What are the Different Hair Cutting Techniques?

Hairstylist demonstrating hair cutting techniques on woman in barber's chair

Different people get haircuts for different reasons. Talking to you about what a client doesn’t like about their current cut can help guide you to make any necessary corrections. Likewise, if you have a specific hairstyle in mind you should be upfront and detailed about your expectations so that your client can make the appropriate choices. The reasoning and motivation behind wanting a change in hairstyle can help inform the method and tool choices. That is why it is important to be a hairstylist that can communicate openly with clients. And, the best way to prepare for a career in hair cutting is to attend a hair school near you. Let’s take a more in depth look at the three main reasons people seek out a new haircut.

Hair Cutting Techniques: Corrections

Hairstyle correction refers to fixing something that a client is unhappy with about their current cut or style. This can range from the wildly dramatic to the barely noticeable. It all depends on the kind of correction they are looking for. For example, you could get away with very subtle, minor changes if they are unhappy with the thickness or volume of their hair. However, if you are hoping to correct a previous hair cutting mistake or aiming to create dramatic movement you are probably going to need more dramatic solutions.

Hair Cutting Techniques: Self-Expression

Haircuts are a great way to physically express personality and attitude. They can even be used to celebrate changes and recognize the beginning of a new personal chapter. Knowing how a client wants the haircut to make them feel can help you make the right choices for tools and techniques. Are they looking for an easy, low maintenance look that values function? Are they hoping to soften some edges with something bouncy and fun? These kinds of descriptors can help you create the look they want to see when they look in the mirror.

Fashion or Style Project Haircuts

While these kinds of cuts are rare, and typically apply more to wig work, fashion projects are another reason that a client might be in need of a new hairdo. Photo shoots, music videos, films, and photography projects are just some of the examples of highly stylized projects that could require a dramatic change in cut or hairstyle. These advanced hair cutting techniques can be learned at a hair school near you.

Things to Consider about a Haircut

It can be easy to look at celebrities and want their exact hairstyle. Unfortunately, the vast differences in hair from person to person can really make it hard to pull off the same look as someone else. Before your client falls in love with a haircut that would be unrealistic, take a moment to consider their current hairstyle situation. Here is a quick look at a few of the things you will want to keep in mind when you are style shopping for your client’s haircuts.

Hair Texture

Be realistic about how your client’s hair texture: is it coarse, fine, curly or straight? This will help you be realistic about how a certain haircut might look once it is completed, as well as how it might grow out over time. If they have synthetically texturized their follicles by relaxing or perming them, that should be taken into consideration before making the haircut, as well.

Hair Condition

Your client may want a long, luxurious hairstyle, but if their ends are severely damaged it can prevent them from achieving that goal. At the same time, if they struggle with an exceptionally dry scalp or damaged root system then a short cut may make the problem worse and more visible. If your client really wants a dazzling new hairstyle take the time to talk over their hair’s current condition and timelines.

Current Haircut

There are things that your client’s current haircut may determine about their future one. For instance, if they are currently sporting a look with a lot of choppy or dramatic angles it may take losing quite a bit of length if they want to smooth out their look. Another example would be if they have bangs. The length, thickness, and angle of their bangs, as well as whether or not they want to keep them or phase them out, can play a big role in the new haircut.

Cutting Terms and Techniques

While the idea of changing your client’s look can be exciting, the techniques and terminology of the salon can be confusing. Any certified hairstylist should help clearly explain or define any technique that their client might have a question about. However, let’s take a quick look at some of the more common terms and techniques you might hear when it comes to haircuts.


This term refers to a method of cutting that creates different lengths that lay one on top of the other. Layering helps create movement and make hairstyles lighter and cooler to wear. This is a great option for hairstyles that fall flat and appear stale or stagnant. It is also a great hairstyle option for warm weather months that can often lead to sweating and overheating. Layers can be subtle with very little difference in layer lengths, but they can also be dramatic with a vast difference in length between the bottom and the top layers. They can also be strategically placed to help shape your client’s face. It just depends on the client’s personal preferences.


Thinning refers to a technique that makes thick styles easier to wear. The thought behind thinning and layering are the same, but the overall effects are very different. Hairstylist will often use a specialized cutting tool called thinning shears to help lighten thick, heavy hairstyles. Thinning shears look like scissors with small sections cut out. It essentially looks like one of the scissor blades has the teeth of a comb. They are used to cut small, subtle sections out of the edge of a hairstyle to remove volume and weight. This can also be done with straight scissors through a technique called “slithering” where the hairstylist uses the straight scissors to make vertical cuts into the edge of the hairstyle.


Blunting is a term that refers to creating blocky or straight edges. It is a great way to add drama to a look. This might require a client to sacrifice length if they already have layers. Blunting a layered hairstyle would take the shortest layer and cut everything else to that length. The client can also choose to blunt a certain section or area of their hairstyle.

Graduated or Stacked Cut

The layers in a stacked or graduated haircut are very close together. They are often chosen to create bulk and weight in a haircut, while traditional layering often leads to a thinning or lightening result in the hairstyle. The angles of this kind of cut have to be precise. The weight line, or where the weight falls in a particular hairstyle, has to be deeply considered when making the decision toward a graduated or stacked cut. It is particularly helpful for those with thin or fine follicles.

Extension Terminology

Extensions don’t exactly refer to haircut, but they do affect style volume and length. Their popularity is on the rise among all colors, styles, and textures. So, it is worth taking a brief look at some of the terms that are used like set, weft, disconnect, and stitched.


A set of extensions refers to the entirety of the extensions. These sets come in a variety of length and thickness options so that that client is sure to get the additions to their hairstyle they are looking for.


The term “weft” refers to a single extension in a set. A set of extensions is made up of several wefts. The number of individual extensions depends on the style the client is going for. There can also be several different lengths and densities of wefts within the same set to create dimension in the hairstyle.


This term refers to the point where the client’s natural hair end and their synthetic extensions begin. The disconnect is typically more visible in styles that have blunt or boxy edges. That is why it is important that the client find a hairstylist who can help them learn how to properly and thoroughly blend these extensions into seamless style on a daily basis.


This refers to extensions that are sewn in rather than using adhesive or clips to secure the wefts. This process is typically time consuming and takes a skilled and focused hairstylist to complete. If a client is someone who likes to switch up their style fairly frequently, one of the more temporary options of securing extensions might be the right call. If they want absolute security in their new length and volume, this method is a far more permanent solution.

Barber and Close Cuts

Salons are not the only places haircuts happen. Too often we neglect to talk about barber shops and their contribution to hairstyle and design. If a client is someone who prefers a barber to a hairdresser, here are a couple of terms they might want to familiarize themselves with.


Fading is a method of hairstyling that uses a combination of clippers and scissors to taper the hairstyle from the base of the neck to the top of the head. A barber or stylist will use clippers to get an extremely close cut around the base of the neck and then very gradually increase the length tapering upward. Once they reach the top of the head, the length of hairstyle can vary widely. The term “fade” refers to the tapering cut leading upward.

Design Cuts

There are plenty of barbers and stylists that are sought out for their design cuts. A hairstyle needs to be short before a design can be cut into it. These haircuts are typically found in the upper parts of fades or on people with other closely shaved hairstyles. This specialization uses a variety of clipper types and attachments to create pictures and designs in hair that range from simple to exceptionally elaborate.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of different ways that you can switch up your client’s hairstyle no matter what you happen to be working with naturally. It is important to know what to ask for regardless of the direction a client wants to take their personal style in. Knowing the proper terms and techniques can really help you clarify the hairstyle goals and the clients concerns when discussing their decisions and options. It can also help you feel more confident when taking charge of their brand new, exciting look. If you are creative and enjoy helping others express themselves, then a career in hair cutting and styling may be right for you. Look for a hair school near you and your career might be just around the next corner.

Want to Learn More?

Did learning about what the different hair cutting techniques are interest you? Need to get your undergraduate certificate in cosmetology? 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. At the Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we keep our class sizes small to make sure you get the individualized instruction you need and attention you deserve. You will graduate with everything you need to be a versatile artist in an exciting industry, including a cosmetology diploma from a respected college.

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

How Do UV Rays Affect the Skin?

College students wearing clothing that protects them from uv rays

Interested in becoming an esthetician? Curious about skin care health and UV rays? Becoming an esthetician is a great way to help others, while learning new techniques and technologies to keep client’s skin healthy. So, what are UV rays, and how do they impact skin health?

What are UV Rays?

The term UV Rays refers to ultraviolet radiation. It is a kind of electromagnetic radiation that occurs naturally through sunlight. This particular kind of radiation is capable of penetrating Earth’s atmosphere and make up approximately 10% of the sun’s total electromagnetic radiation. All UV rays are not created equal, however. There are three different kinds of ultraviolet radiation. There are UVA, UVB, and UVC radiation. The primary differences between the three are their varied wavelengths.

UVC Radiation

These UV rays are the shortest of the three. They are able to reach our planet from the sun but are then absorbed by the ozone layer in the Earth’s atmosphere. They are too short to reach humans or affect our daily lives through our planetary protections.

UVB Radiation

This ray classification has a longer wavelength than UVC and is able to reach and affect human beings. UVB rays are able to radiate through the top layers of skin, also known as the epidermis. This kind of ultraviolet radiation is most prevalent during warmer months at times of day when the sun is out.

UVA Radiation

This kind of radiation has the greatest effect on humans because it has the longest wavelength of the three types. These radiation waves are able to make it through Earth’s atmospheric defenses, through the top layers of skin and into the deeper layers of skin tissue. These layers are more clinically known as the dermis or referred to as subdermal layers. UVA radiation is also strongest when the sun is highest in the sky but is constant year-round. UVA rays are so strong, in fact, that they can penetrate untreated glass.

Where are UV Rays Found?

The sun is without question the primary source of the ultraviolet radiation that we experience in our daily lives. While it is the overwhelming natural source of ultraviolet radiation, it is not the only source that affects us. We have created bulbs and lamps that also emit this kind of radiation. There are even specially designed bulbs able to approximate and concentrate the kind of UVA rays found in natural sunlight. Let’s take a look at some of the unnatural sources of UV rays we expose ourselves to.

Minor Exposures

There are some every day, common sources of ultraviolet radiation that you might not have considered as a source of UV rays. It may not have occurred to you to consider them because typically exposure to these kinds of synthetic lights are often fairly minimal, and the amount of radiation is usually pretty low. Still, it is good to know what kinds of lights can give you a prolonged exposure over a long period of time. For example, mercury vapor lighting, the kind commonly used in stadiums and school gyms, give off UV rays. Certain types of halogen, fluorescent, and incandescent lights are also slight sources. Even some types of lasers emit ultraviolet radiation. So, whether it is a sunny day or a well-lit sports event, it is good to have skin protection in mind.

Concentrated Exposure

While most manufactured UV exposure is minor, we have developed bulb technology that purposefully concentrates UVA radiation. Concentrated ultraviolet bulbs are found in either tanning lamps or tanning beds. These lamps and beds are primarily used to deepen or darken the shade of a person’s skin through a timed and controlled exposure to highly concentrated UV rays. Tanning beds, also referred to as sun beds, use this UV light to stimulating melanin production, which darkens the skin.

How Do UV Rays Affect Your Skin?

Ultraviolet radiation waves are able to do significant damage to your body if you aren’t careful. Prolonged exposure to these intense rays can compromise the appearance and integrity of your skin. It can even mutate the genetic code of your skin to cause skin cancers, depending on the intensity of the rays and the amount of time spent in them. UV rays can also damage your eyesight and cause painful, uncomfortable burns on your skin.

Effects of Different Types of UV Rays

UVC radiation is the only type rendered inconsequential on humans thanks to our crucially important ozone. However, UVB and UVA rays are not blocked by our planetary atmosphere, so both have an impact on us. There is a key difference in the effects of UVB and UVA exposure, and that is their intensity.

While both classifications of radiation can cause many of the same effects, the more severe damage is done by UVA rays because of their ability to more deeply impact the human body. UVB rays often cause things such as minor eyesight damage, prematurely aging or wrinkling skin, discoloration of the skin, and sunburns. UVA rays are usually responsible for things like severe sight impairment and melanomas, while also causing things like painful burns and elasticity damage.

Tanning and UV Rays

The tanning effect of this radiation can also produce some extreme consequences. Your skin is able to repair some of the damage done by ultraviolet radiation, but it can only repair up to a certain point. The more frequently and consistently you are exposed to UV rays the less your body will be able to defend against the damage being done by them.

Which is Better, Sunlight or a Tanning Bed?

It should be noted that both options carry the cosmetic and health risks that are associated with ultraviolet radiation because they are both significant sources of it. However, you also have to consider that with a man-made UV bulb the exposure is more highly concentrated than casual exposure to natural sunlight. Essentially what the ultimate risk factor boils down to is a matter of time. Deciding what the least dangerous option is comes down to balancing act between how time is spent in exposure, and the UVA concentration from each source. What you really need to know is that while synthetic tanning often carries greater risks, both options can be potentially harmful to the health of your skin.

What are Some Ways to Help Avoid the Harmful Dangers UV Rays?

Now that you have a better understanding of what UV rays are, you may be wondering how you can best protect your beautiful skin from this damaging radiation. It should be noted that UV exposure, UVA in particular, affects all races and skin tones regardless of whether you are trying to tan or not. Here are some of the ways you can help protect yourself without locking yourself inside 24/7.

Give Up the Tanning, Not the Tan

Do you want that golden, skin tone without the wrinkles and the risks? Do you enjoy the ritual or social aspects of regularly visiting a tanning salon, but don’t want the consequences of the tanning process? Luckily, there are options. If you are someone who wants their skin to glow you may want to consider a self-tanning spray, foam, or cream that you can apply in the privacy of your own home at any time, day or night. There are a lot of tanning product options to choose from and it might be a bit overwhelming at first glance. So, it is important that you make sure to consult a trained skincare professional such as an esthetician, cosmetologist, or dermatologist, to find a product that is safe and effective. If actually going to the tanning salon is part of the appeal, you will be happy to know that many tanning salons offer precision airbrush tanning that gives you the sunny color you want without the damage. Call your esthetician for recommendations or to book an appointment.

Full Spectrum Sunblock

Being out in the sun can help boost your mood and connect you to nature and your community. Living your life in a full and healthy way means getting outside every once in a while. But when you go out to enjoy the day you are exposing yourself to the harmful effects of UV rays. Since you can’t hide your skin from the sun’s radiation it is important that you help protect it by wearing a full spectrum sunblock with a high sun protection factor, or SPF. Be thorough and generous when you are applying your sunscreen and if you have any questions, consulting an esthetician will get you headed in the right direction. You will also want to choose a lip moisturizer that has sun blocking power.

Clothing Barriers

Clothing barriers such as long sleeves, skirts, long pants, sun hats, and sunglasses can all help protect your body from UV damage by adding a literal layer between you and sun’s dangerous rays. While clothing cannot fully protect you from all of potential sun related threats, or cover 100% of your skin, it at the very least helps minimize the effects and decreases the likelihood of burns and eyesight impairment when you are out in the blazing sun. Some clothing is specifically designed to increase its UV ray protection, and these garments are great choices when facing long periods of exposure. These are especially important if you reside in a desert climate.


Umbrellas are useful for more than just keeping you dry on rainy days. They can also provide a shield against the sun in any season or type of weather. Even on particularly sunny days you can’t always plan what you wear around the weather. That is why it’s important that you come prepared to defend against ultraviolet radiation no matter what the day has in store. Carrying around a small collapsible umbrella in your bag or keeping one in your car will ensure that you are prepared to create your very own sunshade regardless of when or where you happen to find yourself outside.

Structure Shade

Outdoor events and get-togethers are opportunities to spend time with the people you care about while doing the things you love. It is also a real source of sun exposure for most, particularly during the warm and hot months of the year. Awnings, table covers, cabanas, and other outdoor structures that provide roof shading will help you and your loved ones keep the backyard and outdoor fun while also helping you stay clear of sun damage. It is worth considering how to increase the available shade at you next outdoor event.

Plan Your Adventures

Cutting sunlight out of your life is unrealistic. Avoiding the sun altogether is not a healthy plan of action to combat UV damage. However, you can help manage the risks you do take by taking the time of day into account and considering the position of the sun. If you like to exercise outdoors perhaps choose a time early in the morning or in the early evening when the sun is not directly over you. If you are someone who likes going out and being social, you may want to look for the nightlife in your area instead of relying on outdoor, daytime activities. No one will restructure their life to avoid sunlight, but remembering other options and changing up your plans is realistic.

Final Thoughts

UV rays occur both naturally and artificially. There are some sources that can be avoided, but ultraviolet radiation is not something that can be fully avoided by any of us. No matter where it comes from this kind of radiation can have caustic effects on both the health and appearance of your skin if the exposure happens often or for long periods of time. Prioritizing your skin health by taking the necessary precautions against UV damage will help give your skin the support it needs to repair the incidental damages that may be done while you’re out living your life.

Want to Learn More?

Did learning about how UV rays affect the skin interest you? If you have a passion for skincare, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  Our Esthiology Diploma Program is designed to be completed in under 5 months (600 clock hours) with full-time enrollment.  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.

*Completion time for this program is defined by 35 hours per week.

MSC and KLASS Cosmetics Give Back to The Women of Nations Eagle’s Nest Shelter

Written by: Lindsey Cooley, Campus Director, Minnesota School of Cosmetology-Woodbury

This September, Minnesota School of Cosmetology offered the clients from Women of Nations Eagle’s Nest Shelter complimentary pedicures and haircuts.  The women had wonderful experiences getting pampered!  While the Eagles Nest Shelter clients received their services at MSC, KLASS Cosmetics was proud to present a donation to them through their KLASS ACT Foundation. 

KLASS ACT Foundation

KLASS Cosmetics is the first in the industry to provide a full-time charitable “Give Back” program known as KLASS ACT.  For every purchase, the KLASS ACT Foundation donates an additional item to an organization that sponsors women in need. This charitable giving allows those who may not be able to afford luxury to experience a luxury product. 

The KLASS ACT Foundation provided cosmetic products totaling $1600 in value. This giveback was earned by MSC’s KLASS Cosmetics purchases. The students at Minnesota School of Cosmetology utilize KLASS Cosmetics during their educational experience.

Women of Nations-Eagle’s Nest Shelter

The Women of Nations Eagle’s Nest Shelter is an American Indian emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence.  They provide a 24 hour crisis line, safe and confidential housing, parenting and support groups, Talking Circles, legal and systems advocacy, transportation to legal, medical and other appointments, social activities, and referrals to other agencies when needed. Services for children include school registration, counseling, childcare, and community education presentations.

About Klass Cosmetics

The KLASS Cosmetics line was founded in 2014 by salon professionals for salons.  Headquartered in Hudson, WI, the KLASS Cosmetics line was developed to meet their customers’ expectations and desires for the ideal cosmetic and skin care products.  KLASS Cosmetics contains natural, paraben-free ingredients and is infused with essential vitamins to provide healthy and youthful looking skin with sun protection, anti-aging formula and hypoallergenic ingredients. 

Try KLASS Cosmetics for Yourself

You have the opportunity to help others in your community and enjoy luxury cosmetics, just like MSC did, by purchasing KLASS products.  KLASS Cosmetics are available at the KLASS retail store at 155 S 2nd St, Hudson, WI or online at klasscosmetics.com.

The Minnesota School of Cosmetology carries KLASS Cosmetics, call 651-432-4635 to schedule a makeup application appointment to experience the luxurious KLASS products! 

Beach Chic 101: Everything You Need to Create Effortless, Summer Beauty Styles

Written By: Meesa OShanka

Cosmetology Instructor MSC Woodbury

We’ve finally arrived!  It’s time for fun in the sun and ice-cold beverages while we lather up with sunscreen for the next few months of summer.  While we crave the sun during our long Minnesotan winters, we also must refine our summer beauty routine to meet our busy schedules.  Here are some tips and tricks If you’re looking for a fun beachy look without spending hours getting ready.

Summer Beauty Must-Haves: Tinted Moisturizer

Tinted moisturizer is your BFF for the easiest summer beauty looks!  Tinted moisturizer gives you all the benefits of a sheer coverage foundation.  It’s lightweight and easy to apply with either a blender sponge or your fingertips.  The best part about tinted moisturizers is that they have your skin protection built right in.  Most tinted moisturizers will come with broad spectrum SPF 15 or higher to keep your skin protected while you’re out and about.

Summer Beauty Eye Makeup

To give yourself the effortless summer-ready eye look go for lighter neutral colors like coppers and browns like the ones found in the Urban Decay Naked Palettes.  Top it off with some dark brown liner to define your lash line and lastly let’s not forget a glossing mascara to complete your eye look. 

If you have oily skin or sweat-prone, you will want to make sure you are using a face and eye primer to lock in your looks. Don’t be afraid to add a little shimmer to your eyeshadow either because if the sun is shining, so are you!

Beachy Waves: The Summer Style Essential

For a quick and easy tousled beachy look grab yourself a salt spray for your hair.  Big Sexy Surfrider, Wella’s EIMI Ocean Spritz or Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray are some popular options for getting beach waves.  Professional styling products will give you the look of having just come out of the ocean without all that actual ocean salt on your colorful locks.  

Salt spray is easy to use.  After shampooing and conditioning your hair, towel dry and spritz a generous amount of your texture spray on to your hair.  Scrunch it up a bit in your hands and let air dry.

Pool-Ready Summer Beauty Picks

Spending extra time at the pool this summer? If you’re loving your time in pools treated with chlorine, you’ll want to take extra steps to ensure your hair is cared for. Here are a few tips that you can use to care both colored and natural hair to make sure your hair is in tip-top shape:

  • Use a leave-in conditioner: Leave-in conditioner provides a barrier that can help to protect your hair from the chlorine exposure in pools. There are leave-in conditioners designed specifically for swimmers and chlorine-exposed strands, like the Ion Swimmer’s Leave-in Conditioner.
  • Keep your blonde hair shining: Noticing your fair hair is taking on a greenish tint? Light haired colors may turn green when you’re in chlorine because copper is oxidized in the chlorine. Keep your hair bright and pure by using special swimmer shampoo, conditioners and purifying treatments like the Malibu Swimmers line.

Don’t Forget the Sunscreen

The last thing you’ll need for your beach look is sunscreen.  With the weather getting hotter and all of us craving that Vitamin D time make sure that you take time out of the day to put on some sunscreen to protect your beautiful skin. Sun protection is important to protect our skin from signs of premature aging and reduces the risk of skin cancer.

What Kind of Protection Do You Need?

So what should you be looking for in a sunscreen? First of all, when choosing a sunscreen always look for the words “broad spectrum”. Broad Spectrum sunscreens protect from both UVA and UVB rays while you’re out being a social butterfly.  Go for a minimum of SPF 30 and remember to reapply your sunscreen every couple of hours for best results.

Want to learn how to create easy and effortless beauty styles? Contact us today to learn about our Cosmetology and Esthiology programs.

MSC Honored for Commitment to Military Community

Friday, June 14th is the United States’ observation of Flag Day. This holiday is intended to celebrate the adoption of the iconic national flag. In honor of Flag Day 2019, Minnesota School of Cosmetology-Woodbury was presented with a framed American flag from a group of U.S. veterans.

Kenneth Beale and Minnesota School of Cosmetology Woodbury Campus Director, Lindsay Cooley
Kenneth Beale and Minnesota School of Cosmetology Woodbury Campus Director, Lindsay Cooley

The flag, presented by Kenneth Beale, Jr Chaplain (Colonel-Ret., U.S. Army) hangs proudly in our Woodbury campus. Kenneth has high praises for Minnesota School of Cosmetology, saying:

“Since retiring from the U.S. Army where barber shops are on every installation, I found it necessary to find a civilian location to get my haircut. And because I no longer had to groom according to military regulations, I was interested in finding a hairstylist that could help me find that new look.  I found just that at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology in Woodbury.  Not only did I find professional service, but free haircuts for veterans every Wednesday.  I’ve gotten my haircut there ever since 2012.  I highly recommend this school to all my comrades-in-arms and fellow citizens.”

Inscription on U.S. flag plaque reads: "Presented by grateful U.S. Veterans to MN School of Cosmetology-Woodbury for the countless free haircuts you've provided service members over the year."
Inscription of U.S. flag plaque at MSC-Woodbury.

Commitment to Our Community

Kenneth’s statement resonates with Minnesota School of Cosmetology’s dedication to our communities and support of the United States Armed Forces. In the past, Minnesota School of Cosmetology has celebrated Military Spouse Appreciation Day. Both Minnesota School of Cosmetology campuses offer free military haircuts on Wednesdays. In addition to military services, our campuses also offer discounts and coupons to the general public.

Massage Therapy for Stress Relief

Written by Lori Lucas, Front Desk Assistant MSC-Plymouth

Stress affects most of our lives.  Most of us are looking for ways to ways to reduce to amount of stress we experience. Massage is a good place to start, and helps release tension in your body. Regular massage promotes a stress management plan and can lead to healthier outcomes.

Woman receiving massage for stress relief

How to Heal Your Body After a Breakup

Finding happiness after a relationship ends isn’t just about healing your broken heart.  Your body feels the physical effects of a breakup, too.  Rejection physically affects different parts of our bodies.  Emotional pain activates the same pathways in the brain that physical pain does. ­

There are a lot of complex physiological changes in your body after a breakup, and most them are due to raised cortisol levels in your body.  Cortisol is the “stress hormone” and it’s released in much higher levels during major life changes.  This is a good time to learn how to learn how to deal with stress.

What is the Best Type of Massage for Stress Relief?

There are many forms of massage, including Swedish, deep tissue, sports, reflexology and trigger point. Each type of massage has benefits for stress relief, but vary in method.

Swedish Massage

Swedish massages should always be done in a calm and relaxing environment so that the client is able to relax. Because long, gliding strokes are often required to perform the massage properly, oil is often used in conjunction with the hand movements. Essential oils have many different beneficial properties on their own and becoming familiar with each is important when becoming a massage therapist.

Deep Tissue Massage

Likewise, deep tissue massage is similar to Swedish massage, but the massage therapist applies more pressure. The massage therapist focuses on the deepest layers of the muscle to release tension in the muscle tissue and tendons.

Trigger Point Massage

Trigger point massage consists of rubbing and pressing on trigger points. These trigger points are knots in soft tissue, or micro-cramps. Knots are common around injuries, and are often found in the back and neck.

Sports Massage

As the name implies, sports massage targets athletes of all sports. Massage therapists should understand their clients needs, so they can tailor their appointment correctly to relieve stress, tension, and pain.


In contrast, Reflexology applies pressure on the hands and feet to improve circulation, release tension, and promote health. People who suffer from stress, tension headaches, migraines, arthritis, sports injuries, and multiple sclerosis may benefit from reflexology.

Some forms use oils and others use warm stone to release tension and promote relaxation.

Stress Affects More Than Just Your Mind

It’s linked to headaches, fatigue, stomach problems, and difficulty sleeping. When you receive a relaxing massage you’ll be doing your body a favor.

Massage is the Perfect Way to Lift Your Mood

Are you feeling anxious or depressed or having trouble relaxing? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Whatever effect stress has on your mood, a massage is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable ways to let your daily stress simply disappear.

Relieving Stress Can Make it Easier to Meet Your Other Goals

Research has shown that massage therapy can help you manage the pain and stress of chronic health issues, including joint pain, sports injuries, soft tissue injuries, digestive disorders, and even hard to manage conditions like fibromyalgia. 

Massage Therapy Can Lead to a Healthier Heart

Research shows that regular massage helps lower blood pressure and heart rate.  Whether you’re working to be healthier, or trying to stay in shape, massage is a powerful tool to help you reach your goals.

So go out, enjoy life and get regular massages! 

Massage is safe when done by a trained therapist. Individuals who have chronic pain disorders or other medical conditions that involve musculoskeletal system should consult with their physician before receiving regular massage therapy.

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 13 months with full time enrollment. 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 hairstylist and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

MSC Partners With KLASS Cosmetics

Written By: Meesa OShanka

Makeup means something different for everyone.  Some people like to keep it natural with just a little gloss and some mascara.  Others might like taking it a little bit further with some eyeliner and some brow filler.  You might even be so bold as to make your lips glitter and wing out your liner like Amy Winehouse. The point is that makeup is a way to express yourself, no matter how much or how little you use.  A variety of products exist, and brands are always coming up with new and innovative things in the way of makeup.  Bold lips and dramatic eyes are not just for the runway now.  You can delve into the world of drugstore cosmetics, natural cosmetics and luxury cosmetics.

KLASS Cosmetics display at MSC Campus

Earlier this year Minnesota School of Cosmetology started a partnership with KLASS Cosmetics as a way to find a good quality makeup line for the Esthiology and Cosmetology programs.  KLASS Cosmetics is a local company headquartered in Hudson, Wisconsin. 

Both Minnesota School of Cosmetology campuses in Woodbury and Plymouth, Minnesota have KLASS Cosmetics showroom displays. Students pursuing Esthiology or Cosmetology receive a full airbrush kit and access to the KLASS display. By using these displays, students work towards meeting their salon board quotas for the state.

Range of Cosmetics

The cool thing about KLASS Cosmetics is that all of their makeup and skincare products are created with natural ingredients and contain no parabens. The liquid makeup products are all moderate coverage and easily blendable as they glide right onto the skin.  The powder varieties are all incredibly silky and melt into your skin for a flawless complexion.  The cream and powder shadows give a great color payoff with very little fallout making it easy for application to achieve any eye look you desire.  With a variety of different eyeliners your options are endless whether you choose a sharp winged look or just a fine line to accent your lashline. 

To finish off your look you can choose from 4 different lip products to fit your desired look: gloss, plumping gloss, liquid matte lipstick or shine lipstick.  They are all velvety and hydrating on the lips.

Beauty With Values

KLASS Cosmetics stands out for a couple different reasons.  In addition to being completely paraben free this cosmetics company has a partnership with PETA and their “Beauty without Bunnies” program.  This means the products are made in cruelty-free labs in the United States.  All the manufacturer’s standards are PETA approved.  With a current trend of vegan and cruelty-free items becoming more popular, especially in the beauty industry, clients are looking for more ethical products in their cosmetics and skincare routines. 

KLASS Act Program

KLASS also stands out for their KLASS ACT program.  This program founded by KLASS Cosmetics COO and President Nick Raehsler gives back to women of domestic violence and sexual abuse. For every purchase made the KLASS ACT foundation will donate an additional item to organizations to help women in need.  Their website commitment mentions, “We believe, at the heart of our business, that charitable giving extends beyond monetary donations. We have chosen to spread love through KLASS ACT by gifting products to charities that empower women who are victims of domestic or sexual abuse, serious illness, and poverty. “Buy One, Give One …and share the gifts of joy and beauty.” KLASS is a pioneer in a cosmetics company “giving back.”  They are truly paving the way for great things.

Have One of These 5 Health Conditions? See a Massage Therapist

Client in spa recieiving massage for health problems

Massages aren’t just for those seeking an escape from the day-to-day demands of life. While the health benefits of bodywork have been known to many for some time, more recently massage therapy has become a respected and relied-upon remedy in the traditional medical community.  Today, it’s not uncommon to see massage therapists working alongside doctors, nurses, and other providers as part of a patient’s treatment plan.

Stress and pain relief may immediately come to mind when thinking of conditions that may benefit from massage therapy. Here is a look at a few others.

Massage Therapy and High Blood Pressure

The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) offers a number of resources to its member therapists, including links to research about the health benefits of massage. Among them is improved cardiovascular health. For instance, AMTA cites a study from the International Journal of Preventative Medicine which concluded that getting Swedish massage regularly is a safe, effective way to help decrease blood pressure in women with hypertension. Since high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, managing this condition is crucial to overall health.

Massage Therapy and Dementia

AMTA also reported that massage therapy can aid aging adults in many ways, from easing aches and pains to providing stress relief. But perhaps the greatest benefit of all is human touch. Older adults, especially those with dementia, often feel lonely and isolated. Massage Magazine explains that massage therapy can help improve the quality of life for dementia patients. The magazine suggests five- to ten-minute hand massages as being particularly effective in making patients feel better physically as well as in decreasing anxiety. The calming nature of massage can thus lead to better relations between caregivers and patient during routines.

Massage Therapy and Cancer

Massage Magazine reported that massage therapy is effective for cancer patients experiencing neuropathy—a condition whose symptoms are weakening, numbness, or pain, usually in hands or feet. Research from the National Cancer Institute revealed that many patients stop their cancer treatment due to chemotherapy-induced neuropathy. Oncology massage, for this reason, has grown in popularity to help patients cope with the side effects of some cancer treatments, such as fatigue, pain, or nausea.

Massage Therapy and Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects a body’s nervous system, causing pain, muscular coordination problems, and sometimes anxiety and depression. Massage therapy, more specifically neuromuscular massage, can increase bloodflow to muscles, which softens tissues and can ease pain. Massage therapist Nancy Porambo told US News and World Report the reduced rigidity after massage gives the sympathetic nervous system a break, “which is rejuvenating and allows the body to heal.”

Massage Therapy and Gastrointestinal Issues

From time to time, people experience constipation due to diet or gastrointestinal conditions. Over-the-counter remedies such as laxatives can provide relief for this condition. However, massage can also aid here. The International Journal of Nursing Studies published research that shows abdominal massage was more effective in relieving constipation—and related pain and discomfort—than laxatives alone.  If someone is prone to backing up, regular massage can help regulate his or her system.

AMTA offers a printable PDF that lists even more health conditions that may benefit from massage therapy, including reducing arthritic pain, improving sleep, and relieving anxiety. As with any treatment, patients or their family should check with a doctor first to make sure this option is safe.

Did this information interest you in becoming a massage therapist? 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 13 months with full time enrollment. 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 wellness industry.

Halloween at Minnesota School of Cosmetology

Halloween at Minnesota School of Cosmetology

At Minnesota School of Cosmetology campuses, cosmetology students scared up a good time decorating their mannequins for the campus Halloween Mannequin Contest. Both campuses are celebrating Halloween in their own way, making sure it is fabulous every step of the way.

MSC-Plymouth's winner for Halloween mannequin contest
MSC-Plymouth’s winner for Halloween mannequin contest, designed by student Michela Wahl.

From scary to stunning, Minnesota School of Cosmetology students unleashed their creativity to showcase their cosmetology talents. Students used nail polish, implements, Halloween décor, florals and styling products to create their styles. Voting was open to all students at their respective campus. Mannequins were voted on by MSC students, with winners announced the week of Halloween.

Winners at the Plymouth campus received a Moroccan Oil carry-on bag filled with goodies. Goodies include a Wet Brush drier and brushes and a Colortrak Balayage Kit. The bag also included cosmetology essentials including hair pins and products from American Crew, Nioxin, Big Sexy Hair, Eufora, Redken and Keune. Winners at the Woodbury campus are yet to be announced.

In addition to mannequin contests, Minnesota School of Cosmetology-Woodbury had a Halloween door decorating contest. Drawing inspiration from their favorite Halloween movies or scary scenes, students used art supplied to transform the campus.

Trick or Treat at MSC

Minnesota School of Cosmetology-Plymouth and Minnesota School of Cosmetology-Woodbury are hosting Trick or Treat Minnesota School of Cosmetology-Woodbury Halloween Door Decorevents. Both Halloween events are on Wednesday, October 31st from 6:30PM-8:00PM at their respective campuses. Families are welcome to trick or treat through the campus and make their rounds at stations or “doors” on campus. For more information on Trick or Treating at MSC, please visit our Facebook page.

Want to Learn More?

Inspired by our cosmetology student’s creativity? 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. We keep our class sizes small to make sure you get the individualized instruction you need and attention you deserve. You will graduate with everything you need to be a versatile artist in an exciting industry, including a cosmetology diploma from a respected college.

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

Making A Career Change to Massage Therapy

Making a career change is never an easy decision. When you have wonderful mentors and peers encourage you, the journey becomes a breeze.

LeAnn Balmanno is a recent Massage Therapist graduate who made a career change that changed her life forever. LeAnn made the decision in early 2018 to

Massage Therapy graduate
LeAnn Balmanno, Massage Therapist graduate of June 2018

follow her dreams. While working as a Guest Service Media Coordinator at John Joseph Salon, she became familiar with the massage therapist on site and wanted to learn more.  LeAnn would always tell her fellow co-workers that she was interested in massage therapy, but was told she was too outgoing and bubbly to be in the field.  For the longest time LeAnn believed them, but she didn’t give up. LeAnn wanted to make a change in other people’s lives to make them feel great about themselves.

Researching Massage Therapy Schools

Once LeAnn decided to take the first step to become a massage therapist, it was time to research schools. That is where the Minnesota School of Cosmetology came in. LeAnn visited an open house at our Plymouth location and fell in love. The atmosphere, the course hours and, most importantly, the instructor, Diana Oberg made LeAnn’s decision easy. When you find a school that can make your new career change easier, you know you will excel at what you love.

Transforming Lives as a Massage Therapist

“I truly love helping people and I love how each person has a different style when it comes to the way they massage. It is a very creative job that can change people’s lives for the better and I am so proud to be a massage therapist,” says LeAnn.

LeAnn was employed before graduating from the program. She now enjoys working her dream job at The Woodhouse Day Spa in Maple Grove. LeAnn also received her license through the city of Maple Grove to help her career expand when she is ready.

“MSC was more than a school for me, it changed not only my life but my family’s life as well.”

– LeAnn Balmanno, Minnesota School of Cosmetology-Massage Therapist graduate of June 2018.