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Cosmetology: To begin with, a brief introduction to cosmetology. This by definition is the study of beauty and beauty treatment. It is divided into various specialties; there are those that deal with nail care. Others deal with hairstyles and hair cutting; these are barbers or hair stylists. Nail care deals with manicures (hands) and pedicures (feet) also there are those that shampoo hair. To be a cosmetologist one requires training and licensing so as to operate fully as a practitioner legally. The following paper shows how I obtained my license for cosmetology and also the running of my beauty salon.
1. Describe the experience by telling who, what, when and why you participated in the training. Be specific in your response citing dates and places and the length of time of your certification. If you have a license, tell what was needed to obtain and maintain the license.
I'm a licensed cosmetologist and since 1998, I have been holding a license which I earned from Premier Beauty salon located in South Bend Indiana. All along I have gained experience and skills both informal and formal in the world of cosmetics. This has been achieved by working with various clients and handling customers in my own shop, Versatility Creative Hair care which was established in the year 2000.
I have attended various training courses that are relevant to my line of work. These include Introduction to Cosmetology which was held in South Bend, IN within the dates 7/24/98-7/26/98. For 7 hours daily. This deals with theory of long graphics, haircutter, roller and pin-curl placements blow dry and ironing among other aspects of hair cosmetology. Here I got to interact with my clients and take care of many of their preferences. This added to my people skills as I earned myself trust with some of the customers after doing their hair well. These theories and aspects are very essential since introduction to cosmetology is the firm base for cosmetology as it provide an outline of what the course is all about, since cosmetology is broken down in various fields, I did hair and beauty where I specified with hair treatment, how hair is supposed to be cut trimmed and according to client standards.
Another major class I undertook is Cosmetology I: this took place in South Bend, IN within the dates 7/23/98-7/24/98. For about 7 hours daily. This covers topics on various hair color, hair related disorders, thermal hair straightening, manicuring, hair shaping and hair styling. Cosmetology I served as a core subject for me since topics like hair related disorders and learning about various chemicals is very important due to effective handling of some of my clients complaining of hair disorders. I administered various chemicals carefully investigating each client's hair type. This adds credit to my professionalism as I serve also as a consultant. Cosmetology I. there are some chemicals that are harmful to hair and nail that could have negative impact either on the client or the cosmetologist's health and therefore cosmetology 1 is very relevant as it helps in getting prevention from adverse effects like the ones mentioned above
Cosmetology Laboratory I: held in South Bend, IN within the dates 7/23/98-7/27/98. For about 8 hours daily. I gained first hand practical skills discussed in Cosmetology I and Introduction to Cosmetology. I gained interaction with clients further improving my people skills while still taking the course. This has proved as a foundation for my relationship with my employees and customers and also application of my skills to the clients in my shop today. At the end of this course, evaluation was based on how I interacted with the clients, people skills, how well I was competent with the course content, how I administered various cosmetic products to my clients and also in order to achieve this license, you had to be very practical and professional in your overall output. First students work with mannequins before actually working on actual people just in the same case as medicine students are first given corpses. After a little experience, they are taken to the floor and actually handed clients, concise care is needed as you apply the skills acquired appropriately. Practical work in cosmetology is the most important concept since the theoretical content without actual practice is baseless and void. I completed another course, Combined Techniques Shop Application- within the dates 7/23/98-7/23/98. For about 7 hours in this course all the tasks that have been assigned are supposed to be performed where an analysis will be performed to check the accuracy. I had to be accurate on this one since three quarters of the work has to be efficient and accurate.
Haircutting II, III and Hairstyling II: within the dates 7/24/98-7/28/98. For about 7 hours daily. This training took place in South Bend, IN Between. In hairstyling I learnt the various modern hairstyles that are used. This came with graphic demonstrations where I learnt about the various styles I would try on my clients. It also gave me a setting to have a clear mind on how I would come up with my own designs. In Haircutting 2 and 3, I gained more practical skills in the laboratory and prepared myself more since this was necessary for the state licensing examination.
2. Reflect on your experience and relate your thoughts and observations. Was this experience valuable? Why? Why not?
Through day to day activities in training, I got to have pretty many observations. Not always everything was about hair, manicure or other beauty therapies. There are cases I had to deal with people suffering from various disorders like acne, whiteheads, pimples whereby I had to administer various cosmetics for them. For example I observed that many clients had acne and would come to me for consultancy. I got to advise one lady who had an affliction of rosacea to use a special cream by the name Rosacea Homemade cream as well as a special herbal remedy that I had learnt of from my facilitator. The lady purchased the product but did not follow the right dosage and therefore the affliction never subsided. Therefore my thought on this is that if administered any product by a licensed cosmetologist then it's advisable to continue its use unless the side effect are severe and this is where a medical practitioner is consulted. Another quite important observation that I made was that if you were to succeed in this course, you are never to miss classes. The coursework is very relevant and each topic covered will prove handy in either practical sessions or in the workplace. While at Indiana, most of my fellow students assumed sessions and missed training. This proved to be very disappointing since you could see the disparities between them and the rest of the students in practical classes like Cosmetology Clinic I, Cosmetology Clinic II, Cosmetology Clinic III and Cosmetology Clinic IV. Training is very relevant in the work field ahead.
I chose to pursue cosmetology due to the passion I had for it. It deals with many fields of work namely:
' Home care/personal services- deals with home beauty care
' Makeup artists and aestheticians- are situated in the film industries and movies to build up costumes and attend to actors
' Hair and nail care- here manicures which is the preparation of fingernails i.e. sharpening, filing, etc. hair is also dealt with whereby hair is cut and shaped according to the client's wish.
' Cosmetology specialists also take care of the dead bodies in morgues before last respects are paid. This is to make the corpses look good before burial. This line of cosmetology is very tough and isn't for the faint hearted. My view of this line of work is that only those who are brave enough and are well aware of what they are doing will succeed.
' Then there's the hair salon (and barbershop) where this is my favorite whereby most customers in my shop come for complete makeovers where hair is cut and styled to their desire.
One of the major advantages of this course is that many who join it are very joyous and enthusiastic in their work like myself but at first it wasn't that easy since I had difficulty in dealing first hand with customers, handling their hair, hands, feet but now after I attended the course in detail, had many practical sessions, I gained my experience and now since then, I can handle my clients with ease and gain trust with customers just by performing a good job on them. I am glad to say that I have many clients who cannot go to any other Hair salon or beauty centre. I have learned to consult with my employees (3 full time stylists and 1 Barber) they serve a great deal in improving the shop's reputation since they are well qualified and have the appropriate people skills to offer 100% output. Also as the founder of Versatility Creative Hair Care Designs, I have gained the appropriate management skills to run my shop better and these management skills are not only to be used in this business but also in other investments/businesses that I have. This experience is very valuable in all aspects of my day to day activities because all the skills gained will be applied everywhere. It is therefore very relevant.
3. After reflecting, identify specific concepts, theories, rules or principles that would make this a college learning experience.
A principle that is important in making this a learning experience is that one has to be dedicated in doing his/her work. As stated earlier this line of study and training has to come from the heart in that a student must be committed in performing all jobs pertaining to cosmetology since it is broken down into various fields, cosmetology has some limitations e.eg in the line of those that work in morgues. Some may dislike the work involved and even drop out. This proves to be a learning experience in that one is able to chose his/her line of work at an early stage. During the course, students interpret and learn how to practice various aspects of safety sanitations cleanliness and proper hygiene. This is relevant in gaining college experience. While at the centre I gained leadership, management, teamwork and people skills which are very essential for success in the workplace, training centre or any other relevant field. Other skills are now relevant to the field for example haircutting skills evaluating scalp and hair disorders.
Another rule with this study is that the cosmologists must have the right attitude toward their work. This I learnt during a seminar I attended in Atlanta on 9/25/2000 where we were taught what happens to those with a bad attitude to their clients. Also at this time I attended a hair show in Chicago where I learnt different styles of doing hair. As a student, this skill is the most essential since you deal with real life human beings with feelings as opposed to the mannequins that may be used in class. To add to that point, professionals are responsible for applying problem solving and decision making skills. This is used either in the school, society or workplace. You have to be a team member in order to succeed in this field of work. For example during the training, I got to research valuable information in various cosmetology industries and this created diverse knowledge for me and gave me a firm base for the preparation and setting up of my shop which I in good operation till now. Sales Technique was a class that I took that assisted me in selling skills; these are the work of a salesperson where selling skills are acquired and prove to be relevant since they are used everywhere. Conflicts arise in all workplaces in the society. Conflict resolution is one of the concepts that are very much needed by someone who is pursuing this course in a Beauty college. I also have attended another seminar also held at Atlanta that covered conflict resolution and also demonstrate the methods that are needed and are used to resolve conflicts. Another major principle is that effective communication skills are very essential; throughout school be it from the lowest level of education to the peak, languages are a core thing to have knowledge about. A language like English is used in speech (while dealing with customers), writing, (e.g. writing orders and letters) and therefore learning it is a key thing in the college world.
Concentration and alertness is another core value in being a cosmetology student. Practices like designing wavy curls on hair, nail artistry requires full length attention on the client so that a perfect job is performed. I learnt that I had to very attentive and steady in order to produce top output. I also had a chance to talk to clients and analyze what they like and don't like about the service that was been administered to them in terms of hair care, manicures, pedicures, and purchasing of cosmetic products. I developed a persistent side where I would make sure I understood my client in every aspect and that contributed to my alertness since I wouldn't want to have them disappointed in me. The concepts that I covered in class I was quite able to perform them practically since most of my coursework is practical; I had courses like Special Topics in Barbering Technology where I got an opportunity to go to workshops and seminars in Chicago. Here I learnt how to follow instructions which is very effective in team work and management skills in the office. In a unit Shop Management, I learnt techniques for establishing a barber shop which provides skills and concepts of record keeping/book keeping, personnel management where you deal with employees and how to deal with them in the workplace. Supply management is another aspect taught where principles of marketing and supply are practiced and acquired. Public relation is also another major concept I gained which deals with how you relate with people everywhere in the society. Be it people of higher stature than yourself or lower than you learn how to effectively deal with them. Here I get to learn to respect my employees even to this day. I learnt how to share information with my fellow students and those I worked with. Since this is a people-oriented field, I learnt how to work individually with my customers and make them feel good about themselves which is a morale booster even for the workers. Courtesy which is an important virtue in life is also acquired.
I learnt to be a hard worker since cosmetology is a very competitive field. This competition makes workers extra active since they have to produce the best. I have also learnt to be tolerant and patient since most of my work and other cosmetologists is done either while standing up or even kneeling. Therefore this can be very disturbing for someone without the principle of patience. Since my schedule is not usually fixed, I have learnt to involve myself in other life affairs and also decisions like changing of the location of the salon which can be done with ease. It helps in that I can create work schedules of my own thus improving my time-management skills. A creative mind is developed in the cosmetic world where I have increased my thinking in coming up with new designs to serve my customers, this new designs are in terms of hair styles, new manicure and pedicure styles, am thinking of expanding the spa too. Through teaching, I have been able to distribute my knowledge since I left college in 1998 through several forums and seminars where I have shared my knowledge with others.
Cleanliness and personal hygiene is a key principle in cosmetology. This is because cosmetologists must keep every region that they are working on clean and also the equipment has to be thoroughly sanitized and sterilized. You wouldn't want clients being exposed to germs and bacteria due to an unhygienic beauty salon. This is where I acquired more skills relating to the hygiene and maintenance of a salon. I always made sure that the working areas together with the instruments are in perfect condition. The cosmetologist should also be very well groomed and clean as this makes even the client very free and comfortable while being served.
4. Tell how you have applied these learning concepts on your job and in your personal life
When I learnt how to be alert and attentive in class especially while dealing with clients in their various beauty treatments, not only has it helped my cosmetology career but out in the world I has helped improve my beauty salon. This means that I can focus on the various prospects that my business has to offer. Now I can manage my salon carefully analyzing the invoices coming and going out of the salon, orders also coming and going out and I'm able to manage them effectively without the introduction of external parties. Also by being alert and attentive, I can relate with my clients better because better because by listening to them (also a skill I fully developed) I get to learn what they rely want and serve them or allocate them to someone who will serve them properly. As a result of this, trust is gained and I had mentioned earlier, you will not lose your customers easily. Following instructions being another skill I developed has become very important. My work is client oriented and this is when a client comes in and gives the instructions and then the work of the stylist is to follow them to finite detail, carefully not to disappoint the customer and therefore that is also why high levels of courtesy have to be maintained. Instructions are found in very many instances of life, airports, hotels, police stations only to mention a few. By learning how to follow very little instructions from people of all kinds then I have n problem in following instructions outside my line of work. This creates a good reputation for me and enhances my people skills even more.
Dedication was another characteristic that I picked up along the line. Many factors lead to one's dedication in his/her work since this is where one gets his/her income to feed the family. Therefore extra devotion has to be carried in every field of work. In my case I learnt that my work if done by a person with no dedication, would result to be tiresome and a waste of time. And this reflects to all careers since in most cases, people tend to repeat the same thing that they do day-in day-out suggesting a robotic-like manner of work. Therefore I learnt that I must avert myself from the world of despair to succeed and that's where dedication comes in. Due to competition in the field of cosmetic products and constant need for beauty among human beings, the field of cosmetology will never cease to grow wider and wider. I have grown to be a very hard-worker in order to compete with other cosmetology companies and beauty salons in terms of offering client services and selling of their products. This opens up for creation of new ideas for styles and products. This concept is applied diversely in personal life since hard work bears good fruit. As a mother, father or even a single person, there must be some element of hard work. During my free time I find myself sparing some time to analyze and consider how I can run my salon better.
Effective public relation is one of the core subjects that are taught in the fields that involve dealing with clients. These include diplomats, front-office managers, secretaries as well as cosmetologists. Public relation involves one's behavior while dealing with clients and how one is able to manage conversations between people involving transactions, meetings and other aspects of interaction. As a cosmetologist you are taught almost in every training course how to deal with a client in any situation. I learnt how to serve clients and this is not a theoretical aspect but rather 100% must be put into practical where the student interviews the client and finds out what he/she wants, the client either agrees or disagrees or adds on to the opinion. Public relation is essential in every person's life and in every aspect of life. I improved this skill while still receiving training and this has helped a lot since my interaction with people outside my workplace is very efficient. Decision making, critical thinking and problem solving skills are other major rules that must be present in every cosmetologist. A situation presents itself and from it a critical analysis has to be performed, the problem solving skill applied and an appropriate decision made. This is usually done very carefully since in most cases it is a very crucial situation that leads to strong effects. These are usually looked at from the perspective of what if one event occurs, the effect it will have to the other. In modern day to day life, one may not know it but these situations do occur. In my case such affected me in that I made very tough decisions when setting up my salon and also there are critical problems that face the shop that either I have to solve alone, or with my employees.
Knowledge is power. I conducted various research both during training and while I worked. During this research I had a chance to increase my knowledge in the cosmetology world. This opened a chance for me to be invited to a seminar and also provides a firm base for me as a consultant to my clients and other cosmetologists like myself. Also by being creative and open minded, I have not only created new designs for my salon but also at home I have used creativity to improve my house's interior design and make it look brighter. I have acquired book keeping skills as a result of being an entrepreneur and shop management skills. This is very efficient since the skill can be transferred to other investments and businesses of interest.
In conclusion the college experience was very relevant as it boosted my career and helped me not only in acquiring personal skills at work and in the management of my salon, but also gaining diverse skills that are applicable in day to day life.