Going to beauty school was seriously one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, but there is a lot more to it than you think. Here are 7 things I wish I would have known about going to beauty school:
1. It’s not easy. Beauty school gets a bad rap for being a fall back school when you aren’t smart enough to do anything else. This couldn’t be more untrue. You must learn anatomy and physiology, diseases and disorders of the skin and nails, infection control, chemistry, and even electricity while learning the principles of hair, skin, and nails. In the state of Michigan, you must complete 350 hours in the classroom before you are able to perform services on another person. It’s not just learning to cut hair; it’s hard work.
2. Go to school. Beauty school is not like a normal university setting; you don’t just get credit hours every semester, regardless of your attendance. You get credit only for the hours you attend. Every hour you miss is another hour more that you have to go to school. I missed 130 hours, and I had to come in 3 hours early every day just to graduate on time. I ate, drank, slept, and breathed beauty school those last few months. I was a walking zombie, and I wished I had just made myself go to school every single day.
3. The theory is important. If you decide to go to beauty school, don’t just tune out the theory. Yes, it’s boring. Yes, it’s hard to be stuck in a classroom doing bookwork. Make every effort to engage and learn the theory. You will understand the why behind everything you are doing, and it will make you a better hairstylist.
4. You will mess up hair. Accept the fact that you will mess up some hair. Hopefully, you have instructors that really watch and take care to make sure that you are getting the help you need. It is in the learning from your mistakes that will make or break you. Figure out where you went wrong, how to fix it, and how to avoid making that mistake in the future.
5. Start building a clientele now. Start right now in beauty school building your clientele. Get business cards made and pass them out. Ask your friends and family to do their hair. Ask for referrals from friends and family. That’s going to help kickstart your career and the money in your pocket when you graduate.
6. Beauty school education is basic. You will learn the basics of cosmetology in school. You will learn what you need to know to pass state boards in school. You will not be a great hairstylist based on your beauty school education. You must commit yourself to continue your education through classes and learning in salon from other stylists.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I’m sure I annoyed my fair share of instructors, but if I didn’t understand, I asked questions until I did. If this is going to be your career, you need to make sure you understand exactly what you’re doing and why you are doing it. Annoy your instructors with questions for those 12/14 months. After that, chances are you’ll never see them again. If they don’t know the answer(s), find someone who does.