Did you always braid your friends’ hair as a kid? Do you love making others feel confident and beautiful? If so, studying cosmetology might be the right path for you! This month we spoke to Alex Laverriere, a hair stylist in Manchester, about all things beauty. Here’s what she wants you to know about becoming a cosmetology professional:
Center for College Planning: As a high school student, did you know you wanted to go to cosmetology school?
Alex Laverriere: I knew I wanted to be a hairdresser when I was a sophomore in high school! I did a tour at MST and absolutely loved it and really committed myself to pursuing cosmetology seriously. I was able to get a head start on my 1,500 hours of schooling I needed and went on to finish my hours at Michael’s School of Hair Design in Bedford!
CCP: What should students look for in a cosmetology school? Are there specific questions to ask when looking for a school?
AL: Each school has a different vibe and energy. I loved the upbeat tone at Michael’s. They offered a program called Phase Two where in the last couple hundred hours of your schooling you were in an advanced group of students that mimicked salon reality where we took multiple clients a day and were able to double book which was really cool! I would recommend touring all schools in the area to get a feel for each one and see which one felt the most comfortable for you!
CCP: What can students expect from coursework in cosmetology? What is the breakdown between class time and hands-on practice?
AL: When I went to Michael’s, we went through different phases based off of how many hours we had completed. Usually half your day was broken up into book work/classroom stuff and hands on work on the clinic floor! It’s a good even mix of book work and hands on!
CCP: What do you love most about your work?
AL: What I love the most about my work is making my clients feel happy and confident. I love seeing their face after I am all done their hair. I also love when I do a color and I can see it coming together as I start to style it. It makes me giddy and excited.
CCP: What advice would you give to students looking to start a career in cosmetology?
AL: The advice I would give to cosmetology students would be to find a salon/stylist that will mentor you and take you under their wing when you get out of school. Just because you are licensed does not mean you know everything and are ready for anything. I learned so much once I got out of school and in the salon. It’s so important to have a work environment that will help you grow through the very beginning of your career behind the chair. Have patience with yourself. You do not need to be perfect. It’s okay to make mistakes. Own it and learn from it and move forward. Learn how to market yourself through social media. It has single handedly grow my clientele so fast in the past two and a half years of being licensed. Lastly and most importantly NEVER stop learning. GO take the classes and workshops. Knowledge is power. It does not matter how long you have been doing hair you’re always a student and there is always something to learn.