If beauty schools were stuck on teaching "The Rachel," neon eye shadow, or other outdated hairstyle and makeup trends made famous by celebrities, students would graduate with little idea of how to succeed in today's world.
That's why beauty schools are updating their education programs to provide real-world learning that prepares students to land jobs in salons, spas, resorts, health and wellness centers, cruise ships, dermatology offices, and as entrepreneurs.
LeAnne Velona, director of esthetics, laser and massage education for Marinello Schools of Beauty, shared three hot beauty school trends emerging this year.
1. Advanced training
Education is increasing on advanced techniques such as using lasers for hair reduction, a fast-growing esthetic procedure. Marinello is offering its Laser Certification program at its campuses in Utah. Velona says those campuses have a medical director who teach students about the importance of hair anatomy as well as how to do procedures such as lasers and Botox. Even when students graduate from a program, they can return to beauty schools for advanced training in areas such as makeup. "The learning doesn't stop once you get your license," says Velona, who is based in California.
2. Spa-ready education
It's not enough to teach students the techniques to practice as a professional. Schools are preparing you to be hired in the industry, too. "We're working with (companies) ahead of time to make sure there's jobs for students when they graduate. For me, that's really exiting to make sure there' a place where they and earn a good wage when they're done, with benefits," she says. Velona says Marinello has talked to its industry partners to learn what they need to see from students to make them hireable in high-end resorts. One key: Doing well in retail sales. "Spas are now booking esthetic appointments and massage appointments according to retail sales," she says. "That's becoming such a big part of the spas and resorts. We want to make sure our students have already practiced how to give that customer service." Students are being educated on ways to talk about products and getting the practice on the selling side. But Velona says the education is ingredient-driven, not product driven. Students should leave knowing what ingredients they may want to suggest to a client and be able to help clients determine the best products for them.
3. Behind-the-scenes events
Opportunities for hands-on learning and networking are increasing for beauty school students. At backstage events for shows and photo shoots, instructors work with students to do makeup and hair for models and performers. "We're bringing them out into the industry to do things," says Velona, whose students have worked with companies such as Victoria's Secret. She adds that volunteer projects also are part of beauty school education, with students working with at-risk kids and adults heading out in search of jobs. "They're doing a lot more volunteer work in their own locations, so they can get the practice, meet people, network a little bit and just give back to the community," she says.