How to Talk to Your Family About Beauty School
What to do when your family doesn’t support your dream of a cosmetology career
You might be dreading the conversation where you tell your family that you want to go to cosmetology school. You know what they’re going to say — “That’s not a REAL education!” Since you were born, they had visions of you going to a traditional college or university and getting a traditional degree. But you know that’s not the only path to success.
Now that you’ve decided you want to pursue your dream of a successful cosmetology career, you may need to convince your family that this really is the best path for you. It’s not hard, if you share the facts about a beauty career with them.
Cosmetology is a REAL career
The beauty business is a growing, dynamic field. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, cosmetology is projected to continue growing at a steady rate. Some areas of cosmetology, like skincare, are projected to grow much faster than average.
Cosmetology school is a REAL education
Don’t let the salon environment fool you – or your family. Beauty school is a real education. You’ll be expected to attend classes and follow attendance policies. You’ll put in full days in the classroom and on the student salon floor, working with clients. You’ll need to pass a comprehensive state exam before you can be licensed. In cosmetology school, there is a lot to learn and many skills to be mastered in a very short period of time.
It will be a lot of hard work. But if it’s what you love, then it’s worth it.
Accredited cosmetology schools have high standards
To obtain accreditation, a beauty school must satisfy all of the standards set forth by the accrediting agency. The primary accrediting agency for cosmetology schools is the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS). NACCAS’ accreditation process ensures that beauty schools maintain high standards in many areas, including curriculum, student support services, school facilities, and educators. Only accredited cosmetology schools can offer federal financial aid to those who qualify.
Beauty school isn’t like high school
Sometimes parents are concerned that their son or daughter didn’t do well in high school and they are reluctant to support their child’s decision to spend more time and money on additional education. Even if you weren’t inspired to do well in high school or didn’t thrive in a typical trade school, you can still be very successful in cosmetology school. In cosmetology school, classes are small. Instruction is practical and hands-on. Creativity is encouraged. Instructors – all beauty school graduates themselves – are experienced cosmetologists who understand you and your learning style. Cosmetology school is a different kind of learning that may be perfectly in tune with your interests and creativity.
Cosmetology school is about getting a job
Sure, beauty school can be fun and you’ll learn a lot about doing hair, manicures, facials and other subjects you love. But your family should understand that a cosmetology education is built around students passing the state exam while developing the skills they’ll need to land a job and earn an income. Plus, along with cosmetology techniques, you’ll learn how to network with salon professionals, set goals and make critical decisions, maintain professionalism, sell retail products and additional services — all keys to learning how to turn your passion for beauty into a business and successful career.
Once you finish your program and get licensed, you can get a job
Cosmetology school graduates can often find work more quickly than graduates of a traditional college or university. Because cosmetology school students are learning a useful trade that’s in demand, the lag time between graduation and first job is likely shorter.
Beauty careers offer a flexible life
Cosmetologists can work full or part time, allowing you to create your perfect work/life balance. And because your skills will be very portable, you can use them to develop your career no matter where you go1.
Beauty careers do well even in a down economy
Cosmetologists are in high demand from coast to coast. Even in tough times, people need a lift to help them feel better and look great. And they typically find a way to do it, which keeps you in business. Don’t believe it? Have your family go to any of the major job or career web sites and enter “hair stylist” or “cosmetologist” and look at the number of jobs listed.
Cosmetologists make a difference
When you work in beauty, you get to take part in magical moments. First hair cuts, life-changing makeovers, wedding party styling — you’ll make a difference and help people make memories that last a lifetime.
There’s no substitute for doing what you love
Everyone aspires to do what they love for a living. How fortunate are you to love doing something that can actually help pay your bills?
Still having trouble convincing your parents that cosmetology school is the right path for you? Get them involved in the process. Ask them to help you select the right school. Bring them along for a campus visit. Have them talk to professional educators about your future and admissions staff about qualifying for financial aid.
Once you convince your friends and family that a cosmetology career is a real, thriving field filled with endless opportunities, it’s time to choose your specific focus. What’s your dream cosmetology career?