What should I look for in a Beauty school?
So, you’re interested in enrolling in a beauty or cosmetology school. How do you choose the right school? Do you just go to the most convenient school? What should you be looking for in beauty school? Here are a few things that you should pay attention to as you start researching.
learn your passion
It’s a good idea to know what excites you about the world of cosmetology. Do you love working with hair? Are you interested in learning how to apply makeup? Maybe skincare is especially interesting to you. Your passion should be what guides you to your eventual career. But remember that different beauty schools have different curriculums. Make sure the beauty school you choose has a course that will fit your passion and eventual career.
There are many ways that you may be able to attend cosmetology school even if you’re worried about paying for it. For example, some schools have financial aid programs allowing you to pay for your tuition as you attend, rather than paying it all in a lump sum. Some schools can connect you with federal and private scholarship options. Some schools may have their own scholarship options that they distribute to students. Check to see the financial support options for whatever school you’re considering
MARKERS OF A GOOD BEAUTY SCHOOL
There are a few pointers that you can look at to be more certain that the beauty school you’re thinking of attending is a great institution. Here are a few markers to keep in mind.
- Business education. If you’re planning to own your own beauty business one day, you need business skills. A high-quality beauty school will help you develop your business skills as much as they will your beauty skills, whether by offering their own courses or at least showing you where you can get this education.
- Student salon. The best way for you to learn how to handle different elements of beauty is to do hands-on work. The school you’re attending must have the right facilities.
- Industry connections. One of the biggest reasons that many people attend beauty school is to make connections within the industry. Check to see whether your school of interest attends or holds beauty competitions or hair shows, as well as whether they employ instructors that are still active within the industry.
TAKE A TRIP
One of the best ways to check on beauty schools that you think might be a good fit is simply to attend an open day and take a look around the campus. This can also allow you to talk with students and instructors, making it easier to determine if you can visualize yourself studying there.
How to become a cosmetologist.
The cosmetologist profession is growing rapidly, and with good reason. The profession is dynamic and requires great social skills and an eye for beauty. Though a cosmetologist’s primary focus is often cutting, coloring, and styling hair, many cosmetologists also give manicures and pedicures, do makeup, and give skin treatments to their clients and can even offer massage services. If you want to know if you’ve got what it takes to be a cosmetologist, then follow these steps.
Meet the basic educational requirements. Most cosmetology programs require you to have a high school certificate to enter. But every school has slightly different regulations and requirements, so before you proceed, you should check with the cosmetology boards of different schools to see what you need to do. In some cases, different cosmetology schools will also have stricter requirements, so you’ll have to look into those on an individual basis as well.
Enroll in cosmetology school. Cosmetology students enroll in state licensing beauty schools, job skills beauty schools or degree granting beauty schools. Tuition and fees for cosmetology schools range depending on the courses offered, the school’s location, hours of education required and the facilities and equipment available. You can enroll in cosmetology school at a private school or a community college.
- Make sure that you look at at least three different schools in your area and compare the prices, the percentage of students that find jobs, and the duration of the program.
- Talk to the admissions counsellors at each school to find which school is the best fit for you.
- Some schools offer courses for part-time students or night courses so that you can get the education with a more flexible schedule. If this is important for you, it should be a priority.
Complete cosmetology school. Most schools take between 9-15 months to complete. You’ll have to put in long hard hours and learn a variety of subjects that range from hair coloring to human anatomy. You’ll have to attend class, pass exams, and get many hours of hands-on practice. Here are some of the things you may have to do in school.
- Take courses that teach you about human anatomy and chemistry and how to wash, cut and style hair.
- Learn about the chemicals used in coloring, straightening and making hair curly or wavy.
- Learn how to give facials and facial massages.
- Learn about the chemicals you use when you give a client a facial chemical peel.
- Learn how to wax the different areas of your clients’ bodies–including the upper lip, eyebrows, underarms, legs and pubic areas.
- Learn about microdermabrasion.
- Learn how to administer a microdermabrasion on your clients’ faces.
Consider specializing. Finding a specialty can also help you land a job; it typically takes extra hours of coursework to specialize. Though your job title can be “cosmetologist,” there are a wide variety of specialties and job titles that you can take on after additional training. And remember that cosmetologists can also work as magazine editors or consultants or as marketing specialists, though getting some years as a cosmetologist under your belt can help you land one of these careers. Here are the variety of job titles that you can hold in this position
- Wedding stylist
- Barber stylist
- Nail technician
- Manager stylist
- Salon assistant
- Spa manager
Pass your licensing exam. It’s a Government requirement for all cosmetology graduates to take and pass a licensing examination. Each licensing applicant has to pass written questions and practical testing.
Succeeding in your career
Develop the skills you need to be a great cosmetologist. It’s one thing to snag a job as a cosmetologist, and another to be truly excellent in your career. If you want to be a great cosmetologist, then you have to put in the hours to learn how to work with different hair and skin types. But it takes more than that. Here are some other skills you’ll have to develop as you move forward in your profession:
- Stellar communication skills. If you want your clients to be happy, then you have to be able to talk to them about what vision they have for their hair and skin and to know how to give them what they want (within reason).
- Great social skills. This is different from being able to talk to a client about what hairstyle she wants. You’ll often have to spend more than an hour working with each client, and you’ll need to know how to make small talk, make your clients feel comfortable, and even how to make them laugh. If you want your clients to keep coming back to you, you have to know how to socialize with them.
- Business and financial experience. This is crucial to have, especially if you are or are thinking about being self-employed.
- Artistic skills and ability. The more hours you put in, the better sense you’ll have about what will and won’t work for all of your client.
- Ability to multi-task. You will have to work with many clients in one day and will often have to use a variety of skills at any given point.
Keep your skills current. If you want to succeed in your profession, then you have to keep your skills up to date and to be aware of current trends in your industry. What’s popular in hair and makeup today is very different than what was popular ten — or even five — years ago, so it’s important to know how to give your clients exactly what they want in this day and age. Here are some ways to keep your skills as current as possible:
- Attend trend shows
- Enroll in continuing education classes
- Subscribe to popular style magazines
- Read style blogs
Develop a strong client base. Without your clients, your career won’t add up to much. If you want to be a great cosmetologist, then you have to develop a loyal and growing client base and make sure that the people who see you want to see you again — and again. To develop a strong base, you need to know how to talk to your clients, make them feel at home, and to let them know how much you value your business.
- Whenever you finish with a client, you have to encourage him or her to book his or her next appointment. Say, “If you want to keep up that new haircut, you’ll have to come back in one month. Make sure you book an appointment.”
- Ask for referrals. Your clients can also send their friends and acquaintances your way, often for a discount. This is another way to grow your client base.
- Make your clients feel important. Remember the names of their kids or husbands and ask about them the next time you see them. Show them that you don’t just see money.
Expand your business. Once you’ve gained enough experience working for someone else, you can consider opening up your own salon or beauty establishment. It’ll be much easier if you build a strong client base first so you know you’ll have clients in your new business, and it’ll also help to make connections with other cosmetologists that you can potentially hire for your business. Though having your own business will be more work, you will reap more rewards if you succeed.
- You can also consider moving up to a managerial position at a beauty salon or a spa. This will also give you a pay bump and less hands-on work.
Just like in any other profession, skills and knowledge is required to be abreast in the market. Continue learning and keep up with the emerging trends in cosmetology, believe in yourself and there is no limit to what you can achieve.