Hair Growth: A Hairstylist’s Guide

Woman with long hair, hair growth techniques

You know that you look gorgeous no matter what your current style is. There comes a time for many of us, however, that we are willing to put in the time and effort to leave our hair alone and let it grow. This is easier said than done. When you have a style goal in mind and your hair stops short of it, it can be tough to know what, if anything, you can do about it. Let’s take a look at how your hair grows, and some of the most common reasons it stops.

How Hair Grows

Knowing the basics of hair growth can help you better understand how your lifestyle and other factors impact the length and growth rate of your hair. Getting your locks to be as long as your heart desires can be challenging. The first step to identifying and addressing those specific factors is to gain a better understanding of your hair as it relates to your body.

All hair begins at the root as a cluster of protein cells at the bottom of the follicle. Blood from the many vessels in your scalp feed that root causing it to grow. As it begins to grow from the base, the follicle begins to extend upward and passes an oil gland before the shaft of your hair It is made up of then dead proteins and emerges from the surface of your scalp (the shaft of your hair is the part you can see, the follicle is what is below the surface). This continuing process of feeding and growth continues and causes the shaft of the hair to lengthen as the dead or inactive protein builds up through the skin.

Hair’s Life Cycle

Hair, no matter how healthy or long it is, has a life cycle. There comes a point when the follicle dies. The proteins are no longer feeding, and the shaft is no longer building or growing. When this happens the bulb of proteins at the root will shrivel inward away from the blood vessels of the scalp and will then break off or shed before a new follicle begins to form in its place.

Reasons Hair Growth Stops or Slows

There are a lot of different reasons that you may be having trouble growing out your hair. Some of them can be adjusted to improve your hair growth and increase your length. Others simply cannot be helped. It is difficult to know how to pinpoint what is the reason for your inhibited hair growth.

Keep a Journal

It is helpful to record or keep track the issues and challenges you’re having with your hair growth. Track things you’ve tried and any results you’ve had with various products and routines. Also keep an eye on your diet, exercise and stress levels.

This can be a great way for you to make informed decisions about your day-to-day haircare, but it can also be a great reference to discuss with your hairstylist the next time you go in for a trim or a treatment. The hairstylist might be able to make helpful suggestions or even rule out certain causes for your slow hair growth based on your information.

Here are some of the most common causes for why your hair stops growing and that could be contributing factors to your style setbacks.

Reason #1: Genetics

Unfortunately, this is the one that cannot be affected. Hair growth cycles can vary from person to person, based on nothing more than a difference in a specific set of genetics. Some people have hair that is genetically predisposed to stay in its growing phase for many, many years. Others have genetics that only allow for a couple of years at best before their hair naturally dies and sheds.

Hair Growth Cycles

Having a short hair cycle doesn’t mean that you or your hair are unhealthy. Think about your eye lashes and your eyebrows. They are shorter than the hair on your head because they naturally and genetically have a much shorter hair growth cycle. This is similar to the reasons that some people have naturally shorter hair that doesn’t seem to grow past a certain point no matter what they try.

Hormones and Hair Growth Patterns

Other genetic factors outside of your natural growth cycle can also play a roll. Hormonal fluctuations can contribute to hair growth. Hereditary conditions, phases of life and many other variables can play a role in stunted length that are outside our control. If you find you are struggling with any of these issues you might find it helpful to consult a professional hairstylist to see what kind of options, there are for your specific situation.

Reason #2: Damaged Scalp

Your scalp is the origin place of all your hair. The roots of your hairs rely on it for nutrients. This means that damage to your scalp can lead to a slowing in hair growth and can even cause premature hair death. If the blood vessels in your scalp become compromised in some way, it will be more difficult for them to feed your follicles. When there is a slow in flow of nutrients to the roots the growth within the follicle stops and there is no more dead protein built up to extend the shaft.

Dry Scalp and Hair Health

Your scalp can be damaged in any number of ways, but the most common would be dry scalp and dehydration. Even though the exterior of your scalp doesn’t directly interact with follicle growth it can still affect it. A dry, cracked, flaky scalp can lead to infections and irritations.

Hydration is also an important factor because a healthy intake of water helps your blood more easily and freely flow nutrients throughout your entire body. Your scalp is no exception. The growth of your hair will be facilitated if you are drinking plenty of water and moisturizing your scalp.

Physical Irritation

There is also significant damage done to the scalp by things like scratching. These compromises can cause energy and nutrients to be diverted away from hair and redirected toward repairing the scalp.

Reason #3: Poor Nutrition and Hair Growth

One of the reason hair stops growing is internal but also manageable. Mindful and personalized nutrition is important to maintain the health and integrity of all areas of the body. Your follicles, as parts of the body, also need certain nutrients to be healthy and thrive. If your diet is imbalanced or fluctuates chaotically it is very possible that your hair growing efforts will suffer because of it. Growth cycles will likely be shorter and less productive without adequate nutrients to fuel follicle growth.

Important Nutrients for Hair Growth

Two of the key nutrients important to keep in mind when you find your hair stops growing are protein and iron. These components are crucial to successful growth. So, if you find that your growth stops and then starts again it might be worth taking a closer look at your diet to see if you are consistently getting adequate amounts daily of protein and iron.

Reason #4: Stress and Hair Loss/Hair Growth

This one is a bit trickier than the others and a little bit more difficult to really specify. Stress is not the same for everyone. We don’t manage it the same, we don’t experience it the same way and we don’t all share a common criterion for the stress we experience. When we hear or read the word “stress” we don’t all think the same thing.

As it relates to follicle health and hair length it is important that you know the physical signs of your body when it is stressed. When your stress crosses from slight and manageable over to severe and overwhelming it is going to affect many different areas of your body, including your hair.

Recognize Stress Triggers

Along with your trial and error log of products, treatments and routines you may also want to keep some sort of record of your stress patterns. Figuring out some way for you to recognize when you experience the most stress and how you physically feel stress can help you figure out how to avoid stress triggers or learn and develop ways to deal with the stress in your life that is unavoidable.

Try to notice any stress patterns that pop up in your stress journal that also coincide with the periods of time you are having difficulty with your growth goals.

Reason #5: Styling Damage

A significant amount of growth loss can be attributed to styling. When hair is pulled and twisted consistently it can cause the follicles to shrivel, hair to break and hair to shed prematurely. All of which are serious obstacles on the path to long hair. If you pull too hard it can cause the root of your hair to be damaged or disconnected.

This makes it difficult for your follicle to get what it needs to continue growing. It also means it will need to take time out from growth and productivity to repair itself. It could also end its growth cycle early, shed and start over if the impact was severe enough. The tension from twisting hair can break hair, often at uneven lengths, and stunt growth. Twisting tightly enough can cause the follicle to dislodge and come out before it is done growing and ready to naturally shed.

Updos

If you are someone who utilizes up-dos on a daily basis and are having trouble getting your natural length to go a bit further, you may want to think of trying hairstyles or angles that don’t put so much pressure and tension on your scalp. Giving your follicles a break from the stress may be the boost they needed to get back to growing. If that isn’t an option, you may want to consider the kind of hair ties and clips that you use to tie or twist up your hair and see if there are any options that might be a little bit gentler.

Styling Tools and Techniques

Stylizing tools and techniques can also put stress and strain on your follicles and scalp. Straighteners, curling irons/rods, brushes and many other hairstyling tools can play a role in growth (or lack of growth). While it is possible for chemicals and heat from styling to affect your rate of growth it is not likely. Those things have more of an effect on the appearance and integrity of the shaft than the health and vitality of the follicle itself.

What most significantly affects your growth rate is the impact of those tools. Brushing/picking your hair often, curling it tightly or pulling hard to straighten it can all cause varying degrees of stress and damage. It all depends on how often you do it, the kind of tools and exactly how you use them.

Take the Day Off

Letting your hair have a day or so to recuperate between these kinds of styling techniques can help give your follicles time to adjust and ease the stress from all the pulling, twirling, twisting and picking. If you depend on your styling tools for your daily confidence, take note of the tools you use most. Then try and figure out which, if any, may be contributing to your difficulty in achieving the hair growth you want.

Can you substitute these tools with ones that would better facilitate your hair growth? Or could you adjust your technique when you use them? Are there products that could make this process easier on your hair? These are all things to consider when you are assessing your haircare habits and style routines.

Hair Growth Solutions

There are a lot of different reasons you could be experiencing hair growth challenges. The possibilities can seem overwhelming and it can be difficult to know where to begin. Luckily there are a few things that you can try on your own at home to improve your growth rates and extend your growth cycle. There is also no shame in looking for a professional opinion. Qualified hairstylists are an incredible source of information and suggestion if your hair growth issue has you stumped.

Want to Learn More?

Did learning about why your hair stops growing interest you in becoming a hairstylist? 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. 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 cosmetologist and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

What are the Different Types of Hair Extensions?

Hairstylist consulting client on hair extensions

Long hair has been featured in everything from fashion and entertainment to history and art. Throughout time long hair has been a physical feature highly sought after by many. While a long, thick head of hair our hair goal, getting that kind of length naturally is easier said than done. Luckily, thanks to innovation extensions give the look of long, voluminous hair.

Hair extensions add hair, either by track or small bundles, to the hair you already have. They can help add length and help fill out finer, thinner hair. Utilizing hair extensions can give glamorous length and boost short or patchy styles. They blend into your natural hair in a number of ways using a variety of hair types and materials.

Methods of Hair Extension Application

Some of these hair extension processes can take several hours to complete. Hairstylists should ask the client how much time they have available for the hair extension application. The hairstylist will need to consider what the client is willing to pay for hair extensions. A labor-intensive extension technique might yield stunning results, but it can be costly. The more labor and focus required of the hairstylist, the more it is likely to cost the client.

How Long Will Extensions Last?

The amount of time a client plans to keep the hair extensions in plays a significant role. If they only want added length for a week or two, they should choose an adhesion technique that isn’t as permanent.

The kind of hair extension method the client chooses will ultimately depend on the condition of their natural hair. For example, someone who has naturally thick and coarse will need different options than someone who has fine hair. If the client’s hair grows at a fast pace, they will need to have more maintenance appointments.

Weaving/Stitching Hair Extensions

This technique takes a small section of the client’s natural hair and use it as an anchor braid horizontally across their scalp. Then the sections of extension are stitched or sewn into the anchor braid using a needle and cotton thread. This makes for secure and long-lasting hair extensions, but they also require the wearer to have thick hair to properly cover the base braids. Having an anchor braid can make the client’s scalp sore and make their weave extensions feel heavy and uncomfortable.

Micro Bonds

Micro bonds use a loops and beads to fix hair extensions in with the natural follicles. This hair extension technique is also referred to as micro-link, micro-bead or micro-loop extensions. A small loop is used to pull hair through natural hair and then a metal bead is used to clamp and bundle the extensions to the client’s own hair. This effect can create a professional blended look for the hair extension, but it has a few downsides. Depending on the texture and natural movement of the client’s hair, the bead bond can create a slight imbalance over time. The application of these micro bonds also requires heat, which can damage hair at the bonding site.

Fusion Bonds

Fusion bonds are the most demanding in terms of time and labor. They are also the most permanent option to extend the client’s length or enhance the hair’s volume. Bonds fuse the extension to the client’s hair with an adhesive like keratin. Fusion bonds can be done in extremely tiny portions depending on the amount of time and money a client is willing to spend and how skilled and dedicated the hairstylist. Fusion bonds also have the risk of serious breaking and are difficult to undo.

Tape/Clip In

These are the least natural looking option, but they are also the least permanent. Taping or clipping in hair extension tracks can allow the client to try a new look without fully committing to it. It also allows the client to switch up their look more frequently while they make more permanent decisions. Clip on hair extensions are a low risk for severe hair damage. While other hair extension techniques cause damage that takes years to undo, taped or clipped in hair extensions have a limited impact on the client’s natural hair. These methods also have their downsides, though. They require strategic blending and a lot of personal maintenance.

Remember to consider all of the factors before making a final decision with the client on which technique to go with. If they are new to extensions it might be wise to go with a more temporary option that is less commitment and easier to maintain than one of the more dedicated, demanding choices.

Types of Hair Used in Extensions

The kind of fixation method a hairstylist chooses for their client’s hair extensions might affect how naturally they blend in with their natural mane. However, the way the hair itself looks and moves depends on the kind of hair that is used to create the hair extension itself. While there are synthetic and substitute options on the market, the most obvious and natural option is to use human hair. Here are the three basic categories to choose from when shopping for the actual hair.

Virgin

Virgin hair extensions are the classification given to hair that has never been chemically processed or altered in any way. No dyes, bleaches or perms. No silicone or chemical preservation treatments after collection. Virgin hair is as natural of a hair extension option as one is ever going to get.

Remy

Remy hair is a bit trickier to define. It isn’t exactly virgin hair, because Remy hair can have had certain degrees of chemical treatment prior to collection. However, where virgin hair is prized for its purity, Remy extensions are sought after because of the way they are collected. Remy extensions are single sourced. The hair comes from a single person. The hair is also bundled before cut or directly after to ensure that all of the hair follicles remain laying in the same direction. This type of hair extension gives a client a more natural blend and even coloration but can be a little more expensive.

Composite

Composite extensions can use a combination of hair types and material sources. They can even be blended or mixed with synthetic extension materials. There aren’t strict standards for the quality of hair accepted and fewer restrictions regarding how much chemical treatment is allowed. Hair extensions in this category come from collecting and sorting through donations of hair that have already fallen out, typically by way of a hairbrush or natural shedding. While these hair extensions may not be the most realistic option for adding length and volume to a client’s hairstyle, they don’t require a large investment.

Have Fun With Your Hair!

Someone doesn’t need long hair extensions to be stunning or beautiful, but hair extensions can be a lot of fun. They can also help fulfill the fantasies of having long, flowing locks without having to commit the years of time to growing them. It also can allow the client to have a different texture than their hairs may normally have. Whether they are hoping to sport a different look for a couple of nights or for a full hairstyle transformation, hair extensions are great means of self-expression and cosmetic experimentation.

A good rule to keep in mind when it comes to hair extensions is that quality hair and a competent stylist are going to be the difference between a miracle and mistake. With hair extensions, as with so many things in life, you’re usually going to get what you pay for.

Want to Learn More?

Did learning about hair extensions interest you in becoming a hairstylist? 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. 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 cosmetologist and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

Should I Get Bangs?: A Hairstylist’s Guide

Hairstylist and client talking about cutting bangs

There are a lot of different things we do to refresh our style. We might try a different makeup technique or switch up our skincare products from time to time. We might try wearing different colors or styles of clothing than we normally would just to add a bit of variety to our overall look. But when we are looking to make a big, noticeable change to how we present ourselves, we change our hair. One of the easiest and boldest changes you can make to your hairstyle is giving yourself bangs.

Bangs are considered to be high risk, high reward. The right bangs can elevate and accentuate your look in a way that nothing else can, but the wrong bangs can sink your style and is hard to recover from. Where other changes can be changed back, cutting your hair takes time and effort to undo. Your style is up to you, but if you go into a major hairstyle change with misguided assumptions or no thought at all it won’t turn out the way you were hoping. Here are some things you will want to consider and keep in mind if you are thinking about switching up your look with bangs.

The Shape and Proportions of Your Face

When you are looking at a visual reference for bangs, it can be both helpful and misleading all at the same time. Magazine photos and social media references can give you hairstyle direction and inspire you toward daring new changes to your look. However, it can also give you a false impression of what those bangs would look like on your specific face. The shape and set of your eyes, the prominence of your nose, the height of your cheek bones and even your jawline can alter the way bangs or certain bang styles might affect your overall look. Take careful note of facial feature differences between your reference and yourself.

The Size of Your Forehead

The size of your forehead is a crucial consideration for hairstyles that include bangs. Choosing the wrong cut for your forehead proportions can throw off the entire balance of your style. This will also help you determine how thick your bangs should be. Extremely thick bangs on a larger forehead can lead to extreme statement in your hairstyle, but it may be a statement you feel good about making.

While ultimately it all comes down to personal preference and individual style, knowing the size of the canvas lets you know how to best achieve the look you are going for.

The Natural Hair Texture and Growth Patterns

This aspect is important to keep in mind because it will help you determine how your bangs will lay once they are cut. If you have naturally wavy hair and you are hoping to achieve a hairstyle with straight bangs you will want to know how much daily effort is required for that hairstyle. If you have straight hair who wants to sport curly bangs you will likely need a reliable daily curling method that won’t damage your hair.

The time, product and equipment requirements for certain hairstyles may be reasonable for your lifestyle or it may cause you to rethink your style choices. Either way, it is best to have considered these factors before making the cut.

The Length and Style of the Rest of Your Hair

While bangs play a key part in framing and helping to draw attention to that fabulous face, this purpose can be lost if done incorrectly. Varied length can create depth, dimension and drama within your hairstyle. Bangs can create a gorgeous frame for your face when combined with a shorter hairstyle and can pull the gaze upward if you are someone with longer hair. But they can also look clumsy and awkward if the style of the bangs isn’t cohesive with the rest of your hairstyle.

The length of your hair can also play a huge role in how you wear your hair. If you have a lot of length and tend to wear your hair up, you may end up picking a different style option than someone with shorter hair who may wear it down.

The same principle for those with long hair who wear it down and for those with short cuts who pull it up. Whatever the specifics of your hairstyle and length, you and your hairstylist should consider them before you make your decision.

The Way You Have Your Hair Colored

Color, much like length, has a tremendous impact on the visual impression you make when people see you. You need to be sure that the full scope of your hairstyle is working toward the same goal. It’s not that opposing angles are a bad thing, but they should be strategic and not left to chance. Before cutting you will want to think about:

  • Whether you want your bangs to have a color contrast or tie-in to the rest of your hair.
  • How well the color of your bangs is blended in with the rest of your hair can be the difference between looking stunning or startling.

Make sure that if you color or don’t color your bangs that it is a conscious decision and not an afterthought.

Any Additional Changes You Want to Make

While bangs are a head-turning change all on their own, a lot of times they come as part of a larger visual change. If you want your hair to be dyed in any way or want the rest of your hair cut into a brand-new hairstyle, those are dramatic changes all on their own. If bangs are added, it should be with the additional consideration of how those other changes will also look.

Talk to Your Hairstylist

If you are unsure it may be best to talk it over with your hairstylist to get a second opinion or do the transition in stages rather than all of them at the same time. Also, any therapeutic or restorative hair treatments should be completed before the makeover. That way your hair is healthy enough for the changes and easily managed.

How You Style Your Hair Daily

There are some of us who take comfort in the functionality of wearing our hair the same way every day. Some of us consider each day a hairstyling challenge of expression and experimentation. Then there are some of us who go through phases of change and experimentation until we settle into a routine, we eventually want to change again.

If you are someone who is set in your routine, you will want to be sure and find a bang cut that will work well with the hairstyles and method you are already familiar with.

If you happen to be someone who enjoys change and welcomes a bit of the unknown, you are going to want bangs that can be more versatile. Perhaps you would want to opt for longer bangs so that you could cut at a different angle without losing too much length when you were ready for another noticeable change.

If you are someone who goes through phases you might want to think about going subtle to begin with and try it out until you get a good sense of what you want. What looks good in a picture may not be manageable with your daily style habits. Then again, some looks are worth changing for.

How You Will Grow Bangs Out

Even if you are head-over-heels with your new bangs, there will come a day when you want something new. Though you may adore them, there aren’t many people who keep the exact same hairstyle their entire lives. Changes in your hair or even style boredom can spur a change. You may find yourself with bangs you don’t like at all.

Plan for the Transition

Whatever the reason, when the day comes that you are ready to say goodbye to your bangs it will be nice to have given some thought about how difficult or easy it will be to grow out your beautiful bangs. Will you need to grow them out and cut them to blend in with the rest of your hair? Will they need coloring? Do you have styling ideas for your bangs during the more awkward phases in length? These are all things to discuss with your hairstylist before making your hairstyle decision.

The Risk of Doing it Yourself

When you see something you want, it can be difficult to not spring into action from excitement. The enthusiasm you feel from imagining a hairstyle change can be overwhelming. However, when it comes to bangs it is important that you resist the urge to cut them yourself.

There may be more to the actual process of cutting bangs than you may have considered, which can lead to serious miscalculations and hairstyle tragedies. How thick your bangs are, how angular or they are cut, where the hair is pulled from and the way they are layered can all have serious effects on the outcome of the cut. So, while the excitement of something new may have you ready to do something about it, it may be a better idea to call a professional than it is to grab the scissors.

Choose a Professional Hairstylist

You are going to get the best results from someone who has trained to do the job. It is also a good idea to pick a hairstylist that you trust, or at least with a reputation you can trust. They will better be able to discuss your options and address any concerns or hesitations you might have.

You can pull off any look, but you should get to choose a look you want rather than making the best of a bad situation. By asking yourself and your hairstylist good questions and evaluating all the contributing fashion factors, you can ensure that you used forethought instead of hindsight.

Want to Learn More?

Did learning about different hairstyles including bangs interest you? Need to get your undergraduate certificate in cosmetology first? 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 cosmetologist and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

Advanced Hair Coloring Techniques: A Cosmetologist’s Guide

Hairstylist performing hair color treatment on client

Color is among the most expressive things in life. It creates feelings and inspires. It conveys an atmosphere or mood. This is the same with hair color. Using color in cosmetology can be as much of an artistic statement as using it in the form of paint.

The difference being traditional art and cosmetology is if you make a mistake in art, the artist can fix it or even start over. With hair, the stakes are much higher. The mistakes aren’t always easy or quick to fix and the client has to walk around with those mistakes. Hair color requires a lot of advanced knowledge and dedication for the cosmetologist to do the job right.

Advanced Technique #1 – Ombre

Ombre is a hair color trend that refers to a blended transition from one distinct color to another. These transitions begin with the hair’s natural color at the roots and gradually transition that natural color into other shades and colors. This is done by using blending techniques and incrementally combining hair colors into the natural color.

Know the Colors

Knowing information about what colors are compatible with each other and the individual color shades from darker to lighter pigments is an important part of transitioning hair color. However, it is especially important for the ombre look because the client doesn’t get to choose the natural color they begin with. Color and shade familiarity can be the difference between a clumsy or a smooth transition of color.

Perfect the Blending Techniques

Blending color so that the effect has a steady, consistent fade will keep the client’s ombre color from looking amateur and uneven. This means knowing how much of the hair to dye in each portion of the transition to use as well as being confident in one’s color application technique. Too much color concentrated in one area as well as an absence of color can both be issues when in color transitions. The cosmetologist will want to be confident in the way they apply the dyes.

Going from Natural to Supernatural

Ombre can mean going from a light or dark shade of natural hair color into the opposing shade of that original color. However, there is an ever-increasing trend of going from the natural color at the root and gradually moving into vibrant bright or pastel colors. Going from a natural color to a supernatural color requires a lot of finesse, focus and discipline. Where it might be easier to fix an error when fading from a natural color to a lighter or darker version of a similar color, bold color choices can be far less forgiving.

Advanced Technique #2 – Bold and Beautiful Statement Color

Large chunks of bold or bright color are a trendy look that is surprisingly tricky to execute. There are some clients that prefer an entire head of uniformly colored hair. Segmenting color sections and saturating full-color dye jobs takes finesse if the cosmetologist hopes to avoid a monochrome look that falls flat instead of standing out.

Treating Before Bleaching

Knowing how to assess hair before committing to color it is vital to a successful color job. It takes a lot of chemicals to successfully complete a bold hair overhaul. If the hair a cosmetologist is dying can’t sustain the damage done by the coloring process, it won’t matter how good the cosmetologist is at the actual coloration part. Knowing how to get hair ready for a big color change by assessing and addressing hair health is a big part of their success. Even if entrepreneurship is the cosmetologist’s end goal, damaged hair exiting the salon is terrible publicity. The cosmetologist will want to consider their client’s hair health before making big leaps in color.

Proper Pigment Proportions

People are unique. Clients don’t always want a conventional color that is easy to pull off or already mixed. Precision is key with large area color changes because it is easy to see when the cosmetologist has gotten the color wrong. Further, it is not easy to fix when the color is wrong. The cosmetologist will want to have a full understanding of the exact color the client want so that they can figure out how best to go about getting them that color and not an approximation of it. It is also crucial with big changes to fully saturate hair to avoid having holes in the color.

Get Back to the Roots

With any major chunk of hair color there is always the issue of the roots. Drastic, bold choices will need regular upkeep and maintenance when the hair begins to grow out. The cosmetologist won’t just be expected to get the dye and bleach right on the initial appointment, they will also need to regularly repeat the coloring technique for root color cover up.

Advanced Technique #3 – Adding Depth and Texture Using Color

There are ways to use hair color as a means of creating a desired effect. Whether it is adding dimension or creating a visual texture, color can be effective even in small doses. With most artistic mediums, color is used to draw the eye, distract it or trick it altogether. It is the same with hair color in the art of cosmetology.

Balayage Techniques

This is a very subtle technique with a beautiful effect. While there are a lot of color jobs that are all about precision, this is a more freehand, intuitive form of color that requires a keen eye and a steady hand. By sweeping color in a horizontal motion during the application it creates movement in the color. This can provide a lovely sun-kissed effect to hair color that may have otherwise been dull and lifeless.

Strategic Highlights

Highlighting and lowlighting are basic and standard in terms of hair color among clients. While this can be true, a professional knows how to use these techniques to make hair look fuller and more voluminous. These color methods can also be used to draw focus to the face. Cosmetologists know how to streak color in a way that uses contrast and can help mask certain hair challenges, such as thin hair.

Don’t Take Away the Gray

Going gray is not as bad a thing as it used to be. In fact, it has become quite the popular trend even among those outside the graying age bracket. Whether it is a client who wants to accentuate and celebrate their natural transition into gray or a younger client who just wants to embrace the trend that is both unique and distinguished, knowing your way around the gray areas of hair color is important.

Advanced Techniques in Entrepreneurship

Even if cosmetic entrepreneurship is the main focus of your training, it is still important to know what kinds of hair color trends are popular and what it takes to make those happen. Knowing how to operate a business is important but knowing how to provide a helpful and useful service is something else. The cosmetologist may be on their way to becoming a hairstylist, or perhaps even someone who employs hairstylists. Whatever the case, it is a good idea to know the skills and knowledge hairstylists will need if they want to be competitive and successful in a climate of changing trends.

Want to Learn More?

Did learning about advanced hair coloring techniques in cosmetology interest you? Need to get your undergraduate certificate in cosmetology first? 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 cosmetologist and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

The Importance of Communication Skills in Cosmetology

Cosmetologist using communication skills with client

There are many reasons that someone might consider cosmetology as a potential career path. Professions in the cosmetology industry can be both thrilling and rewarding in a lot of different ways. Helping people feel like the best version of themselves can be very fulfilling and there are many avenues of cosmetology to choose from. Skin, hair, nails and makeup are all areas that can be explored through cosmetology. The take your career to the next level, to gain new customers and retain current customers, a cosmetologist needs good communication skills.

Why Communication is Key

Speaking to clients is just as important as being able to perform the tasks of your job. Communication is how you sell your services and ensure that your clients are satisfied with your work. If you have poor relational skills or weak communication, it can do serious and lasting damage to your professional reputation. Which is why it is understandable that a significant amount of cosmetology students or those considering a career in any field of cosmetology may be anxious about this particular aspect of the industry. Luckily, there are some tips you can remember and some points to keep in mind so that you can feel confident about communicating with clients no matter what career in cosmetology you want to pursue.

Communication Skill #1 – Clarity

It is easiest when you are dealing with a client who can clearly communicate what they want. This is not always the case. You will encounter someone who has trouble describing or explaining what they want from you or how they want to look. You will need to get creative and rely on the strength of your own communication to come to an understanding. When you are trying to clarify communication between the client and yourself, remember that it is all about understanding what the client expects, and adjusting those expectations to them.

Expectations

You can only please a client if you know what they want. So, the first thing that you will need to do is make sure that you have a solid grasp on what your client is expecting from you. Using visual and celebrity references can help. You can use color charts so that clients can better understand and identify the specific color they are expecting. If a client is coming to you with a problem, they are hoping to get some professional help with. It is also important that you understand the full scope of the issue before beginning. Some areas of cosmetology can deal with vulnerable skin and hair issues. When you are attempting to get some clarification or information about these problems it is important that you ask questions in the most sensitive way possible.

Adjustments

Even if you are the most skilled person in your profession there will come a time that a client will approach you with an impossible request. Adjusting a client’s expectations is a key part in any cosmetologist’s communication. It is important to keep in mind that honesty is the best policy when a client’s request is unreasonable or impossible. Knowingly disappointing a client with a false expectation is bad for business. When you encounter these communication challenges, the important thing is to have other options ready to present. The disappointment of not getting exactly what they want can be dissuaded with creative and mindful alternatives. Some people will be unhappy no matter what kind of adjustment you present to them. However, you will find that most people will happily take a compromise when you present them with a legitimate concern about their initial expectation.

Communication Skill #2 – Compromise and Confrontation

Client confrontation can be the most intimidating part of considering a career in cosmetology. You can excel in every area of your profession, but if you are unable to communicate to reach a compromise with your clients it will be difficult to retain clients. Communicating concerns and offering solutions are the two main areas to deal with the difficult side of client communication.

Communicating Concerns

There are many ways a client’s expectations might be impossible for you to meet. A client might want a last-minute appointment that you don’t have time to fit into your schedule. It could be someone who wants a hair treatment that would severely damage their hair. It also might be as sensitive as declining esthetician services because of a skin condition you can’t identify. Regardless of the issue, the first thing to remember is that you don’t want to humiliate your client or make them feel stupid. There may be times that you can ask question that lead your client to draw their own conclusions in your favor. Other times it may require a simple, thoughtful explanation of a certain restriction or challenge that needs to be addressed. There could even be a time when you will have to politely let your client know that they have an issue that is beyond your training and expertise. However, you need to clearly communicate your concern about an issue, the key skill you will need in confronting a client is kindness. Your consideration for their preferences and feelings will speak volumes.

Offering Solutions

Being able to present attractive, comparable alternatives to your clients when you can’t give them exactly what they want is a significant part of keeping them happy and returning. A combination of planning, skill and genuine effort goes a long way in the alternative solution department. You can’t prepare for every possible scenario but getting to know your clients’ styles and personalities might help you better troubleshoot with them. Keeping your communication skills sharp and up-to-date will allow you to offer your client a greater range of alternative that may approximate what they were originally looking for more closely. Even with things as simple as a scheduling conflict, an effort to reschedule and sincere concern for your client’s needs can make a big difference.

Communication Skill #3 – Confidence

Cosmetology is all about expression. Whether it is an esthetics treatment, completely new hairdo, an interesting manicure or am intense makeup makeover, cosmetology helps us bring things to the surface for the world to see. Confidence is an enormous part of that expression. A client’s confidence in your skill and ability, as well as confidence in their own appearance are a core part of successful cosmetology on any level.

Professional

If a client isn’t confident in your professional skills it is going to be easy for anxiety and tensions to rise. There are ways that you can demonstrate your ability besides hanging your cosmetology license on the wall or handing someone a portfolio. With new clients and prospective projects, it is important for you to exude confidence in your own skill. If you seem relaxed and sure of what you are doing the client to feel the same way. Practicing and staying current on trends will help build a solid foundation for your professional confidence, and allow others to feel confident in you, too. Continuing this level of professionalism throughout your relationships with your clients will help them feel secure in approaching you about trying new or challenging things.

Personal

There is nothing better in cosmetology than helping someone achieve the look they were hoping for. Likewise, disappointing a client can hurt your self-esteem and your professional reputation. So, it is important that your client not only looks good, but feels good about your work. Your communication skill level doesn’t have to be extraordinary for you to help someone feel good about themselves.

The Power of Positivity

Did your client have a creative idea? Let them know how innovative they are, even if it turns out to be something you can’t do. Does your client have a particularly attractive feature you want to help them accentuate? Tell them so. Is your client’s style unique? Compliment them on it. Along with enhancing your skills to give your best to your clients, it is a good idea to speak positively to your clients and to affirm their appearance choices every time you get a chance.

Cosmetology is an exciting, expressive and ever evolving field that has the potential to do anything from keeping someone looking their best for an upcoming event to creating the film and movie effects we all love. Considering a career in cosmetology will require training and dedication to your leaning and perfecting your skill, but it will also involve a lot of communication. By remembering these client communication tips, you can feel more comfortable dealing with clients in the capacity of cosmetology no matter what your specialization is.

Did learning about the importance of communication skills in cosmetology interest you? Need to get your undergraduate certificate in cosmetology first? 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.

Hairstyles: Cornrows, Wraps, Bumps, Updos and Braiding

New hairstyles can be difficult to get comfortable with. Whether you got a new cut or have been stuck in a rut, trying a new ‘do can be intimidating. New styles feel unfamiliar and it can be discouraging when what you’re seeing in the mirror looks nothing like the picture or tutorial you were consulting.

When you finally find a style or two that works for you, it may be a challenge to keep yourself from falling into a hairstyle routine. It can be hard to motivate yourself to try something new. But even slight changes can make a big difference in the overall presentation of your hair. Here are a few things to remember about some of the most common hairstyles and variations you may want to try out on your beautiful locks.

Hairstyle #1: Cornrows

Properly Stretch or Straighten Your Hair Before Beginning

Flattening out the kinks in your hair is important to avoid inconsistencies in your cornrow hairstyle. The methods and tools used for this will depend on the kind of hair you have. The softer and straighter your hair is, the easier it will be to smooth out all the waves and curls. However, once stretched, coarser hair is far better at securely holding cornrows for longer periods of time.

Make Sure Your Parts Are Clean

Each part you make is a defining line in your cornrow hairstyle. It is important that each of your parts is as clean as possible no matter how thick or thin you’re planning on making your cornrows. You should use a finely pointed tool to create parts and separate each section, then clip each section to avoid confusion throughout the hairstyling process.

Make Sure to Plan Around Your Hair’s Unique Features

Don’t forget to take the specifics of your hair into account when planning out your hairstyle. The length, texture and volume of your hair are all important things to keep in mind. If you have questions about the possibility or impossibility of a specific style, you can always consult a licensed hairstylist.

Consider Going to A Professional for Complicated Designs

There are plenty of capable people who are able to create precise and stylish cornrows, but there are some designs that may be better left to the technique of a professional. You know better than anyone else whether you need to bring in a pro to complete a head-turning, jaw-dropping statement cornrows.

Hairstyle #2: Wraps

Secure or Style Your Hair Prior To Wrapping

Whether you are using your wrap as a style accessory to accentuate a hairstyle or are wrapping your hair to protect it, your hair needs to be sorted out first. If you are wrapping your hair for aesthetic reasons, you’ll want to make sure that you have your hair styled in a way that will show off your scarf/wrap and your hair the way you want it to. If you are wrapping it for a reason you will want to make sure that your hair is securely pinned to avoid rubbing and breakage.

Pick A Wrap That Is Comfortable and Fashionable

Wearing a wrap can be a tremendous attention-grabbing hairstyle move, but you want to make sure that it’s one you won’t regret throughout the day. Consider the weather and outside temperature when you choose a fabric to wrap your hair with. You’ll also want to pick something that isn’t too stiff but also will stay securely fastened.

Think About Wrapping for Bedtime

The tossing and turning of sleep can create a mangled mess in your hairstyle. Moving and rolling can mean tangling, breaking and splitting your hair. Keeping your hair tightly wrapped while you sleep will help avoid damage that can be done when you aren’t even awake.

Hairstyle #3: Bumps

Use the Right Bump Tools

Everything from the thickness and texture of your hair to the shape and size of your head are factors in choosing the tools to create the perfect hairstyle. While some hair can be teased into a bump without any additional aid, some hair is too soft or thin to get that kind of lift without a bump tool placed beneath a layer of hair for height.

Lift Your Ponytail

Ponytails are a common hairstyle that spans all lengths and textures. Giving a little bump to the front of those ponytails can completely revitalize an otherwise bland hairstyle. While you should use your own personal tastes and best judgement when choosing the size of your ponytail bump, longer, thicker hair can typically get away with bigger bumps.

Add Dimension to A Fancy Updo

Updo hairstyles are a classy way to bring elegance and sophistication to your look. You can keep that class from turning stuffy by pumping a bit of that glamour into the front of your refined style by simply giving it a bump.

Give Some Height to A Short Hairstyle

Short haircuts might seem like they run short in style options but adding a bump can really open some interesting style options. If your hair is long enough to cover a bump tool or thick enough to be properly fluffed and teased, a bump hairstyle is an option.

Hairstyle #4: Updos

Know What You Are Working With

Updos can be incredibly exciting and have the potential to be full of personality. The vast array of varying techniques and styles can be downright inspirational. However, not every hairstyle is compatible with all types of hair. Don’t set yourself or your hairstylist up for failure by marrying yourself to an unrealistic style. You should pick an updo that will flaunt just how fabulous it is.

Casual Tie-Up

Ponytails of all variations are a good way to get your hair up off your neck and draw attention to your face. The specifics of your hairstyle look can be tweaked and perfected by experimenting with the angle of the ponytail, how much of your hair is tied up in the ponytail and adding a variety of accessories.

Classic French Twist

Twisting up your hair can easily create a look of professionalism and refinement. The key to a French twist that will hold through rough days on the job or lively nights on the town is to remember that stability is everything. Whether you use pins, combs, or clips make sure that your twist is tightly in place.

Extreme/Unique Updos

There are some events that require something out of the ordinary. Your hair has unique qualities specific to you, and having a hairstyle designed with your hair in mind can add to a celebration or ceremony. Sometimes a hairstylist is the best way to go when you want to bring a little more art to your cosmetology.

Hairstyle #5: Braiding

Keep in Mind How Long You Want to Keep Your Braids In

Braids can be part of a one time look or be the foundation of all your hairstyles. It all depends on the qualities of your hair and your personal preferences. Softer hair will likely be easier to braid on a daily basis whereas coarser hair has more long-term braid options available. It truly depends on what you want, what kind of hair you’re working with, and the talent of your stylist.

Accent Your Hairstyle with A Statement Braid

There is no rule that says if you want to include braids into your hairstyle that it has to include all of your hair. Adding a tiny braid or two at the base of your neck or behind your ear can be a fun, carefree accent to almost any hairstyle.

Think About Deviating from The Typical 3-Section Braid

We all typically think of the same thing when we think of a braid, three sections of hair alternately overlapping. While that is certainly the most common type of braid incorporated into hairstyles, there are many different kinds of twists and braids that could add some spice into your look. The degree of complication varies which allows you to be as creative or efficient as you want to be with your hairstyles.

Braid It Up!

Your braids don’t have to fall to your shoulders. You could braid your hair upward into a messy. Trendy updo or braid your hair into a neat halo around the crown of your head. Thinking outside of the box with your braiding can lead to some magical hairstyles and memorable looks.

Infinite Possibilities

There are an infinite number of hairstyles and style variations you could try depending on how you’ve grown out or cut your hair. There are no limitations on the simplicity or the complexity of the style you choose to wear. If you are having more serious difficulty styling and coming up with ideas for your hair, it could be time to switch things up. Talk to your hairstylist. You can get advice on styling tips, product and tool recommendations for better results, and professional opinions on cuts and changes you are considering for your hair. Creating a hairstyle you feel confident and enthusiastic about wearing can make lasting impressions, even on those just walking by.

Interested in Learning More?

Did learning about cornrows, wraps, bumps, updos and braiding interest you? Need to get your undergraduate certificate in cosmetology first? 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.

Places to Work as an Entry-Level Hairstylist

Entry-level hairstylist working on mannequin

Hairstyling encompasses many different areas of haircare. It can include conditioning, repairing, cutting, styling, bleaching, and dying hair, along with services including performing hair treatments and providing hair extensions. These are the skills an entry-level hairstylist will use to help people feel and look like the best, truest versions of themselves. The skills of a qualified hairstylist inspires the imagination, creates a feeling, makes a statement or grabs someone’s attention. Their talents can help people make their look iconic.

Questions to Ask as an Entry-Level Hairstylist

  • What is my next move going to be?
  • What are my career goals?
  • Where am I going to get the experience I need to achieve those goals?
  • Which jobs will give me what I am looking for as an entry-level hairstylist?

You can be the most skilled, innovative hairstylist and still be confused about where to start. Where you begin your career depends on where you are and what you want. However, here are some unique suggestions to kick off your career that will help you head in the right direction.

Gain Experience in a Salon

The most common place for entry-level hairstylists to begin their career is in a salon. Cutting, shampooing, coloring, styling and treating hair in an environment gives entry-level hairstylists a high volume of walk-in clients and tons of valuable experience. It allows you to get used to different hair textures and conditions so that you can feel confident in whatever your next step might be.

The Value of Salon Jobs for Entry-Level Hairstylists

Rushing into a high-pressure performance hairstylist job as soon as you are certified can be difficult. Salon work allows entry-level hairstylists to earn a living and become a seasoned stylist. While any salon job gives you the opportunity to impress clients and succeed, it is also important for the you as a hairstylist to keep your end goals in mind. Entry-level hairstylists should find a salon that has an atmosphere they connect with and that has opportunities for experience in whatever they hope to specialize in.

Participate in Small Projects

Fashion and Film Hairstylists

Fashion and film hairstylist jobs are highly coveted and hard to come by, particularly for entry-level hairstylists. It is hard to get noticed or gain experience in such exclusive fields when the hairstylist doesn’t have any connections in the industry. It can feel like it is impossible to find a way in, but don’t give up. Gain experience and build a resume by finding smaller local projects to participate in.

Exploring Connections

Look around any college campuses that have a film program and see if they need a hairstylist. The entry-level hairstylist should get in touch with local and charity fashion show coordinators to let them know that their skills are available for any of their upcoming events. And if the entry-level hairstylist is in an area that has limited opportunities even on the underground level, take matters into your own hands and make your own opportunities.

Fashion Shows

The entry-level hairstylist’s dream may be to create interesting looks for the runway. They may want to work in print fashion as a stylist, so start an underground fashion ‘zine using friends as models. When it comes to getting these high-level jobs, it is important to get a foot in the door and build a portfolio.

Concentrate on Color

Color is an ever-expanding facet of hair styling. Coloration blends chemistry with the artistry of visual fashion for the ultimate self-expression. Now more than ever, people are experimenting with extreme and unique hair coloring.

Techniques for Entry-Level Hairstylists

A job in coloring, even at an entry-level, can allow you to perfect your technique while creating and developing their own color combinations. This is a sector of styling that is constantly pushing the boundaries of fashion and creativity.

Seize every opportunity to help clients realize their personal vision of themselves by practicing different coloring skills. Even small coloring jobs like highlights and lowlights can teach entry-level hairstylists important skills. Small changes can make a big difference if they are made by someone who cares about what they are doing.

Enter Competitions

While this isn’t a job suggestion, hairstyling competitions are a great way to make a name for yourself and gain recognition in the cosmetology industry. They can be difficult to find and get involved in depending on where they are, but participating in a styling competition might be a good idea for an entry-level hairstylist to take advantage of the opportunity.

You don’t have to be the “winner” of the show to gain valuable experience from a competition. Adding a competitive element to professional training can help push you to the next level and allow an expanding portfolio. A strong portfolio and a history of competitive styling experience can look good to higher end salons and celebrity clients, who would otherwise be difficult to reach. It is also a great way to perform under pressure if your plan is to break into a competitive field of hairstyling.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is a good place to expose a wide range of people to your work. There are a lot of different mediums in social media to show off your skills, so it depends on personal preferences. Create a hairstyling how-to vlog on YouTube, a Instagram account full of your best work or create daily hairstyling tips.

Social Media Considerations

However, there are a few things that one should consider and keep in mind before embarking on an online journey to show off your hairstyling . First, it might be a good idea to separate your personal and professional accounts. Having something strictly dedicated to professional work will be less conflicting and more attractive to potential customers or endorsers.

Competition in Social Media

Another thing to consider when creating a social media presence is that it is an incredibly open and competitive route. Being authentic will help create and maintain a genuine relationship that will turn into steady revenue. Try to approach the content in a unique, new, or interesting way that will show off your work in a way that will keep your audience and endorsers wanting more.

Style for a Brand

Commercial styling covers a wide range of mediums. Essentially, a stylist works for a brand and is part of a team responsible for the appearance of their models. This includes styling a model’s hair before a photoshoot to styling an executive spokesperson before a promotional speech.

The entry-level hairstylist may be called on for video hairstyling for product commercials. It is a career path that can provide an exhilarating array of experiences and can offer travel and event opportunities.

Getting Started in Branding

Styling for a big name brand might not be possible right off the bat, but there are plenty of new cosmetic and hair product companies. Look for smaller brands that may have the potential for long term success.

Stay away from quick fix, highly synthetic products and align with natural products that have a greater chance of success without doing harm to customers. It is important to get experience, even if it is with a new company or product line. Do the best to get to know any of the brands before approaching them.

Be Creative!

Dedication to the profession and creative problem solving will dictate how far an entry-level hairstylist will go and how high they will soar. It might not always be easy, particularly at first. Find different methods of making things happen. Try things that have never been done before. Come up with ways to make a path if something isn’t panning out.

Talent and passion can be more than a paycheck. The entry-level hairstylist should get all the experience they can in all areas of hair and cosmetology, even when what they want long term isn’t available immediately. Then they will use their knowledge and experience to get what they want from their career.

Want to Learn More?

Ready to lay a foundation as an entry-level hairstylist that will open unique opportunities in cosmetology and hairstyling? Need to get your undergraduate certificate in cosmetology first? 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.

The Dos and Don’ts of Hair Coloring

Hairstylist providing a hair coloring consult

Coloring your hair is one of the biggest changes you can make to rejuvenate your appearance. You may be nervous about making such a serious decision about your look, and rightfully so. There is a lot to consider, but also a lot to be excited about. Preparation, the hair coloring itself and aftercare are all important to the success of your hair color changes, and it is important to consider each area very carefully before going all in on a brand-new look.

Hair Color Preparation

Before your hair undergoes whatever color transformation you have planned for it there are things that you need to do to prepare. Hair dyes and bleaches have harsh chemicals that can be extremely hard on your hair, particularly if you aren’t careful beforehand. Starting with healthy hair may not be the most glamorous or fun part of the coloring process, but it is essential to successfully achieving the look that you are going for.

Hair Color Preparation Do’s

Invest in a good conditioner and hair serum

The amount of damage done when coloring can be minimized by making good choices about the hair dyes you use, but at the end of the day hair coloring requires the use of chemicals. The harsh effect of these chemicals can be amplified if you’re starting with hair follicles that are already damaged. Achieving a proper moisture balance can help strengthen and revitalize any damage you may have already done before stressing your hair out with bleaches and colors.

Be patient with your hair

Try your best to be patient with your hair. I know you can hardly stand to wait for your exciting new color transformation to happen but rushing things can lead to disappointing results. Being in a hurry could cause you to damage your hair to the point that it takes months or even years to come back properly. It can be difficult not to shortcut to the “fun” part, but it will be worth it when the final result looks every bit as good as you want it to.

Hair Color Preparation Don’ts

Turn down the heat

Curling irons, flat irons and hair dryers are some of the most commonly used heated styling tools, but can cause damage if not used carefully. Even using them too frequently can cause hair to be dry and brittle. Before embarking on your exciting color adventure, it might be wise to minimize the use of hot tools and give your hair a break. This could be a good time to explore heat-free styling techniques and think outside the box a little bit.

Don’t waste dye on damaged ends

Leaving split and fried ends is never a good idea, but especially when it comes to coloring. Getting rid of dead, dry ends will help your hair repair itself and can assist with the overall health and growth of your hair. Even if you are only getting highlights or touching up some gray, cleaning up damaged ends is a helpful step in preparing for whatever colors you have in mind for the beautiful new you.

Hair Coloring

Whether you want a vibrant, multi-colored rainbow look with color transitions and fading or you are looking for some hi-lights or lo-lights, coloring is an incredible way to breathe new life into your hairstyle. Here are some tips to make sure that all of that change to your look ends up being for the better.

Hair Coloring Do’s

Choose a hair colorist you trust

This might seem difficult if you don’t already have a reliable hair colorist you go to already. It can be challenging to feel like you can trust someone you’ve never met with such a dramatic and immediately visible change to your look. You can ask other professionals in the cosmetology field for their recommendations, ask friends for advice, and look at online reviews to help you feel more at ease with the idea. Make sure that the hair colorist you choose is certified in their field and operating from a licensed salon.

Know what you want before you make the appointment

Having a basic concept of what you want can work in some areas of cosmetology and beauty, but hair color is specific. Mere shades can make a significant difference in the way a look comes together.  having a vague idea or acting spontaneously can lead to fantastic looks, but often they lead to disappointment, regret, and some serious revitalization treatments. Being sure about your decision is the best way to know you’ll be happy with it long term, so don’t be afraid to take your time and think on it if you need to.

Communicate as clearly as you can with your hair color specialist

Sometimes, words fail us. You try to explain the specific look you are going for, but it can be hard to know if you got your message across. Therefore, it is always wise to have multiple visual references of the colors and affects you are looking for to show to your hair colorist. This will allow them to ask you questions and voice any concerns they may have with your hair color goals. It will also allow you to discuss alternatives and solutions to any issues there may be. A clear understanding between you and your hair colorist about what you are hoping for will help you get an end result you are thrilled with and help your hair colorist give that to you. Sometimes, a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Hair Coloring Don’ts

Resist the urge to take on big color projects without professional help

It can be tempting to impulsively run to your nearest beauty supply store and grab boxes of hair dye the second the idea comes to mind. For extremely simple color projects a DIY dye kit might do the trick. However, even those can be messy, uneven and can end up fading quickly. Utilizing professional skills allows the benefit of professional products and equipment, keeps you from damaging your belongings with chemicals and colors, and keeps you from accidentally damaging your hair.

Rushing isn’t an option

All coloring is a process. Some styles take longer than others and a lot depends on the hair you are starting with. Your natural color, texture, cut, and previous coloring history all play a factor in how long the process takes. Prepare for a few hours of time in most cases and don’t schedule your appointment on an already busy day if you can possibly help it.

Take advice carefully

There is a definite difference between taking advice or suggestions and being bullied by a hair stylist into a look you didn’t really want. If your hair colorist suggests something you like, go for it! If they have a concern, discuss it and allow them to provide you with an alternative. But there is also no shame in going home and thinking about it before you say yes to any changes to the original plan.

Hair Aftercare

After the hair coloring is done, the best part begins! You are all ready for the world to get a good look at the striking new you. There are some things you are going to want to keep in mind so that you can keep the look you want for as long you want it.

Hair Aftercare Do’s

Invest in a leave-in treatment to protect your hair

Of you course you are going to want to immediately show off your new look, but make sure you protect it. A conditioning treatment that doesn’t need to wash out will help maintain a protective barrier against the impact of things like brushing, twisting and tying. Also, it will maintain moisture for those times you want to curl or straighten it.

Include a dry shampoo into your routine to reduce fading

The more you wash, the more your hair color fades. However, no one should sacrifice hygiene for color, no matter how truly epic it is. Dry shampoo will help you keep your hair clean without compromising the color with the scrub and rinse of a traditional shampoo. Lather shampooing will still be necessary, but dry shampoo will help you keep you color for as long as possible.

Make regular appointments for touch-ups

Touching up your exciting new look after hair growth or fading will help you keep it as vibrant as it was on day one. The more dramatic your look, the more frequent your touch-ups will need to be. Keep up that gorgeous new look and keep turning heads!

Hair Aftercare Don’ts

Avoid shampooing your hair in extremely hot water

Not only can hot water damage follicles, but it also is more effective at fading and washing out dyes. Washing with warm water instead of hot will help you cleanse without damaging. Rinsing with cold water after conditioning can help seal in the moisture.

Stay away from products with sulfates

Sulfates are a harsh detergent ingredient found in many common shampoos. It acts as an astringent to clean dirt and excess oils, but it can also be harsh and damaging to your beautiful new look. If you are having trouble finding a shampoo that isn’t harmful to the style you love, ask your hair colorist or hairstylist for some product recommendations.

The color changes you make to your look can be as shocking or as subtle as you want them to be. Following these tips will help you both achieve and maintain your hair color.

Ready to lay a foundation as a salon hair colorist that will open up unique opportunities in cosmetology and hairstyling? Need to get your undergraduate certificate in cosmetology first? 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.

Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Cosmetology Program

Teacher Helping Students Training To Become Hairdressers

Considering enrolling in a cosmetology program? There are many different career options to consider along with education requirements and certifications. Maybe you’re familiar with products and techniques but want to find a program that will help you use those skills as a cosmetologist.

There are opportunities in all areas of cosmetology that would be fulfilling career options. Some are traditional, others are out of the box. There are career choices that are mainstream and ones that are more niche. Choosing the right cosmetology program for you means knowing what you want and what you can give to it. A good way to figure those things out is to ask yourself these questions.

Question #1: What are My Talents and Passions?

It makes sense that if you enjoy what you are learning about, you are more likely to stick with it. Likewise, your cosmetology skills will be amplified in a career that is exciting and fulfilling. When you are considering a cosmetology program you should take a moment to look at your areas of experience along with your natural gifts.

There are more career choices in beauty and cosmetology than you might think. You could have a career in the fields of hairstyling, nail artwork, esthetician services, or salon management. There are even more specific specialties within each of those career fields, so take your time when looking into your options. You want to do your research to pick the cosmetology program that correlates with your specific goals and strengths.

Cosmetology and Interpersonal Skills

It is also important to ask yourself if you have strong people skills. Being socially talented is beneficial when it comes to work in cosmetology. You will be working with other people no matter what specialized field you decide to explore, even if they aren’t your clients. It’s important that you work and communicate with others well regardless of what cosmetology program you decide on.

Follow-Up Questions:

  • What are the cosmetic, beauty, or wellness talents that you feel the most inspired by?
  • Are there any skills or areas you’re are exceptionally confident in?
  • Have you completed any other programs or attained any certifications that might be beneficial to your new career goals?

Question #2: What are My Ultimate Career Goals?

As with most career paths, it is likely that you will work your way up to where you want to be. However, knowing where you’d like to end up and what your personal definition of success is will help you identify the most efficient and effective program choices. Be certain you are going to get a thorough education in all the areas necessary for long-term success. That may include knowing about the business side of beauty.

Defining Success

There are many ways to achieve success. It’s a matter of knowing what success looks like to you. Working for yourself gives you the advantage of being in control and in charge of every aspect of your career. It can also be a lot of pressure. Being employed by a salon or spa provides a certain level of stability and access to more equipment and products than you might have on your own. Working for an employer can also take a lot of your personal choices and preferences out of consideration. It all depends on your personality type, your resources and your commitment level.

Follow-Up Questions:

  • Do you think you would prefer being an entrepreneur, or an employee of a salon?
  • Do you plan on having a performance based, or education-based career?
  • What kind of space, equipment and products will you need to achieve your long-term career ambitions?
  • Can you see yourself traveling to and working out of your client’s homes?

Question #3: Am I Ready to Create a Plan for Success?

You deserve to have the cosmetology career of your dreams. This means setting aside time and energy to educate yourself in your area of expertise. Life can be challenging and the demands of daily life can be a lot to handle. It can seem like you will never have the resources to complete the courses you need to get started.

You may never find the “perfect” time to enter an education program. Being busy is inevitable these days. Make sure you are in a good place mentally and physically when you begin a new cosmetology career. Over extending yourself can lead to burn out and frustration. A certain level of stress comes when you work for anything in life. You can achieve whatever you set your mind to. Achieving success takes commitment and dedication. When you begin your cosmetology education be prepared to give yourself the very best, because you deserve nothing less.

Follow-Up Questions:

  • What level of dedication do you think is reasonable to expect of yourself?
  • How many hours a week do you have available?
  • Is there anything that you are prioritizing over your career goals?

Question #4: What Kind of Cosmetology Program Will Fit Best?

After considering the demands you can currently manage, it is time to map your path into cosmetology. You should look at what kind of programs are available to you, so you know what kind of options you’re working with. Look at the kind of classes and courses you can choose from, but also investigate which schedule options would fit best with your lifestyle and current commitments.

Starting a new career and taking classes for cosmetology can be a big change. The less you must change about the rest of your life, the more you will be able to concentrate on your study schedule. However, don’t be afraid to make your dreams a priority by making changes and balancing your personal schedule in a way that prioritizes what you want.

Follow-Up Questions:

  • What is the duration of each of the cosmetology programs you are considering?
  • Are you willing to travel to find a cosmetology program that fits your goals?
  • Are your career goals as a priority?

Conclusion

Many people would benefit from your talents and your gifts. Your passion and excitement could be what inspires them to feel confident and pursue their own ambitions. Starting a career in cosmetology will require training and dedication, but what waits is a career that is fulfilling and a life you can be enthusiastic about. You must ask yourself the right questions to figure out how to get what you want.

Want to Learn More?

Did learning about the questions to ask before choosing a cosmetology program interest you? Ready to lay a foundation that will open up unique opportunities in cosmetology and hairstyling? Need to get your undergraduate certificate in cosmetology first? 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.

Manager or Owner?: Operating a Successful Salon

Salon manager holding keys to business

Want to become a hairstylist? Do you want to manage or own a salon some day? Working in the beauty industry is highly rewarding. Whether you specialize in hairstyling or your goal is to become a master manicurist, there are many possibilities for career growth. After you graduate from a cosmetology program, you may decide to become a salon manager or owner. There are many differences and similarities in these roles and understanding the variations can help you to become the best manager and owner possible.

What it Takes to Run a Successful Salon

Whether you are a salon manager or owner, there are many things you need to know to successfully run a salon. Managing financials is important to ensure the salon is profitable. The management of staff, as well as supplies and facilities is crucial for both managers and owners. Providing a high-end experience for your customers is imperative to success for both a manager or owner.

Even more, a salon is only as successful as the number of customers it has. There are several aspects that go into obtaining and keeping customers. These aspects include hiring skilled hairstylists offering a positive experience. It also includes the use of proper marketing techniques and reasonable pricing. Opening a business in the right area is also an important key to running and owning a successful salon. Think about the different variables of a successful salon and keep improving it over time.

Managers and Owners: What’s the Difference?

Salon Managers

Managers oversee the day-to-day operations of a salon. They hire, interview, order supplies and schedule employees. The salon manager is responsible for running the salon. It is the manager’s job to identify problems and ensure the business thrives under their management.

Salon Owners

In contrast, owners of salons plan out the business and create it from the ground up. The owner works on building their business using marketing and advertising techniques. In some cases, an owner acts as both owner and manager. Many owners decide that they are too busy to manage the salon and have managers on duty. They may also operate multiple salons and need a manager that is responsible for each salon.

Which Role is Right for You?

Salon Owners and Entrepreneurship

Knowing which job is right for you will help you succeed in your role as owner or manager. Owners are at the forefront of the business. Business owners are always there when they are needed. This can become difficult if the owner is operating multiple salons. In order to consider ownership, you need to have the entrepreneurial spirit to create and run a business. This involves financial planning, funding, marketing, advertising, accounting and hiring the right staff.

Salon Managers: The Problem Solvers

Similarly, managers handle day-to-day business operations, while reporting to the owner. Business operations may include handling employees and customers. Salon managers are responsible for resolving problems. The manager is also in charge of ordering, scheduling and hiring. Managers need to be tough enough to handle difficult situations, like disciplining employees. However, the manage also needs to be empathetic enough to handle customer complaints.

Why Both Roles are So Rewarding

While all professions have their difficulties, being either a manager or business owner can be incredibly rewarding. Having ownership of a salon allows you to reap the financial benefits of your entrepreneurship. You have a skill and are using it to create a service. Managers also reap the rewards, such as running a successful business and earning a reasonable salary.

How An Education Prepares You

Whether you choose to go into a managerial role or you’re looking at salon ownership, your career starts with the right education. Education allows you to know the ins and outs of cosmetology and become a true asset to the field. After all, whether it involves hair cutting, makeup or nail care and design, your skills are the reason customers come to the salon in the first place. Repeat customers are the backbone of successful salons. The best way to create a repeat customer is to provide them with a highly-skilled service with great customer care.

Did learning about being a manager or owner of a salon interest you? Ready to lay a foundation as a salon hairstylist that will open up unique opportunities in cosmetology and hairstyling? Need to get your undergraduate certificate in cosmetology first? 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.