When most of us envision the typical high school experience, subjects like math, English and chemistry often come to mind before cosmetology, hair design, nail technology, skincare or massage. A traditional high school curriculum is designed to prepare students for a four-year university experience, but many students have a different plan for their educations and careers.
In high schools across the country, many educators think these students deserve to take practical classes that will introduce them to the subjects about which they are most interested. At some schools, this means an opportunity to begin a cosmetology education before graduation.
For instance, in Lancaster, Ohio, about 50 students at Lancaster High School apply each year for the school’s cosmetology program. To gain acceptance in the program, students must have a solid academic record and complete an interview process with their instructors. Teachers say that nearly all of their students in the program share a genuine enthusiasm for working in the cosmetology field, but they don’t yet realize how in-depth a cosmetology education really is. In the Lancaster High School cosmetology program, students begin the classes during their junior year, and study everything from the chemical compositions of hair products, massage treatments, common skin ailments and cosmetic applications.
Some people out of the loop don’t take cosmetology seriously. They think we sit around all day just making people pretty. While that’s definitely part of it and easily the best parts of our jobs, there is so much more to cosmetology school, and you might be surprised at some of the things students learn. Cosmetology students take substantive courses that teach them far more than the processes for creating the latest hair styles or achieving the perfect shade of highlights. In cosmetology programs, students are often required to take courses that educate them about the anatomy and physiology of the body, trichology, and the proper sterilization procedures for hair styling equipment, and so much more. Cosmetology schools help a student obtain a well-rounded, serious and meaningful education so that the student can provide the best services for the client. So check out the top four things you would never guess a student learns in cosmetology school and discover why cosmetology is a career that is valuable and should be taken seriously!
Anatomy and Physiology of Hair, Skin and Nails
Stylists will take extensive courses in cosmetology school that cover the physical make-up of the body and an understanding of anatomy. Because cosmetologists come into contact with the scalp region, it is important that cosmetologists understand its construction so as to spot potential issues and avoid harmful effects of treatments like infections or rashes. Ever heard of trichology? It deals with the scientific study of the hair and scalp, and it’s not something to be taken likely!
Safety, Sanitation and Sterilization
Hairstylists learn how to properly clean hair rollers, irons, brushes, scissors, combs and every other tool they use in a cosmetology program. Cosmetology students also learn how to maintain an immaculate work station for client safety and their own safety. They learn how to spot illnesses in the scalp and protect other clients from being exposed to a client’s dandruff or lice problem. By learning these skills, cosmetologists learn how to avoid negligent situations in the workplace for which they and their salon would be held legally liable, and prevent customers from ending up with serious health conditions that will tarnish your and your salon’s reputations.
Chemistry of Color, Treatments and Beauty Products
The typical program at a cosmetology school requires 1500 to 2000 hours of coursework depending on your state, and that includes real, hands-on practice styling hair and performing other beauty services. A majority of these hours are spent in learning how to properly mix hair color and perform special hair treatments for clients. Stylists will learn how to use relaxers and perform a partial or full set of highlights. A student can complete these hours over a 9- to 15-month course depending on their state. There are specific requirements that must be met within the program in order to take board exams and get licensed. One of the most important requirements a student must meet is a set number of hours (determined by the boards of cosmetology or cosmetology schools) dedicated to theory and the study of chemistry. Studying the chemistry of hair color is one of the most important skills a beauty student learns, because more often than not they will work in a salon where stylists are responsible for mixing their own color.
Business Skills like Salesmanship, Ethics, Client Relations and Shop Management
Working with clients and being able to relate to them is an important aspect of being a stylist or other personal appearance worker. Many salons depend on stylists to market to new clients and promote the salon. A stylist is largely responsible for building their own loyal client base. A stylist will usually study professionalism and communication with clients in a beauty school program. Cosmetology students will often find that sales and marketing skills, critical thinking for ethical decisions, client relations and retention, and salon and spa management are skills they get with the cosmetology school package.
These are 4 things that every cosmetologist should learn in beauty school. Cosmetology school exposes students to valuable information that directly helps them become better professionals in the workplace, and keeps the public safe and satisfied.
If you are considering becoming a hairstylist, then there are two types of schools from which you can learn your trade – cosmetology school and barber school. Barber school will teach you how to properly cut, style and color (primarily) men’s hair and facial hair. In comparison, a cosmetology program will provide you with a more varied education that includes hair, nails, makeup and skin care, and you will serve both male and female clients.
People who wish to specialize in facial hair along with cutting and styling men’s hair should consider attending barber school. Your services will geared towards men with the occasional short hair cut for a woman. Certification for becoming a barber is completed on average in 9 to 12 months. You start with the basics, theory, and safety and sanitation, then later move onto more advanced techniques of shaving, hair coloring and cutting as you progress through the barbering program.
Once you have finished your schooling then you will be able to work as a professional once you have passed your licensing exam. States vary on the number of hours you need to have before crossing this line. Also, keep in mind that some states only allow barbers to handle razors and shaving. If you wish to open a full service barber shop in a state with these restrictions, then attending a barber school over a cosmetology school might be the best choice for you.
The decision of attending a cosmetology school might be a better choice if you wish to offer more services than just shaving and cutting hair for men. This means that as a hairstylist, you will need a well-rounded education that can cater to both men and women. Most of the time you will attend a program and graduate in the same amount of time it takes to complete barber school, approximately 9 to 12 months. Again, training hours will vary, but training hours required are almost always the same as barber license requirements. The difference with cosmetology school is that you will learn about nail technology, some makeup artistry, and some esthetics and skin care in addition to learning hairstyling.
Cosmetology school offers you the foundation you need to work as a hairstylist or other beauty professional to men and women. You will be able to work with a variety of clients and offer a full salon service from nails to facials. You will also need to pass a cosmetology licensing exam once you finish your program. In fact, many states wish for you to continue training throughout your career to ensure that you are up to standard on all of the latest techniques and health codes.
No matter where you decide to attend school, it is important that you have a passion for what you do. Barbering and cosmetology are both social jobs; they will require you to be outgoing and understanding when you consult with your clients. Your final decision really depends on your dream job, the different services that you hope to provide in your job, the clientele you want, and the regulations of the state you live in.
If you want to become a barber or hairstylist, you are presented with a few options to achieve that goal. But which is better – a cosmetology apprenticeship or cosmetology school? But this option might seem quite costly at first, and you may be questioning whether beauty apprenticeships are a better way to go. So we compared the pros and cons, and while both have their fair share, find out which one wins our vote in the end.
In most states, cosmetology school takes less time to complete than a cosmetology apprenticeship. For instance, in Maryland, the requirement for cosmetology licensing is that a student gets 1,500 training hours, which can be completed in the course of a year assuming the student attends school full-time. On the contrary, most states require apprentices to get twice as many training hours as cosmetology students. This could be because it’s in a less formalized training setting and the state regulating boards deem it less structured and that apprentices need more time observing in order to get the full grasp of cosmetology. So an apprenticeship could take 2 years or more depending on your state cosmetology license requirements. Because of the lengthy amount of time it takes to be a cosmetology apprentice or barber apprentice, cosmetology school wins this round.
Some states don’t even allow beauty apprenticeships. In some states, you must complete a beauty school or barber school program with a standard training curriculum to be eligible for licensing, so attending a beauty school is obligatory. These states have determined schooling as the only acceptable form of training to get your cosmetology or barber license. The Some states may require you to have hands-on experience similar to what a cosmetology apprentice might get, but many cosmetology schools now have hands-on student salon settings for you to get your practical hours. Again, in the few states that allow beauty apprenticing, you may be required to take twice as many hours of training in an apprenticeship as you would be in beauty school. Because of inconsistent availability of apprenticing as an option, cosmetology school wins this round, too.
A cosmetology apprenticeship would allow you to get your hands-on experience much sooner. You’ll observe real cosmetology work happening on real clients, and be able to get hands-on experience almost immediately. On the other side of the coin, cosmetology school requires you to go through textbook learning, in-class lecture, theory and mannequin heads before getting to work on real clients in a student salon. While we think the ramping up cosmetology school gives you is very important and valuable, we’re going to give this round to cosmetology apprenticeship for getting beauty professionals working on real clients faster, because we know there’s no better way to learn than by doing.
Diversity of the Curriculum
Both have their advantages and disadvantages here. Learning to style hair and perform other beauty services in a school setting gives a student one-on-one training, book-based learning, in-class lectures and hands-on practical experience in the student salon. The curriculum covers an assortment of subjects that may not be included in a beauty apprenticeship. You cover a broader spectrum of the beauty industry with a variety of ways to get the information. And there are some services that are less common but just as important in the beauty industry that you may not get to witness in an apprenticeship, but are standard parts of the curriculum in beauty school. However, an apprenticeship really allows you to embed yourself in the process and see it first-hand happening in real life. This was a tough call, but in the end we had to hand it over to cosmetology school again – it’s just more well-rounded and you’re guaranteed to learn a certain set of curricula in your training.
Finding a Job
We found that in this case, both apprenticeships and cosmetology school can be very helpful to finding a job in the field. In the barbering field in particular, it is even more common to have a barber apprenticeship under your belt before you go on the job hunt. But then at some hiring businesses, if you don’t have training hours at a beauty school orbarber college, the prospective employer might pass your resume by. Some employers feel that a classroom education provides students with the appropriate skills and a more well-rounded curriculum. Both cosmetology schools and cosmetology apprenticeships give you experienced instructors helping you every step of the way and overseeing your development, but it depends on the employer whether they prefer an apprenticeship over schooling. This round is a tie.
With 3.5 points for cosmetology school and 1.5 points for cosmetology apprenticeship, we’re declaring COSMETOLOGY SCHOOL the winner of this smack-down!
In an era where traditional professions that could long be entered into with confidence are crumbling as a result of a changing world and a sagging economy, the cosmetology field is as popular as ever. Regardless of what is happening on Wall Street or in Washington D.C., people will always seek out professionals that can make them look good on the outside and feel good on the inside. Here are the top 5 reasons that your next career move should be to enroll in cosmetology school.
It’s a perfect fit for working parents.
Millions of Americans that are raising young children are currently locked into a monotonous cycle of working long, 40+ hour weeks in order to be able to cover the rising cost of childcare. As a cosmetologist, you can often structure your schedule on your own terms. Part-time, full-time, nights, mornings or even weekend shifts can be worked in order to preserve your valuable time with your children while substantially cutting down on the costs of raising them. Cosmetology is an especially popular profession among parents and single parents.
Express yourself artistically every single day.
The cosmetology business thrives on creative and challenging work that allows you to express yourself artistically. Few professions that come with economic stability allow a person to engage in forms of art, but cosmetologists get to practice their love of art and beauty in various mediums every single workday. When a job is fresh, rewarding and allows personal expression, the environment never becomes stale or tiresome. And you will constantly be asked for your creative input and suggestions.
Get into the work force sooner.
People who embark on a career in medicine or law often submerge themselves in gargantuan workloads that come with many years of expensive schooling, only to emerge several years later saddled with massive debt in a shaky and uncertain job market. Cosmetology is the perfect profession for the modern era, as it allows a person to become qualified and certified in a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the cost of the traditional college route. It’s still important to plan for the financial and scheduling aspects of attending cosmetology school, but plan on getting into the work force within 2 years or less!
The job demand is increasing.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for cosmetologists has steadily increased in the past ten years, and the average annual income of a cosmetologist continues to rise. The BLS.gov report says that job demand for personal appearance workers is expected to continue to grow through 2018! The population is growing, we all have hair and skin and nails that need tending to, it makes sense that the job demand for cosmetology professionals is growing!
Then there are the unspoken rewards.
Much like great coaches or teachers, great cosmetologists get extensive gratification out of helping people to feel great about themselves. Most cosmetologists embark on a lifelong career in which they are able to combine their expert consultation skills and knowledge, with their artistic and creative side, with precise and effective technical skills learned in cosmetology school to make their clients feel great. When you truly love your job, the positive impact you can have on the people you work with is immeasurable.
If you were on the fence about starting a career in cosmetology, hopefully this list of the top 5 reasons to go to cosmetology school will help you make the decision and take the plunge. If you ever need help finding a cosmetology school near you to get started, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Posted on: January 18th, 2012 by Beauty Schools Directory No Comments
We got a great chance to talk with some students at Mitsu Sato Hair Academy, a cosmetology school in Kansas City. They have a range of reasons for getting into cosmetology and goals for the future, and they were really a lot of fun to hang out with and get to know.
Heather: Hey there, this is Heather from Beauty Schools Directory, and I’m standing here with several students from Mitsu Satu in Overland Park, KS. We’re going to ask them a few questions about why they chose cosmetology. So maybe you could introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about why you chose it.
Brandon: I’m Brandon, and I chose cosmetology because I wanted to do something creative, and this was an outlet to do that.
Eric: I’m Eric, and it’s pretty much the same thing – I chose this to be artistic and have that outlet, and make some money.
Heather: (To Alina) How about you?
Alina: I’m Alina, and I chose cosmetology because it’s really fun, it’s something I’ve enjoyed. I like doing my friends’ hair and it’s something I can do on the side while I’m in school. I do plan on attending K-State next fall. I’ll have a part time job and be a full-time student.
Heather: Tell me what you were looking for when you were considering beauty school. What made you say this was the one for you?
Brandon: Basically Mitsu himself. He owns it. He’s here. He trains us. He knows what he’s doing. I liked it because it’s a smaller school also – my class only had like 5 people.
Heather: (To Brandon) So you feel like you’re getting more attention here?
Brandon: More one-on-one time, yeah.
Heather: (To Eric) How about you? What were you looking for in a school?
Eric: Well, originally I was going to go to barber college because I’ve grew up cutting my friends’ hair and I’ve always been interested in owning my own barbershop. And I talked to a lot of people in the industry and they recommended I go to cosmetology school so I could be more well-rounded and learn to do women’s hair and the coloring part of cosmetology as well as barbering.
Heather: (To Eric) Do you think you will be well-rounded?
Eric: Yes, I’m very glad I went here.
Heather: (To Alina) And what about you?
Alina: I was really interested in what kind of people came here. I looked to do something crazy. I don’t like to be conservative, I like doing different colors… We have a really well-rounded clientele here. You get young children here, you do children’s cuts all the way up to senior citizens. You get the full experience here doing short haircuts, long hair, color – you get to mess around and I love that.
Heather: So what do you want to be when you grow up after you graduate cosmetology school?
Brandon: A fireman! No… a cosmetologist. I’ll specialize in hair for sure.
Eric: Hair, for sure.
Heather: Still men’s hair or are you going to branch out?
Eric: Definitely going to branch out.
Alina: I really don’t know. I want to own my own salon, but right now I’m just going with the flow. I like doing everything – hair, skin, nails – it’s all interesting.
Heather: So someday it will come to you?
Alina: Yeah, someday, but for now I just like doing it for fun as a part-time job.
Posted on: October 13th, 2011 by Beauty Schools Directory No Comments
Been looking at Pivot Point Academy as a potential cosmetology school? Well, they have a heck of an offer for you with the launch of their annual contest: The winner gets full tuition to one of the Academy’s three locations.
This year, their theme is “Anything But Hair,” which means entrants have to create a fantastic hair-like design without using real or synthetic hair. Kind of like when Project Runway contestants have to make cocktail dresses out of candy and car interiors.
The contest started on October 3rd and runs through November 10, and all you have to do to enter is upload photos of your creation through Pivot Point’s Facebook page.
Posted on: July 12th, 2011 by Beauty Schools Directory No Comments
Cosmetology students dream of making the world a little more beautiful. Beauty Schools Marketing Group (BSMG), the company behind the beauty school directory websites BeautySchool.com and BeautySchoolsDirectory.com as well as the cosmetology networking site MySocialBeauty.com, wants to make that dream come true for dedicated cosmetology students each year.
“We’re excited to announce that we are now taking applications for a $2,500 scholarship,” said Bridget Duffy, Director of Beauty Schools Marketing Group. “There are so many students who dream about entering the cosmetology field, but are worried about how to pay for the cost of school. We wanted to help make these dream careers a reality.”
Applicants will be chosen based on their answers to several questions, including their most meaningful achievement and how it relates to their future in cosmetology and what issues they think are most important in the cosmetology industry today.
Posted on: June 30th, 2011 by Beauty Schools Directory No Comments
Check out this summer’s hottest advice for easy, breezy styles from hair design expert, award-winning stylist and Aquage Co-Founder, Luis Alvarez.
“First and foremost it’s important to have FUN with styling no matter the season but summer is prime time to test out textures and looks you might normally shy away from. The more you embrace your natural texture in the summer, the better. Don’t fight a natural wave or volume, use it to your advantage!” says Luis.
Whether hair is long, short, textured or pin straight, drop the blow dryers, toss the straightening irons and say ‘so-long’ to complicated styling regimens [at least until Labor Day!], with easy-to-implement PRO tips and tricks from Luis.
Protect hair from salt, sun and other style saboteurs. “Sun, sand, and chlorine are harsh enough on hair but when combined with heat and humidity, styles quickly go awry. Try looking for shampoos and conditioners that gently silken the hair and offer protection against UV damage and color fading.” Luis suggests PRO TIP: Aquage SeaExtend Silkening Shampoo and Conditioner to restore hair to its ultimate condition and protect it against thermal and environmental damage. Both are formulated with organic bio-actives extracted from nutrient-rich algae to restore flexibility, strength and resiliency. UVA/UVB sunscreens prevent fading and environmental damage to help maintain haircolor vibrancy longer. Thermal-V™ Technology seals heat out forming a heat-activated shield to prevent damage from the sun’s rays! Let Natural Curls Flow. “You need to separate and define texture while adding hold.” Start by emulsifying a curl enhancing product (Aquage Curl Defining Crème) in hands and apply to freshly shampooed hair. Comb through evenly from roots to ends with a fine-tooth comb to achieve even product distribution. Afterward, use a large-tooth comb to create the level of strand definition desired. Blow dryer fitted with a cup-style diffuser until all of the curls are dry.
Posted on: June 23rd, 2011 by Beauty Schools Directory No Comments
It’s that time of year when your best accessory is a sunkissed-just-returned-from-South-Beach tan. However, jumping into a tanning bed is a dangerous option. According to recent research from the University of Minnesota, regular use of tanning beds triples or even quadruples the risk of developing melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. No accessory is worth putting yourself at that kind of a risk. Here are some tips to get a healthy glow this summer from a lotion or a spray tan at your local spa or salon.
Long gone are the days applying self tanner, only to be surprised with orange skin after a few hours. Today your options are almost as endless as natural skin colors. From instant color to gradual color and a light sun kissed color to dark bronze, many brands offer natural and safe sunless tanning lotions.
The first step for sunless tanning is to prep your skin. In the shower exfoliate with a loofah and cleansing scrub. This ensures dead skin is removed for a clean, smooth surface to soak up the lotion. It is also very important to shave before applying sunless tanner. You don’t want to put on your tanner, only to have to “shave” off that layer of color the next day!
Make sure your skin is completely dry before you apply the lotion and have your hair pulled up. As you apply the self tanner be mindful of areas that are naturally lighter–think underarms, palms of your hand, feet and ankles. Use a towel to wipe or dab these areas a little more so color doesn’t build up and look unnatural. Also, wash the palms of your hands once you’re done.
Finally, let your skin dry a bit before putting on loose, dark-colored clothing. If possible wear a towel or cover-up until your skin is completely dry. For the first four hours of your tan, avoid swimming, exercising or anything that would get your skin wet or sweaty.
If you opt for a spray tan at a spa or salon, the first and last tips remain the same—exfoliate and shave well before your appointment, wear loose clothes home and avoid swimming of exercising for a few hours.
Interview with Kathy Jager - Cosmetology Author It takes more than just being great at cutting hair to be a huge success in the beauty business. It takes top notch client consultation, relentless marketing, a growing and steady clientele, professionalism and poise, and much more. We interviewed author Kathy Jager, who has more than 30 years of experience in the beauty business, about what it takes to really make it in the cosmetology business.
Interview with Meg Haas - Blowdry Bar Owner Blow Dry Bars are the hottest new beauty salon on the scene, and one has opened up in the heart of Kansas City. No cutting and coloring here, though – it’s all about hair design and styling! Parlor is Kansas City’s first blow-dry and cosmetic bar. We checked in with Meg Haas, the owner of Parlor, a “beauty bar” located on the Kansas City Plaza to find out more about what a blowdry bar is, what kinds of clients they serve and services they perform, and what she looks for in blow dry bar employees as a salon owner.
Interview with Brenda Corona - Scholarship Winner It was an incredibly special moment when the Beauty Schools Directory team was able to surprise Brenda Corona from Las Vegas, Nevada on Skype with a $2,500 scholarship for esthetics school. We would like to thank every single applicant who told us their story and applied for the scholarship to pursue their dreams and attend a beauty school or cosmetology school, and everyone who had a hand in making this scholarship possible. Congratulations, Brenda! We are so excited for you!