What Can I Do with a Cosmetology License?

Students blow drying a clients hair to practice for a cosmetology license

A cosmetology license is your gateway to a career that includes resort spas, salons or even your own salon. Yes, getting the credentials to “do beauty” for a living can even help you to build an online following that can catapult your career. When you’re in the business of helping others look their best, you can live your best life. If you have a knack for aesthetics, it’s important to get locked into the right trajectory, working as a cosmetologist in a professional capacity.

What Does a Cosmetologist Do?

Combining art, science and technical skills, cosmetologists bring the latest beauty treatments and techniques to their clients. While these professionals often come to the job with an innate, natural talent for hair, nails and skincare, they spend hours developing and refining their talents to offer safe, professional-level results. In short, a cosmetologist delivers a wide range of cosmetic treatments for hair, skin and nails. Here’s a look at some specifics within the field of cosmetology:

  • Hairstyling
  • Haircutting
  • Coloring
  • Hair treatments
  • Hair extensions/weaves
  • Beauty/skin treatments (esthetics)
  • Manicures
  • Pedicures
  • General nail care
  • Makeup application

Cosmetologists in training study the complete range of services in the cosmetology field. Some go on to become full-service professionals capable of pampering clients from head to toe by delivering the latest and best treatments for every part of the body. Others find that they are passionate about one specialty. So, how do you get a cosmetology license to start helping clients look and feel good?

How Do You Get a Cosmetology License?

Cosmetology is a highly regulated field. To operate as a legitimate, board-recognized cosmetologist you must have more than talent for hair, skin, nails or beauty. While a natural talent is certainly a great launching point for getting into this field, it’s not enough to actually begin a professional career that’s in full compliance with all laws and regulations. What’s more, salons, spas and other businesses want to hire people who have the proper certification in addition to talent.

The strict regulations regarding cosmetology are in place for good reason. It’s extremely important to be trained in proper safety and hygiene techniques. This helps to ensure a healthy, sterile environment that doesn’t pose any contamination risks for cosmetologists and their clients. Cosmetologists work in close proximity with their clients. In addition, many handle chemicals that are used for various hair, nail and beauty treatments. It’s essential that all cosmetologists know how to properly mix, handle and dispose of chemicals. While each cosmetologist’s journey is unique, the general path to becoming a licensed professional in this field is relatively uniform. Here’s a look at the steps to becoming a licensed cosmetologist:

  1. Research cosmetology programs
  2. Enroll in a cosmetology program
  3. Graduate from a cosmetology program. This often includes completing a certain number of practice hours
  4. Study for the licensing exam
  5. Pass the licensing exam
  6. Apply for your cosmetology license

In addition to “book learning” that’s focused on all of the techniques, tools, equipment, products, safety protocols, hygiene protocols and regulations involved in the cosmetology profession, cosmetology programs deliver hands-on experience in salon and spa settings. Students truly “learn by doing” under the guidance of trained instructors with years of expertise. Recent graduates are then eligible to sit for licensing exams. This includes a comprehensive timed exam that is typically comprised of questions broken down into the categories of scientific concepts, hair services, skincare services and nail services.

What Can You Do with a Cosmetology License?

Once the boards have been passed, an entirely new world of professional opportunities opens up for newly certified cosmetologists. While there is no standard path for cosmetologists, many choose to go to work for other people as a way to gain experience. Working under the umbrella of a well-known spa or salon allows an up-and-coming cosmetologist to learn the ropes of the industry from all angles. For those who are seeking to open their own spas and salons in the future, this can be an amazing way to learn the financial, customer service and practical sides of running a thriving “beauty business.” So, what are some of the roles that open up with a cosmetology license?

Traditional Hairstylist

For those motivated to pursue cosmetology degrees based on a passion for hair, becoming a hairstylist is an obvious choice. Hairstylists are needed in every town and city across the country. While some work for major styling chains, others prefer to maintain exclusive clientele rosters. Hairstylists can work in salons, at spas, or on runways. Here’s a look at some of the services hairstylists provide:

  • Haircuts
  • Coloring
  • Hair extensions
  • Weaves
  • Chemical relaxing
  • Straightening
  • Perms
  • Wig styling
  • Braiding
  • Wedding styling
  • Styling for prom and special events

Hairstylists can also act as “hair consultants” by providing clients with suggestions for various hair products and treatments. For cosmetologists who go on to own their own salons, there is the opportunity to sell high-quality hair products directly to clients. Carrying exclusive products is a smart way for stylists to build client loyalty. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that becoming a licensed cosmetologist is a great way to combine a passion for hair with a passion for business.

Nail Technician

Offering manicures and pedicures, nail technicians provide comprehensive care for toenails and fingernails. This includes cleaning, trimming, filing, polishing and repairing nails. Additionally, nail techs are general “nail experts” who can provide guidance on how to keep nails strong and healthy. Some options that they can discuss with clients include how to properly moisturize hands, how to preserve artificial nails and how to keep nails healthy.

Salon Owner

For many who enroll in cosmetology school for the first time, the goal is to become a salon owner. Certification opens the door to living the entrepreneurial dream. A salon owner wears many hats. They often oversee a team of talented, dedicated professionals delivering a wide range of treatments for clients. In many cases, they become familiar faces within a town or city. For some salon owners, the goal is to build up their own name from scratch. Others choose to purchase franchises from well-known salon chains. There is no wrong or right way to pursue the dream of owning a salon. One of the perks of being an experienced and licensed cosmetologist is that they can step in to fill in any gaps when serving clients because they are trained to “do it all.”

Salon Manager

For cosmetologists with experience, stepping into the role of a salon manager is often a natural progression. Salon managers have responsibilities like overseeing staff, scheduling, budgeting and promoting salon services. They are often also tasked with creating customer-satisfaction initiatives. Ultimately, the salon manager keeps the salon running smoothly and keeps the clients happy.

Makeup Specialist

True artists, makeup specialists bring concepts to life through makeup. While some are makeup consultants that help people find the right products and looks, others are called in for special events. Makeup artists can work as freelancers for wedding makeup, set makeup, theater makeup and more.

Cosmetology Brand Influencer

If you love to get in front of the camera, the passion that you have for beauty products and inside tips could help you launch a career as an influencer. While anyone can “make a video” about makeup or hair, most people simply don’t have the expertise or knowledge to make compelling, high-value instructional videos. Becoming a brand influencer can pay in many ways. First, many influencers are able to land brand sponsorships. Others prefer to remain independent while posting their own content. Lastly, being a recognized name is a great way to draw attention that will help you to book direct clients as a freelancer or salon owner.

Cosmetology Product Salesperson

A cosmetology background can be the bedrock of a long and successful corporate career. Many brands are seeking salespeople who understand how and why certain products work. They want professionals who can sell products to solve specific beauty concerns. If you’re interested in a sales career that’s focused on the beauty industry, getting the credentials to be able to “talk shop” with some degree of authority can be a real résumé booster that distinguishes you from other people who simply have sales backgrounds.

The Versatility of a Cosmetology License

Like all things that are worth the effort in life, aspiring beauty experts need to put in the time to become true experts in the world of beauty and aesthetics. There is a world of knowledge to learn about. Attending a cosmetology training program that covers all the practical and technical aspects allows you to administer a wide variety of beauty treatments and services. In addition to satisfying employer requirements for operating as a working cosmetologist, the process of obtaining a cosmetology license will simply make you better at what you do. If you’re considering a career that will take you everywhere from your own salon to the on-set makeup chairs, there’s only one place to start. A cosmetology program that equips you to sit for a license and start a journey toward a highly rewarding career.

Want to Learn More?

Are you ready to prepare for your cosmetology license? 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 cosmetology entrepreneur and start a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

What is the Importance of Knowing the Functions of the Skin?

Three women with health skin smiling

Are you interested in becoming an esthetician but not sure why functions of the skin are so important? This is because our body’s largest organ is the skin. It serves more than one function and is essential for shielding the body from trauma, regulating the body’s temperature, synthesizing vitamin D, and providing the proper balance between electrolytes and water. Your client’s skin also senses stimuli that generate painful or pleasurable responses in their body. If this is all new to you, don’t worry, you will learn the function of the skin during an esthetician program at your local cosmetology school.

Skin and Its Function

The body’s skin also serves the function of keeping necessary nutrients and chemicals in the body while providing a shield so that certain toxic substances can’t enter the body. Without skin, our bodies would have no protection from the ultraviolet radiation that comes from the sun. The texture, folds, and color of the skin also help establish individuality in the world. Any substances or conditions that interfere with the body’s skin function can lead to a change in appearance or have serious consequences on a person’s mental and physical well-being.

Many issues that are evident on the skin are only limited to the skin’s surface. However, the skin can show symptoms that indicate a problem that is present within the body. As an esthetician, you will have to consider several possible conditions when assessing your client’s skin.

The Skin’s Layers

Now that you know the function of the skin, it is time to get technical. The three layers of the skin are the epidermis, dermis, and the subcutaneous layer. Every layer performs a different role. Under the surface of the skin, we find the nerves and nerve endings, hair follicles, glands, and blood vessels.

The epidermis is the skin’s tough, thin outer layer. The majority of the cells in the epidermis are keratinocytes which originate from cells in the basal layer, or the deepest level of the epidermis. The new keratinocytes slowly move up toward the epidermis surface where they shed and are replaced with new skin cells.

The stratum corneum is the outer portion of the epidermis and is naturally waterproof. When the stratum corneum is undamaged, it serves as a barrier against viruses, bacteria, and toxic substances. The epidermis, along with the skin’s other layers, shield the nerves, muscles, and blood vessels from damage. For other parts of the body that require extra protection, such as the soles of the feet and palms of the hands, the stratum corneum is especially thick.

Melanocytes are spread through the basal layer. These cells produce melanin which is the pigment that contributes to a person’s skin color. However, the main function of melanin is to filter UV radiation from the sun which can damage human DNA and lead to health conditions such as skin cancer.

Conditions That an Esthetician Will Assess

There are many things that you will be looking for when assessing a client’s skin. Does the client suffer from the effects of aging skin, sun damage, wrinkles, discoloration, acne or other skin disorders that may be serious enough to be seen by a dermatologist?

The Effects of Aging Skin

Nearly everyone wants to find ways to keep their skin from aging. Not only is this a desire that is often rooted in vanity, but there are also health benefits associated with keeping the skin as youthful as possible.

Aging is often evident in the dermis and epidermis. The underlying layer of fat can be lost as a person ages, which leads to hollow or sagging skin. Aging can lead to a loss of volume and elasticity and the skin naturally becomes dryer with age, making it easier for wrinkles to form. Some people also begin to lose sensation since there are less nerve endings in the skin as the body ages.

With age, the number of blood vessels and sweat glands a person has decreases, which means they may not always respond to heat exposure immediately. This may seem like a good thing, but if a person builds up a tolerance for staying outdoors for long periods of time without protecting the skin, the chances of skin cancer are higher. The body doesn’t produce as many melanocytes as a person gets older which means there is less protection against ultraviolet radiation. These significant changes make it easier to determine skin issues.

Sun Damage

Sun damage is accountable for most of the skin issues people undergo as they age. If your client is exposed to free radicals and UV rays without protection for years or even months at a time, there is a greater chance that they will experience fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, red or brown spots, and rough texture. The easiest way to reduce the effects of the sun is to wear suntan lotion, cover up with clothes or wear a hat.

Wrinkles

Wrinkles are a product of age and are usually unavoidable. However, as an esthetician, you can help your clients reduce the signs of aging on their skin by treating wrinkles, circles around the eyes and discolorations. Why does our skin wrinkle? As we age our skin cells divide slower and slower. This causes the dermis to thin. The function of the dermis is to offer elastin and collagen fibers to support our skin. As we age, the dermis loses its primary function, and the result is wrinkles. To prevent wrinkles, have your clients protect their skin from the sun. They can also moisturize their face, drink lots of water to stay hydrated, and eat food rich in vitamins.

Discoloration

Sunspots, age spots, sunburns, and rashes can cause discoloration of the skin. Depending on the symptoms, it is important to identify the cause of the discoloration and take the steps to reduce the damage.

Acne

Acne is common in teenagers and occurs when a hair follicle becomes plugged with oil, bacteria and dead skin cells. There are many creams and cleansers that can help. However, as an esthetician, you can advise your clients on a proper skincare regimen to treat these bumps.

Skin Disorders

Some of the skin disorders that you will see on your client’s skin include eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, ichthyosis, vitiligo and hives. Minor skin disorders can be treated by an esthetician, however if you find that the client has pain, puss or another issue with their skin disorder, it is important for them to see a dermatologist.

Final Thoughts

To ensure a client’s complexion and all the skin on their body remains intact, remind them to moisturize daily. The moisturizer should contain antioxidants such as vitamins E and C to even tone and protect against free radicals. They should drink plenty of water as well since moisture improves elasticity and can flush toxins from the body which can prevent fine lines.

When you know how the skin functions, you’ll be better able to care for your client’s skin and prevent or lower the risk of certain conditions. Healthy skin is not only a sign of overall health, but it can also give your client the confidence they need to look and feel their best.

Are you ready to help clients take advantage of the skin’s functions? 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.

How Many Massages Can a Massage Therapist Do in a Day?

Massage therapists training for their career.

Interested in becoming a massage therapist but not sure if you have the stamina to work a long day, standing and giving massages? Don’t worry, there are a lot of things you can do to prepare yourself and train your body to handle a long day of work giving massages. So, how many massages can you give in a single day?

How Many Massages Can a Massage Therapist Do in a Day?

As a massage therapist, that is up to you. Some massage therapist will work full-time working with multiple clients a day and others will work part-time with only a handful. If you want to work more as a massage therapist, there are some important things you can do to prepare yourself for extended time using your hands and standing throughout the day. You will need to work on your dexterity and stamina, it is important to stretch in between massages, you will want to use proper technique to keep a balanced body stance, proper breathing helps, some aerobic exercise and strength training will build your stamina, while a positive attitude and good hygiene will keep your body from getting sick during those long hours.

What Does a Massage Therapist Need to Do More Massages in a Day?

There are many things you can do to help yourself stay fit, improve stamina and prepare for a long day of massage. From good eating habits and exercise to proper hygiene and a positive attitude, everything you do during the day and while you relax at night will impact your ability to give massages. Whether you need to take breaks and stretch between clients or get a proper amount of sleep, there are ways to prepare your body and mind for multiple massage clients each day.

Dexterity

Dexterity in massage involves the use of your hands and fingers. As a massage therapist, you must use acute, slight motions to help you identify muscles that are tense, sore, or painful. This allows you to apply the proper amount of pressure to relieve the stress and tension.

As a massage therapist, you will apply pressure to a client’s soft tissue and muscles. Depending on the technique the pressure may be intense, for example with deep tissue massage. Techniques require pushing, pulling and kneading with the arms, hands, fingers and shoulders, but movements must be precise to have the proper effect. It’s a skill that requires upper body strength, flexibility and coordination. And also, a skill that requires good dexterity in the fingers and hands. Hands tend to cramp up when multiple massages are performed in the same day. Stretching the body and hands in between massages will help you stay limber and flexible to keep your body warm and stop it from getting injured.

Stamina

Stamina is the ability for you to withstand prolonged mental and physical activity. As a massage therapist, you must possess strength and energy to perform multiple massages in the same day. Massage treatments require you to stay on your feet, stand in place, reach, bend, and perform massage treatments for as long as an hour and a half. It is important to build stamina over time.

As a massage therapist, you will spend most of your day on your feet. A full body massage can last 60 to 90 minutes. You may stand, bend and kneel during the massage. Even portable chair massages require you to move equipment and travel from place to place. Massage therapy isn’t a physically grueling job, but strength and endurance are a must.

Proper Massage Technique

When it comes to proper massage technique, your feet are the foundation for all movement during the massage session. Using the lower portion of your body during the massage is more powerful. This provides you with more stability than moving the upper part of your body. Standing and applying an equal amount of weight to each foot and shifting a substantial amount of pressure to the lower portion of the body reduces your risk of injury.

The way your feet are placed provides a stable base and influences the direction of your massage strokes. This also has a significant effect on the alignment of your body. The two standard foot stances used while giving a massage that provide stability and balance include bow stance and warrior stance.

Bow Stance – used when you are standing at the head or the foot of the massage table and are applying strokes that proceed from one point of the body to the next. Position your feet at a 30 to 45-degree angle. Your lead foot will point forward with the other foot pointing off to the side. Keep your knees flexed, and the weight will shift from one foot to the other as you massage the client.

Using the Bow Stance allows you to maintain contact with the client while maintaining a consistent flow of touch. It’s important to bend at the hips rather than the waist when using this stance to avoid any back injury. Try not to twist as you bend. Bending at the hips aids in keeping your balance.

Warrior Stance – used when performing short strokes that cause friction on the body, this helps you reach to the far side of the client while maintaining balance. Using the warrior stance allows you to face the opposite side of the massage table while keeping your feet approximately hips distance apart. During this stance, your toes will be pointed straight ahead, and your back will stay straight. Your hips will point toward the table to reduce the risk of injury to your body.

Proper Breathing

Using the proper breathing technique helps you better pace yourself and your massage movements. It is important to send oxygen to your muscles. Increased oxygen helps reduce fatigue and help you stay relaxed and focused. Proper breathing technique also enhances your physical and mental health.

Aerobic Exercise & Stretching

It is important that you have the stamina and dexterity to alleviate the stress and pain of a client’s muscles, so it’s crucial for you to keep yourself healthy. Staying fit is essential to physical and mental health. Being healthy makes it easier for you to face a long day of massage. What can you do to increase your stamina and dexterity?

  • Exercise is a good way to stay physically fit. Try 30 to 45 minutes of aerobic exercise to build stamina for increased massage output.
  • Take regular breaks during the day to stretch your muscles and get your blood flowing. Standing up and stretching a few times a day can help you avoid lower back pain.

Strength Training

Strength training can help you avoid fatigue. Massages require physical ability and strength training builds muscles, making it easier for you to manipulate the client’s muscles and soft tissue. Resistance and weight training can help you build your muscles offering you additional stamina and dexterity. However, try not to overdue the strength training so you are fresh for a long day of massage.

A Positive Attitude

When you’re healthy physically and mentally, your outlook is more positive. A positive attitude will help your immune system fight off colds, flus and other germs you may come in contact with while massaging clients. It is also good to stay hydrated. You should drink plenty of water. Maintaining hydration levels is essential for your optimum health.

Good Hygiene

Some germs are transmissible through skin contact, so as a massage therapist, you need good hygiene habits to prevent the spread of disease. Your vocational school training programs will cover health basics, including environmental cleanliness and equipment sanitation. It’s an integral part of practicing safely, and it’s mandatory in states that inspect and license massage therapy practices.

Final Thoughts

So, are you ready to offer multiple massages in a given day and make the most of your massage therapy training? It may be time to learn more about the proper techniques to allow you to work with as many clients as possible each day. Take the first step in your journey and learn about a massage therapy program today.

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 clients 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.

How Do I Start a Small Salon Business?

Two cosmetologists holding an open sign in front of their salon business

If you love cosmetology, opening a small salon business is an excellent way to follow your dreams. Do you have creativity and a drive to be an entrepreneur? If so, becoming a small salon business owner may be the right career path for you.

Why Does a Person Open a Salon?

There are lots of important reasons that someone may open a salon. From enjoying helping others to creativity and entrepreneurship. What drives you?

Enjoy Helping Others

To open a salon business means you enjoy helping people and can create bonds with your coworkers and clients. Helping others look good and improve their self-esteem is a great motivator and reason to open up shop every morning.

Creativity

Opening a salon allows you to pursue your creativity for hairstyles, cuts and nail fashion. Whether it is with traditional styles or avant-garde approaches, the possibilities are endless. Being creative makes the hard work of running a small salon more enjoyable.

Entrepreneurship

Do you have the passion to start a business from scratch? When you open your own salon business, you’re an entrepreneur. You work for yourself, and you have autonomy and freedom. You get to create your schedule and success is up to you.

A Sustainable Future

Industry growth is another reason to open a salon business. Hairstyles, nail styles, facials, and makeup will always be important to women and men, and therefore you have a lasting opportunity to stay in business, as long as you provide quality customer service and create a loyal following.

What Types of Salons Can You Open?

One of the best things about opening a small salon business is the many options you have. Whether you want to start small and grow or bring in some friends to rent booths, you have many options to choose from.

Booth Rental

You don’t have to open a retail brick-and-mortar location just to start a salon business. Try doing it from another salon’s booth. The area where you operate could be an individual room or an open space. As a hairstylist or a makeup artist, you rent the booth from the owner of the salon and you work alongside other hairstylists that also rent booths. Everyone pays rent each month. When you rent a booth, you’re responsible for your own hair styling supplies. You set your own hours, prices, and decide what services you want to provide.

Salon or Spa

Owning a salon or a spa is another way to open your own business. It can be as low-key or as high-end as your budget will afford. When opening a business, you’ll need financing. You will also need to do your research. Try different promotions to see which ones bring in the most clients. Maybe cocktails as a perk, a special day of the week or family night. There are many options to choose from and the opportunities are endless.

Boutique Salon

A boutique salon offers a wide range of beauty services, such as hairstyles, nail work, and skin services. It can also provide products such as clothing and jewelry to complement the cosmetology services offered. It can be an eclectic destination for your community to enjoy.

In-Home or Mobile Hair Salon

If starting on a small budget, you can operate out of your home as long as you have proper permits and satisfy all additional requirements. Salons can also be mobile. Why not bring your supplies to a client’s home. There are also mobile salons located inside vehicles. Choose from a variety of options, there is a salon for every budget.

What Steps are Needed to Open a Salon Business?

To open a salon business, it takes some important steps. The most important steps to start with include proper training and licensure. Then you can start doing your homework, get financing and build out your beautiful salon.

Get Trained & Attain a License

If you’re interested in opening a salon, you’ll most likely have an interest in beauty. The best way to get training in cosmetology is by attending a vocational school that offers a cosmetology program. They teach you everything you need to start a small salon business in as little as a year. This program will prepare you to take the licensing exam so you can start your business on day one.

Study the Market and Location

What kind of salon are you opening? If you wish to open an upscale boutique salon, make sure the community can support it. Perhaps you just want to rent a booth. What are the best places to rent a booth? In short, you must do your homework.

Get Financing

You can’t start a business without start-up financing. Check with friends and family, your bank account, or the Small Business Administration. If starting on a budget, you can start with the basics and then expand as your salon becomes more popular.

Furnish and Design Your Salon

If you’ve chosen to purchase a location, it is time to name it, design it, and furnish it. The most attractive businesses follow a theme or an overall design. You’ll be wise to hire a design consultant to help.

Purchase the Equipment

To start your salon business, you will need to purchase the proper equipment like salon chairs, waiting furniture, mirrors, dryers, towels, hair colors, nail colors, and accessories. There are many places that offer professional salon equipment to licensed hairstylists.

Qualities of a Successful Salon Entrepreneur

There are many qualities you must acquire to run a successful salon business. They include passion for cosmetology, confidence and attention to detail to name a few. You can master these qualities during your cosmetology program and continue to improve them every day you run your salon business.

Quality #1: Passionate

If you want to succeed in your new small salon business, you must be passionate about cosmetology. Do you enjoy helping your friends style their hair or paint their nails? It takes time and a lot of work to start a business and passion helps you push through to success.

Quality #2: Motivated

You need to be a self-starter and be motivated to succeed. You will be the person opening up shop and turning off the lights at the end of the day. If you are motivated to succeed, you will.

Quality #3: Confidence

When you are just starting out, you may second guess yourself but after attending a cosmetology program and passing the licensing exam, you will build your confidence to run a successful salon business. Confidence is contagious and your clients will trust your services and advice if they feel you are confident in your decisions.

Quality #4: Communicative

Most of the day, you will be talking with coworkers, vendors and clients. It is important to be clear and concise, so no misunderstanding happen. Poor communication can lead to a strained atmosphere in the salon. Make sure to communicate effectively and everything will run smoothly.

Quality #5: Attention to Detail

Everything from the inside of the salon to the equipment and sanitation must be perfect. You want to keep your clients safe and healthy, and that comes with meticulous attention to detail. During your cosmetology program, you will learn all about sanitation, equipment cleaning and proper hygiene. You will interact with a lot of clients in a salon, and it is important to keep yourself and your clients safe from bacteria and viruses.

Quality #6: Leadership

Running a salon takes a leader to keep the clients happy and the hairstylists working hard. A good leader will lead by example. Take the time to prepare yourself and the salon first thing in the morning and when the rest of the employees show up for work, they will have an example to aspire to.

Final Thoughts

Now is the time to start your salon business. The first step is to attend a cosmetology program and learn the skills you need to succeed. This cosmetology program will also offer you business knowledge so you can better run your salon, do light bookkeeping, advertising, payroll and the other financial tasks that come along with owning your own salon. Take the first step to a new adventure and prepare for your success.

Want to Learn More?

Are you ready to start your own small salon business? 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 cosmetology entrepreneur and start a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

How Can I Get Healthy Skin?

4 women's profiles with healthy skin

Skin nutrition is something all estheticians need to feel comfortable speaking about or promoting because it directly impacts their client’s life. Healthy skin improves the client’s mental and physical health and overall well-being. Learning about healthy skincare practices helps estheticians develop specific treatment plans and services that benefit men and women holistically.

Skin nutrition isn’t something that is talked about enough, yet it’s so important for people to know about. An esthetician’s job is to learn about skin nutrition and the benefits of a healthy diet full of skin-nourishing nutrients that provide cleansing and moisturizing properties from the inside out.

What is Skin Nutrition?

Skin nutrition is a form of personal care that focuses on the skin. It involves a series of steps and habits that neutralize everyday damage caused by sun exposure, environmental factors such as pollution, poor diet, and stress. Skin nutrition techniques use a combination of diet and skincare products to enhance the quality of the epidermis by making it appear less dull, inflamed, wrinkled, and dry. Skin nutrition is self-care for the body, mind, and soul.

Why is Healthy Skin Important?

Healthy skin is more than a confidence booster, it helps people maintain good health and live happier lifestyles. Healthy skin prevents disorders that compromise the body, making it imperative to engage in a regular skincare routine. Also, how a person’s skin looks directly affects their self-esteem, mental well-being, and level of satisfaction with their appearance.

The skin is the body’s largest organ and it’s subject to many abuses and is easily neglected. People with chronic skin-related conditions have an imbalance that requires attention for their skin to heal. If the issue isn’t corrected, the person may experience persistent skin issues that need more than an esthetician to repair.

What are the Different Types of Skin?

People have different types of skin that require specific skincare routines. The most common types are oily, dry, sensitive, and combination. During an Esthiology program, an esthetician learns about different types of skin and the best ways to keep them healthy.

Oily Skin

The overproduction of oil causes the skin to shine or have a greasy look. It can be embarrassing for some people to experience, so they seek the assistance of an esthetician who can recommend a skincare routine that neutralizes the pH balance and stops oil production in its tracks. Electing to use products that are oil-free and non-comedogenic is something that can keep skin healthy.

Dry Skin

Dry skin can be painful. It can be inflamed, scaly, and cracked. During colder weather months, skin can dry out quickly because of exposure to indoor heaters and a lack of moisture in the air. Dry skin can be a painful condition to deal with that requires more than the help of an esthetician. The most extreme cases require regular visits to a dermatologist to uncover the root of the issue.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin cannot handle harsh chemicals and reacts by reddening, becoming inflamed, and drying out in place. Products specially formulated for treating sensitive skin are almost always made with natural ingredients that work harder to protect the epidermis from cracking, splitting, and becoming irritated by abrasive substances.

Combination Skin

A person has combination skin when it’s both dry and oily in different spots of the face. It requires a specific skincare routine to ensure that both conditions get treated effectively. Using products formulated for combination skin minimizes further damage by not drying out or further irritating inflamed skin.

How to Keep Skin Healthier

Among the most important things estheticians teach their clients is how to prevent further damage to their skin. Environmental factors and diet take their toll on the body, manifesting in rashes, breakouts, acne, and other skin conditions. Basic advice on how to care for the skin, such as the importance of wearing sunscreen with the proper SPF year-round, removing makeup at night, and switching the types of products used during different seasons of the year, helps clients maintain good skin health.

Drink Water

As an esthetician, you should recommend that clients drink lots of water can help keep skin healthy. H2O is clarifying and flushes impurities out of the body. It keeps skin moist and prevents it from feeling dry and crusty. Eating a diet that contains water-filled fruits and vegetables is another option that maximizes hydration. A client should add strawberries, watermelon, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers to your shopping list for naturally beautiful skin.

Good Sleep

Sleep is another thing that can affect a person’s appearance. When a person doesn’t get enough rest, it can become noticeable. A lack of sleep causes dark circles under their eyes and a look of puffiness that doesn’t go away. Without proper sleep, the lymphatic system slows down, making it difficult to eliminate the toxins that become stored in the body. As an esthetician, you can perform a variety of facials to improve circulation of fluid and minimize facial swelling.

Skincare Products for Healthier Skin

There are numerous products to choose from that promote different benefits for the skin. There are anti-aging, wrinkle, dry skin, skin-friendly cosmetics, facials and facial masks. Each contains specific ingredients and nutrients that improve the skin’s quality, texture, and appearance.

Anti-Aging

As a person ages, their skin becomes less elastic. Collagen production decreases, making skin sag. Anti-aging products firm and tighten the skin. They contain ingredients that help defy aging.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) or photo facials, skin tightening, microdermabrasion, and oxygen facials are among the most helpful anti-aging treatments available. As an esthetician, you may recommend one or more of these options after doing an assessment of the client’s skin.

Wrinkle

Fine lines and wrinkles are often a sign of aging. Wrinkle formulated products help combat wrinkles in the skin by restoring elasticity. They are considered anti-aging products because of the skin-tightening benefits they offer.

Dry Skin

Skin moisturizers consist of three ingredients such as humectants, emollients, and occlusives. Humectants allow water to draw into the epidermis to keep it from drying out. Glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and propylene glycol are all examples of humectants.

Emollients are soothing ingredients that fill in cracks in the epidermis so that moisture remains. Shea butter, cocoa butter, and avocado oil have emulsifying properties. They tend to be on the creamier side, making the lotion or moisturizing crème easier to spread across a surface.

Occlusives protect the epidermis by creating a barrier over it. Petrolatum, cetyl alcohol, and lanolin are examples of this third ingredient found in moisturizing products.

Skin-Friendly Cosmetics

Cosmetics with natural ingredients that are skin-friendly are becoming more popular. Many people prefer to invest in companies that are selective about what they put into their products. As an esthetician, be mindful of the products you recommend because some ingredients can cause skin issues.

Skin-friendly cosmetics keep skin looking and feeling its best. The products enhance a person’s natural beauty by offering additional features in addition to promoting self-expression. They come in a range of types, skin tones, and price points to make them more accessible to everyone.

Suntan Lotion

Sunscreen and suntan lotion have different benefits despite being in the same category of skincare products. Sunscreen or sunblock contains powerful ingredients that prevent a person’s skin from burning when exposed to direct sunlight. Suntan lotion changes the pigmentation in the skin by making it darker with a definitive glow. Sunscreen blocks the sun while the suntan lotion helps tan the skin.

Facials and Facial Masks

Facials and facial masks are made specifically for the face. There are many types to choose from, with each offering a specific benefit. For example, skin brightening facials remove dead cells and enhance newer, healthier cells so that men and women look younger and healthier. Some of the most popular types of facials given by estheticians include microdermabrasion, chemical peels, clay masks, organic masks, and acne treatment.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to get healthier skin, do you want to help others as an esthetician? If you enjoy providing guidance to others, have a passion for beauty and have 5 months to attend an esthetician program, you can make Esthiology a career. Clients get healthier skin, and you get a healthy career. It’s a win-win.

Want to learn more about how to help clients get healthy skin? 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.

What Is Myofascial Massage?

Massage therapist providing a client with myofascial massage

Praised as a great way to relieve soreness and tightness, myofascial massage is quickly becoming a highly sought-after wellness treatment. The myofascial massage is a manual therapy technique that requires the expertise of a trained massage therapist. It is considered by many experts to be the best treatment for myofascial pain. By relieving pressure, this specialized massage therapy enables clients to enjoy pain reduction, better mobility and overall increases in physical wellness. So, what is myofascial pain and how can myofascial massage help?

What Is Myofascial Pain?

Myofascial pain is simply a term that’s used to describe muscle pain. The definition actually extends to both pain and accompanying inflammation within soft tissue. For many clients with musculoskeletal pain, the pain felt is technically radiating from a connective tissue called “fascia” that covers the muscles.

Myofascial pain often occurs when muscles or muscle groups are exposed to prolonged, repetitive movements. For many clients, this occurs as a result of sports, workouts, movements performed at work or improper posture. Even stress and anxiety can trigger myofascial pain due to strain and tension held within the body. While myofascial pain can impact the entire musculoskeletal system, it is most commonly experienced in the neck and shoulders. However, it is also seen frequently in the hips, lower back, jaw, calves, quads and feet. Here’s a glance at some common symptoms of myofascial pain:

  • Muscle aches and pain that feels deep within the muscle.
  • Muscle pain that gets worse over time.
  • Knotted feelings in the muscles.
  • Tension and headaches.
  • Extreme pain that makes it difficult to work, exercise or sleep.

Fortunately, clients who are suffering from extreme muscle pain have a very natural, noninvasive option in myofascial massage. This highly specialized technique involves massage and stretching with light manual pressure to help restore function to the fascia. A desire to resolve muscle pain from the source without surgery or medications is causing many people to seek out massage therapists who are capable of offering myofascial massage.

What are Myofascial Massage Techniques?

For future myofascial massage therapists, there’s quite a bit to learn about how specific manipulations can help to bring healing and relief to clients suffering from intense muscle pain. First, the phrase “myo” refers to the muscular tissue that is affected. The term “fascia” refers to what medical experts call a three-dimensional web of connective tissue. This web of tissue actually extends from the superficial layers of muscular tissue all the way to the deepest layers of tissue that touch the bone. This provides an indication of just how deep and intense a myofascial massage really is. In fact, myofascial tissue can be thought of as the framework of our bodies because it provides the mechanisms that we use to move our muscles.

When the fascia is compromised, we see a reduction in range of motion. In addition, restrictions within the fascia can reduce the flow of nutrition to our joints. This can lead to pain, extreme mobility reductions and inflammation. If left untreated, it’s common for compromised fascia to cause heightened pain sensitivity and premature tissue degeneration. Some clients also experience a narrowing of the spinal cord called stenosis that ultimately leads to muscle weakness.

How Is Myofascial Massage Performed?

First, massage therapists train in massage therapy programs to actually identify fascia problems. When fascia is healthy and functioning normally, it feels very pliable and elastic. Massage therapists begin by gently massaging the area to look for signs of stiffness and tightness.

Next, the therapist massages and stretches the area using some light manual pressure. The massage therapist then applies special manual techniques for releasing pressure and tightness using a series of repetitive motions on a client’s trigger points. A trigger point is a spot within the skeletal muscle that is the “source” of pain. The massage therapist works on a single trigger point until a release can be felt. This is where the pressure “evaporates” to relieve the tension and stress that are causing pain.

Practitioners will often focus on locating multiple trigger points to create comprehensive pain relief. This usually means working on the broader network of muscles associated with the type of pain that a client is experiencing. For the client, it may seem like the massage therapist is working on a series of “unrelated muscles” even though they are targeting associated muscle groups. However, both the immediate relief and long-term benefits make the results very clear.

Massage therapists use a number of different movements and techniques when administering myofascial massage. The massage is most commonly conducted using the hands and elbows. However, a number of massage tools that range from foam rollers to soft balls can also be employed.

What Are the Benefits of Myofascial Massage?

The most immediate and obvious benefit of myofascial massage is pain relief. Many patients experience immediate relief following a release. However, several visits are typically needed to provide muscles with the prolonged, focused healing they need to eliminate pain, strain and inflammation. There are also many secondary benefits to myofascial massage that simply contribute to a healthier body.

One of the big benefits of myofascial massage is the alleviation of knots throughout the impacted area. This helps to relieve tension that was causing reduced mobility. Even areas that were not experiencing acute “pain” can now feel freer and more relaxed. Many clients find that they are able to enjoy better range of motion and flexibility. This is important for clients who are seeking sports massage because the massage therapist is able to utilize myofascial massage to boost recovery and enhance performance. Next, massage is great for improving blood circulation. The stimulation provided during the massage experience is enough to “wake up” the blood vessels in the affected area to restore blood flow. What’s more, removing the tension caused by knots can also open up the pathways for blood flow that had been blocked by the knots. As a result, the muscles in the area are now receiving more oxygen.

Even people who are not seeking myofascial massages for acute pain can benefit from an overall reduction in muscle soreness. Many active clients seek out this form of massage to keep their muscles at peak performance. Additionally, massage is a great stress-reduction tool for both muscle groups and the full body.

What Are the Skills a Massage Therapist Needs to Be Successful?

 It’s easy to see why professionals would gravitate toward a career that allows their clients to tap into the regenerative benefits of myofascial massage. Being successful at myofascial massage requires some specific skills and interpersonal qualities.

Dexterity

A massage therapist must have a degree of flexibility to access various muscles and muscle groups on a client’s body. They must be able to reach over the massage table to vigorously apply pressure to muscles. In many cases, this means holding the pressure in place until they are able to sense the release of the trigger point. The different maneuvers needed for myofascial massage also require a good degree of dexterity. Massage is a “whole-body” application that requires a combination of fast and carefully paced movements. While the entire body is used, it’s especially important to have hand and wrist dexterity for the ultra-detailed, fine-point work that needs to be done during a massage session.

Stamina

Stamina is also important for massage therapists. A myofascial massage can last for up to 90 minutes. Due to the demand for this therapy, it’s not uncommon to book multiple massage sessions throughout the course of a single day. Ultimately, the stamina to give every message session “your all” is very needed in this field.

Communication Skills

A myofascial massage therapist needs to have strong communication skills. Clients often have many questions about how this type of massage therapy works. As a massage therapist, it’s important to share information that puts clients at ease during what can feel like a very vulnerable experience. Massage therapists must have the skills to gauge client comfort levels, make accommodations to help clients feel more comfortable and “check in” with clients regarding how they’re feeling. During an initial meeting, a massage therapist often provides a quick “briefing” on the techniques and benefits behind a specific form of massage. The communication skills of the massage therapist set the tone for the entire experience. While myofascial massage is a highly technical treatment that requires a great deal of technical skill, this is something that is ideal for a “people person” who enjoys one-on-one communication.

Final Thoughts

People are increasingly turning to myofascial massage for pain relief, muscle health and overall wellness. This form of massage can be incredibly effective for boosting range of motion and flexibility. For massage therapists, this treatment specialty opens up doors to have a steady, loyal roster of clients. Is it time to learn more about becoming a massage therapist and offering myofascial massage? You will be happy you did.

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 clients 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.

How to be a Self-Employed Massage Therapist

Self-employed massage therapist waling through a clients home with a massage table

Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit? Have an interest in massage therapy and want to make it your career? Starting a massage therapy business can be exciting, but it is important to prepare. That is why Minnesota School of Cosmetology offers a massage therapy program to help you start a massage therapist business. Take the first step and get ready to graduate from a massage therapy program.

Step #1: Graduate from a Massage Therapy Program

The first step toward becoming self-employed as a massage therapist is to complete an accredited massage therapy program at a vocational school. Although massage is an unlicensed profession in Minnesota, part of the requirements of becoming a licensed massage therapist is first completing a specific number of hours in a diploma program to prepare you for the licensing exam.

During the massage therapy program, you learn the many techniques of massage including Swedish, deep tissue, Shiatsu, prenatal, Thai and many other techniques. Knowing these massage techniques allows you to create a unique session for your clients with the right combination of massage for their needs. You will learn about anatomy, physiology and kinesiology as it has to do with massage. You also learn about becoming self-employed as a massage therapist or running a massage business as a manager. We help you understand light bookkeeping, how to file for different business licenses, managing costs and the other business practices that you must master to run your own massage business. The best part about attending a massage therapy program is all the lab work that you will receive to get practical experience while massaging real clients.

Step #2: Pass the Licensing Exam

Although massage is an unlicensed professional in Minnesota, you may need to become licensed at the city or county level to offer massage services. Either way, passing the MBLEx licensing exam proves to your clients that you are serious about massage and they will have more confidence in you as a licensed massage therapist. This can set you apart from your competitors.

Step #3 File for Proper Business License as Self-Employed

When you start your own business, there are many different licenses and permits you will need to get started. First, you will need to apply for a business license at your local city governmental department. Most self-employed individuals will need to apply for a special self-employed business license that comes with some restrictions. You will need to pay city business tax each year based on your gross receipts. This is in addition to state and federal income tax and any sales tax that you collect.

Step #4: Do Some Competitive Research

Once you graduate from the massage therapist program, get a license and file for the proper permits, it is time to do some competitive research. It is important to take a look at your local city and figure out how many other massage therapists are offering massage services. Is the market saturated? Can you differentiate yourself by offering aromatherapy, prenatal or sports massage? Are you going to rent a space? These are all questions that you must answer before you invest the time and money into your business.

Step #5: Purchase the Necessary Massage Supplies

Now is the time to invest in massage supplies that you can take with you to client’s homes. Do you want a portable table or chair? Do you need towels, pillows, essential oils, or any other massage supplies to give the client a unique massage experience? You may need some PPE to keep yourself and your client safe from viruses and bacteria. You are also going to need a way to charge your clients for your massage services. A great way to do this is using Square or Apple Pay on your smartphone.

Step #6: Build a Clientele

Most successful businesses have a website that offers basic information about their services, contact information and credentials. Once you have a website up and running, take the time to submit your information to local directories like Yelp. Many of your potential clients will look to Yelp for reviews and information about your business. Social media is also important to capture new clients and create loyal customers out of your current clientele.

Don’t’ forget a leave behind. Whether it is a brochure or business card, make sure that you leave something for your clients, so they know where to call you for another massage service. You can also ask them to follow you on social media so you can keep them up-to-date on any specials or new services that you may offer in the future. Social media will also allow you to reach your clients contacts and build out your clientele.

Final Thoughts

Now that you are ready for your new adventure as a self-employed massage therapist, it is time to take the first step and start a massage therapy program. Though becoming a business owner can be daunting, Minnesota School of Cosmetology is there to help. We not only teach you the techniques you need to service clients, but we have a curriculum that will help you start a massage business. If you choose to get licensed, we prepare you for the MBLEx exam. Every journey starts with a single step. Ready to start moving?

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 clients 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.

Hair Removal Techniques: An Esthetician’s Guide

An esthetician is a specialist whose primary function focuses on the skin and its appearance. Our skin is in direct contact with the world. So, it’s no surprise our skin requires regular maintenance and care. For many, maintaining one’s skin includes hair removal. A well-rounded esthetician’s know-how encompasses hair removal techniques to fulfill a client’s skincare needs.

Understanding the Skin and Its Layers

Our skin protects us by helping maintain our body temperature, preventing water loss, and serving as an initial defense against germs, UV light, chemicals, and injury. To understand an esthetician’s job and the hair removal process, you must first possess a knowledge of the three skin layers. The epidermis, dermis and hypodermis.

Epidermis

The epidermis contains five stratum layers called the stratum corneum, stratum lucidum, stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum, and the stratum basale. Those layers, combined with the dermis and hypodermis layers, are referred to as the skin’s seven layers. However, in other content, the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis are referred as the skin’s three main layers. Regardless, the epidermis is the outermost visible layer of our skin, mainly containing flat, scale-like cells, called squamous cells. For this content, we’ll describe it as one of three skin layers.

Dermis

The dermis is the skin layer that houses the blood vessels, lymph vessels, hair follicles, fibrous/elastic tissue, and glands. These glands are responsible for sweat production, regulating body temperature, and accountable for sebum production. Take a special note that this is the layer where the hair follicles reside. The dermis contains two layers, the papillary dermis and the reticular dermis.

Hypodermis

The hypodermis contains fat, connective tissue, and a collagen cell network. This skin layer serves as an insulator, shock absorber, and an energy reserving fat/nutrient store. The hypodermis’ thickness varies throughout different parts of the body, from person to person and gender to gender. The blood vessels, lymph vessels, fibrous tissue, and glands that run through the dermis layer also travel through the hypodermis. The same hair follicles that traverse the dermis also span the hypodermis.

The Hair Structure

As an esthetician, you will need to understand the hair’s structure to perform a hair removal treatment on a client correctly. The shaft is the portion of the hair’s structure that doesn’t anchor to its follicle and consists of three layers: cortex, cuticle and, in cases, a medulla. Much of the hair’s shaft sits above the skin’s surface. The root, anchored in the follicle below the skin’s surface, contains five separate parts: the follicle, bulb, dermal papilla, arrector pili, and sebaceous glands.

A Brief History of Hair Removal

Now that we have a little understanding of the skin and hair, it’s time for a brief history lesson on the origins of hair removal. Although some methods like depilatories and other techniques came much later, there is nothing new about the act of shaving. The practice of removing female body hair goes back to ancient Rome and Egypt. Some of the first razors, used in Egypt and India around 3000 BCE, were made of copper. Buddhist and Christian monks undergo a form of head-shaving or a technique called tonsure.

Reasons People Remove Body Hair

Outside of societal norms, there are many reasons people remove their body hair. The body hair for surgical patients gets removed around the incision area before surgery. Another reason for some clients is for personal hygiene to prevent body odor. Hair removal also plays a big part in sports like swimming because it’s believed smooth legs allow for slicker, smoother contact with the water, improving a swimmer’s speed. A closely-cropped haircut, entirely shaven head, and clean-shaven face are standard practices in military organizations. Facial growth like beards prevents an air-tight fit between the face and breathing equipment, such as a diver’s mask or gas mask. A tip for estheticians broadening their clientele is when advertising hair removal services, ensure you market to both genders. As we read, both sexes have ample reasons for this treatment for different body parts.

Skills Required for Hair Removal

As with any other salon service, clients come to you with concerns, questions, and falsehood regarding the hair removal process. Possessing the ability to explain the process and the technology involved gives the client confidence in you and the method you use. You’ll also examine your clients’ skin, medical history, lifestyle, diet, exercise, and possible questions about personal hygiene habits, then decide how to proceed accordingly. Estheticians possess the proper knowledge and the know-how to talk comfortably to the client about sometimes embarrassing topics. You may not think fluent communication and speech are a plus for hair removal, but the client does.

Different Hair Removal Methods

There are many techniques to remove hair including waxing, laser, chemical, tweezing, and shaving. Each with their own pros and cons.

Waxing

Waxing is a popular semi-permanent method of hair removal well-suited for larger areas of unwanted hair. Semi-permanent means the process removes hair for lengthy periods but grows back eventually. As an esthetician, many salons use warm liquid wax that’s applied over the treatment area, followed by a strip of paper. The wax adheres to the paper and the hair shaft. As you pull the paper from the skin, it removes the entire hair structure from the follicle’s point.

  • Pro: A wax removes hair for up to two weeks before regrowth appears.
  • Con: The physical technique of ripping the hair out by the follicle is not an enjoyable sensation. However, A well-trained esthetician knows how to minimize the discomfort.

Electrolysis and Laser

Laser removal is a professional technique that uses ultra-concentrated beams of light to remove unwanted hair. During this method, a laser emits a light absorbed by the hair’s pigment or melanin. The light energy converts to heat, damaging the tube-like sacs within the skin, referred to as hair follicles, responsible for the hair’s production. Although lasering inhibits and delays future growth, it is still not considered entirely permanent.

  • Pro: Laser treatments last longer than many hair removal methods, saving time and money in the long run.
  • Con: Laser treatments possibly result in a permanent pigment darkening or lightening of the treated skin area.

Chemical Depilatories

Typically, chemical depilatories use a combination of alkaline-based products like salt, sodium thioglycolate, calcium thioglycolate, and strontium sulfide as their active hair removal ingredients. These ingredients hydrolyzed or break down the protein bonds, and you utilize a technique to wipe away, rinse off, or otherwise remove the mixture. Chemical depilatories often come in creams, gels, or lotions that penetrate through the follicle but won’t damage the root.

  • Pro: Generally pain-free making a difference for people with low pain tolerance.
  • Con: Chemical depilatories contain a harsh odor, a nightmare for clients with asthma or other breathing difficulties.

Tweezing

Tweezing is the hair removal method where individual hairs get pulled out from the root using a pair of tweezers. Quick and cost-efficient, it’s a method of removing a small precise number of hairs. Tweezing is mainly used for eyebrow shaping, odd strays, and ingrown hairs as it carefully removes those troublesome single hairs. There are numerous different types of tip shapes in tweezers, and each has its purpose. However, the three types commonly used for hair removal are slanted, pointed and combination tweezers.

  • Pro: Tweezing is a quick, convenient, and inexpensive hair removal method best for small areas and single hairs.
  • Con: Hair grows back quicker than with any other except shaving.

Shaving

Shaving is common, the most widely accessible form of hair removal, though not the best option. This practice removes hair by running a razor across the skin’s surface and as close to the surface as comfortably necessary for a smooth feel. Continuous razor use leads to roughness, an imbalance of moisture, and leaving the skin open to bacteria and infection from abrasions. As an esthetician, you should consider advising your clients against shaving or suggesting decreasing the number of times they shave. Estheticians see clients who shave to maintain hair growth between appointments. Some warn against this because it changes hair texture, disrupts the waxing schedule, dries the skin, and causes roughness, especially from stubble and razor burn.

  • Pro: Shaving is an inexpensive and easy way to maintain body hair.
  • Con: Hair grows back the fastest out of the removal methods, ultimately saving money but costing time.

Although these methods of hair removal are safe and effective, dangers do exist. Some skin types are too sensitive to wax and others may present allergies to the chemical hair removal technique. Ensure you do a thorough consultation and possible patch test before determining which treatment best suits your client. While laser hair removal is safe, there is always a possibility of redness, burns, blistering, discoloration, and scarring. A properly trained, well-rounded esthetician understands all aspects of hair removal, including caution.

Are you ready to help clients with hair removal? 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.

What is the Importance of Knowing the Contraindications to Massage?

Massage is a non-invasive way for clients to relax and reduce pain. Though massage is safe for most people, there are situations when massage should not be used on a client because of a pre-existing condition or during the use of specific medications.

Massage therapist helping a client with contraindications

What are Contraindications?

A contraindication is when a symptom or condition can cause a negative outcome because of a specific medication, surgery or procedure. There are two types of contraindications, relative and absolute.

Relative contraindications give practitioners caution when either two medications can conflict or a procedure like massage can exacerbate a condition that a client is currently taking medication for or underwent surgery for. They may interfere in some way, but it is not life-threatening.

Absolute contraindications are those situations that are life-threatening, like massage in specific parts of the body that just underwent a surgical procedure, must be avoided. An example of this is when women are pregnant, they can suffer from blood clots in their legs. It is an absolute contraindication for a massage therapist to not massage the legs so that any blood clots are not dislodged and end up in a vital organ.

What are Contraindications for Massage?

It is important for a massage therapist to inquire about a client’s health condition during the initial assessment and at the beginning of each session. Although massage therapy is safe, it can exacerbate some conditions. Don’t book an appointment for a client if they have a fever, contagious disease, are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, had a recent operation, or are suffering from a skin disease. A client should always consult a physician before beginning any massage therapy or if the client has any new conditions that could be contraindications for massage.

Fever – if the client has an abnormal temperature, massage may increase it. Whether it is from a vaccination or flu, a raised temperature will indicate the body is saying that something is wrong, and the massage therapist shouldn’t exacerbate the situation.

Contagious Disease – we are all living with the Covid-19 pandemic, so we are acutely aware of the dangers of a contagious disease. It is important to take precautions before a massage treatment to make sure everyone is safe and that no one will catch a contagious disease.

Drug or Alcohol – someone under the influence may not experience the massage the same, their body may react differently, the pain threshold may be diminished, and they may make poor decisions. It is important to make sure that the client is not inebriated in anyway, as they must give consent to participate in a massage treatment.

Recent Surgery – if a client has recently undergone treatment or surgery, massage can exacerbate the injury or location that is trying to heal. Massage can tear stitches or aggravate a part of the body has undergone surgery. Always have the client consult their doctor before engaging in massage.

Skin Diseases – when you perform massage on a client and they have a skin disease, it can inflame the skin, cause abrasions or bruise areas of the skin. Many people that have skin disorders will also use some sort of ointment and this can be a contraindicator for massage, especially if you use essential oils.

There are specific areas of the body that may also suffer from conditions that can be contraindications for massage. If a client has varicose veins, lumps, excessive bruising, has cuts or abrasions, is sunburned, has undiagnosed pain or has any inflammation from conditions like arthritis. In addition, a massage therapist should not use specific massage techniques on women that are pregnant. You will learn prenatal massage techniques that are suitable for mothers-to-be during a massage therapy program at a vocational school. Again, it is important for anyone that is suffering from any condition to consult a physician before engaging in massage therapy.

There are also some medical contraindications that a massage therapist should have a client get a physician’s approval before attempting massage. Important medical contraindications include cardio-vascular conditions, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, and pinched nerves, to name a few.

What is the Importance of Knowing the Contraindications to Massage?

All massage therapists will need to know the contraindications to massage to create a safe environment for their clients. This is not only tested on the licensing exam, but it is important to know as much as possible about a client’s health and any conditions they may have that can cause them distress or even be life-threatening. Take the time to fully understand what the client’s health history looks like and ask all the important questions before you create a massage treatment plan for them.

How Do You Identify Contraindications to Massage?

The best time to inquire about a client’s health is during an initial assessment and before each session for any updates to their health regimen, medications or surgical procedures they may have undergone since the last session.

Initial Assessment

During an initial massage therapy assessment, it is good to get a full health history from your client, any medications that may be contraindications and the client’s chief concern. You will also want to know where a client is experiencing pain and any place on their body they don’t want you to massage.

This is also the time to explain the risks, side effects and other information to give the client expectations for what they are getting into. During the risks and side effects, it is a good time to talk about situations that may cause complications and have them explain any health history that might suggest a specific massage technique. Each massage technique is unique and the information from the initial assessment will allow you to come up with a treatment plan with the right mix of techniques. Does the client need deep tissue massage to really work out tension in the muscles or something lighter that doesn’t cause too much pain? Do they have any allergies to latex or any other substances? Learn as much as you can during the initial assessment so you can create a best possible plan for the client.

Pre-Session Questionnaire

At the beginning of every new massage session, it is important for you to see if anything has changed with the client. Did they start any new medications, have any procedures or new aches and pains they need to focus on this session? Create a questionnaire that they fill out and include authorization forms that they need to sign. Make sure to be through about your pre-session questionnaire because the client may know something that they just forgot to share or don’t think it is relevant in this situation. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Confidentiality and Discretion

It is important for you to keep all the information a client tells you confidential and to show discretion about personal topics. The client may tell you very confidential and personal information about themselves and their medical history, that they wouldn’t want you to tell anyone else. A medical professional is bound by HIPAA guidelines to keep all medical information confidential. It is a good guideline for massage therapist to adhere to as well.

You also want to show discretion with a client. They may confide in you about a condition that they have, so don’t ask them questions that you may think are too personal. Also, don’t make comments or off the cuff remarks about something that the client may feel sensitive about. This is an easy way to lose a client. They trust you with very personal information and they expect you to show discretion.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a massage therapist is a great way to help people with a non-invasive and natural therapy. Being a massage therapist is very rewarding, especially when you see your patients experience less stress and pain. It is important to complete a massage therapy program so that you know all the benefits and contraindications that can affect a client during a massage treatment. Keep your clients safe and you will create a loyal following.

Want to Learn More?

Did learning about helping keep clients safe from contraindications in massage interest you? 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 as a holistic program that will prepare students to focus on body mechanics of their clients 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 Importance of Beauty Care?

Woman applying sunscreen to her face for beauty care

Beauty is more than skin deep. It’s a reflection of your physical and emotional well-being. When people are healthy, it shows. Estheticians understand the importance of appearance, and it’s their mission to help clients look and feel their best, inside and out, with beauty care.

What Does an Esthetician Do?

Estheticians are skincare specialists. They help identify non-medical skin disorders and provide topical treatments that enhance clients’ complexions. Popular services include:

Skin Analysis

Everyone is unique, so estheticians learn about their clients’ complexions through skin analysis before making treatment recommendations. The process includes an extensive questionnaire reviewing medical conditions and lifestyle factors that affect appearance, such as sun exposure, smoking and eating habits.

A visual examination with magnifying lamps and devices that measure skin’s characteristics from sebum level to moisture content is revealing. Using their fingers, estheticians then evaluate the surface texture of the skin, searching for subtle irregularities that indicate dryness, irritation or clogged pores.

Facials

Facials use steam, exfoliation, serums and masks to cleanse and rejuvenate skin. Gentle massage of the face and neck helps clients relax and encourages a healing blood flow. Facials are customized based on skin analysis, so each is as distinct as the client and serves as a foundation upon which to build a better beauty care regimen.

Cosmetic Application

Estheticians specialize in occasion cosmetics, giving clients the once-in-a-lifetime look they want for a big event. But they can also show them how to make the most of their everyday make-up with professional application techniques and products that complement their skin type. Why not be red carpet-ready every day?

Hair Removal

Estheticians remove unwanted body hair using methods from electrolysis to waxing. Sites include the face, arms, legs, chest, back and bikini zones, and the goal is to extract hair down to the follicle for long-lasting results.

Why is Beauty Care Important?

Looking your best requires a holistic, inside-out approach. Beauty care matters because:

Healthy Skin is Important for Good Health

The skin is our largest organ and a barrier against the environment. It shields us from UV light, keeps us hydrated and protects us from microorganisms. Protecting the outer layer of the skin is essential because breaks, cuts, sores, rashes and irritations, allow bacteria and other harmful substances to get into the body and make us sick. Take good care of your skin, and it will take good care of you.

Looking Good Improves Confidence and Self-Esteem

How you look affects how you feel about your body, we’re our strongest critics. For women, in particular, beauty and self-esteem are closely linked. The most important thing an esthetician does is to give clients pride in their appearance by minimizing flaws, whether it’s a shallow complexion or unwanted facial hair. Even the smallest improvements boost confidence and mood.

Skin Care Makes You More Comfortable.

Skin takes a beating. If you’ve ever tried sleeping with a sunburn, you know that exposure to sun, wind, rain, cold, and pollution can leave you feeling itchy, dry and sore. Beauty care soothes the symptoms of dryness and irritation, nourishing your skin, so it’s less vulnerable to damage, and you feel more comfortable.

Beauty Care is Self-Care

We spend most of our time working and taking care of others. But self-care isn’t a dirty word, and the few minutes we spend daily pampering our skin can be rejuvenating. If you can’t take a vacation, treating yourself to a facial is a relaxing break. Estheticians give clients permission to invest in themselves through a range of beauty care services that have both restorative and practical value.

Making Beauty Care Successful

Clients want to look good for more than special occasions; they want it to last a lifetime. Here’s how an esthetician can make it happen.

Emphasize Early Beauty Care

Skin evolves, and it takes consistent care to keep it healthy. As we age, skin becomes thinner and cell renewal slows. Complexion and texture morph over time as sun damage takes its toll, and the epidermis loses elasticity. Collagen and elastin production wane as we get older, causing sagging and wrinkles, and lifestyle factors from sleep, smoking and nutrition to sun and pollution exposure can change.

Minimizing negative effects once they’ve occurred is challenging. The key to beauty is to start caring for skin early so it’s in the best possible condition as the years pass. Like health problems, skin disorders are easier to treat if they’re addressed early.

Encourage Maintenance Services

Everyone deserves an occasional spa day, but the benefits of a single facial don’t last forever. As beauty professionals, estheticians should educate their clients about their skin and the importance of ongoing care, creating individualized treatment plans that meet both short- and long-term goals.

Estheticians can encourage clients to schedule regular appointments by pointing out the many benefits of routine care, including looking their best every day. And many services, such as hair removal, are less irritating and costly when performed regularly.

Guide Clients to the Best Products

The wrong cleansers, scrubs, moisturizers, and cosmetics can be a disaster when used on the wrong skin type, especially sensitive skin. But with shelves full of products to choose from, clients are often confused about which are most beneficial and how specific ingredients interact with their complexion.

Estheticians help clients better understand their skin and offer recommendations for the most appropriate over-the-counter products. Some also sell spa-quality formulas only available to skincare professionals.

Choosing the right colors and types of cosmetics, especially foundation, is also tricky for clients who don’t understand the nuances of skin color, tone and texture. Estheticians help by selecting complementary shades for a perfect finish.

Teach Clients About Proper Skin Care at Home

Lifestyle factors play a significant role in beauty care. In addition to recommending the best products and services, estheticians approach skin holistically, helping clients improve their appearance by suggesting healthy habits, including:

Sun Protection – people with fair skin or who work or play outside are at high risk of skin damage unless they take precautions. Dermatologists recommend avoiding exposure to the sun between 10 am and 2 pm. SPF 15 sunscreen is essential for most everyday activities, SPF 30 or greater is preferable for extended time outdoors. Wide-brimmed hats protect the skin and eyes.

Estheticians should warn clients to wear sunscreen every day, rain or shine, since UV light penetrates clouds. Recommending moisturizers, make-up, and lip balm with added sunscreen offers additional protection for delicate facial skin.

Getting Enough Sleep – not sleeping enough is linked to premature skin aging. Getting the doctor-recommend 7–9 hours helps us recuperate from stress. During deep sleep, the body produces more collagen and repairs skin cells. Without it, unwanted wrinkles can appear well before their time.

Stress Reduction – stress has an adverse effect on the body and worsens skin conditions from acne to rosacea. Estheticians should expect more than one worried phone call from clients breaking out before a big day. Chronic stress contributes to inflammation and redness and slows healing. High levels of cortisol, our fight or flight hormone, causes the body to make more skin oil that can clog pores.

Estheticians should advise clients to avoid stress at home and offer services that are both relaxing and beautifying. Regular facials can improve the look and feel of skin while providing a much-needed respite.

Sound Nutrition – aging happens at a cellular level, no facial or moisturizer can prevent it. Good nutrition supports the body’s efforts to maintain healthy skin. Experts prescribe eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables high in vitamins A, C, E, and K.

Skin-friendly Habits – skin-friendly personal habits can be the fountain of youth. Recommendations should include:

  • Limit showers to 10 minutes or less daily
  • Avoid very hot water, it strips oils and dries the skin.
  • Don’t exfoliate daily. Skin needs time to heal between treatments.
  • Use only gentle soaps. Harsh brands remove protective oils, causing dryness and redness.
  • Apply moisturizer immediately after bathing.
  • Use fragrance-free lotions, why risk an allergic reaction?
  • Run a humidifier during dry months.
  • Wash clothes with mild, hypoallergenic detergent.
  • Remove cosmetics every day. It gives skin a chance to breathe.
  • Use make-up remover instead of soap and water, excessive scrubbing damages skin.
  • Stick to a facial cleanser for your face. It’s specially formulated to be less drying than soap and helps tone pores.
  • Don’t frown, it causes wrinkles near the eyes and forehead.

Final Thoughts

Beauty is the foundation of self-assurance. Everyone wants their inner radiance to be reflected in how they look. Skin is an esthetician’s canvas, and like an artist, it’s their mission to create a masterpiece through beauty care.

Are you ready to spread the word about beauty care? 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.