Tips for Succeeding in Beauty School

Written by the Team Leader of our Student Services Department, Gaya Glassen

As the team leader of cosmetology for the last 22 years and now working with students from all departments as the Student Services team leader, there is one mistake that I see students make that gets in the way of their own success… comparing themselves to other students. This is the only mistake you shouldn’t make!

Please don’t compare yourself to other students when you are learning your craft. You are YOU and you are unique in your own learning process. Every student enters our program with different experience and natural ability. It is our job, as your educators, to help you develop and build on whatever that jump- off point is for you.

I’ve had conversations with students that are second guessing their decision to become a hairdresser. They’ve based this on the lack of confidence that they are feeling due to comparing themselves to other students around them. Your abilities have nothing to do with the person’s abilities next to you. Everyone learns at a different pace and in their own way. We will work one on one with students to determine what that looks like and customize your education to help you succeed.

 The best part of the beauty industry is there are so many different skill sets to learn and practice to find out where your passion lies within your craft. If you are in class and find yourself having a difficult time with a practical technique and you see that someone else appears to be accomplishing the end result with ease (they just “get it”), know that the  same person may struggle with the next practical technique taught while you are nailing it and become the one that “gets it”! Although all skills are built on foundational concepts, there wouldn’t be hairdressers that specialize as colorists or cutting specialists if everyone loved all technical aspects of our craft equally. Sometimes the love for one area or another can come from natural ability and sometimes it comes from working really hard at something, that you grow to love it so much that it becomes your passion. Either way every student has their own potential. So PLEASE be patient with yourself and allow you educators to help you reach YOUR full potential.

The only person, you as a student, should be comparing yourself to is YOU & where you were yesterday. At the end of the day the only thing that matters is that you are improving day by day with the practice that it takes to “get it”. If you are growing a bit each week or each month then you are doing great! And trust your educators when they tell you that you are!

Now…please raise your right hand and promise yourself that you will allow yourself to learn at your own pace… really allow yourself to learn.  Ok… now that you’ve done that, I have 3 suggestions that will help you to stay focused on your own progress and enjoy the process of learning.

Photograph Your Work

Take pictures of your work even if you’re not happy with the end result. Whether your work is on a manikin or a guest this gives you a visual of your progress that you may not be aware of otherwise. It serves as a document of your journey of learning your craft that you will appreciate years from now.

woman with dark hair being styled, wolfcut style haircut
Tatum Neil, Creative Director at Elevate Hair, @tatumneill
African American, Black Woman with braided and wrapped hair into buns
Naomi Dove, AVEDA North America Artistic Director, @avedaitgirl
Nail art, two shades of purple, geometric patterns
Andrea, Neroli Nail Designer, @hocuspocusnails
End of Day Journaling

Journaling at the end of each day can be helpful in building confidence. You will remember what hurdles you had along the way and how you overcame them. We all have hurdles when learning a new skill. Remember when you learned how to ride a two-wheeler? How many times did you try before you succeeded? Did you fall a few times? Yes, but you figured out what caused the fall, got back on the bike, and eventually rode with fewer and fewer challenges. It became so familiar that you didn’t even have to think about it anymore. That same thing will happen with learning how to wrap a perm or create beautiful finger waves with practice.

Always say Yes

Be open to new opportunities, experiences, and advice. Networking is a very important part of this industry.  You never know when that contact you made way back in school will come in handy whether it’s looking for a new job or an educational opportunity. Say yes to education to increase your confidence in technical and business skills. Investing in yourself will help you grow and give you financial security for the future. Who doesn’t want to make more money?  

It is said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a new skill. As a cosmetology student, you will be with us for only 1,600 of those 10,000 hours. Most of our other programs are 1000 hours or less. So that means you will still be learning and practicing well into your professional career. And guess what? There will always be someone that is further along than you in their skill but don’t use that as your benchmark.

Learn to find inspiration and motivation within yourself and keep practicing. Have the confidence to know that you are exactly where you’re meant to be in your own personal journey to becoming a successful service provider.  Enjoy the process.

Contact Us to schedule a tour or more information about our programs.

Institute of Beauty and Wellness
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