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eli mancha A chicago stylist shares his views

cosmetology school What to look for and expect

six reasons careers in beauty are thriving

Careers in Cosmetology

October 2011


Photo: Jenny Acheson


WANT A MORE STYLISH CAREER? Celebrity Hair Stylist Nick Arrojo discusses the importance of education, success in the industry, and tips for gorgeous winter hair

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2 · october 2011


Photo: Jenny Acheson

We recommend Technology and salons cutting edge technology assists salon owners

pAge 7

“technology can take the pressure off frontdesk functions, allowing stylists to focus on what really matters—building relationships.”

Chances are, very few people are even aware of all the fascinating and lucrative career opportunities available in the professional beauty industry.

the big beauty careers nobody is telling you about


o you know how much a professional hairstylist can really make? Did you know a distributor sales representative for beauty products and services can earn as much as a pharmaceutical representative? Have you heard about the opportunities for ongoing education, training and of owning your own business?

A career in demand Hairstylists can also be teachers, traveling the world to educate other stylists in the latest techniques both on stage as a platform/stage artist and as a trainer for leading beauty manufacturers. Hairstylists often have the ability to progress from “behind the chair” to work as distributors for multi-national beauty and hair-care manufacturers, as well as other highend prestigious positions, including director of marketing or vice presi-

dent of education. Many professional hairstylists, salon owners and beauty executives easily earn six-figure salaries,and the demand for talented professionals continues to grow. If that is not impressive enough, consider the fact that the long-term outlook for job prospects in the salon and spa industry is extremely positive, based on recent projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to BLS projections, the number of personal appearance jobs at employment-based establishments will jump 31 percent between 2008 and 2018.That’s nearly triple the growth in total U.S.employment during the same period. Among the personal appearance occupations, BLS expects the number of skin-care specialists to grow by more than 50 percent between 2008 and 2018, while the number of hairdresser, hairstylist and cosmetologist positions at employment-based establishments is expected to grow by 31 percent!

A useful resource

Steve Sleeper executive director professional beauty Association

“...the number of hairdresser, hairstylist and cosmetologist positions at employment-based establishments is expected to grow by 31 percent!”

On behalf of the Professional Beauty Association (PBA), I invite you to consider a career in beauty. There are many opportunities for advancement, to own your own business, or work with a multinational corporation. The sky truly is the limit and PBA is here to help. Our association’s purpose is to provide our members and the industry as a whole with education, networking opportunities, industry events, business tools, and government advocacy to ensure business and career success in the beauty industry. PBA is the largest organization of beauty industry professionals with members representing salons, spas, distributors, manufacturers and licensed professionals. To learn more about PBA and our events visit

Steve Sleeper [email protected]

cosmetology, first edition, october 2011 Publisher: Alyssa rangel [email protected] Business Developer: terence cooke [email protected] Designer: Ariela Anelli [email protected] Managing Director: geraldine delacuesta [email protected] Senior Designer: missy Kayko [email protected] Contributors: American Association of cosmetology schools, nick Arrojo, faye brookman, eli mancha, Jen mcgann, steve sleeper Distributed within: chicago sun-times, october 2011 this section was created by mediaplanet and did not involve the chicago suntimes or its editorial departments.

folloW us on fAcebooK & tWitter!

mediaplanet’s business is to create new customers for our advertisers by providing readers with high-quality editorial content that motivates them to act.

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As with any schooling,you get out of it what you put into it—so stay focused and commit. First things first—did you know that when you enroll in beauty school you get a huge kit containing every tool you’ll need to be successful? Scissors,combs,clips,brushes, hot tools, etc. To anyone interested in doing hair, this is a BIG deal!

In the beginning Upon entering cosmetology school,


BACK TO SCHOOL: YOUR NEW CAREER BEGINS HERE Any student enrolling in a cosmetology program can expect to spend anywhere from a year to three years being inspired, expanding their creativity, and learning how to create bombshell looks for their guests.

october 2011 · 3

you can expect to spend anywhere from two months to four months in the classroom. It’s here where you’ll learn the fundamentals of cutting, coloring, texturizing and client care. You can expect to be challenged while you’re introduced to the beauty world. Be prepared to completely change the way you’ve thought about your hair and hair care. A lot of mannequin work will take place during this portion where you’ll get to practice techniques and perfect them before working on real life clients. This is a great experience because it’ll allow you to practice so you’re more comfortable when working on real guests. You can do anything on a mannequin that you can do on a real live guest—cutting, color, perms, etc. It’s so fun the first time you apply a

foil and see your color come out! Once this portion is completed, you’ll begin to experience working with real live guests in a salon environment. You’ll still have some dedicated classroom or theory time, but a lot of your education will focus on real life situations. You can expect to not only learn how to perform different haircuts and color techniques, but also get into the nitty gritty of client care and making your guest feel like a rock star when they leave.

It’s all up to you Again, what you put in is what you get out. I highly recommend anyone starting beauty school to really utilize their teachers and ask a ton of questions. School is the time to ask a lot of questions,challenge your

Jen McGann director of cosmetology education tricoci university of beauty culture.

“be prepared to completely change the way you’ve thought about your hair and hair care.”


teachers, make mistakes, and learn from them all. We’ve all turned someone’s hair a little ashy, and once that happens, we know what NOT to do! As you progress through school, you have to realize that with every guest, you’re building your resume. With each technique you complete, with each haircut you do, you’re building your professional profile, as even when you’re in school, you’re still a professional. When you start to interview with salons, the more pictures you have to show of your work, the better. Be proud of what you doYou’ve earned it! Jen McGann [email protected]

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INSIDE THE STUDIO Nick Arrojo demonstrates his signature razor cutting technique. Photo: Jenny Acheson

Nick Arrojo, owner of ARROJO studio in Manhattan’s SoHo District & ARROJO academy, is an acclaimed stylist, educator, and leading light in the business, known for his groundbreaking approach to hairstyling, in particular his signature razor-cutting technique.

a cut above the rest ■ What sparked your initial interest in the cosmetology industry? As a teenager, my passions were fashion and music and socializing. I left school at 16, so I needed a job. As hairdressing is part of the fashion industry, I got a job in a salon. I loved

everything about my work: the fashionable people, the chance to talk to them about the way they looked and wanted to look, great music blasting all day. It felt exciting, creative and fun. Soon, I realized this was my chance to build a successful career and I applied for an apprenticeship


Nick Arrojo ■ Steering away from business, what tips can you give our readers for their Fall/ Winter hair styling? Exposure to cold, wind, and rain tends to leave hair dry and frizzy, and your winter hair care regimen should counteract these negative effects. Start by using shampoos, conditioners, and styling products that add extra moisture to your locks. If you are still suffering from static and frizz, style your hair smooth with a good defrizz serum. A few drops placed


on damp hair and blow-dried in on a high-heat will keep your hair static-free, silky, and shiny. [email protected]

at Vidal Sassoon. I got the job and I haven’t looked back.

■ In your opinion, what is the most rewarding aspect of working in the field of cosmetology? The variety. I get to work on TV, do cover shoots for magazines, service clients, educate stylists, present latest trends and techniques to thousands of people, develop new products, and I run my own business, which means managing 100 different people and personalities. I never get bored. It is often overlooked how wide-ranging the options are for a cosmetology professional. ■ What is your favorite part about being an educator? It has to be that light bulb moment. When you teach someone something that they didn’t know before, it’s a great feeling. Thinking big picture, my goal is to elevate the standards of hairdressing in America—it’s one of

Photo: Jenny Acheson

the fundamental reasons I opened my own cosmetology school. ■ What advice would you give to those seeking a career in this industry? The right education is vital. Learning proper technique is an advantage, so research schools properly. Tour the facility and ask questions like what techniques do they learn, how many students are in each class, and how much time is allocated for practical work. Once you’ve been to a few

places, you’ll see who has a stronger commitment to your education. When seeking employment, look for a salon where the focus is on building a team, not chair rental. As part of a team, you can learn from those around you, and use the experienced stylists as mentors. Team-centric salons are also more likely to have a structured training program—and that is a must if you want to continue to improve. [email protected]

6 · october 2011

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INSIdE CHICAGO’S BOOMING COSMETOLOGY SCENE With his recognizable talent and passion for hair, Eli Mancha is one of the industry’s leading stylists, from Senior Master Stylist at Rusk, to Creative Director at Esuchen International. Eli has presented his looks globally, from Australia, to Asia, to Europe, and all across North America. While not traveling the world motivating aspiring stylists through education, Eli can be found behind the chair as owner and lead stylist of Chicago’s Bang! Salon.

■ How would you describe the Cosmetology “scene” in Chicago? Cosmetology in Chicago is booming. I am meeting new people all the time that are joining or are already in cosmetology school. People are really starting to see how much opportunity there is in this industry. Education, photo shoots, fashion shows and bridal parties are just a few of the many directions a hairstylist can choose. Yet, what I am

Eli Mancha

is an industry leading stylist, and the owner of chicago’s bang! salon.

Photo: christPher Kim

truly proud of is the amount of passionate stylists I am meeting these days. Chicago hairstylists are more enthusiastic about the industry than I have ever seen! ■ How has winning the 2011 NAHA Hairstylist of the Year award changed your life? Winning NAHA’s Hairstylist of the Year award has definitely changed my life. I have been busy with phone, online, and televised interviews. All very exciting for me,because it allows me to give back some of my knowledge to help other hairstylists grow,as well as educate consumers on proper hair care.NAHA has not only changed my career, it has changed my life, as it’s opening every door imaginable to help me move forward with my goals.

■ As a salon owner, what advice would you give those looking to own their own salon business? Owning your own business is a great feeling of accomplishment, but be prepared to give up your life. I am sure any salon owner would agree, that if you want it to be successful, you dedicate all your time, especially in the early years of the business, as it is a lot to manage both financially and mentally. However, taking one thing at a time, and one day at a time, has always helped me along the way, and I am adamant about hiring people that are passionate. Having stylists with motivated attitudes helps keep your staff inspired, as keeping the peace between your employees will maintain a comfortable ambiance for your clients. Overall, the best reward for owning your own business is being able to create the perfect working environment for you.

[email protected]

A WINNING DO One of Eli Mancha’s looks from the Hairstylist of the Year Category at the 2011 North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA). Photo: helen BerKun



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october 2011 · 7


technology and salons: Cutting edge technology assists salon owners ■ Question: Is investment in technology going to pay off quickly and boost my profits? ■ Answer: ensuring even one client doesn’t miss an appointment could justify putting money into the latest salon software. With the stroke of a computer key, salon staff can manage everything from booking appointments to payroll. Slow week in coloring? Text-message a special offer to loyal patrons. Client’s birthday? Send a gift thanking them for their business. Technology can take the pressure off front-desk functions, allowing stylists to focus on what really matters – building relationships.

Streamlining desk operations “I cut my advertising costs, I save time,and I can be more creative,” said Ariel Shannon, owner of Bluebird Salon and Shop in San Luis Obispo, Ca., who uses MINDBODY, a business management software program. Stephanie Jennings, Director of Sales at MINDBODY Inc., noted the

did you KnoW?

Barbering: One of Chicago’s oldest professions

The next wave: Cutting expenses

*updat *updated*350 words SALON M SQUARED. Photographed for the Salon Design category for the 2011 Photo: Zinc communicAtions NAHA awards.

system is web-based, so salon owners can work from home.“Many hair dressers are so busy with classes, they need to stay current, and this makes their life so much easier and stress free,” explained Jennings, who understands the needs of appointment-based businesses from her own experience as a salon manager. What’s more, business owners can enjoy the benefits at a monthly cost less than an average cut and color. In the past 10 years, the industry charged full speed ahead with

the latest software. “They’ve embraced technology and found it empowers the profession,” said John Harms, chief executive officer of Millennium by Harms Software, Inc. Among the most popular features are online booking, text messaging to confirm appointments, and even outreach to those who haven’t visited recently. “Goals can be set and monitored by the computer, and the service provider can have up to date views without relying on the manager or owner to run reports,” said Harms.

“Software programs do more than avoid a double booking or measure retention rates,” said Frank Gironda, president of Cosmetologists Chicago and salon owner. The latest trend is the Color Tracking System, which tackles the problem of hair color stylists wasting developer as they mix colors. “That can be very expensive —thousands of dollars,” said Gironda. The computerized system dispenses just the right amount. “They can save 25 percent of costs,” he said.

Science doesn’t take away from creativity While tapping technology for business efficiency, artistry isn’t diminished. “These are tools. You can have a saw and hammer and not build a nice house,” said Gironda. “Technology doesn’t stop creativity or take away what hairdressers are trained to do; it just makes it easier.” Faye BrookMan [email protected]

Today’s hairdresser is licensed as a barber or cosmetologist, with the modern barber specializing in men’s hair. Today, over 50 percent of licensed barbers are 60 or older, according to Edwin Jeffers, Executive Director of the National Association of Barber Boards. As a large number of these barbers operate their own shops, once they retire, the shops will be vacant, creating a void in the industry, and an opportunity for aspiring barbers. Ms. Elaine Sappington, of His & Hers Barbers School, states “We offer the education and training to our students that will give an ambitious man or woman the opportunity to have a lucrative and satisfying career in barbering. There is a great need in the State of Illinois for licensed barbers particularly in this tough economy.” Ms. Sappington’s philosophy about her business can be simply stated, “If you are good to the profession, it will be good to you. [email protected]

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CONTEMPORARY LOOkS FROM CARLOS CINTRON These were included in the Hairstylist of the Year category from the 2011 NAHA awards. Photo: BABAK

six reasons why careers in hair, beauty, and wellness are thriving Location, location, location! Careers in the hair, beauty and wellness industry offer a broad scope of work environment opportunities. These environments include: ■■Spas and day spas: A survey conducted by the International SPA Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 95 million visits are made to spas in the United States annually, generating $5 billion in revenues. ■■Entertainment,including film and television: The emergence of high definition television is setting new demands and creating new opportunities for skin care specialists and make-up artists. Reality-based TV programming is calling attention to beauty careers and the rewards they offer. ■■Fashion industry: Hair, beauty and wellness professionals are a requirement for a range of fashion

opportunities ranging from spreads in retailer catalogs to high-profile events like Fashion Week. ■■Research and development: Cosmetology education includes instruction on chemical processes, anatomy and other “science-based” areas of study to prepare students for a broad range of jobs which may include working in product development, education or as a beauty editor. ■■Entrepreneurship: Careers in beauty provide the opportunity to create one’s own clientele and work schedule. This factor is proving to be particularly attractive to today’s millennial generation who aspire to create a work/life balance.

Staying power Even in a sluggish economy, people still want to look their best. The Sep-

tember 2009 Spending and Saving Tracker conducted by American Express,indicated that a national poll of respondents placed a higher value on salon styling services in 2009,than they did one year earlier. In a tight job market individuals want to give themselves a competitive edge by looking their best.

Resistant to outsourcing Ever try to get an online manicure or a haircut from a call center? Careers in hair, beauty and wellness do not suffer from the outsourcing phenomenon seen in many other industries. The personal service creates an environment where relationships flourish and long-term clientele can be established.

High-tech transformations Despite the personal nature of beauty

services, technology is indeed transforming the treatments available. Today’s cosmetology students are learning to incorporate technologydriven solutions into their clients’ treatment regimes – including services such as skin analysis, chemical peels and micro-dermabrasion.

Projected growth Career growth in the hair, beauty and wellness industry is expected to outpace job growth in many other industries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in personal care and service opportunities is projected to jump 31 percent between 2008 and 2018, nearly three times the rate of growth of total U.S. employment during the same period. The number of skincare specialists is projected to jump 51 percent by

2018, while hairdressers and cosmetologist positions are expected to increase by 31 percent.

Licensing and accreditation Like many professions,careers in cosmetology are accredited and licensed by each state. States award licenses based on hours of training and service experience. Once licensed, many beauty and wellness professionals continue to participate in continuing education programs to keep their skills current and stay abreast of emerging trends. To learn more about careers in health, beauty and wellness, visit

the aMerican aSSociation oF coSMetoloGy SchoolS [email protected]