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Not Created Equal

I know that I’ve mentioned in the past that my step-mother was a beautician, but I don’t know that I mentioned she was also a beauty school instructor.  In fact, when I was in high school I planned to enroll in beauty school right after graduation. Because of my step-mother’s influence and my early learning experiences, I happen to think Beauty Schools are great places and I still frequent them.  They are inexpensive places to be pampered and one’s money goes a whole lot further in a beauty school’s salon then it does in a privately owned shop.

One does have to be careful when visiting a beauty school.  Make your first appointment in person.  Ask to look around.  Is the school clean and in good repair?  Is the decor trendy? Are the stylists busy, active and friendly?  What kind of services and accommodations do they provide for their clients?

I walked in to a beauty school when I lived in Vegas.  The waiting room was three white walls and a bank of windows with metal folding chairs scattered about.  A sign read:  No smoking. No kids. No pets.  The receptionist had a cigarette hanging out of her mouth.  She greeted me with, “Yeah, whaddaya want?”  Needless to say I didn’t want anything.

When looking for high quality Beauty Schools there is much to consider, the least of which is the decor. However, if they can’t bother to follow their own rules and aren’t interested in the aesthetics of their space in an aesthetics oriented business, I’d go elsewhere — which in this instance I did.

Whether you are considering the school as a student or as a client, there are some important questions you need to ask. First and foremost, is the school accredited? If you are going to spend your money on a school, make certain it meets all of the industry standards. An accredited school will do that. As a prospective student, you’ll also want to ask about student to instructor ratio, the average time it takes a student to graduate (which may be different from the “ideal” time frame given in the brochure). You’ll want references from graduates — preferably graduates no longer directly affiliated with the school who are still working in the industry. And be certain to ask what percentage of their students successfully pass the state board exams each year.


  1. Very clever! One of my sister’s went to a beauty school… she enjoyed it but the timing was wrong. Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s NOBODY was getting their hair cut! Not guys… not girls! Long locks was all the rage! She didn’t make it … but she always had it to fall back on! And for quite awhile she made some really good side money cutting hair in her home! Until her shoulders got hit with arthritis and she just couldn’t DO it anymore.

  2. I need to get my hair cut so badly. I saw an Aveda school near Chinatown, but I chickened out. My hair seems deceptively simple. It’s straight and all one length (except for bangs). The problem comes if the bottom becomes a diagonal. LOL 🙂 I might risk it over the weekend. Even if it’s diagonal, it would be even. 😀

    1. Rosidah — I would be interested to know how beauty schools in other countries compare with beauty schools in America.

  3. I actually went to Marinello and became a licensed manicurist but that was almost 30 years ago. I do love to go to the beauty school much less pricey but there are non close to my home anymore 🙁 Neat post Quilly!

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