I remember when I started cosmetology school I thought: "this is so amazing. I'll go to school for one-year and then I'll be able to jump in and have a career". That is only a partial truth. Cosmetology school is like a crash course in all things hair and beauty. It is at the very most 1600 hours jam packed with learning science, technology, haircutting, skin care, styling, curling, nails, and hair color. I personally went to a community college program, but I have since spent years working with students from private schools and I've learned that no matter where you go to school, there is always more to learn about hair color.
Hair color is often one of the most intimidating components of hair even for the most confident new stylist. Luckily, there are a ton of free resources out there for stylists and I noticed that they often go untapped. I encourage you to check out these useful tools to help grow your skills and maximize your income potential.
1. Start an assisting program-This is the path I chose and it was a wonderful experience for me. I was mentored by a team of stylists through weekly classes and was able to really master the art of foiling, formulating and color correction. Beyond the classes, I actually think I learned the most by mixing and applying hair color for my senior stylists. I was able to look at the clients hair before the color was applied, mix the formula, apply the color and then see the finished result. For me, this was the best way to learn.
2. Haircolor brand online education- Major brands like Redken, Wella, Goldwell and Paul Mitchell offer free, online education. All that you'll need to do is visit their website and create a professional online account to login and access the information. Here you can find education, sample formulas and even instructional videos.
3. In-store classes-Often times your local beauty supply store will have free classes several times a year. These are sometimes put on by local stylists or color brand representatives and are often a sales pitch as well, but the information is still fantastic. These are industry experts able to show you the science and technology behind your color brand.
4. Beauty shows-I find local hair show events to be a huge untapped source of education. For the cost of a $30-$50 ticket you can access a full day of classes taught by big name hair professionals on a broad range of topics. This is also a great place to see the latest and greatest technology in the industry.
5. Don't be afraid to play!-When I was first starting to do hair I would play with swatches all the time. You can order hair swatches online for less than $20 and use these to test colors and formulas. Also, when you do a haircut of 3" or more, don't be afraid to save a little bit of the hair, tape it to some foil, throw some bleach or color on there and see what happens. Hair is hair whether its on somebodies head or it's fallen on the floor. I learned a ton using swatches.
Color is so much fun and was my favorite thing to do as a stylist. It can also go wrong so fast if you don't fully understand how to use this amazing tool. Use these incredible free resources and start growing your knowledge today!