Top 5 Reasons to Become a Massage Therapist

Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC) adds a massage therapy program to both of their locations in Woodbury and Plymouth. Both campuses are currently enrolling for the first start date of February 5, 2018.

Are you considering going back to school to become a massage therapist? If so, learn more about our massage therapy program with these five reasons you may want to check out this rewarding career field.

  1. Help others:

Massage therapists provide an invaluable service to people who are in pain, recovering from injuries, or experiencing stress.

“I was attracted to medicine and how the body works but did not want to go the traditional route. I felt massage was a good way to pursue the healing arts, it met my need to help others and I did not have to go to medical school,” said Minnesota School of Cosmetology Massage Therapy Program Dean, Denise Radcliffe.

  1. Get into the industry right away:

Our short-term massage therapy program is designed to be completed in as little as 5 months (700 clock hours). Students will gain a fundamental understanding of how the body works as well as how to manage and grow their personal massage business.

“The goal of our program is to ensure that our graduates will have gained the skills necessary to be employed in their chosen career field right away,” said Denise.

  1. Massage therapy is an in demand career field:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Employment of massage therapists is projected to grow 24 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Continued growth in the demand for massage services will lead to new openings for massage therapists.

  1. Work in a relaxing environment:

Students in our massage therapy program will experience a clinic setting by performing massage on clients, creating a healing environment with the proper ambiance for a relaxing experience not only for the client, but for the massage therapist, too.

“Massage does so much more than the physical aspect, it touches the mental and spiritual aspects as well. It is a holistic approach to wellness and relaxation,” said Denise.

  1. Be you own boss:

A large percentage of massage therapists are self-employed or they have to generate their own clientele. Many work out of their homes or travel to clients’ homes. Therefore, it’s important to not only know the techniques within massage therapy, but the business aspect as well.

In addition to learning about the various massage techniques, anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology, this program will also educate students in the business aspects of the massage therapy industry

“Massage is a good choice for you if you view massage as helping people, beneficial to the client (relieves pain, etc.) and you enjoy a challenge by listening to the client and creating a treatment plan to meet their goal,” said Denise. “Massage therapist are more than just bodyworkers, they are listeners, creators, problem solvers and promotors.”

Click here to learn more about our massage therapy program.

Employer Spotlight: Great Clips

Great Clips has been around for 35 years, has 145 locations in the metro, 4200 across the country, and has competitive training and wages, room for advancement and management positions.

Kristin Hoogheem, Great Clips Liaison

Great Clips has been working with the Minnesota School of Cosmetology for years and they have hired many of our graduates. They also provide a school liaison named Kristin Hoogheem. She is always staying engaged with the students and graduates at all times, according to Minnesota School of Cosmetology’s Campus Director, Jill Hocking.

“She attends our graduation ceremonies and brings gifts for every graduate, she pops into campus and brings flowers at graduation clock outs, she substitutes at Minnesota School of Cosmetology as needed, they attend our fashion shows and career fairs, they bring our students additional education seminars, they offers full benefits, competitive wages and additional compensation on top of hourly wage,” said Jill.

Windy McGuire, Minnesota School of Cosmetology graduate, is currently employed at Great Clips, and shares that she couldn’t be happier with where she is in life.

“I thought I wanted focus on color at a full-service salon, but after working at Great Clips and seeing that I don’t need to find my own clientele and still I’m still able to make a lot of money, I decided that Great Clips was where I wanted to begin my career,” said Windy. “I have been completely happy and impressed with both my schooling at Minnesota School of Cosmetology and my career at Great Clips!”

Minnesota School of Cosmetology graduate, Jessica Castillo, who also works at Great Clips shares how she loved going to Minnesota School of Cosmetology.

“The teachers were very caring and did everything they could to help you be successful. All of the product knowledge we got was fantastic and I won’t forget it! Now working at Great Clips, I’m very happy. I’m making a living and wouldn’t imagine anything to be different,” said Jessica.

Click here to learn more about Minnesota School of Cosmetology and why you should choose us to turn your passion into your profession.

Halloween Makeup Tips & Tricks

Halloween is right around the corner and you may be in need of some spooktacular makeup ideas to complete your costume. Minnesota School of Cosmetology Admissions Representatives, Nicole Linscheid and Sonya Stelmachuk hosted a Halloween Open House where they shared some tips and tricks to either gorify your look or quickly put something together to complete your look.

Gore Makeup: 

  1. Using a toothpick makes it easy to create tears in the Latex
  2. Use different colors such as purple or yellow creating a “bruised” effect
  3. Let the blood drip a little to create more of that “fresh blood” look

Click below to watch how to get this look:

Quick Halloween Look: 

  1. A cat or bunny is easy to create with some black eye liner, and white or pink  shadow
  2. Cat – just paint a nose and some whickers
  3. Rabbit- heart on the nose drawn on with black liner, fill in with some pink and create some whiskers
  4. Grab some cat ears or bunny ears and your good to go!

Have a spooktacular Halloween everyone, from the Minnesota School of Cosmetology!

Click here to learn more about our cosmetology program as well as the advanced techniques our students learn. 


Making Dreams Come True: Brandon’s Story

Brandon with Woodbury student, Elizabeth Sanchez.

Minnesota School of Cosmetology invites Brandon, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder called trisomy 18, also known as Edwards syndrome, to shadow students every other week at the Woodbury campus to learn more about the cosmetology industry.

Brandon first visited the campus as a client with his mother Natalie where he expressed his dream of becoming a cosmetologist. Brandon’s mom reached out to Minnesota School of Cosmetology’s Campus Director, Jill Hocking, and came up with the idea of allowing him to come to campus every other week to learn new skills from the students.

“I love fashion, doing hair, makeup and polishing nails,” said Brandon. “I’m really happy to be here!”

One employee who stopped by to say hello shared how happy he is when he is on campus. “He was just moving around the mannequin, blow drying like he was a famous hair stylist.”

Brandon’s Story:

Brandon’s genetic defect has caused him to have a cleft lip and palate, growth retardation, and he has had to have multiple surgeries to reconstruct his ear canals and he wears a hearing aid. He also had to get growth hormone shots for many years because he was not growing and was way under the normal percentile for his age. The doctors said Brandon would never talk, crawl or walk.

Brandon’s mom dedicated her life to him. According to Natalie, the doctors and social workers said that they thought she should give Brandon to foster care because he was not going to live long. It was at this exact moment in time, that his father walked out of the hospital and left her there alone.

“I told them no. I said that if Brandon was going to die he would die with me,” said Natalie. “I taught him how to crawl and also to walk. He has had many surgeries on his mouth and ears. On one occasion he stopped breathing when they were putting him to sleep and he almost died. He was in ICU for 2 weeks connected to multiple machines.”

“I’m very thankful to you guys for accepting him and making him feel so special. Sincerely, thank you!” said Brandon’s mom.

About Trisomy 18:

According to U.S. National Library of Medicine, trisomy 18, also called Edwards syndrome, is a chromosomal condition associated with abnormalities in many parts of the body. Individuals with trisomy 18 often have slow growth before birth (intrauterine growth retardation) and a low birth weight. Affected individuals may have heart defects and abnormalities of other organs that develop before birth. Other features of trisomy 18 include a small, abnormally shaped head; a small jaw and mouth; and clenched fists with overlapping fingers. Due to the presence of several life-threatening medical problems, many individuals with trisomy 18 die before birth or within their first month. Five to 10 percent of children with this condition live past their first year, and these children often have severe intellectual disability.

Connecting Community & Cosmetology: 

Minnesota School of Cosmetology is looking into having more aspiring community members with disabilities shadow students at our campus to learn more about the cosmetology industry. If you or someone you know is interested please contact Jill Hocking, campus director at

Ms. Jeannine Hinton Scholarship Recipient: Christine Pommerening

Minnesota School of Cosmetology is pleased to announce Christine Pommerening with the Ms. Jeannine Hinton Scholarship.

Christine has always been intrigued by makeup and hair since she was young. Her baby dolls and Barbies were her first clients. When her grandmother gave her money for Christmas she spent it on an industry standard cosmetology doll where she practiced her skills and updo’s from YouTube Tutorials.

“It has always been a dream of mine to learn all the skills needed to do many more hairstyles, haircuts, color, and makeup techniques at a cosmetology school,” said Christine. “I have had to pinch myself to be sure that going to Minnesota School of Cosmetology is really happening this fall.”

Sadly, Christine’s mom was diagnosed with a rare lung disease and has always worked hard to ensure Christine had everything she ever needed and more.

“She is totally my inspiration,” said Christine. “This scholarship would be such a blessing to my family.”

According to Christine, less than 100 people have been diagnosed with her mom’s condition and still that does not stop her from working full-time and giving back to the community. Many of their weekends are spent volunteering for various causes and it’s something that they do together since Christine was just little.

“These experiences that I have had with my mother have instilled a desire and a passion to utilize my skills gained from the Minnesota School of Cosmetology to give back and help others. I look forward to a day when I can pay this great opportunity forward by offering up my services at least one day a year to those who are unable to afford a haircut for a job interview or a full makeup application for their senior portraits,” said Christine.

Congratulations Christine! We are excited to have such an inspiring student start with us and we know you will do great things will your education!

Fall Classes Start: October 16, 2017

What is the Miss Jeanine Hinton Scholarship?

Ms. Jeanine Hinton was a Minnesota School of Cosmetology-Woodbury Basic’s instructor for 23 years.  She devoted 23 years of her life to teaching, mentoring and coaching Minnesota School of Cosmetology students, not only technical skills but also life skills. She was passionate about seeing Minnesota School of Cosmetology students grow to become successful Cosmetologists and beauty industry leaders. This annual scholarship is her way of continuing to support our future of beauty industry professionals.

To apply, applicants submitted an essay sharing their story, including why they want to be a professional in the beauty industry, what inspired them to choose cosmetology as their career field and their long-term goals in the industry. As an added requirement to set the recipient up for success, upon starting school they must maintain 85 percent attendance or higher.

Graduate Performs ‘Man Makeover’ on Twin Cities Live

Holly Kleshold’s, Minnesota School of Cosmetology alum.

“Want it more than you’re afraid of it”, is one of Holly Kleshold’s, graduate from Minnesota School of Cosmetology, favorite quotes and something she reminds herself of every day.

Holly’s journey started seven years ago when she decided to enroll at Minnesota School of Cosmetology. Little did she know, that was probably the best decision she ever made, according to Holly.

“I enjoyed my time at Minnesota School of Cosmetology, I was in the evening program, as I worked full-time during the day. That was the first thing that prepared me for the real world,” said Holly. “I also had to work two jobs my first year in the industry.”

She has been at working at Simonson’s Salon & Spa for more than four years now where she works 30-35 hours a week. Her current income at Simonson’s exceeds what she used to make working two jobs, 70 plus hours a week, according to Holly.

Holly on Twin Cities Live: 

I am so thankful for the opportunities given to me through Simonson’s. We have consistent education, to keep current with trends and we are also partnered with/the official salon of Twin Cities Live (TCL). They do segments every few weeks featuring different services we offer.

Holly’s Man Makeover on Jim on Twin Cities Live.

I was asked to do an on screen men’s makeover for the show, I was so excited but incredibly nervous at the same time. We shot the segment at the salon, with the hosts and a one man camera crew. We focused on waxing, men’s color and cut.

Jim was my model, very nice guy, with a mustache that hadn’t been shaved in over 20 years. We waxed his brows, ears and nose, blended his gray hair and gave him a much needed, updated haircut. Last but not least, Jim shaved his mustache. He looked at least ten years younger and I could tell he felt great, he had that genuine smile, a sure sign of a happy client.

Click here to watch Holly’s Segment on Twin Cities Live. 

Holly’s Experience at Minnesota School of Cosmetology:

My time at Minnesota School of Cosmetology was inspiring, exciting, overwhelming at times. There were many times where I questioned if I was right for this industry, but this industry has helped me discover who I really am. Also, my instructors pushed me to get out of my comfort zone which, I think, is the key to growth.

I am continually faced with challenges, because every client is different and has different needs. However, that’s what I love about my job. I love that I can make people feel good about themselves and in turn they make me feel good about myself. It is amazing how one client can turn your whole day around.

When I graduated five years ago from Minnesota School of Cosmetology, never in a million years did I think I would be teaching people to do the things I struggled with nor would I have ever imagined I would be on television, but hard work and stepping out of your comfort zone sure do pay off.

I am so thankful for the opportunities that I have been given and will go in to every day with an open heart and mind. How rewarding it is to be a part of this ever changing industry. I am so thankful I decided to take my first steps at Minnesota School of Cosmetology.


How Dehydration Affects Your Hair & Skin

Staying hydrated is important for optimal health for your entire body including your hair and skin.

The average adult human body is about 60 percent water. Skin alone contains 63 percent water. Water is required for our cells to transport nutrients and minerals throughout our bodies.

When you don’t drink enough water, you become dehydrated. Dehydration prevents your body from eliminating toxins through your skin, which in turn makes your skin more susceptible to skin problems and disorders, such as dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, discoloration, and even premature wrinkling. Assuming these issues were caused by dehydration, they can be improved over time with proper hydration, according to WebMD.

According to Dr. Julian Seifter, a kidney specialist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, healthy people should get 30 to 50 ounces of water per day (about 1 to 1.5 liters), but not all at once.

Tips to stay hydrated:

  • Drink a lot of water (30-50 ounces per day)
  • Eat water dense foods such as fruit
  • Drink coconut water to replace lost electrolytes when you sweat
  • Stay away from salt

Recommended Products to Hydrate Hair & Skin:

“My favorite in the summer is the Dermalogica’s Ultra Calming Mist. Spray a mist on a hot summer day to feel instantly refreshed,” said Minnesota School of Cosmetology’s Campus Director, Jill Hocking. “I would also recommend the Skin Hydrating Masque, a refreshing, moisturizing masque to remedy dry stressed skin. Acid traps moisture to deliver time-released hydration for lasting suppleness.”

Take advantage of our Hydration Package for only $25. Valid until Friday, June 30, 2017.

MSC Grad Places Third in Junior Style Star Competition

Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC) graduate, Mukhayyo (Maya) Tursunova placed third at the Junior Style Stars National Hair Competition in the High-Fashion Updo division.

Maya’s High-Fashion Updo.

“We are so proud of Maya!” said Jill Hocking, MSC campus director. “She is a very talented hairstylist and we knew she would thrive in this competition.”

A mannequin was shipped to each competitors school and under strict instructor supervision the competitors had to style their mannequin with a high-fashion updo. Once complete, the competitors were required to submit 5 photos to Junior Style Stars to be judged:  One front (with competition number showing), one back, one left side, one right side and Signature photo. (See photo)

About Junior Style Stars:

Junior Style Stars allows all students, regardless of location, to compete on a completely level playing field, void of all the usual politics. Each competitor competes on the identical mannequin and receives the same photography. All work must be done at the competitor’s beauty school under strict instructor supervision. Judging is done via the internet. There are safeguards in place to insure total honesty.

“Thank you and congratulations on your student making it into the TOP 10 of the Junior Style Stars competition!” said Junior Style Stars Vice President of Operations, Heather Chaffin. “This is an amazing accomplishment!”

MSC Advanced Techniques:

Having the right hairstyle to compliment the art you’ve created is a must! You will receive plenty of experience in mastering the art of hairstyling on a wide range of hair types. MSC has a busy and diverse clinic floor, which allows you to get the vital real-world, hands-on experience you need to be successful in the industry. Some of the hairstyling techniques you’ll learn include:

  • Era-specific styling methods
  • Up-do’s
  • Specialty perm wraps
  • Quick styling methods
  • Celebrity look-alikes
  • Marcel irons
  • Braiding
  • Sew-ins
  • Extensions
  • Weaves
  • Relaxers

Click here to learn more about MSC’s Advanced Techniques.

5 Reasons You Should Get a Cosmetology Diploma

From personal to professional, there are many reasons to get a cosmetology diploma

If you want to work in a fun environment, love staying current on the latest trends in beauty, and have a passion for helping people look and feel their best, getting a cosmetology diploma is a great first step.

Still worried that it may not be right for you? Fear not! Read on to find out why getting a cosmetology diploma is an awesome pathway toward a fulfilling career.

You love it!

The old saying is true: If you love what you do, you never have to work.

Salon time can be super fun: hanging with your girlfriends, getting ready for prom or a wedding, or just relaxing and receiving a skin treatment. If you enjoy your time at the salon, why not be a part of it?

But you can’t go from cutting your niece’s hair to raking in tips at your own chair in a salon. You need training. And that’s where the cosmetology diploma comes in.

A good cosmetology school will teach you how to cut, color and style hair, provide spa treatments and apply facials, and give manicures and pedicures. Those in the beauty industry can find enjoyment in their work as they help people feel good inside and out, but they need proper schooling first.

You’ll learn things beyond beauty

Sure, going to cosmetology school will help you learn the latest industry trends and how to translate those looks to your customers.

However, you’ll also learn about the business side of the industry: tracking your sales and productivity, how many guests you retain, interpersonal relations, customer service and other behind-the-scenes aspects of the field. These are the kinds of skills you’ll be able to apply to nearly any industry.

Some schools also utilize technology, such as iPads, in the classroom, giving you the chance to use the latest programs and applications as you learn cosmetology.

It’s a growing industry

You don’t want to be stuck with a diploma and find yourself without any job prospects after you graduate.

That’s what makes the field so intriguing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 10 percent growth rate for barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists from 2014 to 2024. The demand for special hair services has increased in recent years, a trend that is expected to continue over the next decade, according to the BLS.

There will be future openings as people retire or leave the profession for other gigs, and you can find salons in every area of the country. Many in the profession are also self-employed, which would let you set your own schedule.

There are many other career options

If you’re fascinated by the beauty industry but don’t see yourself working at a chair all day, there are other options you might not even be aware of. With the right education and experience, there are unique paths you can take in your career as a cosmetologist.


Industry publications and the companies that make beauty products need people who know about cosmetology and can write in an entertaining and informative way.

Sales rep

If you like meeting new people and are passionate about a particular line, being a sales rep might make sense. You’ll showcase products at trade shows and events, or going to salons and spas and demonstrate their benefits.

Sales consultant

In this role, you work for companies that want their lines sold at salons and spas. With your schooling and expertise, you’ll know what beauticians are looking for and be able to tell people why they should sell a certain product at their location.

Brand ambassador

At conferences and other events, you’ll be interacting directly with potential customers, giving out samples and generating excitement about beauty products.

These are just of the few opportunities you can find outside the traditional salon setting.

Do you want to own a salon?

If so, you’ll want an education in cosmetology. Many of those with experience in the beauty profession go on to open up their own salons.

If you’ve been working at a salon for a few years, you may come up with ideas for you own unique location. It can be thrilling and rewarding to be in charge and make the big decisions.

In this case, you should also consider whether getting a degree in business makes sense. There are schools that have specialized management programs related to the salon/spa industry.

As you can see, no matter what you want to do with your career, there are plenty of reasons to get that cosmetology diploma.


Alumni Spotlight: ‘Support and Education at MSC Led to Success’

When Betsy Schafer was looking for a cosmetology school, she said the friendly and welcoming environment was one of the reasons why she chose to attend Minnesota School of Cosmetology.

“Talking with the instructors, I was able to see that they were there for the students. The cost of the program, as well as what that consisted of, were also reasons why I chose MSC,” Betsy, cosmetology

Now more than eight years after graduation, she says the instructors still know her name. Betsy landed a job at Moxie Hair Salon in St. Paul just a few months after she graduated and is currently working there today.

Betsy has transitioned to a lead shift manager and said she loves the variety her career offers.

“I have had the opportunity to learn about the business aspects of the industry – everything from productivity, to inventory, to guest relations, to promotion creation, to training, and everything in between. There is a constant opportunity for education. I work with an amazing team, have built relationships with guests, share the same focus and values that Moxie has, and have enjoyed working with Arrojo,” she said.

Schafer credits her success to the support and education she received from instructors at MSC.

“There was constant support, guidance and motivation. I also appreciated the variety of product and color lines I was educated in. It allowed more of a range of opportunities following graduation, and made me better-rounded,” she said.

When she graduated, Schafer said she felt prepared and was looking forward to entering the beauty industry.

“Not everything will come easy, but keep your focus and have goals for yourself. Find your “WHY”: what brings you to work every day. Also, know there are SO many opportunities in the industry; so don’t limit yourself and your abilities,” Betsy said.