure I’m fully proficient. Yes, I am that hairstylist who takes classes for education but also for that certificate ☺️. Honestly, it’s super important. A lot of hair extension companies will not allow you to use their hair or obviously do the application unless you are certified with them.
It also helps me to distinguish between the companies, their hair, and their method. I learn something in every class. The company that I teach for had not shown any interest in providing the service yet. Hello, green light to take a class from the company with what seemed the trendiest application.
Honestly, here are my five things that ran through my head in very rapid order:
Acceptance letter came via email. I registered immediately... then I found out the company I am an Educator with is teaching Hand Tied Weft... uh oh! My honesty has always been something that I never waiver on. Besides, I hate lying mainly for the fact I that I can’t remember anything with my overwhelming schedule. So, gave my director a call. It was met with hesitation at first. Yet after talking it through, I think they realized I wasn’t jumping ship, just expanding my knowledge.
After receiving the link for this class, I jumped right into the pre-event to-do list. There were multiple webinars. I started the first one live… it took over two hours. Sorry but between doing hair, running a business, being a mom, having a husband, traveling nationally, taking 9 hours in college, working out, and sleeping at the minimum 6 hours, I don’t have that time. Obviously, the rest were watched on-demand. And that wasn’t very efficient. I would have preferred cliff notes or something because I found some of it to be unnecessary.
We had a timeline of 15 things to do before the class: 15 rows (read this other blog to learn more about that) done specifically with a picture taken a certain way then collages together and numbered, write 15 Instagram posts that I couldn’t actually post, 15 live videos (same thing I could not post it talking about another hair extension company), and 15 Facebook posts (same thing). I got this! Oh I was wrong! My schedule was insane. So of course I pushed it off until September. When crunch time came, I worked tirelessly to get it submitted on or before the date. Done!
Traveling is always simple for me, or so I thought. Being the super packer I am, I fit everything in, never over-packing. Arriving into Laguna, it’s not only cold but it is freaking raining... I mean they did say sunny California right?
The evening I arrived, I got my first taste of this class. Sitting in the bar unbeknownst to those in the conversation, I could hear everything this group was saying. Let’s just say, I was shocked the person speaking actually worked for the company I was there to take this class from. Bad first impression.
First day of training, it is insane. There are so many people, the music is loud, educators are saying F—- and Mother Fu—— on stage. I was like “OMG is this really happening?”. Also phones away. If the educators see you with them, they will ask you to put them up. How is this possible when you run a company, have a teenager, and your husband is traveling for work? Am I in middle school again? Well, I better put on my big girl panties.
This convention has 'Big Money' in the name for a reason. They talk about money a lot. Who is making what, how much money is in hair extensions, and to quit doing other services. Maybe it is a southern thing, but I don’t ever tell anyone how much money I make, not even my husband. And your sole focus is on hair extensions? Getting rid of everything else (cuts, color, makeup, weddings, etc), only providing clients with hair extensions is pretty compartmentalized. Sorry not sorry, I don’t do that.
The class was from 8:30am - 7:00 pmevery day with a lunch. People would stand up to tell their stories. Emotional stories. I mean so emotional people were crying; they were in tears, and it was a total emotional rollercoaster:
“My momma and mamaw raised me to pull up my big girl panties.”
“Never cry in front of people because it makes you look weak.”
“Always wear a bra and panties when taking your kids to school.”
“Never let your guard down because women are bitches.
So this was super uncomfortable… I thought we were here to learn about an application. Not go into emotional crazy-town. Finally we did the application. I was around a lot of people asking questions so I did not have to… just yet!
The second day was more applications with a guest speaker. This was my day to ask the only question that I asked the entire time there. And I asked it to one of the “top” educator. The way they answered made me almost pack my bags to get out of crazy town. But I’m not a quitter.
As an Educator, I merely couldn’t believe I asked a question only to be asked a question back that made me feel beyond stupid. Not.... “Hey let’s show you how to do this differently; why don’t you show me how you are doing it; let’s work on this together…”. Nope, that person was brutal. In all of my years of teaching, I have never answered a student like this. From that point forward, no other questions came out of my mouth. I’m someone who has to look, feel, and ask as a learner, so my learning was done on that day – completely shut down. The class offered a way to move forward with training and get more in depth. Let’s just say it wasn’t free to continue learning.
We did contests on the third day. And listened to a founder’s husband talk. Man, he is brutally honest, to the point, and cocky. I loved it. Didn’t sugar coat anything. Very business minded; the person that who could hurt your feelings and motivate you all at the same time. Every day we did a lot of writing, meeting different people and sharing our experiences like what we are going to do differently back home – being intentional and changing.
Have to say all I did to get into this class prepared me, and maybe even helped me learn the application even more. Because everything was on video. If I couldn’t get something, I’d rewind, doing it over and over on the big screen. All in all from my personal viewpoint I learned a lot more about business, more about myself, and less about hair extensions. Hair extensions were learned at home beforehand. Actually, I liked that aspect since you arrived knowing what to do, and it wasn’t the basics – but if you mess up, don’t expect help from the instructors in real-time.
At the end of the day, I was put in an educator’s section that I knew. Thank goodness!! Carlos is an amazing educator, super funny, charismatic, and like me is pretty no nonsense. He’s from Houston. Every time I am around him, he makes me laugh.
I don't want to make it sound like it was all terrible. I'm glad that I learned this application to add to my toolbelt. The education experience made me want more, to be more, and gave me just a little more experience in the world of hair extensions.
I met some really awesome people. We’ve continued pushing each other along the way, watching ourselves grow. Isn’t that what life is about? Listening, learning, liking, and loving each other along the way. Taking what you can get out of an experience. And leaving the rest behind.
Back at the salon, I’ve been changed the positioning of my clients’ hand tied weft extensions, started coloring the hair extensions differently, and using my camera and not my phone as much. I also returned a better educator because I swore I would never, ever be like that one educator who shut me down. Learning put into action immediately. The next class I taught, I was even more aware of everything from beginning to end. This experience changed me.
We've also set up a virtual consultation form - not just for hand tied wefts. This is only one hair extension application, and I've actually started combining multiple applications and hair extension types. So the form allows you to let me know what you're looking for, your hair type, and upload pics of your hair in order for me to give you the best recommendation for hair extensions. Check it out!
Janelle Alexis Flatt
January 31, 2020
Janelle Alexis Flatt
August 26, 2018