8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Went To Beauty School

The decision to go to beauty school is an exciting one! Many of our students at The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA), San Jose are happy they chose to start their beauty education. There are a lot of program options that could change the future of your career path. You may feel overwhelmed by all the things you need to consider.

From picking the right school to figuring out how you’re going to pay for it, researching beauty schools can be time-consuming! Before you jump into your education, let us tell you some common things students wish they knew before starting beauty school.

1. There Are So Many Options

Most schools have a variety of programs to choose from. Each program comes with its own unique set of opportunities and challenges. Think about what you’re passionate about. Are you passionate about hair or skincare? Your passion is important in shaping your future.

We offer the following programs and courses at The Salon Professional Academy:

2. You Can Work With Great People!

Whether it’s your instructors or your classmates, attending beauty school allows you to meet some amazing people.

Your instructors have been in the same situation, so they want you to succeed. They’ve jumped over these hurdles and understand your struggles. Your instructors want to help shape your future through education. Trust in their knowledge. They could be some of your most valuable resources and connections in the beauty industry.

Your classmates can be a support system and community. You can help each other feel beautiful as you learn to make others feel beautiful. Bonding as you learn together, you might just make some lifelong friends!

three women taking a group photo

3. Instagram Doesn’t Show the Hard Work

Most everyone has been amazed by the work of a stylist on Instagram. And their work is amazing! However, it’s important to keep in mind that those are just the “greatest hits”. You don’t see the prep work, the failures, or the stress behind every style. Don’t let the successes posted on social media discourage you. Each of those successful stylists has felt the same way.

a woman posing with a full face of makeup

4. Don’t Be Afraid of Commitment!

When looking for beauty schools online, 1600 hours may not seem like a lot. However, you are constantly learning beauty industry skills during that time. That takes a lot of energy and dedication! Whether you’re in class or on the salon floor, you’ll always be taking in new information. Beauty school is rewarding, but it is a commitment.

5. Prepare to Make Genuine Connections with Clients

If you’ve ever been to a hair salon, you know clients tell their stylists almost everything. Talking helps pass the time and it’s no fun to talk about small things like the weather. As you work with clients, you will hear a lot of stories and secrets about them.

Having a back-and-forth conversation with your client is a good sign. It means you’re building a bond. Just prepare yourself for topics that may be heavier than others. For the most part, it’s wonderful to bond with your clients. Who knows? A fun conversation could turn a nervous client into a regular client!

Check out these ideas to help get the conversation started!

6. It’s An Investment

There is one big factor that can stop people from attending beauty school: cost! Every student’s out-of-pocket expense differ due to their financial aid* eligibility and chosen program. To help ease the burden, scholarships are available.

Reach out to our financial aid team to get a sense of what resources would be best for you. We want to make your transition to a beauty school as smooth (and affordable) as possible.

7. Skills and Techniques You Can Learn!

We mentioned the different programs you can study. Now let’s talk about what those programs have to offer!

Before picking a program, it’s important to know what skills the curriculum covers.. The skills you learn at beauty school are an important part of developing your career. At TSPA San Jose, we offer cosmetology and esthetics programs.

Here is a list of some of the skills you could learn in each program:

Cosmetology Skills and Techniques

  • Redken-infused styling
  • Haircutting
  • Highlighting
  • Balayage
  • Color Correction
  • Root Touch-Up
  • Ombre
  • Mermaid Colors
  • And More!

Esthetics Skills and Techniques

  • Facials
  • Waxing
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Chemical Peels
  • Makeup Artistry
  • Eyebrow Beautification
  • And More!

We also want to help you build your business skills! These skills could help make you a more well-rounded beauty professional. We offer workshops in:

  • Sales
  • Social Media
  • Resume Building

8. It Could Be The Best Choice You’ll Ever Make!

When all is said and done, going to beauty school may be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for! You can beautify your future as you study to help others feel beautiful. Beauty professionals are (and always will be) an important part of any community.

You could help boost people’s confidence and help them see their beauty. And unlike other professions, a career in the beauty industry allows you to tap into your creativity. Going to beauty school can help you turn your creativity into a future career.

Create some smiles. Share some laughs. Grow your skills to make the world a beautiful place!

woman puts on lipstick

Start Your Journey Today

The next step in your beauty journey is applying to our school! Our admissions representatives would love to get to know you and answer your questions. You can also schedule a tour to visit The Salon Professional Academy and see if we’re a good fit for you.

Contact us to learn more and see if we are the right school for your beautiful future!

*Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

Building Your 5-Year and 10-Year Plan for Your Beauty Career

When planning your future, it’s important to set short-term and long-term goals. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What about after 10 years? While it can be hard to look ahead, especially when times are uncertain, it’s a great time to start thinking about what you want to do with your life and career.

At The Salon Professional Academy(TSPA), San Jose we want to help you set yourself up for success! Here’s a general timeline on what to expect the first 5 years of pursuing an education in beauty and 10 years later.

Your 5-Year Goals

1. Start Getting Ready for Beauty School Now!

Beauty school can take anywhere from a few months to potentially up to two years, depending on the program and class schedule you choose. For example, the cosmetology program at The Salon Professional Academy can be completed in as little as 11 months for the full time program, but the part-time program can take at minimum 21 months.

If skincare is your passion, you can start doing what you love sooner, as our esthetics program can be completed in as little as 4.5 months for our full-time schedule or 9.5 months for our part-time schedule.

Beauty school is a big time and money investment in yourself. This means if you haven’t started considering how to fit beauty school into your budget, start taking those steps now, so you can finish school and become a licensed professional within the next five years.

As a first step, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) to see what type of financial aid you may qualify for. Make sure to send this info to our school code: 042371. This can help us work with you to determine if there may be ways to make school more affordable, like Pell Grants or federal loans.

Woman using a laptop.

You can also start looking at class schedules and talking with your family or significant other on how you can balance beauty school and your current responsibilities, whether it’s handling childcare or working a part-time or full-time job.

2. Find Your Starting Career

Once you’ve finished beauty school, it’s important to get a job in the industry as soon as possible! Chances are, you won’t be able to do your dream career JUST yet.

Like any profession, it’s important to take the leap and get some experience first. Even if it’s not the perfect fit, that first career can be exciting! You can apply what you learned in school and build your own clientele at a salon or spa. Then, when it’s time to move to a different location, you can already have clients ready to meet you at your new place!

Hairstylist spraying a woman's hair.

3. Build Your Portfolio

While you’re just starting out, make sure to take as many photos and videos you can of the work you create! When finding your lifelong career, you want to show employers that you’re worth it! You can (and should) be building your portfolio while you’re in beauty school, but it’s a new experience when working without the help of licensed instructors helping you perfect each look.

Some tips:

  • Build your business Instagram profile. Instagram is a great way to gain a loyal following and ultimately attract new clients to your salon or spa. Showcase exactly what someone can expect when sitting in your chair and advertise any specials or your favorite products to encourage people to come to you.
  • Ask for reviews from each of your guests. These can make or break your reputation! And, all you have to do is ask. If people loved their appointment, they won’t have a problem leaving you with some kind words. Got some feedback from a less-than-happy guest? It’s a great way to learn and grow!
  • Update your resume. As you get more and more experience, make sure to showcase some of your favorite looks and skills. If possible, find opportunities to get certified in certain specialties, like make-up!

Then, when you’ve decided you’ve gotten enough experience, it’s time to work toward your 10 year goals. Where do you see yourself? Do you like working in a salon or spa or would you rather become your own boss?

Your 10-Year Goals

Once you have a few years of experience cutting hair, applying facials, or creating stunning nail art, it’s time to start looking for the career you love! While it’s becoming more and more common to try working at different salons to find the right fit, it’s also great to find a place that you can call home in the workplace.

Find a career where you have a team that actively supports you, achieve a proper work/life balance, and pays you what you’re worth. But, some other things you should consider within 10 years are:

1. Build Your Professional Network

If you can, try to create a professional beauty network, whether it’s from peers at your time during beauty school or your coworkers at your current workplace. While many conferences, trainings, continuing education opportunities may continue to be online, you should connect with those you went to school with or your team at your salon or spa.

These connections can be a valuable asset when looking for your new workplace.

2. Become Your Own Boss

The beauty industry is full of opportunities for you to take control of your career. If you’ve been dreaming about opening up your salon, set your 10-year goal to do it! Use the hard-earned money from your starting career to save up for your own space. You might start with renting a booth at an established salon and working your way to opening your own location, but whatever you do, make sure you love what you’re doing!

3. Continue Your Education

Once you’re confident in what you’re doing, it’s time to think about going back to school or continuing your education in some way. You can potentially become certified in other services. For example, if you’re a cosmetologist, you could consider getting an esthetics license to provide more skincare related services.

Makeup artist applying makeup

To be a successful beauty professional, you should find ways to encourage your clients to keep coming back. You can do this by expanding the list of services you offer, or specializing in certain services that your guests won’t be able to get elsewhere.

Are You Ready To Start Doing What You Love

If beauty school is on your five-year plans, it’s time to start getting ready now! Schedule your tour at The Salon Professional Academy to start working toward your goals now. Through our programs in cosmetology and esthetics, you can pursue what you love! Financial aid is available to those who qualify, plus we offer full-time or part-time schedules to make it possible to fit beauty school into your life and budget.

We can’t wait to help you achieve your dreams!