June 2009

Cosmetology 101 -- Getting the Most Out of Your Education

by Kerrin Delaney

You have just learned on the national news that cosmetology is one of the top new careers.

So you purchase your kit full of all the right tools, buy your uniform and officially enroll in beauty school.

That was the easy part. What you do next will determine whether you become the beauty school superstar, ready to conquer the world of beauty and esthetics or just blend into the crowd because you hesitate to show your true colors.

Lakia Jackson, president of P&A Scholars Beauty School located in Detroit, Michigan understands how tough it can be entering the real world after graduating cosmetology school.

Jackson and her staff of beauty professionals are an example of what is necessary to learn “the next level in beauty education.” Not only do their students learn the basic skills necessary for becoming certified, they go beyond with lessons to keep them on the path to industry success and personal growth.

Jackson offers the following tips to help current students make the most of out their cosmetology schooling.

Take Your Investment Seriously
As a cosmetology student, you have already invested the money in your beauty school education, so while you are still enrolled you need to take everything seriously. From studying for your next exam, to participating in class discussions, current students can also stay on top of industry trends by subscribing to publications including national consumer magazines and national trade magazines and beauty newspapers.

According to Jackson, “Memorizing theory is important, yet it is essential that you can explain it. Do not become a student who falls into the habit of treating cosmetology school like high school for adults. This is the time to gather all the information you need to make the most out of your future career as a salon or spa professional.”

If beauty school becomes a chore, Jackson suggests reevaluating why you enrolled, and decide whether or not you want to continue your education. “The amount of material you need to cover can seem overwhelming, but don’t get discouraged. If this is a career you want to become successful in, you need to stay focused and keep unnecessary distractions at bay. You will thank yourself once you get your diploma and certification in hand,” says Jackson.

Practice Makes Perfect
Just like a professional athlete who practices day in and day out for the big competition, you need to continually practice your skills and techniques. One of the great things about cosmetology school is that students are not expected to be a shear genius overnight.

Cosmetology school is structured to provide you with the foundation you need to perform basic services, and to equip you with information you need to pass the state cosmetology licensing examinations. What you do with the training you receive is up to you. According to Jackson, here are a few ways to sharpen your hands-on cosmetology skills:

Treat Yourself Like A Business
Even though you are a student, you are preparing yourself for a career in business so adapt to the mindset of a businessperson. One of the most important things a business can do is maintain a consistent image. This is called “branding.” It sets you apart from competitors, defines what you stand for, and offers a way for customers to identify with your brand.

If you’re studying to become a hairstylist, nail technician or makeup artist, would someone be able to tell by how you dress, and groom yourself? If you want to be taken seriously, then you need to become a representation of what you’re selling.

Brand yourself
Everything from your clothing, hairstyle and work ethic should all reflect your education and skills. It’s essential that your image and your business skills become representative of your profession and your target audience.

Make the Most Of Your Beauty School Education
The statistics don’t lie. The increase in cosmetology school enrollment not only represents a need for people to diversify their skill sets, but it’s also a successful reflection of our growing billion dollar beauty, health and wellness industries. A professional career in beauty care is a great way to take your passion for hair, makeup, skincare, spa care or nails to the next level. Study hard, be passionate about your goals, and position yourself as the next professional that sets trends, and becomes the voice of a booming industry.

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