Today we catch up with ARROJO Cosmetology School Graduate, Rachel Doss –– a passionate and creative student who came from the country to the big city to expand her horizons while gaining a profession and a craft.
Rachel, how did you become interesting in hairdressing?
I was born and raised as a small town girl in Yadkin County, North Carolina. I realized my passion for art at a young age; I started playing with my mom's makeup, filling up tons of coloring books, taking ballet classes, and creating abstract paintings. As I explored many art forms, I began to appreciate that we are our own canvas. We can use cut and color, makeup and contouring to shift and shape our appearances.
What brought you to NYC?
I started watching makeover shows including TLC’s “What Not to Wear” and was intrigued by Nick Arrojo as he so effortlessly transformed clients, simply with a new cut. I found out that Nick had opened his own school in the heart of New York City, and there was no turning back. This country girl was headed to the big city all on her own to learn from the best!
Was cosmetology school what you expected?
It was better than expected. At ARROJO, hair wasn’t just taught as giving a client a new cut and sending them on their way. It was about creating a sculpture on a round surface, using shapes and angles to bring out the client’s best features. It was about being an artist and changing people’s lives to help them feel more confident. We were taught to imagine that our clients should feel as if they were walking down their own runway in the streets of New York when they left our hands. It was a great learning and life experience.
What was the favorite thing you learned?
I learned how to use a razor to create space and movement within the hair. Most schools don't teach razor cutting so it was exciting that it is part of ARROJO's curriculum. Nick Arrojo even came in to teach sometimes and he taught me that the possibilities of using my creative mind are endless and to never stop pushing myself. That is what I now encourage present and future students to do. Never let someone look down on you for being a “hair stylist.” You are an “artist” with a select skill-set that people will always pay for, because you can make a person go from having the worst day to feeling like they are on top of the world.
What are you doing now?
As I came to the end of my journey as a student in New York City, I decided that it was time to head back down south and share what I had learned with the ones I love most. As I transferred my NY license to an NC license, I started working at Merle Norman Cosmetics, originally as a makeup artist. Then I began working in the salon doing hair, nails, waxing and makeovers. I now work at 2 salons and do my own freelance work with brides on their special day.