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Beauty College School Teacher Tells All About Becoming Your Best
By Laurie Brown

Students recently visited a beauty college to hear teaching staff give insider tips on what to look for in a salon school, and how to establish their plan for success as a nail technician, make-up artist, esthetician, hair stylist, barber, or cosmetologist.

What does it take to make it through what some call a challenging cosmetology program?  Physical and emotional stamina, a desire to truly help others, a willingness to put aside one’s own issues and focus on the client, and a commitment to continual learning.

Hair stylists are on their feet all day, according to one of the teachers, and continually in motion, even at beauty school.  Design students need to be prepared to move constantly while performing cuts, colors, shampoos, perms, and other treatments. State and federal laws raise health and safety standards on a regular basis, so smart students keep up-to-date and ensure laws are adhered to throughout the day.

A beauty institute has a reputation to keep, so your performance as a student and then as a professional in the fashion industry is critically important to them. Smart cosmetology students commit themselves to learning the techniques that will set them apart from the rest, digging deep to ensure their skills are a cut-above.

Top cosmetology programs look for stylists, nail technicians, estheticians, barbers, and make-up artists that possess a passion for fashion, who crave staying on top of trends, and who express their creativity every day.  Schools want to know students are serious about their profession, and will work toward building a clientele base that will take them to the top of the beauty industry.

Today, many beauty college graduates consider themselves “personal appearance consultants.”  They use their customer service skills to bring out each client’s best look through good listening, providing sound advice, demonstrating a good attitude, and being able to sell their skills and products.  A well-rounded, thorough understanding of what the beauty industry has to offer is essential to building a stylist’s business.

Older beauty college students speak out!

By Laurie McLachlan Brown

Have you wondered what it would be like to have a glamorous, rewarding career in the beauty profession but resisted making a mid-life change? 

Today’s best beauty schools attract students from all walks of life and age brackets.  Some even say that older students have a greater shot at success as a hair stylist, nail technician, esthetician, or barber due to a combined level of maturity and life experiences.

Yet, making the commitment to a three, six, or even twelve-month cosmotology school is a big step, especially for men and women over 40 who have a host of obligations and responsibilities.  Here you’ll find words of encouragement and advice from 30-and-40 year old cosmetology students who took the leap by enrolling in a hairstyling institute much later in life … and never regretted it.

  • “I just graduated from cosmetology school and there were three other women in my class who were over the age of 40.  They always had more return clients than the rest of us!”

  • “Hair is for everyone.  You can be 18-80 to go to school.  Do what your authentic self has been telling you to do.” 

  • “To anyone considering a top beauty school, please go for it! Nothing is more rewarding than this career. I just finished my training, and state board, and got an awesome job on my first day of looking!”

  • “Older students are more mature, more disciplined and more organized.  After years of managing other jobs, and even their busy families, older students can quickly surmise any situation and respond properly.  Perhaps we notice things that could be improved in the workplace before other people, or we get along better with coworkers, which also helps us move into management positions.”

  • “I'm in my 30's and thought that I was way too old for beauty college. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one with a passion for hair at a later age. I'm so excited and ready to do something that I know I will enjoy. Sure, it will have its challenges but in the end, I'm sure it is all worth it!”

  • “We have to consider the happiness factor.  If you’re not satisfied sitting behind a desk for the rest of your life, and you love helping people look and feel good, then why not do what inspires you?  I’ve never regretted going to beauty college.  Worth every moment, even at age 48.”

  • “For anyone who is wondering if they should go to cosmetology school, I say ‘Go!’ but only if you love doing hair. It really has to be a passion and in your blood!”

  • “I'd much rather try and fail than be 55-years-old and wondering what would've happen had I not tried it. That would've torn me apart!”

Looking beyond both beauty college and the salon chair
By Laurie McLachlan Brown

If you are considering a career in the beauty industry, such as a hair stylist, barber, esthetician, nail technician, make-up artist, or professional appearance consultant, then setting your sights on what you want to do five, ten, even fifteen years after graduation from beauty college is a good idea. 

A multitude of options exist for these professions beyond the design chair.  Throughout their careers, many professionals continue to enroll in classes that not only perfect their skills, but also broaden the scope of their knowledge. For example, some cosmetology schools and even adult learning centers offer classes in small business development and marketing.  These programs, in particular, equip stylists with the skills they need to transition from employee to owner of a salon, day spa, or even hotel/resort.

If the notion of being responsible for too many employees seems daunting, take advantage of the latest trend in salon management, that is, renting booths to stylists and nail technicians, rather than hiring them as employees.  Having independent contractors on board alleviates the employer’s burden of payroll, workers compensation, federal and state employment taxes, insurance, benefits, and other administrative tasks.  Almost 70 percent of today’s salons and spas use the independent contractor business model, and the trend is expected to continue.

Salon owner not your thing?  Consider becoming a beauty college instructor.  Teaching is a highly rewarding, stable, and financially rewarding profession, especially when combined with a subject you are passionate about.  Many experienced instructors claim teaching at a design college is doubly rewarding since the students choose to be there and are enthusiastic about learning the hottest trends in hair styling, manicures, pedicures, skin care, make-up, and more.

Some beauty college instructors with excellent administrative skills go on to become education directors of cosmetology schools.  Combining leadership, management, and creative skills, these positions carry a lot of responsibility and respect among peers, colleagues, and the community; and are well within reach for the right person.

Maybe an office job isn’t your style, though.  Traveling, meeting clients, and forming new relationships are the work of beauty product representatives.  These professionals are up-to-date on the latest and greatest style products and trends, and enjoy sharing their knowledge with salon owners, hair designers, nail technicians, barbers, make-up artists, estheticians, and other personal appearance consultants.  If you are like most product sales reps, you are driven by reward and welcome the idea of working on a salary/commission basis.

Ultimately, whatever path you choose to take within the beauty industry will prove successful with the right amount of education, planning, creativity, and commitment.

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