Currently, beauty school owners are extremely concerned about changes in how
the US Government may no longer fund beauty education. This issue is an important
one, and I am sympathetic to both sides of this argument. Our industry a new infusion
of talent: Passionate, skilled, educated people must enter our field and do what is required
to be successful.
Federal funding has provided young people with the opportunity to learn skills, enabling them
to enter the salon business as licensed professionals. This creates earners who might
contribute successfully to our nation's financial health, and to their own bright futures.
Education costs money -- and costs MUCH more than it did even ten years ago. Many
beauty schools employ dedicated, knowledgeable instructors who work to prepare
new professionals for success. I have learned that some states no longer require a
"hands on" technical portion as part of their cosmetology state board examination.
And, other things are at play here. I believe that we currently address a different
type of "newbie" than we did in the past. The landscape has changed from the way
young people perceive the definition of "success". Today's youth is interested in their life both
in and out of "work". Expecting them to work at the minimum wage, washing towels,
sweeping floors, staying "late'.. and not participating kthere, at the chair with the
salon's senior staff members, doesn't work. They must sense that they are learning
and are advancing in their vocation. Our generation was taught to "work hard", "do
what it takes to succeed", and to not expect massive praise for everything we did
well. The situation today is often fraught with tension and with misunderstanding. People
need to see light at the end of the tunnel, and to be told about the support they will
receive so that they will ADVANCE. and become a senior assistant, and, later, a full-fledged,
"on the floor" senior hair dresser. Without that information, they see nothing bright
ahead....... and leave. Beauty school represents the beginning of learning rather than
the end. Continuing, best quality "post graduate" education is what can make the
difference. And, must of that education can take place right there in the salon where
In my limited exposure, I do speak with new graduates. Some have not "worked" on
live "human models" at school! Mannequins serve as their "clients". .. Mannequins have no opinions. Mannequins do not complain, nor do they expect human interaction. They
immobile, are never late.. They don't need a COMFORTABLE, CARING well-executed
service. Instructors today, have the option to sometimes leave the class room and
direct students to watch a hair demonstration "video".... a video which might be less
than helpful to a beauty school student. A percentage of students leave school unprepared to successfully provide even a basic salon services, let alone a great haircut, blow out,
roller or hot set, color application smoothing treatment or highlighting. The "science" of what we do is important, and must be understood and followed both for safety and for success.
This seems not frequently remembered as being an important part of a new professional's salon world.
I will go out on a limb here. I DO understand that, in the past, not every salon owner might
have properly mentored new graduates. I saw several salon owners employing assistants chiefly as housekeepers; not committed to sharing, teaching or building the skills of young professionals. Many times, assistant would quit; searching for better opportunity; a place where they might GROW.,
GROWING talent from within takes time and does not always work. But grooming
assistants to become "senior" colorists or hairdressers continues to be important: yet
with the growing popularity of salon suites, many new hairdressers feel that it is best
to rent a suite and go it "alone". I think this is often very difficult for them. Playing "in the
tall weeds" requires, knowledge, experience, patience, humility (at times), and great
communication skills. What we do is both mental and PHYSICAL. What we do IS
"Hard Work". The government sees the unacceptable attrition rate. Unndocumented
income levels are also an issue. Our government notes that far too many beauty school
graduates "fail to deliver", and leave our profession after three years.. or less. Too
often, they leave IN DEBT. School and opening a salon are expensive. So, "doing hair"
at home for cash, or working at another trade or at a restaurant are all seen as
better options. All this damages the future of the industry so many of us cherish. I hope
YOU WILL SUGGEST HOW WE CAN HELP. please comment here on our webpage
. Cecil@beautyschools.org contributed to an article in the recent BIR report. He explains
his concerns and viewpoint regarding beauty education and our government. Perhaps you
will read it. I hope WE might think of what we MUST DO to help. I hope you will join me.
I suggested a list of skills which I created .EVERYONE needs to execute skills properly before they strike out on their own, and can work at a level above "assistant". Do they
truly WANT to be a salon professional? Do they have the passion, the knowledge
and the commitment? -- Best to start at the beginning. assisting.. prior to going
into business for themselves. No suite owner wants tenants to leave, owing rent,
and leaving empty spaces in the property they own.
Information about my group classes, private tutoring and events.. everything here
at the top of our home page. See "Group Classes and Events". Click for information
and to register. B