The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA)
If you're looking to sign up for a beauty school program, you may have seen The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA) pop up more than once in your research. TSPA has schools across the United States and Canada, from California to New Jersey and Florida to Minnesota.
TSPA is recognized throughout the industry for its commitment to high-quality education and career-advancing skills. Beauty programs offered by TSPAs range across cosmetology, esthetics, and nail technology. The schools are exclusively partnered with the Redken 5th Avenue NYC brand.
Read on to learn more about The Salon Professional Academy, with information on how the brand started, the programs available, what TSPA students and graduates have to say about the school, and more.
The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA): An Overview
The Salon Professional Academy currently has 25 locations across the United States and Canada, with more opening soon (as of early 2023) in cities including Orlando, Harrisonburg, and Duluth. At each school, the Academy offers a wide variety of different beauty-based programs in topics such as:
The exact program names and curriculums vary by location to comply with local state laws and training regulations. However, wherever you're considering applying, you can expect to be taught many relevant topics and techniques alongside essential business skills, salon management, and customer relations training.
Some locations also offer extra training in specialist areas. For example, students can specialize in microdermabrasion at The Salon Professional Academy's Colorado Springs campus.
TSPA and Redken 5th Avenue NYC Partnership
TSPA is the only beauty school in the country to be partnered with Redken 5th Avenue NYC. It was granted exclusive use of the "Recognized by Redken for Excellence in Education" mark for its commitment to learning and desire to see students surpass their professional goals.
In addition, TSPA schools can earn Redken's "Diamond Academy" designation, which is awarded annually and must be earned based on each location's commitment to, and delivery of, Redken's protocols and standards.
Together, TSPA and Redken have developed a curriculum to teach students the necessary technical skills to pass their licensing exams and business, marketing, and guest-handling strategies. This approach means students are ready to work straight after graduation, giving them an advantage over students from other schools who may need additional training to get up to speed.
Redken also provides TSPA with other resources, including hundreds of thousands of scholarship dollars, annual SPEC National Student Competition sponsorship, and employment opportunities at Redken salons.
TSPA also partners with several other industry-leading brands, including Bare Minerals, Pureology, Dermalogica, OPI, Bioelements, CND, and MUD Makeup Designory.
As well as focusing on learning and career progression, the school is committed to charity work and goodwill events. Alongside dozens of local charities, TSPA supports two nationwide programs: "Beauty for The Battle" and "Trim Hunger."
Why Students Choose TSPA
Reviews for The Salon Professional Academy vary from location to location. Overall, students praise the balanced mixture of hands-on learning and classroom theory and the school's commitment to preparing them through career guidance. They also mention the available equipment range and the teachers' high skill levels.
An Altoona, Pennsylvania, campus student said, “Good combination of classroom and hands-on learning. Knowledgeable staff and administrative/directorial staff. State-of-the-art equipment along with new theories and trends taught as they’re available.”
A graduate of TSPA’s Huntsville, Alabama, location claims starting their beauty education at the school led to great career opportunities. "The school was excellent. It opened so many doors for me. When I graduated, I was able to get a job at the top salon in the state of Tennessee. That in itself set the bar for my career," they said.
Another Huntsville student enjoyed the range of guest speakers who visited the campus and the opportunity to practice on real paying customers. Their review says, "Great combination of textbook and hands-on learning. Real interaction with the public and salon setting. Guest speakers were available, and you learn a lot about different products to accomplish your art."
On Indeed, a St. Charles (St. Louis, Missouri, area) graduate shared how their program could have taught them more, but they overall enjoyed their time at the school and felt it was worthwhile.
"The program definitely teaches you the basics and prepares you for the exam. However, I feel like I could have also learned a lot more. I am constantly researching new things or things that just weren't covered enough or at all in the course. I, however, did make amazing relationships through the school and had a great experience. I also passed the first time with both sections of the test. So, again, they teach you what you NEED to know. You also get extra certifications that some programs don't offer which was a great plus, especially for job applications," they said.
TSPA Corporate History
TSPA's parent brand, The Salon Professional Education Company (SPEC), was founded more than 15 years ago with the goal of creating a new beauty school to produce highly trained graduates who are ready to launch straight into their careers.
The Academy's popular programs were quickly noticed by L'Oréal Professional's Products Division and led to the development of TSPA as Redken's exclusive beauty school partner. Later, SPEC was asked to replicate this approach with another brand—leading to the introduction of Elevate Salon Institute in association with L'Oréal Professionnel.
SPEC's leadership team comprises seasoned industry executives, educators, franchise experts, and business owners from many walks of life, giving the company a diverse and unique insight into the beauty school industry.
Unlike some other school groups, where every campus is owned and operated by one central company, each TSPA location is owned and run by individual franchisees.
There are three pathways to opening a SPEC school: options for existing independent beauty schools that want to join the group, opening a brand-new school as a franchise business opportunity, and opening a TSPA school to support an existing salon.
Once they've joined the SPEC family, TSPA schools can expect a wide variety of resources and assistance from SPEC, including turnkey systems, ongoing training and support, professional marketing, promotions, and social media expertise. In exchange, all TSPA franchise locations must meet the high standards set by SPEC. So as a student, you can rest because your education is in good hands and overseen by the franchisor to be consistent with TSPA brand standards.
The Salon Professional Academy Locations
4741 U.S. Route 9
Howell, NJ 7731
130 West Main Street Suite 106
Collegeville, PA 19426
The Salon Professional Academy – Accredited
Melbourne, FL 32904