Tina is a Senior Stylist at L’Appartement Hair Boudoir at East 57th Street, 7th Floor.
Tina, How did you become interested in the beauty industry? How did you end up in such an offbeat and unconventional career?
My mom was a hairdresser, so from a young age I was always interested in hair. I had always loved doing my own hair, and remember spending time styling it everyday – it made me late for school! I really thought every girl loved doing hair, and it was only until I got to college that I realized I had a unique passion. I gave my friends blowouts, wavy styles, and even a few ‘kitchen cuts’ (yikes!) – I loved doing hair, but at the time I never really thought it would become my career.
What did you study?
I did my B.F.A (Sociology) from Newyork University and Arrojo Cosmetology course in Styling and Nail Instructor.
Why did you choose ARROJO Cosmetology School?
When I decided to switch careers and look into cosmetology schools, I put a lot of thought into my decision. I had been an entertainment publicist for over a decade, working in both NYC and LA, and I myself had a been a client of many top salons on both coasts. I wanted to be successful. I knew all great things begin with education, so when I attended a tour at ARROJO I knew immediately that this was where I wanted to begin my journey. From the warm friendly staff, to the intimate class size and new state of the art facility – there was no question for me that ARROJO Cosmetology was going to be my home for the next 7 months.
Is there anything that stands out in your mind about your experience here?
My experience at ARROJO was everything I had hoped it would be. All of my talented instructors stood out to me, but especially my main instructor, Patsy Mendoza (Class 22). Patsy had also made a career change to hairdressing, and she was a true inspiration to me. She understood the hardships I faced with changing gears later in life, and was so incredibly supportive of me throughout my journey at ARROJO.
What is your favorite new skill?
I have learned so much since school. I’ve been fortunate enough to learn from some of the best in the business, and I have learned something from each of them. My knowledge of different cutting techniques has definitely expanded, and I love that it enables me to adapt my own style for my clients.
Any advice you can share with current or prospective students?
One piece of advice I would share is to try to absorb as much as you can while in school, but know there is always more to learn. I remember a guest speaker saying that once you get into a salon, you realize how much more there is to learn. Boy, was that true! ARROJO Cosmetology fully prepared me for my NY State Board and gave me a great foundation, but I definitely continued to learn so much in my first year as an apprentice. It is important to find an apprenticeship in a salon that provides a strong education program, because in this ever-changing industry, you should never stop learning.
What did you do after graduation, and where are you working now?
Since graduation I have been fortunate to learn from some of the best names in the industry, who have led to my success today. I began assisting celebrity colorist Marie Robinson before deciding to focus on style where I apprenticed under Julien Farel. I am now a full-time stylist at L’Appartement, doing what I love everyday.