Today we're catching up with Class 22 Graduate Tina Malhotra.
Tina, How did you become interested in the beauty industry?
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.
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.
You can follow Tina's work on Instagram via @hairbytinam