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Continuing Education for Cosmetologists

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Hello Guidance Counselor,
I would like to take classes in color, hair extensions, and advanced hair cutting, and barbering. What school would you recommend?
Thank You, Ellen
Submitted via email



Hi Ellen,
Great idea to continue your education. In an industry that is always changing and developing new technology, it's really important to stay on top of emerging trends and techniques. Since I am not sure where you are located, I will just mention a few ideas about the latest developments in each of these fields.
If you are interested in extensions, the latest and greatest invention is tape. Not like Scotch tape, silly, although nearly as invisible. A sticky adhesive is used to attach two flat pieces of hair to one section of your own hair, making a sandwich. These kinds of extensions lie flat to the head and are nearly weightless, making them much more comfortable than a weave or bonds. Since extensions are not tested for state certifications, schools do not usually offer classes. Instead contact a distributor like CosmoProf or Salon Centric for classes in your area.
If you are interested in business building classes or marketing seminars, like using social media to promote your business, there are some great ones out there from community websites like Behind the Chair and Milady (the biggest publisher of cosmetology textbooks in the United States). BTC has lots of webinars on business building, color and cutting techniques, upstyling and red carpet trends, and industry developments, and these are very affordable. Trade shows are another great resource for inspiration on growing your business. I learned about online booking software like MindBody and Salbei Solutions from trade shows, and this technology is fantastic for streamlining appointments and client communication.
Barbering is a very different field from cosmetology. Do you simply want to learn more about mens' haircuts? American Crew and Wahl produce many DVDs and educational materials to help you. If you have a real passion for the whole shave-and-a-haircut bit, you may need another license. In many states, barbering requires extra hours and another licensing exam. If you want to become both a barber and a cosmetologist, you will need to apply to some barbering schools in your area and begin preparing for another state board exam (ugh!).
You can also search this site for cosmetology schools in your area. Cutting and color are two classes you simply must take in person, because learning a new technique depends upon your ability to try it on a mannequin before you risk your clients.
I applaud you for wanting to learn new ways to give your clients the best service, and to grow as a stylist. Good luck!
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