Do I Need to Go to School to Become an Esthetician?

Esthetician waxing a woman's eyebrows

Feel like you were born to work in the beauty industry? Are you wondering how to take the first step to become a professional esthetician? As an esthetician, you can help others manage their skin health and inner beauty. Why skin? The body’s skin is our defense from the world, and it can take some punishment from the elements. By helping clients manage their skin, you can help them stay healthy on the outside as well as the inside. So, do you need to go to school to become an esthetician?

Do You Need to Go to School to Become an Esthetician?

As an esthetician, you must become licensed to help clients. And the prerequisite to an esthetician license is attending an esthetician program at a vocational school. However, that’s no reason to feel discouraged. In fact, fulfilling the educational requirements to become a professional esthetician is simply part of the journey of learning how to excel in this industry. The right program can help you with a wide variety of standards and techniques for offering in-demand services that will help you to keep a robust client list.

Becoming an Esthetician

First, it’s important to know why training and certification are so important in this career field. Estheticians perform a wide variety of treatments related to hair and skin. While an esthetician isn’t a doctor, you do perform some intensive skin treatments that require specialized knowledge. In fact, estheticians are sometimes referred to as “skin care therapists.” Here’s a look at some of the services estheticians can offer:

  • Facials
  • Superficial/gentle chemical peels
  • Body wraps
  • Skin mapping
  • Exfoliation
  • Facial scrubs
  • Waxing
  • Scar care
  • Skin consulting
  • Lash extensions

As the demand for esthetician services grows, estheticians are branching out into specialty areas that are quite lucrative. Many estheticians are pivoting to services like airbrush tanning to help clients enjoy healthy “sunless” tans. An esthetician working full-time can even offer tanning visits to clients at their homes. Once you’ve completed your initial certification, you have the freedom to obtain additional training and education. This puts you in the position to carve out a niche by offering whatever type of beauty service you find appealing. The fact that new beauty treatments and “technologies” are constantly introduced means there are always opportunities to become “the only person in town” to offer popular, in-demand treatments that people are hearing about from magazines, television, or the internet.

While some people assume that cosmetologists and estheticians are synonymous, the two specialties aren’t the same. While cosmetologists are more focused on “surface” treatments like haircuts and coloring, estheticians go deeper by treating the skin. However, many estheticians do provide makeup services as part of their aesthetic consulting services.

What Do You Learn in Esthetician School?

Future estheticians are trained in all the techniques used for skin treatments and hair removal that are offered in salon and spa settings. In addition, you will undergo training to become product specialists who can recommend products to help clients solve skin issues. Here’s a look at the wide range of topics covered in an Esthiology curriculum:

  • Dermatology fundamentals
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • The basics of skin diseases
  • Sanitation, cleanliness, and safety
  • State laws and regulations
  • Managing/disposing of hazardous waste
  • Infection control
  • Chemical management/disposal
  • Skin analysis
  • Product recommendations
  • Customer service
  • Sales

As an esthetician, you are not licensed to act as a dermatologist. However, you do spend time learning about skin diseases and disorders. In fact, many clients seek out the assistance of trained estheticians before consulting with dermatologists simply because they are looking for some inexpensive topical solutions. As an esthetician, you can often help by making product recommendations based on your one-on-one familiarity with various products combined with a background in understanding how product ingredients work together to create changes and reactions in the skin.

Again, as an esthetician, you are not representing yourself as a medical professional capable of curing or treating skin conditions. You are instead making product recommendations from a position of expertise. Some common skin issues that clients may have questions about include acne, rosacea, sunburn, hives, eczema, and psoriasis. Clients may also seek product recommendations for common skin problems like oiliness, dryness, and signs of aging. While you will be licensed to provide a wide range of services, it’s important for you to know that this career field can be limiting. More invasive procedures that can range from deep chemical peels to filler injections aren’t in an esthetician’s wheelhouse because they veer into the “medical territory.”

Where Do Estheticians Work?

In a world where everyone wants their skin to look ready for the lens, estheticians have never been in higher demand. One of the perks of this career choice is that there’s never any fear of being stuck in a “stuffy” environment where you’re managing the same tasks day after day. In fact, as an esthetician, you enjoy the unique freedom to choose the settings you want to work in. Here’s a look at some common places of employment for estheticians:

Dermatology Offices: Yes, dermatologists often employ medical estheticians at their offices to provide support for people looking for basic skin help or hair removal.

Spas: Estheticians employed by spas offer a wide range of beauty treatments for clients looking to be pampered.

Salons: Salons that offer hair-removal services employ estheticians to assist with brows and waxing.

Hotels, Resorts and Cruise Ships: Many brands that offer “resort experiences” keep their private in-house spas staffed with estheticians who can offer a wide range of skin and beauty treatments. Even business hotels often provide full-service spas to help busy travelers stay groomed and pampered on the go.

Private Appointments: Some estheticians make home and “on set” visits for their high-end clients.

While there was a time when being employed as an esthetician meant working for a salon or spa, things have changed. The popularity of skin and beauty tutorials means that you are empowered to build your own followings. In addition to helping you build up your client base, having a strong online presence can also help you to gain brand sponsorships.

What Does It Take to Become a Successful Esthetician?

Estheticians enjoy a unique profession that combines technical skill with creativity. Among beauty and wellness professionals, estheticians are required to know the most about science and chemicals. Treatments like waxing and facials take tremendous amounts of precision and detail.

In addition to mastering the technical aspects of this field, estheticians need strong “people” skills. As an esthetician, you are tasked with understanding the needs of clients. You must also know how to effectively communicate recommendations, explain procedures, and engage with clients during treatments.

Final Thoughts

If you’re ready to make the leap to having the career that you’ve always wanted, there’s never been a better time to enroll in a program to become an esthetician. The first step is taking some time to find a program that will put you in the position to qualify for state licensing. Look for schools that offer robust curriculums covering all the topics you need to know for licensing. Programs that are designed to equip you for successful careers combine “book learning” with hands-on lessons. If you are ready to help others and enjoy a rewarding career, becoming an esthetician may be the right career path for you.

Are you ready to go to school to become an esthetician? If so, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  Our Esthiology Diploma Program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field.  We give our Esthiology students experience in skincare, waxing, make-up, application of facials, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming an esthetician and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

Why Is It Important to Study Anatomy in Cosmetology?

Cosmetologist cutting hair

The world of cosmetology is diverse, and there are many skills cosmetology students learn that help them build successful careers including anatomy. You may dream about working at your community salon, opening your own salon, or working at a luxurious spa. It all begins with a vocational school program in cosmetology that teaches you skills you need to serve clients as well as grow as a professional in the beauty world.

Why Does Someone Become a Cosmetologist?

Future licensed cosmetologists begin their journey at school, following a passion for beauty in its many art forms. You may enjoy a job as a cosmetologist if:

  • Passionate about hair, nails, makeup, and fashion.
  • Value beauty in wellness and want to help people look and feel their best.
  • Already love helping friends and family with their style.
  • Makeup and beauty are your favorite hobbies, and you could easily see yourself focusing on them full-time.

A cosmetologist can be anyone, and one of the reasons so many are drawn to the field is that they recognize beauty as a celebration of self-expression and individuality. By learning fundamental and advanced techniques from leading teaching professionals in the field, you become equipped to uplift others through your own talents.

What Do You Learn in Cosmetology School?

A cosmetology program covers all the fundamental areas of the field, which include hair cutting, coloring & styling, nail care, manicures & pedicures, all types of makeup as well as anatomy and physiology.

In addition to learning how to shampoo, color, cut and style hair in a variety of ways, you also learn about different makeup styles, including everyday looks, runway makeup and special event makeup. Every skill is supported by a larger education, and the two most important fields you will learn are anatomy and physiology.

Why Is It Important to Study Anatomy in Cosmetology?

Anatomy is the study of the body’s structure while physiology is the study of the body’s interactive systems and processes. You may think such scientific fields aren’t necessary for a cosmetologist, but this is far from the truth.

Learning about anatomy teaches you how the hair and nails grow, how skin is affected by different products and the best way to prevent the spread of infection and disease. You also learn how the body’s immune system responds to different pathogens, including signs of allergic reactions to various types of beauty and makeup components.

Anatomy and physiology for cosmetologists study the body’s 12 systems to learn about skin health and care, hair growth, nail disorders and diseases, hair removal and more. The interaction between the body and beauty services impacts the way a cosmetologist performs their jobs.

Beauty Is Skin Deep

True beauty lies within a person, but for a cosmetologist, skin matters. The appearance of someone’s skin, including its type and texture, play a large role in the care they take when suggesting products and applying makeup on a client. Some clients may suffer from burns, rosacea, cystic acne, eczema, and other conditions that impact what type of products they can use.

During an anatomy course, you learn that the skin contains three layers. The epidermis is the top layer, which we physically see. This is the layer that you apply makeup and facials to. It acts as a waterproof barrier, protecting the body from all the different types of bacteria it encounters. The epidermis protects the dermis, which is directly underneath and holds sweat glands, hair follicles and connective tissue. Finally, there is the hypodermis, which is made of fat and more connective tissues.

A cosmetologist understands that what is visible is only part of the picture. The top layer of skin is affected by what is occurring beneath the surface. This knowledge helps them recognize potential reactions to different chemicals that may negatively affect the skin.

Identifying signs of an allergic reaction and knowing how to respond also comes from an understanding of the skin system and its role in cosmetology. A strong understanding of anatomy and physiology, from a beauty perspective, gives you the ability to protect your clients’ health and bring them a sense of safety in your presence.

Hair Growth, Loss and Removal

Knowing how to cut hair is not simply about learning techniques. Hair cutting & styling is also influenced by an understanding of hair structure, the growth cycle, and different types of hair loss.

Hair structure is one of the earliest subjects cosmetology students learn. Every hair you see on someone’s head grows from its own individual place called a follicle. These follicles are highly sensitive, and there is a bulb in each one that contains the growth cells for each strand of hair.

During an anatomy course, you will learn that there are three layers to the hair shaft, the hair that emerges from the scalp. It is made of the same material as nails, a strong protein called keratin. Keratin production is heavily impacted by a person’s diet. Protein, biotin, and vitamin A are the most essential nutrients for healthy hair and nails.

Hair Loss and Removal

Hair loss can be caused by high levels of stress, hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, or an autoimmune disorder such as alopecia areata. Hair loss affects both men and women, and many people suffering from hair loss turn to a cosmetologist for help. By understanding how different products affect hair health, you can make suggestions on better shampoos and conditioners, hair loss treatments and volumizing products.

Hair removal procedures vary. You should not only understand a person’s skin type but also how their hair grows. This ensures you can make removal treatments most effective and minimize discomfort and irritation.

Nail Structure and Care

Manicures & pedicures focus as much on health as aesthetics. In fact, for the trained cosmetologist, applying the right care to a nail is the first step in any service. Like skin and hair, every nail on the human body is made of three layers. You learn during an anatomy course that the dorsal layer is the uppermost layer, similar to the epidermis of the skin. It contains the oldest layers of cells, which are buffed and removed during filing. The intermediate layer of the nail is the thickest, and the ventral layer is underneath. All three layers are composed of keratin, water and an organic compound called lipid.

By understanding how nails grow and what impacts their health, a cosmetologist can apply the right techniques, products and care to each client based on their own needs. You will discover that in cosmetology, there is never a one-size-fits-all approach.

Why Cosmetology Is a Personal Science

Students who want to become a licensed cosmetologist will discover, what you see on the outside of the body reflects what is going on inside the body. Likewise, what you apply to the body can have a big impact on a client’s health and wellness. Beauty experts are not merely people who know how to cut hair or apply makeup; they are professionals who recognize the beauty in the body itself.

On a superficial level, anatomy plays a large role in how a person looks after different services. The skilled cosmetologist does not pick a look and apply it based on preference. They study a person’s bone structure, skin texture and complexion to choose the right application techniques, colors, and styles. This ensures that every look enhances a person’s natural beauty and accentuates their best features. In some cases, makeup applications also help minimize or disguise certain characteristics.

How Do You Become a Cosmetologist?

Every cosmetology professional’s journey starts at a cosmetology school. By enrolling in an accredited program, you can start your path toward a career in hair, nails and/or makeup. Throughout your training, you will study under professionals with years of real experience, discover your talents and build on your potential. When you graduate, you will be prepared to move toward your license as a cosmetologist and even pursue a specialization. The sky is the limit.

Want to Learn More?

At Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we are dedicated to helping our Cosmetology program students develop a solid foundation and a flair for style through hands-on training in basic and advanced industry techniques. You will learn how to cut, color and style hair, give manicures and pedicures, provide spa treatments, and perform various skin care techniques from industry-experienced instructors in a professional salon setting.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a cosmetologist and start a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

What Body Systems are Most Affected by Massage?

massage therapist assisting a client

Massage therapy is one of the most effective ways to deal with a variety of ailments and physical conditions. Curious what body systems are most affected by massage? Annually, millions of people seek physical and emotional relief through the use of a qualified massage therapist. Massage therapy is one of the oldest and most effective ways of addressing issues within all twelve systems of the body. Massage therapy is a critical component of one’s overall health and should be part of a regular health regimen.

Pursuing a career in massage therapy is both gratifying and intrinsically rewarding. There is nothing better than knowing that you have made a positive impact on the lives and wellbeing of others.

What Body Systems are Most Affected by Massage?

Some body systems are more affected by massage than others, however all body systems must work together to keep humans healthy and happy. Each body system has its part to play, and massage can help improve these body system’s performance.

Circulatory System

The circulatory system is one of the most important parts of the body. The purpose of circulation is to continuously pump fresh blood throughout the body, as well as its tissues and organs. Sometimes the circulatory system does not adequately pump blood throughout the body. Improper blood flow can lead to long term chronic health conditions, and even permanent disability. Effective and proper massage therapy techniques can increase blood flow and enhance the circulatory system’s ability to provide blood throughout the body.

Muscular System

One of the first areas in which chronic stress and tension tend to appear is through the muscular system. Not only are muscles responsible for all of our daily movements and activities, but they are also incredibly vital to the proper functioning of the rest of the body. Massage decreases the amount of tension and stress that is stored within the muscles and can also improve this system’s overall functionality and efficiency. Massage can increase proper blood flow, nutrients, and oxygen, and is an important part of the proper upkeep and care of a well-functioning muscular system.

Endocrine System

The endocrine system is responsible for producing and distributing all the various hormones within the body. At times, this system can become out of balance, which causes a variety of ailments and conditions, such as anxiety, depression, obesity, insomnia, and even diabetes. Massage can have a significant benefit in this area, and can help restore the proper balance of oxytocin, cortisol, serotonin, dopamine and other important hormones.

Central Nervous System

Most notable for its role in processing and receiving information, the central nervous system is comprised of two main parts: the brain and the spinal cord. Massage techniques promote intense relaxation, as well as the production of a variety of “feel good hormones” in the brain. Massage relieves the nervous system, and benefits it by decreasing the body’s heart rate, promoting an enhanced mood, and lowering blood pressure.

Peripheral Nervous System

The peripheral nervous system (or PNS) is comprised of the nerves and nerve cells within our body. These nerves and nerve cells are the roadway for the rest of the organs, muscles, blood vessels, and glands. The PNS is the main way in which every other system sends and receives information throughout the body. Professional massage techniques can help the PNS by increasing blood flow, heightening the senses, promoting efficient digestion, and helping to regulate core body temperature and perspiration.

Skeletal System

The skeletal system is responsible for keeping a person’s vital organs and tissues in place. This system is comprised of bones, joints, ligaments, cartilage, and bone marrow. Some of the most important parts of the skeletal system are the ribs and skull. The ribs protect the heart and lungs, while the skull protects the brain. Massage therapy provides a multitude of benefits for the skeletal system, including improving one’s posture, relieving stiff joints, alleviating symptoms of arthritis, and improving flexibility. Furthermore, massage also helps bones retain the vitamins and minerals necessary to increase the body’s strength and durability. This is an important point, especially with older adults who experience the loss of bone density as they age.

Gastrointestinal (Digestive) System

Many people are surprised to find that massage therapy offers numerous benefits for the digestive system. Digestion plays a critical role when it comes to the proper overall functioning of the body. Digestion is the way the body receives and processes vital nutrients from food and beverages. An efficient digestive system facilitates the distribution of nutrients to the rest of the body, to keep it functioning optimally. There is nothing worse than a sluggish digestive tract. When digestion is compromised, other chronic issues can occur, such as constipation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome. Proper massage techniques can relieve these issues and help restore the digestive tract in a therapeutic and noninvasive manner.

Reproductive System

It may seem odd to think that massage therapy can benefit the reproductive system, however, massage therapy can increase one’s chances of successfully conceiving a child. Successful conception is dependent on a variety of factors, including the appropriate regulation of hormones. Massage has a positive impact on the reproductive system, by increasing feelings of relaxation and wellbeing. In turn, this can increase the chances of conceiving a successfully fertilized zygote. It must be noted that some elements of massage are not recommended for pregnant women.

Integumentary System

This system primarily consists of one’s skin, hair, and nails. The skin is the largest organ of the body and protects every single part of our bodies. It is also considered the body’s first line of defense in one’s ability to maintain good health. Because it’s the largest organ in the human body, the rest of our body is often affected whenever the integumentary system is not performing optimally. Massage techniques conducted by a massage therapist can have a positive impact on this important part of the body, including promoting positive stimulation of the skin, improving texture and elasticity, as well as enhancing tissue repair.

Respiratory System

The respiratory system is responsible for the proper delivery of oxygen into the lungs, as well as the disposal of harmful carbon dioxide through the process of exhaling. The respiratory system depends on an adequate supply of blood to perform optimally. Massage therapy can enhance and improve the respiratory system by increasing lung capacity, promoting the function of the pulmonary system, improving the function of the diaphragm, slowing and deepening the breathing pattern, decreasing congestion and promoting overall relaxation.

Lymphatic system

The lymphatic system is an extremely vital component of our immune system. This system includes various tissue, nodules, and other components which are used to transport and carry various bodily fluids throughout the body. When an individual becomes sick, it’s often due to an inadequately functioning lymphatic system. Professional massage therapists can enhance and improve the lymphatic system by alleviating any swelling and inflammation that is present. Furthermore, massage can decrease sinus congestion, reduce and soften scar tissue, promote blood circulation and decrease swelling in and around the lymph nodes.

Urinary System

For the human body to perform optimally, it is important to have a healthy, functioning urinary tract system. Waste material and other byproducts that are not necessary for the functioning of the human body are expelled through the process of urination. Urea, which is a byproduct of blood production, must be expelled to prevent blood toxicity. The urinary tract is connected to the kidneys, where the urea must first be filtered out and removed. Massage therapy plays a vital role in a properly functioning urinary tract. Massage can engage the urinary tract and helps increase urinary output. In addition, massage therapy can reduce fluid retention, which is vital in maintaining a healthy heart. Massage also promotes liver and kidney health, and aids muscles in releasing built up toxins and lactic acid.

Immune System

A person’s overall health and wellbeing is heavily dependent upon an adequately functioning and strong immune system. The immune system helps protect individuals from contracting viruses and a variety of other contagious conditions. When a person contracts a virus or other illness, the immune system goes to work and attacks the virus by sending out lymphocytes. These lymphocytes work to attack virus cells, eliminating them until the body is free from illness. If a person has an inadequate immune system, they are left completely vulnerable to contracting a contagious virus and may even be at risk of premature death. Massage therapy enhances the immune system primarily by reducing cortisol levels. Cortisol, otherwise known as “the stress hormone,” has been known to have a negative impact on the body’s immune system. If a person experiences chronic stress, their chances of getting sick increases significantly. Massage therapy decreases cortisol levels, therefore strengthening the immune system, and enhancing the body’s overall health and wellbeing.

Final Thoughts

A career in massage therapy is both fulfilling and rewarding. Massage therapists play a vital role in decreasing a person’s stress levels, relieving pain and tension, reducing anxiety, and promoting good health. They are in high demand, with the field expected to grow throughout the next ten years. With massage therapy, you can enjoy a flexible schedule, choose to work in a variety of environments and specialties, and enjoy the satisfaction of helping people feel better. Not only can a career in massage therapy increase other people’s quality of life, but it can also increase your own personal happiness and satisfaction knowing that you have made a positive difference in other’s lives.

Want to Learn More?

If you are interested in the healing powers of massage, you can begin your career in massage therapy at Minnesota School of Cosmetology. Our short-term massage therapy training program is designed to be completed in as little as 12 months. Our massage therapy training program is designed as a holistic program that will prepare students to focus on body mechanics of their patients as well as develop positive habits for the therapist. Together, those two areas will provide a foundation that can lead to longevity in the career field.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist and starting a rewarding career in the massage industry.

What are the Benefits of a Part Time Massage Program?

woman learning massage therapy

If you are interested in becoming a massage therapist but are unable to attend classes during their normal schedule, you are in luck. Minnesota School of Cosmetology offers part-time massage classes during the evenings. You will attend classes for 10.5 to 17.5 hours per week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 9:30pm and every other Saturday 9am to 4:30p. You can take up to 55 weeks to complete the massage therapy program.

Even though you will be attending part-time, you will still gain invaluable training in everything that you learn during a full-time schedule like massage techniques, rehabilitation and introduction to spa techniques. Further, you will learn about anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, pathology and medical terminology to better prepare your massage plans, better understanding how body mechanics work together. You will learn about business practices if you want to work at a franchise massage business or start your own massage service offering. The best part about the part-time massage therapy program is the extended time putting theory and classroom lecture to work during clinical labs. Practice makes perfect, and you get a lot of practice during this part-time massage therapy program.

Benefit #1: A More flexible Schedule

Some of us still need to work during the day to pay the bills while we work toward our new career. The ability to attend a massage therapy program part-time will allow you to stay employed while you achieve your career aspirations.

Also, if you have other responsibilities during the day like taking care of family members, the part-time massage program can still help you transition to the growing industry of massage while attending part-time. Take the time to complete a massage therapy program and start a secure and growing career field for you and your family.

Benefit #2: Learn Relevant Skills

Even if it takes a little longer to graduate from a part-time massage program, you will still learn everything you need to be a successful massage therapist. These skills include physical stamina, dexterity, communication, time management, as well as problem-solving skills.

Physical Stamina – a full massage can take 60 to 90 minutes to administer, and a massage therapist is on their feet for most of the time. During a massage therapy program, you will learn the proper stance (like the Warrior Stance) to manage this time on your feet. Another way you will learn to mitigate the strain of standing for extended periods of time is with stretching and aerobic exercise.

Dexterity – during a massage therapy session, you will use your fingers, hands and elbows to help put pressure on trigger points and manipulate soft tissue. These techniques take dexterity in your fingers and hands. You will learn different ways to improve dexterity including hand stretching exercises that will help keep you from cramping up during a massage session.

Communication – much of what you will be doing is working with clients, offering them massage. You will be communicating with both clients and colleagues. You will also be writing up reports and taking notes about client’s performance. Communication is a key component in being a successful massage therapist.

Not only will you need to hear what a client is saying to you but also understand the client’s body language. Are they wincing due to pain? Are you applying too much pressure? Part of good communication is active listening and monitoring body language. Listen to your client and they will tell you volumes of information.

Time Management – the only way to make a good income from massage is to work with multiple clients. However, it is important to keep appointments, not to be late or stack appointments one on top of another. Clients do not like to be kept waiting. This is the biggest complaint of most clients, and this can cause a client to go to another massage therapist.

You also may only have as little as 15 minutes to perform a chair massage. Making sure you massage all the important parts of the client’s body is important, especially if you are offering a short session. Longer sessions offer a better opportunity to manage time and focus on trigger points and knots that the client may have, without missing out on the other parts of the client’s body.

Problem Solving Skills – do you have a client that is late for an appointment? Ran out of clean towels? There are always going to be problems that arise, it is how you solve those problems that will let your clients know you are a good problem solver. The best scenario is that the client doesn’t even know you have a problem, because you fixed it before they even noticed.

Massage Techniques You Learn During a Part-Time Program

During a part-time massage therapy program, you still learn all the massage techniques you will need to succeed. From Swedish and deep tissue to chair, Thai, hot stone, sports, prenatal and reflexology. Each technique has a different use case, and the right combination can help you help your clients with pain, stress, poor circulation and other bodily issues.

Swedish Massage – the most common and most requested massage techniques. It is the foundation for many other techniques like deep tissue, chair massage and sports massage. The massage technique uses smooth, gliding strokes (effleurage), squeezing, rolling and kneading (petrissage), deep, circular movements (friction) and short, alternating taps (tapotement).

Deep Tissue Massage – uses slow strokes to focus pressure on muscles, tendons and deep tissues under the skin.

Chair Massage – a mobile way for you to offer a Swedish massage to the upper body. You will massage the client’s neck, shoulders, back, hands, and arms to reduce tension and improve blood circulation.

Thai Massage – an active version of massage, where the client participates in stretching and yoga like possess in tandem with you, the massage therapist.

Hot Stone Massage – massage that uses hot stones placed on specific points of the client’s body to enhance massage and relax muscles. Using the stones while offering massage allows you to apply deeper pressure without causing discomfort.

Sports Massage – a form of Swedish massage that focuses on one area of the body. Whether overexerted from excessive movement or injury, sports massage can help overused and stressed muscles relax and rejuvenate. Sports massage can also be good for athletes during warm up and cool down sessions.

Prenatal/Post-Natal Massage – massage can help mothers-to-be during prenatal and post-natal periods of childbirth. This massage can help a woman that is pregnant or just given birth manage the stress, pain and discomfort that comes with excessive weight in the stomach and on the back.

Reflexology – uses your hands, thumbs, and fingers to stimulate the client’s hands and feet. The theory of reflexology is that there are pressure points on the hands and feet that correspond to different parts of the body. Pressure on these points can help promote relaxation, increase circulation and support the functions of the entire body.

Final Thoughts

Are you ready to become a massage therapist? Taking a part-time massage program is a great way to keep your daily responsibilities in check and continue your journey to a new career as a massage therapist. If you are ready to work in a growing industry and help others at the same time, then becoming a massage therapist may be the best career path for you.

Want to Learn More?

If you are interested in the healing powers of massage, you can begin your career in massage therapy at Minnesota School of Cosmetology. Our short-term massage therapy training program is designed to be completed in as little as 12 months. Our massage therapy training program is designed as a holistic program that will prepare students to focus on body mechanics of their patients as well as develop positive habits for the therapist. Together, those two areas will provide a foundation that can lead to longevity in the career field.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist and starting a rewarding career in the massage industry.

What is the Best Cosmetology School in Minnesota?

Picture of Minnesota School of Cosmetology

Are you interested in becoming a cosmetologist and want to know which school is the best in Minnesota? There are a few cosmetology schools in Minnesota, but no one stacks up to the Minnesota School of Cosmetology. And, we have always stayed true to the focus of providing relevant, hands-on training to students to succeed in the beauty industry.

Why is Minnesota School of Cosmetology the Best Cosmetology School?

The Minnesota School of Cosmetology has a mission to educate, motivate and prepare you for a career in cosmetology. We train you to successfully sit for the certification and state licensure exam. We provide updated and relevant training, ongoing career assistance, an environment that encourages and motivates you, and instills a sense of professionalism in your craft.

Prep for the State Licensure Exam

Minnesota School of Cosmetology “teaches to the test,” meaning we teach you a curriculum that is based on the licensure exam and that will help you answer the many questions that prove your proficiency in cosmetology.

The licensing exam tests your knowledge and skills in many aspects of cosmetology. These key topics include safety and infection control, client consultation and professional conduct, anatomy and physiology of hair, skin and nails, shampooing, conditioning and scalp care, hairstyling, haircutting, hair coloring, chemical texture services, esthetics, and nail care.

There are a few different licensure exams depending on the cosmetology services you intend to offer. The Cosmetologist Combo Exam includes general theory, state regulations exam ad written practical exam.

Nationally Accredited Cosmetology School

It is important for a cosmetology school to be accredited by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Schools that receive accreditation must show a specific standard of quality, measurable outcomes, positive graduation rates and placement rates, and the hiring of professional and experienced faculty.

Minnesota School of Cosmetology is licensed by the state of Minnesota as well as the Minnesota Board of Cosmetology. As an accredited school, we are also eligible to offer financial aid through federal loan and grant programs.

Work in a Real Student Run Salon

One of the great things about attending Minnesota School of Cosmetology is the hands-on experience you receive working with real clients. You will have the chance to put your theoretical knowledge to the test in a real student run salon. Under supervision, you will have the ability to test out your skills, offering real clients haircuts, coloring, styling, nail care, facials, and other cosmetology services. This experience will not only prepare you for day one at a local community salon, but it is also great work experience to add to your resume. Employers are looking for experienced employees to lessen the burden of on-the-job training costs.

Industry Experienced Instructors

The Minnesota School of Cosmetology hires instructors with experience in the industry. Our instructors have started in entry-level cosmetology roles and know what you need to succeed. We have prepared a curriculum that is supported by the community at large and will prepare you for day one at an entry-level position. Our instructors also offer you one-on-one attention, giving you the support you deserve so you don’t fall behind.

Financial Aid

Because the Minnesota School of Cosmetology is properly accredited, we can offer you federal financial aid options, for those that qualify. Find out if you qualify for any loans, grants or scholarship opportunities from our knowledgeable representatives. They will help guide you through the application process and remind you of the deadlines to file the FAFSA.

Career Services

One of the best parts about attending the Minnesota School of Cosmetology is that we offer you career services starting before graduation and all throughout your career in cosmetology. We have close ties to the community and hear about jobs that may not even become public before they are filled by Minnesota School of Cosmetology alum. We also offer you resume building skills, mock interviews and job fairs that help you market yourself to salons in the community. Although a job is not guaranteed after graduation, at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we put your education first and do everything we can to match you up with a job that is advantageous to your passions and skills in cosmetology.

What Do You Learn During a Cosmetology Program at Minnesota School of Cosmetology?

At the Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we prepare you with all the knowledge and skills you need to become a successful cosmetologist. From hair care and nail care to esthetics and advanced cosmetology techniques. The clinical instruction offered at Minnesota School of Cosmetology includes shampooing, scalp and hair conditioning, hair design and shaping, chemical hair control, hair coloring, hair styling, facials, makeup, manicures and pedicures.

The objective of our cosmetology program is to prepare you to observe Minnesota laws and rules as they apply to the field of Cosmetology and have the ability to demonstrate all sanitation laws and rules. You are also prepared to demonstrate haircutting, hairstyling, chemical services, manicuring and aesthetics techniques. Some of the cosmetology topics include:

Life Skills

During our curriculum, you will learn about life skills that will help you succeed in cosmetology. From managing your career, goal setting, time management and study skills to proper ethics, a good professional image and communicating for success.

Infection Control

Important knowledge to obtain before working with clients as a cosmetologist is adhering to proper infection control protocols. You will learn the regulations behind infection control, how to prevent infection, and universal precautions to keep you and your customers safe.

General Anatomy and Physiology

As a cosmetologist, it is important for you to understand general anatomy and physiology. From what the body is made of and the eleven body systems to skin, hair, and nail growth. Also included in this curriculum is disorders and diseases that you can help clients spot including skin, nails, and hair.

Principles of Hair Design

Multiple courses will focus on the principles of hair design, scalp care, shampooing and conditioning. Also included in the curriculum is hairstyling with wet hairstyles, finger waving, pin curls, roller curls, comb-out techniques, hair wrapping, blow-dry styling, thermal hairstyling, and the general artistry of hairstyling. During these courses, you will learn about braiding,, wigs, hairpieces, and hair extensions. Curriculum will also discuss hair coloring and hair removal.


Courses will focus on facial preparation and procedures. Part of the procedure of facials is skin analysis and consultation and determining skin type. You will also learn about skin care products, facial massage, facial treatments, and aromatherapy.


The Minnesota School of Cosmetology’s curriculum also touches upon cosmetics for facial makeup, makeup color theory, professional makeup application, corrective makeup, and  eyelash extensions

Manicure & Pedicure

Every cosmetologist should know how to perform a manicure and pedicure. Learning about the nail technology tools, hand and foot massage, nail art, and UV gels will prepare you to supplement your hairstyling skills with nail care.

Salon Business

To prepare you to seek employment as a cosmetologist, we prepare you for licensure, help you manage your money, improve job interview skills, improve your selling abilities, offer ways to expand your client base, understand how to go into business for yourself, operating a successful salon and building your own massage business.

Minnesota Laws and Rules

It is very important to know Minnesota laws and rules. Not only will you be tested on them during your licensure exam, but you will also be expected to abide by them as infractions can cost fees, some fees are substantial. They are also meant to keep everyone safe.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know who the best cosmetology school in Minnesota is, it is time to learn more about Minnesota School of Cosmetology. We are here to answer any questions, offer campus tours and allow you to meet instructors and staff to see that we are passionate about your success. When you succeed, we do too. Become a student at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology and get the best start to a career in cosmetology today.

Want to Learn More?

At the Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we are dedicated to helping our Cosmetology program students develop a solid foundation and a flair for style through hands-on training in basic and advanced industry techniques. You will learn how to cut, color and style hair, give manicures and pedicures, provide spa treatments, and perform various skin care techniques from industry-experienced instructors in a professional salon setting.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a cosmetologist and start a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

Is It a Good Time to Change Jobs?

Woman hanging a sign that says "We are closed temporarily"

Are you doing your dream job? No. Well, what are you waiting for? With the pandemic pausing our lives and technology taking over many jobs from humans, there is no better time to change jobs than right now. In under a year, you can start a new vocation working in beauty and wellness, massage therapy, medical assisting, nursing, computers or one of the other great vocations that can set you on the path to a successful career. Now is the time to take hold of your future.

Is It a Good Time to Change Jobs?

Well, it may never be the best time to change jobs but sometimes you must do what is good for you and your family. The good news is that many vocational schools offer evening and part-time schedules to meet your needs. Whether you have a job by day or are responsible for family members, you can go to school on your schedule, when it best fits your life.

Why is the Job Landscape Changing?

There are many reasons for the change in the job landscape. From the pandemic closing shops and restaurants, some permanently, and technology advancing to fill the gap in the workforce, the job landscape is evolving. More people are shopping online rather than going to a brick-and-mortar store. Manufacturing and warehouse jobs are disappearing with the advanced use of robotics and automation. Many jobs are going to be replaced by technology and now is the time to make a change.

Shops & Restaurants Closing

According to Fortune, more than 110,000 eating and drinking establishments closed during the pandemic, and nearly 2.5 million jobs lost. Even with the government offering the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the pandemic lasted longer than many expected, and this put a damper on the economy and changed buying habits. More people are having food delivered rather than going to a restaurant to sit down and eat. Many shoppers are buying products online. The economy has shifted, and it is time to take advantage of this shift. Many industries like healthcare and beauty are in dire need of workers to manage the ever-aging population. Now is the time to switch to a career that is in demand.

Workforce Technology

We have all been introduced to the world of Zoom and other business tools that facilitate business interaction. These workforce technologies will disrupt the business world, need for offices, travel and many other aspects of workforce engagement. Even telehealth has accelerated the use of these communication technologies. This disruption may reduce the need for office attendants, airline pilots, stewards, coffee shop workers, and all the other people that supplement the interaction of employees at offices, traveling for sales, or attending conferences. Now that many employees will choose to work from home, we will see a reduced need for these supplemental services. Maybe it is time to change jobs?

Surge in Online Shopping

With the pandemic keeping everyone at home, but still needing groceries and other retail products, many people turned to online shopping. Although not a new trend, there was a rapid surge in ecommerce spending. According to Digital Commerce 360, online retail sales increased 32% year over year. It is fair to say that ecommerce was growing before the pandemic, but the shutdown supercharged online sales. Also, this trend may not revert back as many people enjoy the benefits of online shopping. Especially with same day and one day shipping from Amazon.

One industry that can’t be purchased online is healthcare and wellness. Even with telehealth, there will still be a need for medical assistants, nurses, cosmetologists, massage therapists and many other service-oriented professionals. These professions require human ingenuity, something that artificial intelligence may not ever conquer. Granted, AI is a great supplement in the medical and wellness industries, but it can’t replace the touch, empathy and interaction that a human offers clients and patients. Take advantage of this trend and learn more about vocational programs.

What are the Benefits of a Vocational School?

If you were downsized from your job during the pandemic, want to change careers or just graduated and looking for a new job, then vocational schools offer many benefits. From a quick start and experienced instructors to small class sizes, financial aid for those that qualify and career services, you get every opportunity to succeed at a vocational school and start a brand-new vocation that you can be proud of.

Benefit #1: A Quick Start

If you have as many as 12 months to devote to a vocational program, then you can learn everything you need to know to get a new job and start earning on day one. Vocational schools prepare you for your first day of work with a focused curriculum, experienced instructors and small class sizes.

Benefit #2: Focused Curriculum

The best part about a vocational program is you won’t waste your time take superfluous classes or electives that don’t prepare you for your new job. You won’t have to take a mid-century art or poetry class, just the classes that will prepare you for your first day at work and the certifications that you may need to succeed.

Vocational schools work with the community to identify the knowledge and skills that you will need to succeed in your vocation and create a focused curriculum that prepares you for day one. Many employers look for vocational school educated students because they need less on-the-job training and have the credentials to back up the skills on their resume.

Benefit #3: Industry Experienced Instructors

Many vocational schools will look to hire instructors that have been in your shoes. Someone that has climbed the ladder and started in an entry-level position in a vocational job. They understand what you need to know and the skills that will help you succeed in a new vocational career. These industry experienced instructors can offer one-on-one attention, answer any questions you may have and allow you to participate in your education.

Benefit #4: Small Class Sizes

Another important benefit to attending a vocational school is the participation within a small class that allows the instructor to work directly with you and other classmates. You are not a face in the crowd, but someone the instructors know by name. Also you can enjoy the ability to make connections with fellow classmates, network and start study groups that can help you succeed. You may even stay in touch with classmates and network throughout your career.

Benefit #5: Flexible Schedules

Not all of us can start attending a 4-year college tomorrow. Many of us have responsibilities that we must take care of, from day jobs to family responsibilities. Vocational schools understand this and many offer flexible schedules for students that need to attend class online or during the evening. Even those vocations that require hands-on experience allow you to attend a hybrid program, so you can watch lectures online and go to campus for important real-world experience. This allows you to take care of the responsibilities in your life and move forward in your career.

Benefit #6: Financial Aid

Did you know that financial aid is available to those that qualify? Vocational schools that have the proper accreditation allow students to be eligible for federal financial aid. The vocational school will help you fill out the FAFSA form and remind you when the deadline is to file your application. Federal student aid includes grants, scholarships, and loans that can help you pay for schooling to earn your vocational diploma.

Benefit #7: Career Services

The best part about graduating from a vocational school is the career services they offer to their alum. From resume building and mock interviews to job fairs, you will be prepared to enter the workforce and find a job after graduation. Although a job is not guarantee, a vocational school does everything they can to help you find the job that matches your skills and knowledge.

Benefit #8: Externships

In addition to classroom lectures, workshops and lab experience, vocational schools offer you externships that will help you build your resume, get well needed experience and create connections to network with once you graduate. Externships are a great way for you to understand what you are going to be doing day-to-day and allow you to pick a specialty when the time comes to move forward in your career. And more than one student has earned a job during an externship.

Final Thoughts

So, you want to change jobs but not sure if it is the right time? Consider your options and the evolving job landscape. Is a vocational school the answer? There are many benefits to attending a vocational school. From a quick start and great teachers to career services and externships, you have the opportunity to move from a job to a career in as little as 12 months. Take the time to learn more about your vocational options and regardless of what stage you are in with your career, a successful career is within your grasp. Reach out and grab it.

Want to Learn More?

At Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we are not just a cosmetology school. We are so much more! It’s our goal to successfully prepare our students for a career in cosmetology, esthiology, or massage therapy. Our industry-experienced school instructors provide hands-on training in massage, basic and advanced hair, skin and nail techniques in an engaging, warm, and professional beauty salon and spa-like setting. We are your local school of beauty and wellness.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a cosmetologist, esthetician or massage therapist and starting a rewarding career today.

How Do I Become a Skin Care Specialist?

Skin care specialist working with a client

Did you know that skin is our body’s largest organ? It’s no wonder why skin care specialists are in such high demand. If you are interested in helping clients improve their skin health, then becoming a skin care specialist may be the right career path for you.

What Do Skin Care Specialists Do?

Licensed estheticians or skin care specialists primarily focus on skin cleaning, hair removal and cosmetic solutions. They help their clients to get the best results using safe, science-backed products and technologies.

Frustrated by “drugstore” skin care products, clients turn to certified estheticians for professional-level treatments. Many people are surprised to discover just how many different services skin care specialists can offer. While the specific functions you can perform may vary based on local and state regulations, these are the services that can be performed by licensed professionals:

  • Facials and exfoliation treatments
  • Facial masks
  • Blackhead extractions
  • Topical acne treatments
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Superficial chemical peels
  • Body wraps
  • Waxing
  • Hair removal
  • Makeup application
  • Airbrush makeup
  • Eyelash extensions
  • Brow services

Are you interested in becoming a skin care specialist? It’s important to become familiar with the path to being a certified esthetician capable of helping people to correct skin issues, explore the latest treatments and enjoy long-lasting solutions for hair removal. So, how do you become a skin care specialist?

How Do I Become a Skin Care Specialist?

That passion for skin care and beauty that drives you to obsess over product labels, create online tutorials or try every new product that hits the market on your own skin today, can propel you to a satisfying career tomorrow. First, you must channel your natural aptitude for beauty into an educational path. This means finding a local vocational or training school that offers an Esthiology program.

Once you graduate from this program, you’ll be required to pass an esthetician license exam. This is what allows you to legally work as a paid esthetician. Keep in mind that reputable salons and spas won’t be able to hire you unless you’re licensed. One of the most exciting aspects of becoming a skin care specialist is that you can work in a wide variety of settings. Here’s a look at just some of the places where you can work as a professional esthetician:

  • Medical spas
  • Resorts
  • Salons
  • Hair-removal boutiques

You can also consider working for yourself once you have your certification. This is a field where you can use the power of social media to show off your skills, network and build a client base. Many licensed skin care specialists who go the independent route, market themselves as skin wellness experts. Some even make careers out of offering online consultations to people looking for tailored skin advice.

Also, you have many exciting settings to consider working in. Unlike most careers, it’s perfectly normal to work at a sunny resort near the beach when you’re a trained, licensed esthetician. You can also decide to take your talents on the road by offering beauty services for things like weddings, proms, and social events in your local community. Additionally, skin care specialists are often employed in the media world. A job as a “celebrity” esthetician can include providing makeup, skin support and hair removal for photo shoots, movie sets and red-carpet events. Alternatively, if you choose to work close to home at a clinic or spa, you can enjoy predictable hours. Once you graduate and get licensed, the sky’s the limit.

What Will I Learn in an Esthiology Program?

Esthiology is a mix of science and art. First, you’ll learn all about skin chemistry. This is what helps you to understand why the epidermis needs to be nourished. While getting an esthiology degree takes just a fraction of the time of becoming an actual board-certified doctor, you’ll still be equipped to help people solve many of their skin issues by helping them to find the right skin products.

Diseases and Disorders

Esthiology programs devote time to dermatological diseases and disorders. As a result, most skin care specialists can spot telltale signs of common skin diseases. While skin care specialists can’t treat all skin issues due to regulations, they can offer cosmetic and topical treatments for common dermatological diseases like acne, eczema, and rosacea. Keep in mind that a skin care specialist cannot offer a diagnosis for a dermatological disease or disorder. In this industry, the norm is something called “prescriptive retailing.” This means that you’re simply suggesting non-prescription products to clients to help improve their skin.

Anatomy, Physiology and Histology

You’ll also be trained in anatomy, physiology, and histology to know how skin will react to certain ingredients and stimulants. As a skin care specialist, you understand how different ingredients react with the skin to treat common issues like dryness, oiliness, and breakouts. While making sense of product labels is one of the most frustrating aspects of finding the right beauty products, skin care specialists understand product technology. This enables you to help clients make sense of what ingredients are, what they are formulated to do and how they may interact with the client’s skin.

Building Rapport

Of course, part of completing your program is gaining an understanding about how the beauty industry works. It’s important for skin care specialists to know how to have good rapport with their clients. If you’re planning to build your own client list as an independent skin care specialist, coming across as a professional is important for instilling confidence in the people that trust you with their skin. If you’ll be representing a spa or clinic, it’s also important to understand the norms of this industry to ensure that you’re making a positive impression on clients. While the emphasis is on skin in this field, the reality is that being a skin care specialist is a person-oriented, service-oriented career role. It’s important to balance the personal with the technical.

Good Chairside Manner

Having a good “chairside” manner is essential for successful skin care specialist. In many cases, clients are feeling frustrated and discouraged by embarrassing skin issues when they visit skin care specialists. They may have tried countless drugstore products with poor results before finally booking an appointment to get professional help. In addition, many people seek esthetic services for hair removal. This is an area where the skin care specialist must be sensitive to the needs of the client.

Client Interaction

Another aspect of learning the “business side” of skin care is simply learning about the day-to-day tasks that need to be managed in a spa or clinic setting. Hygiene and safety are two very important aspects of running a successful business. In your training program, you’ll learn proper techniques for encountering a client’s skin, disposing of used materials and tools, handling chemicals properly and reducing risks. This becomes especially important when administering treatments like chemical peels, facial waxing, and eyelash extensions. Here’s a look at some of the duties a skin care specialist might perform in a typical day:

  • Greeting clients
  • Setting up client appointments
  • Maintaining records detailing the services provided for each client
  • Recommending or selling products
  • Sanitizing and sterilizing workstations

If you work for a branded salon, the emphasis may be on becoming an expert at using certain products. You may also become something of a product evangelist for the brand that you’ve decided to align with. That means showcasing the benefits of the products at your salon by showing clients how to use them on their skin.

How Long Does an Esthiology Program Take?

 You may be wondering how long it takes to go from wanting to be a professional skin care specialist to actually working as a professional esthetician. While the training for this career is intensive, it doesn’t require a long-term commitment. If you decide to enroll in a full-time Esthiology program, you can expect to get your diploma in as little as five months.

Once you’ve graduated from an esthetician training program, it’s time to apply to sit for your state board licensing exam. This is a comprehensive test covering everything that you learned during your training. You’ll need to submit proof that you completed your degree program before you’ll be permitted to register for your state board licensing exam. Finally, it will be time to take the exam. Once you pass your exam, you’re officially ready to work as a professional skin care specialist in any type of setting you choose. If you should fall in love with a specialty once you begin your career, there are many opportunities for continuing education in this field that will allow you to study skills and techniques related to specific beauty treatments like lash application, waxing and chemical peels.

Final Thoughts

Helping people love their skin is all in a day’s work for a licensed esthetician. Entering this field ensures that you can channel a natural passion for skin and beauty into a highly technical, in-demand career. The reason why so many people are eager to pay skin care specialist to help them figure out how to achieve the healthy, resilient skin they want is because the science of skin care is complex. For this reason, future estheticians devote hundreds of hours to learning the biology, chemistry, and technical aspects behind safely applying cosmetic treatments to produce the best results. Training programs that develop tomorrow’s skin experts are paced to help you go from a beginner to an expert as long as you bring the commitment and dedication needed to succeed.

Ready to gain the training you need to be a successful skin care specialist? If so, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC). Our Esthiology Diploma Program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field. Through MSC’s esthetician training courses, you will gain a solid foundation in the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the skin so you can provide individualized care for each of your customers based on their skin type, conditions, and concerns. We give our esthiology students experience in skincare, waxing, make-up, application of facials, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming an esthetician and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

What is a Vocational School?

Female standing in her graduation gown

Are you looking for a new career or ready to get a secondary education? Considering a 4-year college but not sure if you can be out of the workforce for that long? Consider a vocational school.

What is a Vocational School?

The short answer is that vocational schools focus on a specific vocation and teach you everything you need to start a new career on day one. Many vocations require a certification or license, and these vocational programs also prepare you for these exams.

Vocational schools typically streamline their curriculum so that you can graduate as soon as possible. Vocational schools are also respectful of your investment of both time and money. They offer many different programs, from healthcare and business to computers and creative arts. Each one has a unique curriculum. But even though the specifics of each program are different, the general nature of your education will be the same. Basically, you can focus on your future career path without diverting your attention to subjects outside your vocation.

What are the Benefits of a Vocational School?

There are many benefits to graduating from a vocational school. From completing the program in under a year and enjoying a precise and condensed curriculum to networking within the community. Taking advantage of these benefits will allow you to start an exciting new career.

Benefit #1: Start Earning Quickly

A vocational school operates on a shorter curriculum that allows you to graduate quickly. You can expect to graduate in less than one to two years. In fact, it’s quite possible for you to graduate in a matter of months.

Class loads are also arranged around a fast track to graduation. Vocational schools don’t make you take elective or off-topic classes that are non-essential. A vocational school will avoid all of those superfluous classes.

For example, consider someone pursuing a cosmetology career and another student working to become a programmer. The programmer wouldn’t find themselves stuck in a class about hairstyling. Likewise, the person pursuing a career focused on cosmetology wouldn’t take classes about programming languages. Vocational schools focus on the knowledge and skills you need to start your new career and nothing else.

Benefit #2: Well Curated Education

Vocational schools take the time to communicate with the community and identify the actual knowledge and skills that you will need to succeed in the vocation. The school will curate the education based on feedback from the representatives in the community, to prepare you for your first day on the job.

Not only will you learn the knowledge and skills needed, but you will also put the theory to the test with hands-on lab work. A medical assistant will perform venipuncture on fellow classmates, a computer repair technician will build a computer from scratch, and a cosmetologist will work in a student run salon. Each vocation will learn what they need to succeed and receive instruction from industry experienced instructors.

Benefit #3: Industry Experienced Instructors

Vocational schools look to hire instructors that have industry experience. They may have started in an entry-level position as a cosmetologist or massage therapist for example. They have worked in salons, franchise massage spas, seeing clients and even managing the spa or salon itself with a little bit of experience.

These industry experienced instructors know what the curriculum should teach in order for you to prepare for your new vocation. They also offer one-on-one attention and to answer any questions you may have. They can even be more than an instructor, sometimes they are a mentor.

Benefit #4: Network within the Community

One of the great things about vocational schools is that they have strong ties with the community. Most of the careers you are working toward demand qualified professionals. As such, the community organizations are eager to form connections with vocational schools that have a proven track record. After all, if an employer can be certain that you are graduating with a strong understanding of an industry then you will become a fantastic employee. Who wouldn’t want a new hire that didn’t need a lot of on-site training?

Benefit #5: Externships

Part of most vocational programs is an externship that offers you hands-on training and real-world experience to fully understand what the vocation is all about. During the educational process, you will get a chance to observe professionals on the job. This process involves shadowing fellow employees to learn how they operate in a wide variety of situations.

Externships are also a great way to add work experience to a resume. The more experience you have in a vocation, the more you are sought-after during recruitment.

Benefit #6: Career Services

Another great benefit of attending a vocational school is the assistance they offer in finding a job after graduation. Although a job is not guaranteed, a vocational school will help you with your job search and find the right job that matches your qualifications. They will help with resume building, practice interviews and job fairs. Most vocational schools will also follow an alum throughout their career, so they can take advantage of the vocational school’s ties with the community.

Final Thoughts

Do you have 2 to 4 years to get a degree that may or may not prepare you for a vocation? The good news is that a vocational school prepares you for a new vocation as quickly and efficiently as possible. You can complete the program in months, rather than years and start earning right out of school. If you are looking for a new career and have the time to learn a new vocation, then attending a vocational school may be the right path for you.

Want to Learn More?

At Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we are not just a cosmetology school. We are so much more! It’s our goal to successfully prepare our students for a career in cosmetology, esthiology, or massage therapy. Our industry-experienced school instructors provide hands-on training in massage, basic and advanced hair, skin and nail techniques in an engaging, warm, and professional beauty salon and spa-like setting. We are your local school of beauty and wellness.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a cosmetologist, esthetician or massage therapist and starting a rewarding career today.

What is a Stylist Therapist?

Stylist working with a client

Ever noticed that when people go to a bar, they tell the bartender secrets that they wouldn’t even tell their best friend? For some hairstylist that make strong relationships with their clients, they can experience this therapy-style interaction as well. The client may see the hairstylist every month for years. Like a bartender, clients may ask your advice about life decisions.

Many people will come to the salon after a long day and want to vent about what happened. Some of your clients will just need a safe place to relax. Put your clients at ease and create a safe and comfortable atmosphere to relax. They may even want to talk and that is ok. Be a good listener. You are essentially a stylist therapist.

What is a Stylist Therapist?

A client sees you on a regular basis and has a large block of time that they will be spending with you. During an appointment, your client may begin opening up to you about what is going on in their life. They are trusting you to be their confidant. Nothing can hurt a relationship quicker than divulging sensitive information about a client behind their back to other stylists or clients. Keep conversations confidential, like a therapist, while talking with the client like a close friend.

You will find, however, that some people that sit in your chair don’t want to talk at all. They just want to relax and enjoy time away from work or family. It is important to identify this type of client and respect their wishes. Take the time to understand what they are looking for in the beginning of the styling appointment and then let them enjoy the time sitting in the chair.

How Should a Stylist Therapist Relationship Work?

It is important to keep your client relaxed, while still keeping the conversation professional. While you should steer clear of controversial topics, a client may confide in you about more sensitive topics and struggles. It’s important to show your client support and compassion.

If a controversial topic does come up, find ways to redirect the conversation to something lighter. You don’t want to silence your customer, but you should remember that a salon is not the best atmosphere for all subjects.

Skills of a Hairstylist

A good hairstylist will have a specific skill set that will help them succeed. From active listening and good communication to empathy and discretion. This set of skills will serve you well as you work with your clientele. If you don’t have all these skills yet, you are in luck. You not only learn a lot of these skills during a cosmetology program but everyday that you work as a hairstylist, you will hone your skills, mastering them as you progress in your career.

Skill #1: Active Listening

As a hairstylist, you will do a lot of listening. Whether you must infer what a client wants for a specific hairstyle or just want to be a sympathetic ear for your client to vent after a long day. Take the time to listen to your client. It is important for you to understand what the client wants, and good communication skills, in particular active listening, will allow you to know exactly what they want and how you can help.

Part of active listening is good body posture. Be open to what the client is saying, smile and nod when they say something that makes sense. Occasionally make eye contact with them as you look at them in the mirror in front of you.

Skill #2: Good Communication

Part of good customer service is clear and concise communication. Strong communication skills will allow you to not only offer a positive atmosphere but also help you sell salon products. Many of your clients will want your advice on their hairstyle and what salon products will help them keep the style in between appointments. Use communication to your advantage but only, when necessary, as listening is your most powerful tool.

Skill #3: Empathy

Part of being a good listener is understanding what the client is going through and know that they just need someone to listen to them. Try to show the client that you care with your words and gestures, so they feel comfortable and enjoy their day at the salon.

Skill #4: Non-Judgmental

When a client has a bad day or wants to rant about a situation, it is your responsibility to not judge them for their words or actions. It is good for you to just listen and be a sympathetic ear for them to express themselves without judgement.

Skill #5: Discretion

Your clients may tell you very personal information about themselves and nothing ruins a relationship faster than gossip. Like a therapist or medical professional, you should keep the intimate details of your client’s lives to yourself and not divulge any of the information to anyone else. This can break a client’s trust in you, losing them as a client forever.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a hairstylist is part creative and part therapeutic. You will have a lot of down time with clients as they sit in your chair. Why not build a strong relationship with them by listening to them vent? The stronger the relationship, the more loyal they will become, and you may even have a client for life. The first step of any journey is always the hardest. The first step to a career as a hairstylist is completing a cosmetology program at a vocational school, so take the first step and start a rewarding career as a hairstylist today.

Want to Learn More?

Did learning about what a stylist therapist is interest you? At Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we are dedicated to helping our Cosmetology program students develop a solid foundation and a flair for style through hands-on training in basic and advanced industry techniques. You will learn how to cut, color and style hair, give manicures and pedicures, provide spa treatments, and perform various skin care techniques from industry-experienced instructors in a professional salon setting.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a cosmetologist and start a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

How Do You Become a Medical Massage Therapist?

medical massage therapist helping a client

Massage therapy is embraced by mainstream medicine as an effective, drug-free way to reduce stiffness, ease pain and heal injuries. It’s a benefit for patients and an exciting career opportunity for people with a passion for health. But there’s a difference between medical massage and the typical bodywork practiced in the community. Both are wellness-driven, but medical massage is a doctor-ordered intervention designed to complement an existing treatment plan for a health condition, it requires additional skills. Let’s take a closer look at what it takes to become a medical massage therapist.

What’s the Difference Between a Massage Therapist and Medical Massage Therapist?

Massage therapists work in a wide range of settings using bodywork to relieve stress. The techniques are similar and given that stress contributes to many health conditions, regular massage can improve a patient’s general well-being, but it’s not geared to treat a specific ailment.

Medical massage therapists partner with doctors, hospitals, and clinics to provide medically focused massage. Designed to improve function by relieving pain, healing injuries, and enhancing circulation, it complements other therapies from meditation to surgery and, in most cases, is covered by the patient’s insurer.

What Does a Medical Massage Therapist Do?

Medical massage therapists are trained, licensed massage therapists who treat physician-diagnosed conditions. Millions of Americans suffer from debilitating discomfort and associated symptoms related to other health conditions. Massage therapy, like physical therapy, is just one more treatment option a doctor can offer.

Combining traditional and complementary medicine is long overdue. This so-called integrative approach is more holistic, and it works. More doctors are emphasizing alternative treatments, like medical massage, and insurers are covering the costs. As a medical massage therapist, you’ll help patients heal by:

Improving Circulation

Good circulation is essential for healing, and massage enhances it in several ways, depending on the problem and the treatment goal. Kneading techniques, for example, can push nutrient-dense blood to injured tissue, providing it with the vitamins, minerals, and oxygen it needs.

But it can also reduce persistent fluid buildup caused by injury. When soft tissue is damaged, the localized inflammatory reaction is beneficial in the early stages of healing, but if it lasts too long, it causes pain and impairs further recovery. Pushing fluid away from an injury site can alleviate discomfort and restore normal range of motion, so patients can then exercise and regain their usual function. People with lymphatic drainage disorders also benefit from improved circulation. Excessive lymph fluid in limbs causes pain, immobility and skin ulcers that can lead to infections.

Since movement is the natural way to keep blood and lymph circulating freely, any treatment that eases discomfort and encourages exercise helps restore physical function. Many fibromyalgia patients who get massages report significant relief of muscle pain and better exercise tolerance.

Preventing Compensatory Injury

People with injuries often compensate for them by changing the way they move. A patient who’s had a hip replacement, for example, may develop pain in the lower back and opposite hip as they use those muscles more to avoid pain on the healing side. In combination with physical therapy, massage can ease discomfort in both hips. By intervening with massage soon after a procedure, patients are less likely to overuse, or under-use affected muscles in a way that impairs their range of motion or puts stress on other parts of their bodies. Quick management speeds the healing process.

Breaking Up Scar Tissue

Scar tissue at an injury site can cause pain by impinging on surrounding nerves and muscles. Collagen fibers form thick bundles, creating lumps that can be felt just beneath the skin’s surface. Medical massage can break up those fibers, relieving discomfort. Performed soon after surgery, it may minimize the formation of scar tissue.

Relieving Muscle Tension

Muscle tension can be debilitating for office workers. Sitting for long hours, their shoulders tend to hunch over, resulting in neck and shoulder pain. Medical massage not only relieves the discomfort, but it also makes relearning proper posture easier by loosening up the muscles used to sit up straight.

A medical massage therapist can use the same principles to treat performance athletes referred by sport’s doctors. A minor injury or overexercise can set a training schedule back for months, ruining the athlete’s ability to compete.

Managing Trigger Points

Trigger points are tiny tears in soft tissue caused by muscle injuries or repetitive stress. If they don’t heal in a timely manner, the muscle fibers form knots, known as trigger points, can impair circulation and cause pain. Muscles don’t relax as they should, impairing recovery from exercise. Painful trigger points may also compromise the delicate balance between opposing muscle groups, causing compensatory injuries and joint disorders.

Reducing Inflammation

How well we heal is partially genetic. Whether it’s after exercise or post-surgery, genes help control how quickly we recover. Massage may trigger an improvement in the genetic response, reducing inflammation and promoting healing at the cellular level. It’s proof-positive that as a complementary therapy, medical massage is effective.

Fighting Pain with the Brain

Our bodies manage pain naturally with endorphins, narcotic-like chemicals produced in the brain in response to physical and emotional stress. Medical massage has a similar effect, increasing endorphin production. Other hormones associated with pain, such as serotonin and dopamine, rise more during a massage. These substances not only affect how we perceive pain, but they also help muscles relax.

How Do You Become a Medical Massage Therapist?

With dedication and experience, any licensed massage therapist can enter the medical massage field by following these simple steps:

Step #1: Graduate from an Accredited Massage Therapy Program

The first step is to complete a vocational school massage therapy program. You can aim for a degree, but a certificate or diploma program will get you out of the classroom and into the field faster with the same qualifications. The diploma program will qualify you to take the MBLEx exam, used by almost all states for licensing applicants.

Step #2: Pass the MBLEx Exam

Most states require a license to practice massage therapy. It wasn’t always that way, but it’s a responsible way to protect the public. In response to complaints about unreliable operators with no qualifications, dozens of states met with leaders in the field to find ways to assess massage therapists’ skills. In 2005, the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards was formed and the MBLEx, the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination, was created.

Vocational school programs prepare students for the MBLEx. Once you’ve satisfied the education requirements, you’ll apply to take the test, so you can get your license. The exam covers seven key areas:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Kinesiology
  • Pathology, Contraindications, Areas of Caution and Special Populations
  • Patient Assessment, Reassessment and Treatment Planning
  • Benefits and Physiological Effects of Soft Tissue Manipulation Techniques
  • Ethic, Boundaries, Laws and Regulations
  • Guidelines for Professional Practice

It assesses your understanding of what you learned in school, while no demonstration is required. Although the test doesn’t certify you as a “medical” massage therapist, it evaluates what you know about anatomy, pathology and other health concerns that will ultimately impact your future practice.

Step #3: Gain Experience

Most states don’t make a distinction between regular and medical massage therapists, the skills are the same, only their application differs. With a background in healthcare, even a new graduate could get into the field without much experience. But practically speaking, doctors expect a certain level of knowledge and skill before they’ll refer patients, something that’s proven only through experience.

Graduates with an interest in medical massage should look for jobs that provide a wide range of experiences and build soft skills. Medical massage therapists need to be as people oriented as nurses.

Not all experience has to be compensated. Connect with massage therapists in the field and ask about job shadow opportunities or volunteer to work with an interested physician, hospices always welcome help. Gaining a single patient can secure your future. Until you do, the most effective way to grow your career is to seek new experiences and never stop learning.

Step 4: Continue Your Education

Graduating from a vocational school is just the first step toward beginning a medical massage career. You’ll need to learn more about the conditions you want to help doctors treat. If you’re interested in sports medicine, enroll in seminars that teach those skills.

Each class contributes your general knowledge base and gives you a closer look at specialties you may be interested in. They also support you in the final step toward becoming a medical massage therapist, becoming certified.

Step #5: Become Certified by the American Medical Massage Association (AMMA)

The American Medical Massage Association offers a first-of-its-kind certification exam for medical massage therapy. Passing it demonstrates you have the knowledge to practice safely in a medical environment. It’s the culmination of all the hard work you’ve done to hone your skills. It’s the pat on the back you deserve and just what your resume needs to get your first job in the field.

Final Thoughts

The majority of visits to the doctor’s office in the US are for pain. Medical massage is an important complementary treatment that alleviates discomfort and promotes healing. It’s a growing industry that doctors and insurers are lining up to support because it works. It’s a ground-floor opportunity for wellness enthusiasts to train for a rewarding career.

Want to Learn More?

If you are interested in the healing powers of massage, you can begin your career in massage therapy at Minnesota School of Cosmetology. Our short-term massage therapy training program is designed to be completed in as little as 12 months. Our massage therapy training program is designed as a holistic program that will prepare students to focus on body mechanics of their patients as well as develop positive habits for the therapist. Together, those two areas will provide a foundation that can lead to longevity in the career field.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist and starting a rewarding career in the massage industry.