The Importance of Continuing Education in the Beauty Industry
Like so many trades out there, continuing education is the key to success if you want to remain at the top of your game. The only way we get better at our jobs is by enhancing our skills behind the chair. As hair stylists, continuing education allows us the opportunity to try new techniques on clients, with the potential to build both our books and portfolio. What an incredible field to be in, right? However, it doesn’t come without all the long hours working and standing on our feet in the salon, money spent on education, the “under promise, over deliver statement,” that is forever ingrained in our heads during consultations, the countless redo’s we had to correct, and the weekends we had to sacrifice to make sure we were available for appointments. Playing with hair has so much more meaning to us as hairdressers.
To put things into perspective, enrolling in cosmetology school costs about $25,000, completing 1,500 hours of both theory and clinical. When we graduate, we are responsible for renewing our licenses every two years to stay current with state requirements. Each year, hair stylists spend at least $2,000 on continuing education, sometimes upwards of $5,500 or more if we decide to specialize in a specific service. Products and supplies are ordered on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, depending on how big or small the salon is. That expense can also increase depending on the season when salons keep double stock of everything, especially during major holidays, (and we all can relate during the months of October through December, lol). Which brings me back to why education is so critical in our profession.
The only way we can move up the ranks in our field, run a successful business, provide a better in-salon experience, provide beautiful results with your hair color and style, and finally, the knowledge and skills we gained over the years is through education. Some hairstylists who have been in the beauty industry for five, ten, or even twenty-plus years will tell you that they have spent as much time and money on continuing education as it takes to acquire a master's degree in college. In fact, some states require continuing education as part of the licensing requirements.
Continuing education is essential in our line of work; with it, we can provide our clients with new and advanced techniques currently trending. Enhancing our skills behind the chair also allows hairstylists the opportunity to grow and improve daily. Because we work in a creative field, we are constantly surrounded by competition. Education is the only constant that keeps us humble. As they say, "Practice makes perfect." Anyone can be a good hairstylist, but what separates good from great is the motivation and dedication it requires to grow, learn, fail, and, most importantly, be our most authentic selves behind the chair.