What is the Best Cosmetology School in Minnesota?

Picture of Minnesota School of Cosmetology

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

Why is Minnesota School of Cosmetology the Best Cosmetology School?

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

Prep for the State Licensure Exam

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

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

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

Nationally Accredited Cosmetology School

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

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

Work in a Real Student Run Salon

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

Industry Experienced Instructors

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

Financial Aid

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

Career Services

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

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

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

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

Life Skills

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

Infection Control

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

General Anatomy and Physiology

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

Principles of Hair Design

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


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


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

Manicure & Pedicure

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

Salon Business

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

Minnesota Laws and Rules

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

Final Thoughts

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

Want to Learn More?

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

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

What is a Stylist Therapist?

Stylist working with a client

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

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

What is a Stylist Therapist?

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

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

How Should a Stylist Therapist Relationship Work?

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

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

Skills of a Hairstylist

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

Skill #1: Active Listening

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

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

Skill #2: Good Communication

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

Skill #3: Empathy

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

Skill #4: Non-Judgmental

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

Skill #5: Discretion

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

Final Thoughts

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

Want to Learn More?

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

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

How Do Professionals Shampoo Their Hair?

client getting their hair shampooed by a professional

What does it take to have hair like a stylist? Professional hairstylists have all the secrets for creating healthy, beautiful hair. This is why people seek them out for professional styling and maintenance. Cosmetologists are educators by default. Cosmetologists are passionate about helping others look and feel their best. In fact, many of the personal techniques and tips that cosmetologists use are the same insider tips that they pass on to their clients. Take a look at the tips and tricks professional hairstylists use at home.

How Do Professionals Shampoo Their Hair?

Professional hairstylists know that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for shampooing techniques. However, many people are walking around with hair that’s hard to style because it’s actually dirty. Yes, the common techniques for shampooing that most people use don’t properly clean hair. While the top layers may look and feel clean, it can be difficult to style the middle section of the crown and bottom because the strands haven’t been fully cleaned. This can make it difficult to get hair to cooperate with different styles. It also robs follicles and strands of volume and shine. How do professional stylists shampoo their own hair at home? Take a look at the process for shampooing the right way from a professional angle:

Step #1: Begin by brushing your hair thoroughly. While it may seem counterproductive to brush tresses that are about to be washed, this actually helps to loosen up dirt and oils that are weighing your hair down. It’s much easier to clean hair that has been properly “prepped” with brushing.

Depending on your hair type, this step may be skipped. Those with curly hair should avoid the damage caused by brushing dry hair.

Step #2: Use lukewarm water. Yes, temperature actually impacts the look and health of your hair. When water is too hot, hairs can lose moisture and strength. When it comes to color-treated tresses, the heat can actually strip strands of color prematurely.

Step #3: Shampoo twice. This is the big shampooing secret that most people don’t know about. One of the reasons why a wash at the salon is so important is that the stylist is usually shampooing twice. The first shampooing is intended to remove all of the dirt, grime and residue from styling products hiding in the scalp. The second is used to apply essential nutrients to give hair what it needs for a shiny, glossy look.

Step #4: Know how much shampoo to use. In addition to producing the best results, using the right amount of shampoo saves money. A penny-sized drop of shampoo is really all that’s needed for most hair.

Step #5: The right technique is also important when shampooing. The key is to apply shampoo right at the roots before working it into the scalp slowly and softly. It’s also important to pay attention to nooks and crannies that might be ignored.

Step #6: When rinsing, continue to use lukewarm water. It’s important to continually squeeze the hair in your hands during the rinsing phase until it’s clear that all styling products are gone.

Step #7: Lastly switch to cool water to give your hair a final rinsing. This is the secret to how hairstylists create ultra-shiny, ultra-smooth hair with bounce. Cool water seals your cuticles to create shine.

How hair is dried can bolster the impact of a proper shampooing. That’s why many stylists use microfiber towels for drying instead of regular towels. The benefit to microfiber is that they won’t be abrasive to the hair cuticles the way that regular towels are. The big tip to keep in mind throughout the entire process is that wet hair is actually more fragile than dry hair. It’s important to handle hair gently when shampooing and rinsing because wet hair is very prone to breakage.

Why Is Good Hair Hygiene Important?

People want strong, healthy and attractive hair. Creating amazing, healthy hair works the same as creating health in any other part of the body. It takes care and maintenance. Taking time to treat hair properly can help to preserve its natural strength. This means stronger follicles with less breakage. For people who treat their hair with dyes, it’s especially important to maintain good follicle hygiene to preserve color. Ultimately, giving hair the care it needs helps people to feel their best.

Shampoo and Conditioner 101

As a hairstylist, you will put in long hours to become an expert and learn about all the different formulas for shampoos and conditioners. This is why you will be able to make product recommendations just by seeing and touching a client’s hair. While it’s impossible to absorb all that knowledge overnight, there are some universal rules for shampoo and conditioner that apply in nearly all cases. In fact, the “rules” for which types of shampoo and conditioner to use for specific hair types are pretty straightforward. A good stylist knows that the same shampoo is not for everyone because different hair types demand different types of nourishment. Here’s a look at the different cleansing options that you can strategically pick for hair that is oily, dry, brittle, frizzy, natural, and treated:

Regular Shampoo: Used on people with untreated hair that doesn’t have any specific needs. It helps to clean debris and oils without stripping natural oils or hydration from the scalp.

Clarifying Shampoo: Ideal for people who use lots of different products to get their hair style.

Anti-Breakage Shampoo: Good for frizzy, split hair in need of moisture and replenishment.

Moisturizing Shampoo: Used for dry, brittle hair.

Volumizing Shampoo: Ideal for hair that needs the cuticles opened.

Cleansing Conditioner: Used on curly hair that drinks up moisture quickly.

Color-Treated Shampoo: Ideal for dyed or highlighted hair.

As a stylist, you can also recommend some easy “hair rescues” like dry shampoo. While many people are intimidated by dry shampoos, getting professional guidance on how to use these products can make all the difference. Available in liquids, powders or sprays, dry shampoos allow people to extend time between washing without feeling like their hair is dirty or greasy. Dry shampoo absorbs oils and grease without robbing the hair of its natural shine. It creates a fresh look with an even fresher smell without the need to devote time to a full wash. However, becoming overly reliant on dry shampoo as a replacement for real washes can damage hair.

A professional hairstylist can spot an oily, dry or combination scalp a mile away. They’re able to do a “hair diagnosis” that will help to pinpoint appropriate products for giving hair health and vitality without stripping away anything that’s needed. The knowledge of what not to strip from hair can be just as important as the knowledge of what hair is lacking when creating balance and beauty.

What Skills Are Needed to Educate Clients About Shampooing Their Hair?

A hairstylist needs to be passionate about healthy, strong hair. With passion comes good communication and customer service skills. Although there are many other skills that are helpful for a hairstylist to hone, these two in particular are vital to success.


Communication is an important part of helping people wash their hair properly because most people have never been instructed on this topic before. The most important thing is to make recommendations without any judgments or harshness. You must be patient about showing clients how to recreate the proper washing experience at home to get the results they want. You also have to practice active listening to ensure that you are answering the exact questions that clients are asking.

Customer Service

There’s a component of customer service when you share washing techniques with clients. Many salons choose to stock the hair products that they feel confident about recommending to clients. As a result, you are in a position to sell these products to your clients to help them recreate the salon look at home. It takes research and commitment to confidently recommend products. Prior to recommending specific products to clients, you may use the products on your own hair. With so many new products coming on the market, it is a lifelong journey of learning and product testing. In fact, many stylists look forward to trying every new product that comes out so they can recommend the latest, best products to their clients with some firsthand knowledge.

Final Thoughts

Many people who enjoy testing out products at home find that they are called upon to be professional hairstylists. This passion for learning the science behind various shampoos and conditioners is a sign that you have a passion for the cosmetology industry. The next step is getting a diploma that turns that passion for hair products into a career.

Want to Learn More?

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

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

How Do You Become a Salon Manager?

Is becoming a salon manager your dream job? Salon manager is a job that combines managerial skills with a passion for aesthetics. Salon managers are planners, promoters, confidants, trendsetters and pillars of the local business community. With training and hard work, this profession allows you to rise to the top of the “beauty ecosystem.” The best part is that you get to do it all while working in a profession that excites you.

A Look at What Salon Managers Do Every Day

A manager oversees every aspect of running an establishment. This means working closely with the salon owner to offer the best salon experience possible. In some cases, managers run the whole salon. Larger “medspa” wellness clinics may hire managers to oversee all operations for each specific department. Some of the responsibilities of a salon manager include:

  • Marketing and promotion for the salon.
  • Hiring new hairdressers and cosmetologists.
  • Training new hires.
  • Managing payroll and scheduling of all employees.
  • Managing social media for the salon.
  • Staying on top of all legal and licensing requirements.

Many salon managers also maintain client lists. While you may not be able to take on a full roster of clients, you often continue to cut and style hair. This allows you to enjoy all of the perks of “being management” while staying close to your passion. Next, take a look at the path to managing a salon.

Why People Pursue Management-Level Cosmetology Careers

People are drawn to cosmetology because it offers a creative outlet that also requires very technical, precise skills. Cosmetology is a profession of beauty and wellness. Many professionals find it to be a satisfying career path because it allows them to enjoy a steady career while helping others to look and feel their best. The spark usually happens when someone realizes that they have a talent and passion for hair, nails, makeup, skincare or aesthetics. The next step is turning that passion into a real career. While the road from “beauty enthusiast” to actual salon manager doesn’t happen overnight, a motivated person can rise through the ranks of a salon once they begin training. Take a look at what the trajectory might look like for you in becoming a salon manager.

The Steps to Becoming a Salon Manager

It starts with certification and licensure. First, aspiring salon managers should look for cosmetology schools offering certification for the specialty they would like to pursue. A cosmetology school program consists of both “classroom” time and hands-on practical work. It’s necessary to graduate from a cosmetology program with a diploma. Next, an aspiring manager needs to complete all certifications or licensing required by the state. This usually includes passing state boards to become a licensed cosmetologist or hairdresser.

Starting a Cosmetology Career

It’s customary to start from the bottom in the salon industry. While this may not seem exciting, it’s necessary in order to learn every aspect of running a salon. The experience and lessons gained in these early days of your career will help to you build up your managerial skills and make you an effective salon manager. Entry-level salon jobs might include working the front desk, shampooing, stocking products, sweeping up hair, preparing equipment and cleaning workstations between appointments. Expect to be the first person in every morning if you’re tasked with helping to maintain the day-to-day needs of the salon. Again, this is an opportunity to truly see what goes into running a salon. Through this experience, you are preparing for the next stage of being a staff hairdresser or cosmetologist.

Once you have spent time working in an entry-level role, you are typically invited to begin taking on your own clients or walk-in clients. You may also get overflow clients when the more established hairdressers at the salon are booked. This same process applies to new graduates in most cosmetology specialties. For instance, someone who handles skincare may begin by taking on clients who request walk-in or last-minute appointments. The good news is that those “spontaneous” clients are likely to request an appointment with you the next time if they like your work. This is how you build up your client list.

A cosmetologist might spend years enjoying a very robust client list before setting their sights on a management position. While there’s no hard rule that says you can’t become a manager right away, it often takes a few years of truly learning your craft to feel confident enough to take on all of the responsibilities of running a vibrant salon. When the time comes, salon managers employ some specific skills that allow them to thrive in their roles.

What Skills Are Needed to Become a Salon Manager?

Salon managers must possess many of the same skills required for managers in all industries. While salon managers work within the cosmetology industry, many of the tasks they handle are universal to running a business. Here’s a look at some of the core skills needed to be an effective manager in a salon setting:

Skill #1: Leadership

As the salon manager, you’re the person that everyone looks to for guidance. Your leadership style sets the tone for the workplace. Salon managers must feel confident about making decisions that will impact an entire staff.

Skill #2: Communication

In a fast-paced setting like a salon, communication is important. A manager is tasked with clearly communicating and implementing all company policies. Salon managers also set expectations.

Skill #3: Organization

A salon can have dozens of employees operating with unique schedules. Salon managers are responsible for making sure that everyone is scheduled appropriately to ensure that the salon is properly staffed when customers arrive. Salon managers also take care of payroll, vacation time, employee relations and hiring. In addition to managing the “human” end of running a salon, managers deal with inventory for beauty products. They’re also responsible for replenishing and repairing tools and equipment.

Skill #4: Delegation

A salon environment is very much a “crew” environment where everyone does their part to keep the salon running smoothly. Salon managers know how to assign the right tasks to the right people. While it can be tempting to try to “do it all” as a manager, a salon works best when tasks are delegated.

Skill #5: Prioritization

Salon managers are always putting out “little fires” throughout the day. As a result, they need to understand the proper order of operations when handling tasks.

While all of this can seem overwhelming, it’s important to remember that nobody becomes a manager overnight. Going through a cosmetology program allows future salon managers to learn everything that they’ll need to successfully run a salon. In fact, getting the right training is important to build the confidence a salon manager needs to run a salon. When attending a cosmetology program, you learn from the industry experienced instructors who have been working in salon settings for years. In addition to learning technical skills, you are also absorbing information about the little-known secrets of salon management from the best of the best.

Overseeing the Health and Safety of a Salon

It’s also important to note that a big part of being a salon manager is maintaining a clean, hygienic environment. Salons are highly regulated for the health and safety of both customers and workers. A manager is responsible for ensuring safety compliance at a salon. Again, this is where the training learned at cosmetology school really allows a manager to shine. A big component of a cosmetology program revolves around hygiene and safety practices. In fact, this accounts for a large portion of the final exam needed to become a licensed cosmetologist.

How Do You Become a Salon Manager?

Rising to a management position at a salon is attainable for anyone who is willing to put in the work to run a flawless salon and create a satisfying experience for customers. While all of the skills mentioned above are important, the quality that sets a person apart for management potential is enthusiasm. Salon managers need to be enthusiastic about where they work, who they work with and the customers they serve. This job is an ideal fit for an outgoing “people” person who takes pride in going the extra mile to help people feel good.

Final Thoughts

Every future salon manager begins in cosmetology school. One of the perks of getting a cosmetology diploma is you can still reach all of your goals even if you decide to open your own business instead of waiting to be promoted to manager. A management-level career in the beauty industry begins by finding a diploma program that offers what you need to make your entry with the right credentials. Today’s cosmetology students truly are tomorrow’s salon managers.

Want to Learn More?

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

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

How Do You Maintain a Wig?

comb going through a wig

One of the important tasks you will learn as a hairstylist is maintaining wigs and hair extensions. Those that wear wigs will come to you for advice on cutting, styling, washing and maintain their wigs. The good news is during a cosmetology program, you will practice most of your hairstylist techniques on wigs first. This will help you become familiar with wig maintenance and build your confidence in maintaining wigs to help your clients.

Who Wears a Wig?

There are many people that choose to wear a wig for many different reasons. Whether they want to try out a style without cutting their own hair, they have thinning hair or went through chemotherapy and temporarily lost their hair.

There are two common types of wigs, synthetic or human hair. Each have their pros and cons. Human hair wigs respond to styling products better, but alternatively, a synthetic wig will keep its style longer without a lot of upkeep. It is important to consider the type of wig your client owns before giving them instructions on how to maintain it.

What Celebrities Wear a Wig?

MayVenn Blog reported on some unlikely celebrities that wear wigs for one reason or another. Singers like Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj wear a wig, to keep their natural hair healthy while continuously updating their look. Celebrities like Keira Knightley dyed her hair so many times for different roles that her hair started to thin, causing her to also wear a wig.

How Do You Maintain a Wig?

Consider what the wig is made of before maintaining it with any specific technique. Is your client’s wig made of human hair or synthetic hair? Like real hair, a wig made of human hair can dry out if it is washed too many times. When in doubt, read the instructions that come with the wig to understand how to best maintain it.

Use Special Shampoo & Conditioner

Let your clients know that there is special shampoo, conditioner and a wig combs to help maintain their wig. Regular shampoo and conditioner have a lot of chemicals and can damage the texture of the hair. When washing a wig, start by soaking it in shampoo and water. Then comb the shampoo out of the wig with a wig comb. Rinse the wig with warm water into completely clean of shampoo. No need to rub or massage the wig’s hair, a comb will do the trick. Dry the wig without heat from a blow drier to not damage the wig.

Take it to a Professional

Many of your clients will come to you for help maintaining their wigs. You can help your clients with their wigs to keep them looking good. You can also educate them on how to take care of their wig in between professional wig maintenance. Maintaining a wig means meticulous attention to detail and proper technique. Let them know to not sleep or shower in their wig. Also, let your clients know to keep their wig covered from dust and upright on a mannikin head to allow the hair to flow naturally and not tangle.

How Do You Keep a Wig in Good Condition?

Have your client start by purchasing a high-quality wig that is made well. It may cost a little more money but will save them money down the road, so they are not replacing your wigs too often. Have them wear a wig cap under the wig to not allow their real hair to come in contact with the inside of the wig. This will not only keep stray strands of hair from sticking out, but it will reduce the amount of oil and dirt that is transferred to the wig. You should advise your clients to keep their hair clean and conditioned too, again to not allow dirt or grease to transfer to the wig.

Cutting the Hair

Reiterate to your client that once the hair is cut, it won’t grow back. Make sure that the client consults you before they try to cut their hair. It might be a good idea to help them understand what they are looking for first and then cut second.

How Long Should a Wig Last?

This will depend on how well the client care for their wig and how often they wear it. However, human hair wigs tend to last longer, are strong and less likely to tangle. Most wigs that are worn on a regular basis may need to be replaced about every year.

How Can I Make My Wig Last Longer?

When the client cares for their wig, it is important that they don’t use heat to blow dry, straighten or curl the wig’s hair. Heat can damage the wig, melting it or ruining the hair. In order to allow your wig to last longer, have them consider multiple wigs. Allowing one wig to rest while wearing another. Over time the color will fade, and the overall appearance will diminish so they should take the time to properly care for the wig and get the most out of it.

Final Thoughts

Take the time to learn wig maintenance techniques during your cosmetology program. Many clients will count on you to cut and style their wigs to make the best of their face shape and hair style.  For those that have thinning hair or lost hair, you can change their world and help build their confidence with a high-quality looking wig.

Want to Learn More?

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

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

How Long Does It Take to Finish Cosmetology School?

Cosmetology student standing in an apron

If you’re interested in becoming an expert on hair, nails, makeup, and beauty, cosmetology school may be the answer. Cosmetologists can specialize in a single area or learn every aspect of beauty. The average cosmetology program takes less than a year to complete. The beauty industry is one of the faster-growing markets. So, how long does it take to finish cosmetology school?

How Long Does It Take to Finish Cosmetology School?

The length of time that it takes to finish cosmetology school can vary depending on the program that you choose. It also depends on whether you can attend full-time or part-time. At the Minnesota School of Cosmetology, you can finish cosmetology school in about 11 months attending full-time.

What Else Do You Need to Become a Cosmetologist?

To start working in Minnesota, you need a Minnesota state cosmetology license. You have to attend classes at a licensed school that has a qualifying curriculum. After you finish your minimum training hours, you’ll complete an application for a license and take the board exams.

Board exams are regulated by the Minnesota Board of Cosmetology. They are an official government entity, and they will determine whether you can receive your license. Passing the exam is the last step needed for your license. When you receive your license, you’ll be required to pay a one-time fee. You can then apply to work in salons.

Minnesota requires some continuing education for those working in cosmetology. You will need to show that you have continued learning current practices when you renew your license.

What Do You Learn During a Cosmetology Program?

A cosmetology program covers every aspect of the beauty industry. The skills and information that you learn will largely fit into several broad categories including hair, nails, makeup and skin. The following are some of the areas that will be covered throughout the cosmetology course.

Hair Cutting, Styling, and Coloring

When most people think about cosmetology school, they think about hair cutting. Instructors will teach you the best practices for hair cutting, how to achieve different styles, and how to properly use the appliances and tools that you will use for both men and women. You’ll also learn about styling a client’s hair for special occasions as well as day-to-day life. Hair coloring is big part of what you’ll learn. You’ll learn:

  • How to evenly cover the hair with color
  • How to use foiling to create multiple hair colors at once
  • How to safely bleach hair
  • What to know about different types of hair dye
  • The difference between temporary and permanent hair coloring

At a student run salon, you will get hands-on experience with client’s hair. Cosmetology schools give students a chance to style and cut hair, while customers get a more inexpensive alternative to a haircut from a licensed cosmetologist.

Chemical Texturizing

Chemical texturizing is a major part of cosmetology. This is the process of permanently altering hair texture to either straighten or curl the client’s hair. Because the process permanently alters how the hair behaves, you’ll need to know about chemistry to avoid the potential for causing damage. Chemically textured hair remains in its new shape until the hair is cut off or grows out.

Permanent waving is the term for adding curls to hair. You might be more familiar with the term “perm.” During this process, the hair is softened using chemicals, which allows it to be wound into curls. When the hair is wound around rods, it hardens in the shape of the curls. Different sized rods will give different curl tightness.

Perms take longer to complete than a haircut, and they require more in-depth knowledge. The same is true of chemical relaxing, which is when curly hair is turned into straight hair. The process follows the same chemical principles as perming, but the hair is softened and then straightened instead of wound. When this is done, you will rinse it and finalize the style.

Cornrows, Bumps, and Updos

Instructors will teach you how to style cornrows, bumps, and updos. Part of your education will involve learning the ways that hair texture affects your styling. Cornrows can be implemented with any hair texture, but the coarser the hair is, the better the rows will hold over time. Straight hair can be smoothed more easily prior to styling it.

With cornrows, the parts of the hair matter. Every hair part is easily visible and a major factor in the style. You’ll learn to section hair using pointed tools and clips to make straight lines. You’ll also learn what is possible for different textures and volumes.

Bumps are a way to add volume to a hairstyle. Instructors teach you how to tease hair to create a bump, along with how to add bumping tools to thinner hair. Bumps can be used to add volume to a ponytail, create a more dynamic short haircut, and give additional dimension to updos.

Updos come in practically infinite styles. You’ll learn how to help clients with updos for special events and interviews. As you learn about hair, you’ll get practice with imitating complicated updos using reference photos.

Braiding and Flat Ironing

During a cosmetology program, you will learn how to braid different hair textures to create additional styles. There will be time to practice at your school’s salon. Flat ironing allows you to temporarily straighten curly or wavy hair. It doesn’t involve the same chemical permanence as a relaxer treatment, but can cause damage if not done properly.

Basic Nail Care

During cosmetology classes, you’ll learn about the fingernails and toenails, including information on how to take care of them. This means understanding the structure of the nail, how it grows, and how to avoid breakage.

Manicure and Pedicure

Part of your training in cosmetology will include learning how to give clients a manicure and pedicure. Manicures and pedicures allow the nails to be smoothed and buffed. You’ll learn to take care of any past damage to the cuticles, plus learn to instruct clients on how to care for their nails in between appointments.

Sculpted Nails and Nail Art

Coursers will focus on painting client’s nails and sculpting the nails to specific shapes. This involves learning how to make even coats of nail polish. As you practice, you’ll be able to make basic nail art using toothpicks and other fine tools.

Makeup and Facials

Facials and makeup are a big part of cosmetology. Sometimes you’ll be preparing models to walk down the runway, and sometimes you’ll be helping someone get ready for a special occasion.

During a cosmetology program, you’ll learn how makeup accentuates different parts of the face. With runways, you’ll study how spotlights affect the model. For special occasions, you’ll focus on making clients look their best. You will also learn about the types of products that are safest to use.

Facials are a relaxing way to clean the pores and take care of the skin. These courses will teach you the basics of skin care, how to unclog pores, and what types of face mask help clients.

Where Can You Work After Graduation?

It’s helpful to think about where you want to work as you go through your cosmetology program. Most people will work in a salon, but the type of salon can vary. There are also different specialties, such as being a full-time hairdresser or nail artist.

Large salons tend to cater to every aspect of beauty, while smaller salons might only handle basic haircuts and styling. There are also careers in styling hair for clients exclusively for special occasions.

Local Salons

When you go through cosmetology school, you’ll learn more about the community surrounding you. It’s helpful to look for job openings at your local salons. If they’re located near your school, the salon owners are likely to look for graduates to hire. Small local salons might offer full beauty services, or they might specialize in one or two aspects of hair. Look for ones that focus on the services that interest you the most.

Franchise Salons

Franchise salons are another option. These salons use a business model and branding that has been well established, but they operate with different owners. Investors in franchises pay to access the brand reputation and the policies of the overarching company.

Different franchises will have different opportunities for cosmetologists. Some pay a flat hourly fee, while others pay commissions. When getting paid by commission, you get a portion of the profit from products you sell and services that you provide.

One of the benefits of franchise salons is that you can find out a lot about the workplace environment before applying. Take the time to research the salons in your community so you have a good fit for you.


Some salons allow cosmetologists to rent a room or a chair and run their own practice. This type of employment gives you more freedom over the services you provide and the clients you work with. However, you will need to attract your own clients, so there’s a certain level of marketing that goes into it. You might pay a flat monthly fee for the space, or the salon might take a commission.

Start Your Own Salon

Some people choose to open up their own salon, operating at their own storefront or out of their house. Before you do this, it’s essential to make a business plan and research your opportunities. One of the best ways to establish yourself is by serving a certain niche. You’ll need to weather the costs of setup, so it’s best to have some money to invest first.

Whether you want to work on hair, nails, or special occasion styling, becoming a cosmetologist will give you the tools needed to start your own salon.

Final Thoughts

Do you have 11 months to start a new career? Cosmetology school will teach you everything that you need to know about becoming a successful cosmetologist. Whether you start your own salon or join an established one in your area, you’ll embark upon an expert career. Take the time to learn as much as you can at a cosmetology school, so you are prepared for your first day in a new salon.

Want to Learn More?

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

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

What Can I Do with a Cosmetology License?

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

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

What Does a Cosmetologist Do?

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

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

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

How Do You Get a Cosmetology License?

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

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

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

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

What Can You Do with a Cosmetology License?

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

Traditional Hairstylist

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

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

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

Nail Technician

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

Salon Owner

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

Salon Manager

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

Makeup Specialist

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

Cosmetology Brand Influencer

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

Cosmetology Product Salesperson

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

The Versatility of a Cosmetology License

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

Want to Learn More?

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

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

How Do I Start a Small Salon Business?

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

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

Why Does a Person Open a Salon?

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

Enjoy Helping Others

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


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


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

A Sustainable Future

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

What Types of Salons Can You Open?

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

Booth Rental

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

Salon or Spa

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

Boutique Salon

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

In-Home or Mobile Hair Salon

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

What Steps are Needed to Open a Salon Business?

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

Get Trained & Attain a License

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

Study the Market and Location

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

Get Financing

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

Furnish and Design Your Salon

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

Purchase the Equipment

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

Qualities of a Successful Salon Entrepreneur

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

Quality #1: Passionate

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

Quality #2: Motivated

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

Quality #3: Confidence

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

Quality #4: Communicative

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

Quality #5: Attention to Detail

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

Quality #6: Leadership

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

Final Thoughts

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

Want to Learn More?

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

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

Why is Draping Important in Cosmetology?

Cosmetologist washing a clients hair who has on draping

Workplaces are regulated for safety. Salons work hard to protect both clients and employees from risks, so cosmetologists should understand the precautions necessary to prevent illness and injury. Draping, or placing a cape around a client’s shoulders, is more than just a way to keep hair off their clothing, it’s an indispensable health measure that’s more beneficial than it seems.

What is Draping in Cosmetology?

Draping is the process of putting a cape around a client’s upper body before they receive services. There are three types:

Dry drapes are made of lightweight nylon or polyester and are used for services that don’t require chemicals or water beyond a quick spritz.

Wet drapes are waterproof and used for shampoos.

Chemical drapes are resistant to hazardous substances, like bleach and coloring agents. They’re typically longer and wider than average capes for additional coverage.

Wet and chemical drapes come in a wide range of specially treated fabrics. A towel or disposable neck strip is used under the cape’s collar to keep fabric off the skin.

Why is Draping Important in Cosmetology?

Clients’ comfort and safety are a salon’s top priority. The purpose of draping is to protect a client’s skin and clothing, preventing the spread of infectious diseases.

Bacterial infections on the scalp, for example, can ooze infectious material that, when mixed with water, can run down a client’s neck and shoulders without proper draping. Drapes also protect upper body skin from burns and irritations caused by salon chemicals, whether it be from shampoos or bleach. Even the mildest substances can cause unexpected allergic reactions.

Drapes keep hair and chemicals off clothing. A single spot of bleach or permanent hair color can irreversibly ruin an expensive garment. Hair is also itchy when it’s trapped against the skin and may leave a lunch-hour client uncomfortable at work for the rest of the day.

Why Are Sanitation and Hygiene Essential in Cosmetology?

As a cosmetologist, it’s your responsibility to safeguard yourself and your clients from infection. A significant number of bacteria, viruses, and fungi are transmissible in a salon setting, including:

Staphylococci: a skin bacteria found in boils and pustules. It’s universally present on human skin and generally harmless, but in large numbers or near broken skin, it can cause conjunctivitis and skin infections from mild to severe.

Streptococci: causes common infections such as strep throat, scarlet fever and impetigo, a highly contagious skin infection found mostly in children. Most cases are rare, and most aren’t serious, but it can cause life-threatening blood poisoning if it enters the skin through a cut caused by a razor or scissors.

Diplococci: A group of bacteria known to cause pneumonia and other respiratory infections, diplococci are spread through air or skin contact. A single client coughing, or sneezing can spread bacteria throughout your salon.

Meningococci: Meningococci cause meningitis, a dangerous swelling of the brain’s meninges, the membranes that line the skull and vertebral canal. It’s rare but often fatal and can be spread through air and contact.

Fungi: The risk of getting a fungal infection in a salon is high. It’s ubiquitous in the environment and hard to control. Fungi can colonize nail beds and skin and enter the body through nicks and cuts. Common sources include pedicure tubs and shampoo sinks.

Herpes Simplex Type 1: Herpes Simplex is the virus that causes cold sores. It’s very common in the environment and is spread through direct contact.

As in any enclosed setting, both clients and staff are vulnerable to a whole host of other infectious or gastrointestinal disorders from the common cold to now, Covid-19. Good sanitation and hygiene are musts.

How Does a Cosmetologist Keep Clients Safe?

There’s a wide range of health risks in any work environment. In a salon, you’ll need to consider:

Infection Control

Clients can be symptom-free yet still have contagious infections. You can never let your guard down when it comes to cleanliness in cosmetology. Best practices include:

Sanitizing Workstations and Equipment – Any point of contact between you and clients, whether it’s direct or by touching tools, should be sanitized regularly with the recommended chemicals. Most need a specified contact time to be effective, so follow the instructions carefully.

Equipment, such as shampoo sinks and pedicure tubs, are sanitized between uses and disinfected daily. And don’t forget the waiting area. Doorknobs, cosmetology books, and other items touched frequently by clients can harbor infection.

Disinfecting Tools – disinfecting combs, brushes, scissors and other tools is a critical part of infection control. Approved disinfectants vary by state and include alcohol, bleach and hydrogen peroxide solutions. All EPA-registered liquid disinfectants must be:

  • Labeled “Bactericidal, viricidal and fungicidal” meaning they kill most bacteria, viruses and fungi
  • Prepared fresh daily or at regular intervals and discarded if they are visibly contaminated
  • Mixed, stored and disposed of per manufacturer’s specifications

Tools should be cleansed of debris and submerged for the recommended time. If you affix a label on your tool holders with the date and time the solution was changed, you’ll never forget or be accidentally out of compliance. Drapes should be changed between clients and laundered daily depending on the regulations in your area. State and federal agencies monitor the implementation of infection control practices in salons, so cosmetologists should be familiar with the rules.

Handwashing – remains the single best infection control measure for preventing the spread of illness. Wash your hands between each client and any time you touch a potentially contaminated surface to avoid cross-contamination.

Covid Precautions – the best way to prevent infections in salons is not to let them in. As a condition of reopening, many states require salons to defer services for patrons with Covid-19 symptoms. Masks or face shields that tame respiratory droplets and aerosols are a mandate for both cosmetologists and clients in some states.

Slips and Falls

Clients are vulnerable to injuries in salons. Water, soaps, and hair on the floor combined with heavy foot traffic are a recipe for slips and falls. What can you do to minimize the risk? Experts suggest:

  • Reduce clutter.
  • Offer plenty of space for clients to move in the salon between equipment and displays.
  • Create a clear delineation between work and waiting areas.
  • Place non-slip mats at the entrance to catch dirt, snow and debris.
  • Sweep and mop regularly.

Draping also helps because it keeps hair clipping confined where they can easily be swept up before clients and coworkers can track them throughout the salon.

Chemical Hazards

Chemical hazards in cosmetology are usually the result of spills or improperly mixed solutions. To avoid these risks:

  • Keep chemicals in their original containers, labels have instructions and precautions.
  • Never combine chemicals without knowing it’s safe.
  • Store and dispose of chemicals as directed, multiple solutions poured down a drain without rinsing can collect in pipes and emit dangerous gasses.
  • Drape clients to prevent accidental skin contact with chemicals that can cause burns.
  • Ensure the salon is well-ventilated when hair chemicals that can cause respiratory irritation are applied.
  • Keep Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for all chemicals in the salon. They contain information for handling spills and evaluating safety risks.

Electrical and Fire Dangers

Any electrical appliance in a salon, hair dryers, curling irons, washing machines and dryers, can cause a fire or electrical hazard. Follow these rules:

  • Inspect cords and outlets regularly.
  • Keep combustible debris, including hair, away from electrical appliances.
  • Don’t use or store appliances near liquid.
  • Store flammable products, such as hairspray, away from direct heat.

Draping is a crucial part of keeping hair from collecting under dryers where a spark could cause them to ignite.

How Does OSHA Help Keep Cosmetologists Safe in a Salon?

As a cosmetologist, it’s your job to keep clients safe. It’s the Occupation Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) mission to look after you. Established in 1971, OSHA sets and enforces minimum health and safety standards in the workplace. Employers and employees are expected to comply with rules, and salons may be inspected.

Students in a vocational school cosmetology program learn about how OSHA regulations keep them safe and what their responsibilities are. Cosmetologists must perform to reasonable standards to protect themselves and coworkers, but employers must ensure they have the training, tools and equipment they need to be safe. OSHA regulations cover:

  • Employee training requirements
  • Hazard recognition
  • Ergonomics
  • Chemical storage
  • Blood-borne pathogen prevention
  • Fire safety procedures
  • Emergency response plans
  • Complaint processes

Final Thoughts

Everyone in a salon plays a role in keeping clients, coworkers and themselves safe. Draping is just one part of a comprehensive approach. The most important rule for cosmetologists is always “safety first.”

Want to Learn More?

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

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

What is Salon Management?

Salon manager flipping holding an open sign

Do you dream of running or opening a salon of your own? The best way to learn how to manage a salon is to start as a hairstylist. During a cosmetology program, you learn more than hair. Students learn about nails, facials and makeup. You also attend a salon management class, allowing you to learn how to manage a salon. You get a well-rounded education that prepares you for your new salon. So, what is salon management anyway?

What is Salon Management?

As a salon manager, you are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the salon. Whether you just manage the salon or are the owner, it is your responsible to schedule staff, keep the inventory on the shelves, get customers to enter the salon and stay up with all the other important tasks that come with salon management.

How Do I Become a Salon Manager?

The best way to become a salon manager is to start as a hairstylist. To be a hairstylist, you will need to get a diploma from a cosmetology school. After graduation, you take the licensing exam to become a licensed hairstylist.  During a cosmetology program, you will learn everything you need to know to be a successful hairstylist. From styling to cutting, coloring to permanent waves, a cosmetology program will give you the skills and techniques to manage a salon.

Start as a Hairstylist

By starting as a hairstylist, you will be prepared to become a salon manager. You will not only know what your hairstylists are supposed to do but they will respect you for starting in their shoes. Running a salon takes a lot of knowledge and experience that you can get as a hairstylist. You will improve your customer service skills, learn how to manage inventory, sell hair care products to clients and improve your time management skills. Then, once you become a salon manager, you can use your light bookkeeping skills, leadership qualities, operation management and staff management skills, that you learn during the cosmetology program, to good use.


Whether you are a hairstylist or salon manager, communication is important. Most of your time will involve working with customers and co-workers at the salon. Clear communication is important to create loyal customers. Giving the customers your full attention will help them feel valued as a customer in your salon. You will also learn a lot about your customers and be better able to choose hair care products based on their lifestyle. Good communication will also build life-long relationships that will create loyal customers. Customers that will advertise your salon through word of mouth.

What Do I Need to Know to Own a Salon?

As a salon owner, you will be responsible for the financial well-being of a salon. This includes the building, inventory, equipment and staff. You can run the day-to-day or hire a salon manager to fill that role. Part of being a salon owner is managing the financials and obtaining the proper licenses, choosing a good location, hiring staff, networking with distributors, creating a marketing plan, managing salon financials and paying taxes.

Obtaining the Licenses

There are many different licenses you will need to own a salon. There is the zoning license or certificate of occupancy for the establishment. The business license and fees that are paid to the city. Salon owner licenses with the city or county to run a clean and safe salon. In addition, you will need a seller’s permit to operate a salon and sell products and services. Finally, you will need to apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Choose a Good Location

The most important decision you will make as a salon owner than the location of your salon. Do you pick a location that has a lot of foot traffic, or do your hairstylists already have a large clientele so you can pick a cheaper, out of the way location? Keep in mind that you usually have to sign a lease for your salon. The length of a lease can vary, being as long as five or more years. The benefit of a long lease is that the cost of rent doesn’t increase. The downside is that you are committed to the location for the life of the lease.

When choosing a location, consider the amount of space you will need to run the business. Do you need a back room to hold the unused inventory? Are you creating an open space salon or need extra seating for clients that are waiting for their appointments? Do you need to put in plumbing for extra sinks? There are a lot of decisions you need to make when choosing a location. Make sure to plan ahead and get the location that makes the most sense for your salon.

Hiring Staff

You can’t do it alone. You will need a staff of hairstylists, shampooers, a cashier and possibly someone to sweep up after each cut. Know what you are looking for in a hairstylist. Do you need someone that is experienced and brings their own clientele? Do you want to pay for graduates just out of cosmetology school? Are they as passionate about hair as you are? Are they reliable, trustworthy, punctual, hard-working and organized? Decide what you are looking for in a candidate and then interview as many people as you need to before you find the right team. The staff will set the atmosphere of the salon and a good atmosphere is inviting to clients.

Networking with Distributors

Once you open the salon, you will need to stock the hairstylist stations and retail shelves with combs, clippers, scissors, and other hair styling products. Some distributors will allow you to pay for the products after they are sold, so they give you credit terms to fill your shelves with hair care products initially. Once you have been in business for a while, you may decide to white label your own hair care products, with a unique brand. This way, you offer something to your clients they can only get at your salon.

Creating a Marketing Plan

Part of managing a salon is marketing it to the community, especially during a grand opening. You need to give everyone a reason to come to your salon because most people already have their favorite place to get their hair done. A grand opening is a great way for the community to find out about the salon and meet the staff. Make sure to integrate your salon into the community. Join associations, chamber of commerce and local neighborhood alliances.

Another great way to market your salon is online, specifically through social media. Make sure your salon shows up on Google, Yelp and everywhere else people look for a business. Many people also use Facebook, Instagram and other social media to see past work a salon has done. Create a community of loyal customers and allow them to promote your salon on social media.

Part of the marketing plan will also include the prices for your services and products. Make sure to charge properly for your services as having the lowest prices will only hurt the salon in the long run. Make sure your prices are competitive but reasonable, so you can keep running a profitable salon.

Salon Financials

In addition to raising the initial capital for a salon, you will be responsible for securing lines of credit from a local bank. There are also business loans and grants that are offered by the Small Business Administration. There are many different local, state and federal agencies that support small businesses. The credit line will allow you to buy inventory, equipment and advertising to run and promote your business. Plus, each month you will need to complete payroll, pay rent and utilities and manage vendor payments. Don’t forget the cost of insurance. Insurance will cover your liability and salon business damage.

Part of the financials is keeping the books. During a cosmetology program, you will learn how to do light bookkeeping using QuickBooks. This will help you manage the finances, do payroll, pay vendors and manage all the other financial transactions. QuickBooks is also indispensable when it is time to pay the taxes.

Paying the Taxes

As a business owner, you will need to decide whether you want to be a sole proprietor, partnership or LLC. Each has advantages and disadvantages, mainly an LLC takes financial responsibility for the business, so if the salon goes bankrupt you don’t have to dip into your personal funds. However, there are initial costs and paperwork that need to be completed to run an LLC.

Paying taxes on a salon includes federal, state and local taxes. You will also need to keep track of sales tax and use tax filing with the county or city. Taxes also come out of the staff’s paycheck, like social security and Medicare. If you own the building that houses your salon, don’t forget the property taxes.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what salon management is, it is time to become a hairstylist. During a cosmetology program, you will not only learn hairstyling but nails, facials and makeup. These are all great ways to expand your salon offerings. So, if you want to get a complete education in cosmetology and learn how to run a salon, find out more about your local cosmetology school today.

Cosmetology Program

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

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