Confused about getting into beauty schools? Here are your top five questions answered…
1. How do I get into beauty schools?
Although beauty schools will differ on admissions guidelines, the majority will only accept applicants who are 17 or over, and who have received either a GED or a high school diploma. Beauty schools that don’t have such educational requirements will often ask that a student satisfactorily complete an Ability to Benefit (ATB) exam instead. The Accuplacer, ASSET, COMPASS, and CELSA tests are all considered ATB exams, and passing one may even qualify you to receive financial aid depending on state regulations.
2. How do I choose a beauty school?
Whatever you do, don’t just choose the beauty school closest to you. You should thoroughly research schools in your area in advance, and take into account things like accreditation, teacher-student ratios, equipment, and internship possibilities. The best beauty school for you will be a properly accredited institution that offers you the opportunity to get hands-on experience with real customers. Accreditation is especially important if you decide to enter a nutrition program.
3. How do I know if attending beauty school is the right decision?
If you’re someone who has a taste for style and a concern for bringing out the best in everyone, beauty schools are the right choice for you. You’ll keep on top of the latest fads, learn the basics that make fashion possible, and discover how to create and enhance a customer’s look.
4. How can beauty schools help me get a job?
Many beauty schools consist of internship programs and/or career placement departments that will expose you and your talents to area employers. Whether you get a chance to work in a real salon or spa thanks to an internship — or land an interview with help from career advisors — beauty schools will always help you get a foot in the door of the industry.
5. Where can a beauty school take me?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment within the personal appearance and beauty industry is expected to increase by 14 percent through the year 2016. As a result, graduates of beauty schools will see an increase in employment at places like spas, salons, cruise ships, and hotels. Best of all, the BLS estimates that nearly 50 percent of personal appearance workers are self-employed — a job path that will give you a flexible schedule and the opportunity to choose your own clients.
Beauty School Programs
Barbers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists typically do the following:
- Inspect and analyze hair, skin, and scalp to recommend treatment
- Discuss hairstyle options
- Wash, color, lighten, and condition hair
- Chemically change hair textures
- Cut, dry, and style hair
- Receive payments from clients
- Clean and disinfect all tools and work areas
Barbers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists provide hair and beauty services to enhance clients’ appearance. Those who operate their own barbershop or salon have managerial duties that may include hiring, supervising, and firing workers, as well as keeping business and inventory records, ordering supplies, and arranging for advertising.
Barbers cut, trim, shampoo, and style hair, mostly for male clients. They also may fit hairpieces, perform facials, and offer facial shaving. Depending on the state in which they work, some barbers are licensed to color, bleach, and highlight hair and to offer permanent-wave services. Common tools include combs, scissors, straight razors, and clippers.
Hairstylists offer a wide range of hair services, such as shampooing, cutting, coloring, and styling. They often advise clients, both male and female, on how to care for their hair at home. Hairstylists also keep records of products and services provided to clients, such as hair color, shampoo, conditioner, and hair treatment used. Tools include hairbrushes, scissors, blow dryers, and curling and flat irons.
Cosmetologists provide scalp and facial treatments and makeup analysis. Some also clean and style wigs and hairpieces. In addition, most cosmetologists actively recommend professional hair care products or salon hair care products.