Not all Beauty Schools are Created Equal
The cosmetology and beauty service industries are expected to grow faster than average over the next several years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because of this anticipated growth, there has never been a better time to get a quality education in cosmetology or esthetics.
If you’re considering heading back to school to get training in beauty education, you’ll want to carefully research all your options so you can choose the school that will be the best for you and your personal and professional goals. The best cosmetology schools have certain traits you’ll want to keep an eye out for. Use this comprehensive list as a reference to help you weigh the pros and cons of each of your options.
The hair school has a student salon
In general, every cosmetology school should operate a salon where you can practice real-life beauty services and client interactions with the support of your expert instructors. Not only does a student salon give you important experience, but it also helps you earn the mandatory hands-on training hours you need in order to apply for your state cosmetology license.
The school’s program is highly sought after.
If the school you’re considering regularly has difficulty filling all their seats for their semester, there’s probably a reason. Although small class sizes make learning much easier because you get more personalized instruction, schools that struggle to attract students likely do so for a reason. Consider what those reasons might be. Is it because the quality of education is lacking? Are the facilities outdated? Or is it due to economic issues that the school can’t control?
Graduates enjoy exciting careers.
Ask the school’s admissions team what their graduates do after they earn their diplomas and get their cosmetology licenses. Do they work in premium salons or spas, or are they stuck in a discount haircut chain? The best cosmetology schools will love bragging about their alumni’s success in the field.
Financial aid or veterans’ benefits are available.
Although it is sometimes affordable to pay for cosmetology school out-of-pocket, having the option for financial aid can help you manage your budget while you’re in school. Scholarships and student loans are two viable types of financial aid. Some beauty schools are qualified to fulfil veterans’ education benefits as well.
You learn about more than just hair.
Cosmetology programs tend to encompass the full spectrum of hairdressing and styling, as well as nails and make-up. But schools with an all-encompassing program, or those with affiliated esthetician schools, can provide you with even more skills that will make future employers court you to work in their salons and day spas. Plus, more education opportunities means that you can identify what you want your career path to look like and determine which field suits you best.
Instructors are experts in their fields.
The people you learn from will shape your future success. Make sure the cosmetology or esthetician school you choose employs award-winning faculty with established careers outside of beauty education. Instructors with professional experience in sought after high-end salons and spas can also help you make valuable industry connections that will help you find a job after graduation.
The best cosmetology schools give their students something extra.
Although the purpose of attending cosmetology school is to learn how to master skills to be successful in the industry, and the bare minimum instruction and hands-on practice absolutely suffice and satisfy licensure requirements, schools that organize special activities for their students tend to be of higher quality. Look for cosmetology schools that host fashion shows, student showcases, and photo shoots to help you build your portfolio.
The facilities are updated and modern.
Not only do fresh-looking spaces get the creative juices flowing, but they also show that the cosmetology school or esthetics school you’re attending is more likely to be attuned to the latest trends in hair, skincare, and nails. It’s important to master the latest techniques, so you’re prepared to beautify your clients after you earn your license.
Your toolkit is provided.
The top cosmetology and esthetician schools give their students a complete toolkit of every material they need to succeed in classes and in the student salon. These toolkits contain sheers, hairstyling implements, make-up, nail supplies, styling products, skincare products, and even sometimes your own tablet. The right tools help you learn proper techniques.
Industry professionals speak at the school.
If your school brings in big-name industry professionals, especially those from areas like Hollywood or New York City, to deliver talks to you and your classmates, you can bet that means your school’s director and faculty are well connected and respected in the industry as well. These visitors can help mentor students and can become important contacts when it’s time to get your big break in the beauty industry.
Now that you know ten important traits of the best cosmetology schools, you are ready to start researching your options as you pursue your education and begin a dynamic career in the beauty arts. While it requires effort to find the right school for you, your reward will come to you in the form of an amazing education, chock-full of opportunities you’d never imagined before.