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Posted By:BTCAdmin on: 9/3/2004 4:30:56 PM

Author: Thread: Cosmetology School.....is it for me?

Posted: Monday, March 29, 2004 8:42:00 AM
Hi Everyone it's nice to see this Hair Forum here. For years I've been working in the computer industry however recent layoffs have left me uneployed after 12 years in the industry. Here on the East Coast the jobs are severly lacking and since I'm married & 36 with a family moving to the west coast for employment is not an option.

I've long been interested by hair styling and cosmetology. I think its something I would be very good at however I'm wondering if being 36 years old is too old to go back to school to learn cosmetology? I guess it's not a concern of my age but more so if I will be out of place in a arena surrounded by adolescent teens...Lol.

So any advice is appreciated. Also when choosing a school what type of clientel can you expect? Is there a constant flow of clients into the school to work on or no? I have 4 schools in my area and 2 of them are very reasonably priced approx $5k and the other 2 schools are approx $8k. I've read on other forums that the school doesn't necessarily matter as you will refine your techniques when you gain experience in the field as a apprentice, etc. Any thoughts on choosing a school also?

One of the things to me is the reward of making someone feel good about themselves and that's perhaps the one thing that interests me most about cosmetology.

Also Lol this might be off color but I don't mean to offend anyone with this comment. I'm 100% hetero and happily married. Am I going into the wrong profession for myself? How are male cosmetologists looked at? Maybe I'm just being paranoid...Lol. But I'm a die hard football fan and 100% pure hetero male. Like I said I love women and whats more fun than making women more beautiful? Anyway that's my story in a nutshell I'd appreciate any comments, please no sexual overtones, etc....not trying to start flaming anyone or any lifestyle with this post...just want feedback.

Kind Regards


Posted: Monday, March 29, 2004 8:46:00 AM
Also I just wanted to add to this above post hor much time in Cosmetology school is spent in the classroom vs the lab aka cutting floor? I'm more of a hands on learn by trial and error type of person which is why I'd prefer the lab vs the classroom. Feedback is appreciated. Also what is involved in obtaining a license and after you complete cosmetology school how do you obtain your license? What is involved I know there is a written part...how entailed are the questions etc? What about the showing your skills part of the test? What is expected or what are you expected to show when it comes to your skills to obtain and pass that part of the test?

Tank you again.

Posts: 26

Posted: Monday, March 29, 2004 2:04:00 PM
I feel that it is never too late! When I graduated from highschool, I wanted to start beauty school right away. I have an older sister that wanted to go also, but much like you, she thought that she was too old to start. 32 to be exact, and I was 18. I finally talked her into starting with me and it was the best thing that happened to the both of us! We had so much fun together and she is so happy that she never hesitated. As far as you being a male, well I have only worked for a guy one time. Him and his wife owned the shop together and it actually drove me nuts. Not because I didn't like him or get along with him, but all of the clients thought that he new it all! LOL! Whenever a client would come in for something new I would have to get his approval and his opinion of what I wanted to do. Being that I was confident in my own judgement, this drove me crazy. I guess what I am saying is that I have found that most men that I know in this industry have done very well for themselves. I love the salon industry and everything about it and I think that your crazy if you don't go for it! Good luck!

Posts: 534
Silver Member

Posted: Monday, March 29, 2004 5:03:00 PM
anon-how exciting, cosmetology is a lot of fun. No you are not going into the wrong profession, the stereotype of the flamboyant gay male hairstylist, is just that. Their are tons of areas you can go into with this profession, their is a lot of variety. If your the type of person who wants to wear a suit and a tie, you can. If you are want to be real artistic you can. You can be a platform artist. You can go with more of the business side, and be a distributer or own your own salon. You can teach, you can do recruiting. You can work for somebody. Pretty much whatever you want to do. The money can be small at first (a little more than minimum wage) but tips deff pad out your income. A good school will try to give you equal amounts of theory (classroom time) and lab (cutting hair, doing clients.) Be careful what school you go to, don't automatically pick the most expensive one, but don't go for the cheapest one either. Ask around, talk to salon owners, what school do they hire the most graduates from, etcetera. I am twenty-one, the people in my school ranged from eighteen year olds, to people in their forties and fifties who were ready for a carreer change, so don't think about your age. As far as your clientelle in school goes, you will mostly have older clientelle on a fixed income. You will do a lot of roller sets and perms. Your learning really begins at the salon. Every state is different but you will take a state board exam, which includes a theory test, and a practical. Usually you need to demonstrate a ninety degree haircut, first application color, a manicure, a facial,perm,chemical relaxer, and blow dry curling iron. This is a fairly simple test,it's mostly red tape. The test will cost you around two hundred all together. Not a big deal.
The only real advice i would give you, is it's a lot of fun, but it's harder than you might think. You learn quite a bit of chemistry, facial structure, the bones, muscles, etcetera. Their are diff parts to the hair, and different degree cuts, but you'll do great.
ps-i'm a diehard football fan as well, it's great, i always have stuff to talk about with my clientelle. Go buccaneers!
God bless

Posts: 455
Silver Member

Posted: Monday, March 29, 2004 5:10:00 PM
beautyschool is like pouring salt in your eye. But, its temporary and realatively short. This industry is a blast. I wake up and i feel like Im going to go play instead of going to work.



Posted: Tuesday, March 30, 2004 6:08:00 AM
Hi there, and here is my .02.

First of all, don't expect to have very much fun in beauty school. I personally HATED every second and couldn't wait to get the heck outta there! Beauty school doesn't even barely scratch the surface of what the industry is all about, trust me. Its just a technicality that you have to endure in order to go to state boards to obtain licensing.

I know several straight male hairdressers/barbers/salon owners, so I am pretty much immune to that whole stigma. I think women suffer just as much stereotyping just in that we are thought of as not smart enough to anything else. People don't realize what it really takes to make it in this biz.

If you have choices in beauty schools (I did not) then I would go talk to each and every director, then bring your info back here and bounce it off all of these great people, and you'll feel much more enlightened.

Posts: 2083
Platinum Member

Posted: Tuesday, March 30, 2004 10:37:00 AM
It's amazing that Vallygrl is right, you'll spend most of your time doing roller sets and perms, neither of which will earn you any money in a real salon. Perms haven't been a money-maker since the early 80's and (despite what you may read to the contrary), won't be coming back any time soon. They are time consuming and very hard to get exactly right, there's always a problem somehow, too loose, too tight, not 'wavy' like the client wanted, too dry, flat on the crown, tight on top but loose in the nape, it's a nightmare. The only time you'll get it right is in beauty school while using tiny yellow rods on old ladies with 14 hairs.
Later, in the salon, clients will show you photos of models from magazines wearing fully 'curling-ironed' styles done by highly-paid session-stylists and expect that it's a perm that did it that way...

As to roller sets, well guess who's getting those? Correcto, those same old ladies, and I'm sure that you're not going into hairstyling in order to be spending all day on a bunch of geriatrics who mostly have little money to spend?
Before you go into this trade, please look at the Federal Govt. Labor Dept. website and your State site too and see what the average hairstylist makes each year and the outlook for the future in this trade. This isn't a well paid trade.
Will you make money? Perhaps, after all Meg Ryan's stylist charges $600.00 for a cut so she must be making some... but the reality is that most people don't. Be sure that nobody pulls the wool over your eyes with regard to earnings, as I said the potential is there, but no guarantee.
In addition, if you think that going to beauty school will help you in related fields, e.g. Beauty product sales or management positions, forget it, you're better off to get a business degree or sales experience, the only place you'll really need a beauty license is in the salon or actually doing hair on platform at shows, and guess what...I've seen some folks who never went to beauty school or worked in a salon doing platforn work too, there's no law that says that you must have a beauty license to work in beauty shows...
As to the sexuality part...As far as I know, many of the top people in the trade are heterosexual males, and family men... e.g. Vidal Sassoon, Trevor Sorbie, Anthony Mascolo, and the late Paul Mitchell...of course some others are gay, but then so are some who work for banks, computer companies and everything else...
If you like women there's really no better place for a straight man to be, except of course that you'll have to learn how to 'read' women and understand them, but if you are married you probably have a good idea about that already?
Good luck.

Posts: 2083
Platinum Member

Posted: Tuesday, March 30, 2004 10:54:00 AM
Oh... yes...Of course you'll be out of place among a bunch of teens, they won't have your work ethic or the drive that you'll have because you need to make it, in fact their laziness and stupidity will probably bug the heck out of you from day one because you are there for a purpose and need to support your family, whereas they will arrive late in the mornings, with crust still in the corners of their eyes and reeking of the previous night's play, talking about their dates and piling makeup onto their zits...But hey, It's not a perfect world is it?

One more thing...Why don't you check out the availibility of work for hairstylists before going to school...

Look in your paper, check websites and go around to salons and talk to owners about who and how they hire.

Doesn't it make sense to explore the labor market before comitting yourself and your resources to it?

Do not believe beauty schools when they tell you that there are job openings available or that they can steer you to jobs, after all isn't it in their interest to tell you that?

Ask instead for them to give you a list of the 20 most recent graduates and call them up and ask their experience with job openings and how they liked the school.

Do your homework, forget everything except one thing... will you be able to make a living to support your family.

Posts: 287
Bronze Member

Posted: Tuesday, March 30, 2004 4:08:00 PM
All excellent advice. Be prepared not to make money or much of it for your first year or two. That's all I have to add. I went back to school at 40, paid my dues (thank god that's over with!), and I remember the 47 year old straight guy who came in looking like a retired marine and left 14 months later looking oh-so-cool with highlights and new glasses and better clothes. He was very popular in school and I'm sure very successful after. (If nothing else, you might just reinvent your look)

Posts: 534
Silver Member

Posted: Tuesday, March 30, 2004 6:55:00 PM
britboy-thanks! I think
"Oh... yes...Of course you'll be out of place among a bunch of teens, they won't have your work ethic or the drive that you'll have because you need to make it, in fact their laziness and stupidity will probably bug the heck out of you from day one because you are there for a purpose and need to support your family, whereas they will arrive late in the mornings, with crust still in the corners of their eyes and reeking of the previous night's play, talking about their dates and piling makeup onto their zits...But hey, It's not a perfect world is it?"
Lol, did you by chance go to my cosmetology school. I am by no means mature, but what you said rings so true. They would actually watch what they ate during breaks as they knew they would barf it up later that night and they didn't want to eat anything that would look gross. And on some days it did bug me.
God bless

Posts: 75

Posted: Thursday, April 01, 2004 8:40:00 AM
Hey Anon,
im a student myself, There will be other students there just like you that want to learn, not many but at least one or 2 more, I have a great friend i met at school she is a woman in her late 40's and I have learned more from her then anything else. She will graduate in about 2 weeks and im gonna miss her. One thing that got to me when i started school was that it wasn't as structured as i though it would be, The student hand book look good but in real life the teachers aren't very organized. Also remeber basically its a self learning experience, Its good you found this board, I've learned alot from it :-)
Don't get discouraged with school there will be students there who for some reason graduate and never take the boards or they cant graduate cause the dont have all there compleations done. Just know taht your going there for yourself and think of the big picture.
Good Luck,


Posted: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 2:39:00 PM
Hey, Chad. When do you get sprung from the joint? Seems like you've been there forever (doesn't it always?) I can't wait to hear where you decide to go and what you'll be doing. (And yes, I too felt that school was one of those self-learning experiences -- until my last couple of months, when we actually went back to class with all the seniors to memorize the state laws and go over our chemistry, electricity, anatomy, disease & disorder chapters. That was probably the most valuable thing I did my last four months (out of 14). The instructor had each of us teach a chapter or a section each day.


Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2004 10:19:00 PM
Hi I'm seventeen and I have such great passion for hairdressing, I'ved taken up courses in highschool also just to get more hands on experience one complication thats stoping me from getting my liscence or getting me in a hairdressing school that would accept me which there's such great false chances I could get in, that is because I haven't even gotten my highschool diploma or yet gotten far in highschool I'ved only gone to grade nine which was three years ago almost four years all I'ved ever wanted was to become a successful hairdesigner I'm losing hope I just dont like school not that I cant do the accademic process of it its just that I dont like going to school I missed soo many days the only class I went to, I got to admit was only my cosmotology class.
PLEASE someone help me or even give me an advice to what I could do, besides from "get your diploma" PLEAASEE anyone I'm in need of help to make my dream happen.

please e-mail me at {willcesroi@hotmail.com,willcesroi@hotmail.com}

color u 2
Posts: 176
Bronze Member

Posted: Friday, April 16, 2004 6:13:00 AM
Sorry, but that's all you can do. At least in the states, they require a high school education, or GED. It's important because it shows you completed something and are disciplined and dependable. (most times anyways) A lot of creative people are not great when it comes to academics and it holds them back. But, you will need to push yourself to make your dreams come true. Getting your GED now will instill a strong sense of self and accomplishment that will carry over in every aspect of your life. Just do it, you'll be glad.

Posts: 277
Bronze Member

Posted: Friday, April 16, 2004 9:03:00 AM
You don't want to hear "get your diploma" but that is the best advice anyone can give you. You will not get far without it. Beauty school is "school" as well. How do you think you will prosper there if you cannot complete secondary education? The world we live in requires you to have AT LEAST a high school diploma or a G.E.D. in order to obtain employment of any kind. Have you considered studying for your G.E.D? I'm sorry, but you need to finish secondary education before you can move forward with your career aspirations. There really is no other way around it. The alternative is a life of broken dreams and regrets.

Posts: 95

Posted: Saturday, April 17, 2004 3:28:00 AM
Sorry I am with everyone on this subject. I raised 3 kids and had the same conversation with all of them.
#1 Get a diploma
#2 Don't drop out of school
#3 If you do drop out, you have to wait for your graduating class to finish before the state will allow you to take a ged.

If you are in ninth grade now that would be a long time till you can take a ged.

So---We are back to #1 Get a diploma.

Posts: 1

Posted: Friday, April 23, 2004 11:55:00 PM
My sister dropped out of school in the 10th grade. 10 years later she wishes she had graduated with a diploma.

A couple years back she wanted to go to college to become a lawyer and found she could not complete the basic math course that would have prepared her for a "bonehead" college math course. Even with a full time tutor she could not finish the class. She tells teens all the time to stay in school and get those nueron connections in your brain functioning before you lose it forever, like she did.

Maybe it would help if you told yourself everyday,"This class is one step closer to my dreams being fulfilled." Make everything revolve around the cosemetology industry--English papers, science classes, even math classes. "This math class is preparing me to prosper in my chosen career." I mean, If you don't have Math how will you be able to figure out your paycheck, your salons' current and future income, your clent per hour base, etc.

Maybe if you thought about it a bit you could find a way each class could tie into cosmetology. And If you get through this, get that dipoloma, beauty school may mean that much more to you.

One more thing, Congratulations! You know what you desire in life! A lot of people figure that out much later in life. Kudos and perseverance to you!

Posts: 3

cosmetology school..sigh!
Posted: Thursday, April 07, 2005 3:22:58 PM

i think it is very tiring especially when u want to get out there and get experience but it all part of the process.In my country we dont take cosmetology as serious a the US..but i wanna come up there to purse my studies in the field further.and even get a job may be.i think it is fun when u love it and i do...jif u jus do ur best.u kno..it becomes alot of fun

Posts: 58

Posted: Thursday, December 29, 2005 12:44:40 AM
it's a lot of fun, and i'm also a hetrosexual male even though a lil metro but STRAIGHT! =p

it does feel like your playing instead of working, experience in graphic design will really help you out. An eye for balance is a huge part of the industry.

I also do graphic/web work as well

CLICK ME!!! my internet portfolio =)

some of my recent works I do as a freelancer on the side.

The income is good in hairdressing. I have a friend workin at a place charging $10 a cut and making over 30k a year. It all depends on how much traffic/exposure/speed you can do. There are also stylists in my local area that make over 200k a year. But they charge around 50+ for men's cuts, and 65+ for women. which is pretty high in the area.

Posts: 1280
Platinum Member

Posted: Friday, December 30, 2005 8:49:47 PM
Sigh I love Metros.  Sorry Tien, you made my day, i'm picturing that you look exactly like Brandon Flowers, with haircutting shears.  Oh my gosh Brandon would make such a good hairdresser.  Sorry, i'll behave now.