Shara Stevenson is licensed esthetician and manicurist. She is also a marketing professional with a Bachelors of Arts from Georgia State University. Shara is passionate about multicultural beauty, fashion, market trends and branding. Follow Shara on Twitter @hellobeauty.
You purchased your kit, bought your uniform, and you’re officially enrolled in beauty school. That was the easy part. What you do next will determine whether you become a beauty school superstar, ready to conquer the world of beauty and esthetics, or, if you become just another person that went to beauty school and got their license but did nothing with it. You make the choice. Here’s how to make the most out of your beauty education.
Take Your Investment Seriously
You’ve invested the money in your beauty school education, so take it seriously. Study your Milady book and take the practice tests. Participate in class discussions, and stay on top of industry trends by subscribing to publications like LaunchPad, Nail Pro, DaySpa, and Beauty Fashion. Memorizing theory is important, but it’s more essential that you can explain it. Many times students fall into the habit of treating cosmetology school like high school for adults. Instead of practicing hair cutting techniques, they’re gossiping with classmates. If beauty school becomes a chore, then reevaluate why you enrolled, and decide whether or not you want to continue your education. The amount of material that you need to cover can seem overwhelming, but don’t get discouraged! Don’t be the next beauty school dropout. Put your blinders on, stay focused, and keep unnecessary distractions at bay. You’ll thank yourself once you’ve completed your required hours.
Practice Makes Perfect
Okay, so your first five sets of acrylic nails popped off. The first time you did a perm it didn’t come out right. And, you haven’t quite perfected the effleurage facial movement. Now what? Keep practicing! The great thing about beauty school is that you’re not expected to be a shear genius overnight. Cosmetology school is structured to provide you with the foundation you need to perform basic services, and to equip you with information you need to pass state cosmetology licensing examinations. What you do with the training you receive is up to you. One way to get ahead is to practice, practice, practice.
Here are a few ways to sharpen your hands-on cosmetology skills:
- Swap services with other students
- Volunteer your services to community and nonprofit organizations
- Offer services to your friends and relatives
Treat Yourself like a Business
Even though you’re a student, you are preparing yourself for a career in business so adapt the mindset of a businessperson. One of the most important things a business can do is maintain a consistent image. This is called “branding.” It sets you apart from competitors, defines what you stand for, and offers a way for customers to identify with your brand. If you’re studying to become a hairstylist, nail tech or makeup artist, would someone be able to tell by how you dress, and groom yourself? You say want to be the next hairstylist to the stars, but your hair is always messy. If you want to be taken seriously, then you need to become a representation of what you’re selling. Brand yourself. This means your clothing, hairstyle and color, and even your nails should reflect your beauty education and skills. It’s essential that your image is representative of your profession, and your target audience.
Take advantage of networking opportunities. Don’t wait until you graduate to attend trade shows and industry events. Research upcoming shows in your area and mark your calendar. Don’t have the money to attend? No problem. Most trade shows offer discounted rates to students. Another way to become acquainted with the industry is to contact other professionals that have become successful. You’ll be surprised how many beauty pros are willingly to give you advice, or even refer you for a position at a salon.
So Make the Most of Your Beauty School Education!
The statistics don’t lie. The increase in enrollment in beauty schools not only represents a need for people to diversify their skill sets, but it’s also a reflection of the growing billion dollar beauty, health and wellness industries. A career in beauty is a great way to take your passion for makeup, hair or nails to the next level. Study hard, be passionate about your goals, and position yourself as the next professional that sets trends, and becomes the voice of a booming industry.