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The FUTURE of SALON BEAUTY

I'm reading today from industry expert ANDREW FINKELSTEIN, who I've known throughout

my professional life. He's sharing the following message: EIGHT out of TEN students graduating from beauty school today, WILL NO LONGER BE IN OUR INDUSTRY

TWO YEARS FROM NOW. This is a very dangerous situation.


I know we have heard this message many times... just as we hear about the impending danger of the climate change upon us. We must change what is happening to the

beauty business. We place our future in peril when we shrug our shoulders and "leave

it up to the experts"........ The responsibility is OURS.


MY THOUGHTS. MY OBSERVATIONS.


I trace this troubling situation back to "The Beginning": Might it be the careless recruiting of

young people who might not be the best candidates for a career in beauty. WHY

are impressionable young people encouraged to attend beauty school?


I believe we might suffer from past misbeliefs that often continue today. Here are

some words I have (sadly) heard: "He/She" is not college bound, and never paid attention in school. This person has little ambition, and needs to do "something". They don't seem to read well, have few intellectual interests but seem to like art. Perhaps they can, (at least), stay off welfare, and earn a bit of money. They can be encouraged to be charming; nice to

people and "do hair". It's easy (!),.. and they can earn cash." And, if or when

she/he has a family, they can work part time.. even from the kitchen or basement.


Perhaps you have heard words like these. My father was FURIOUS with me when I told

him that I planned to study cosmetology. I had graduated from college, and was teaching, so I attended beauty school at night. I was so excited! I had believed that I would attend

this wonderful place, and become a beauty expert; learning how to make people look like

they did on the pages of the best fashion magazines. However, I was escorted to a room

with a table of mannequins where we would wet the hair, and create pin curls, skip waves

and "c" shaping. Several mornings a week, we had theory class, where the teacher read from the Milady textbook. All of this was good, but certainly not what I had expected.


We learned the state board basic hair cut. And, when we earned sufficient hours, we were

"on the floor" learning how to provide a very good shampoo.. but conditioners were an

extra $1.00 for the "client".. so we rarely were able to condition the hair and needed to comb

through the hair .. struggling, before we set it on rollers or blew the hair dry.. with no supervision. We learned by watching the "senior" students. And, as for hair color:We were

never permitted to apply color and were not permitted to watch the instructors mix the Roux

"bombs" into an applicator. My teacher shared: "Just because you apply red hair color does not mean that you will get a red result"... (at least this is partially correct).


On Saturdays we would be "on the floor" all day and be able to watch our school owner do wash and sets for $8.00. We had a few color charts in the school and copies of Hairdo Magazine, which we all read when we could. Many of the people in my school were older

than I was. They were service veterans and could go to school for FREE. I paid $850 for

1200 hours. Later, I traveled to the state board headquarters to take both a written

and technical test. I passed. I was so happy. BUT: I knew that I was not ready to see beautiful salon clients. I was ashamed that I needed to learn more. So, I assisted.

Later, I learned how to color hair when I was fortunate enough to work for Clairol. ...

I made some horrible errors as I taught myself to "fix" the mistakes I made.

Happily, I learned when I observed in salons where busy colorists were highlighting and

coloring hair in Miami Beach. How lucky I was to, while working at Clairol, and much

later at Redken, to test and use virtually every single brand of hair color on the

market. Being able to first support educators on platform, and then to teach color for manufacturers, provided me with the honor of meeting with salon pros who were so smart, talented and passionate... they were successful and never stopped learning.


I also met people who openly shared that they did not enjoy working in this business.

Some stayed and did their what they could, but others left. I think that people today are

often more likely to stop doing something when they do not enjoy it. or when, deep

down inside, they know they are not sufficiently trained. and that they have no idea

where they can go to obtain help. School is now EXPENSIVE! Many newbies are encouraged to "work for yourself" and "become an independent contractor" after school graduation. So, as Andrew says, 8 out of 10 leave our beautiful business after only

two years.


Like you, I love this business. I hope to create Post Graduate Studies in Hair Coloring... a BRIDGE between beauty school and the very real, and challenging salon world.

Perhaps you can help. If YOU are planning to attend one of my IMMERSION INTO COLOR

classes this year, and know of a hopeful, talented and passionate potential professional

who WANTS to study color.. please let me know. Let's work out a way to help people learn.

I'm sure you love this industry. Let's support the survival of salon beauty.

Comment here! Let's DO THIS! B ....



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9 Comments


Beth Minardi
Beth Minardi
Dec 07, 2021

Thanking you ALL for reading this AND for commenting! Appreciated, always. I think we need a group to present our concerns to the PBA. b

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BillBakerHair
BillBakerHair
Dec 07, 2021
Replying to

Most definitely.

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BillBakerHair
BillBakerHair
Dec 07, 2021

As a 31 year veteran in education, and now back to my first love of hairdressing, your findings address a series of issues and calamities that urgently need to be fixed. I see the only solution to this problem is to repair it from the ground up. The lack of “hands on” with actual clients, students who are failing their state’s written exam…. the list is daunting. I would be happy to participate in a group discussion, such as Zoom, to delve into this further and suggest some ways to dig out of this landslide. You always keep it real, Beth! Bravo.

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Todays beauty school is very challenging. Most students who begin have a misconception of what the industry is like. Practical assignments like roller setting, blowdrying, and even shampooing are not what interests them. They all want to be makeup artists and high paid colorists. If a video last more than 10 minutes, they lose interest and webinars? You have to be kidding! "I am not going to sit here and watch that all day! Awww, the struggles instructors face to try and get them ready for the real world! We are all people pleasers to the clients that come to us. They need to learn that skill the most! Keep on, Beth! You are an inspiration to us all!

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Beth Minardi
Beth Minardi
Dec 06, 2021
Replying to

Chucks! Thx so much for this. I need to find a place where new pros and students go for help. I agree and was informed that a video longer than2.8 minutes is too long… and that longer teaching sessions are clicked off after only a few moments. The patience and discipline we needed to do those roller sets and pin curls created a fine foundation for us. Please stay in touch. You are very special to me! B

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LET'S DO IT! Count me in. Awaiting my next assignment.

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I love what you just wrote up here! As you were describing cosmetology school I was remembering my experiences. Which were very similar to yours. I am amazed that students don't do a practical test as well as written theory. I am very interested in your post graduate color classes. I have been in the industry since 1982, '83 is when I started behind the chair for money. Will be following this post. Thank you always Beth. Such an inspiration!

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Beth Minardi
Beth Minardi
Dec 06, 2021
Replying to

Thx Janis. Where do you live? I’m teaching in Texas, Illinois, Boston and Florida in w 2022. Please join me. Let’s create a panel to support the new ones who NEED our help — IF they will accept it. Pls stay in touch. Text me any time at 646-468-9802. Happy Holidays! B

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