Removing the Beauty School Stigma



Neveen Aboulkheir of Chicago has just graduated from beauty school. The choice in careers wasn’t well received by her parents who felt that a four-year university would allow for more opportunities and higher pay. On top of that, the steep $21,000 per year tuition at the beauty school is easily in line with a four-year institution. But Aboulkheir has plans to prove them wrong.

Though she is making only $10 an hour at a local salon, she has set her sights on a much higher goal. Her first step is to complete the training program at the salon and in a few short months, she will be able to charge up to $50 for haircuts and pocket half of that along with tips. Her goal is to be making $50,000 per year within 12 months. She also plans on eventually opening her own salon.

Alboulkheir is part of a growing trend showing that beauty school isn’t just for high school drop-outs. Prospective students are looking for cheaper alternatives to four-year programs and the demand for hairdressing services continues to grow even during the recession.

Full-time beauty school students can complete 1,500 hour instruction in just 10 months and be ready to enter the job market. In addition, top beauty schools are typically able to place an average of 90% of graduates. Graduates have the option of working on commission or renting space at a salon. The ability to be out in the workforce within a year is attracting more and more students into the constantly expanding world of beauty.

Mario Tricoci, founder of Tricoci University of Beauty Culture in Chicago says that the beauty industry is becoming very well-respected. Beauty school no longer has the stigma it once had and more and more students are flocking to these schools in the hopes of beginning their careers sooner rather than later.

“We don’t train people to go out and get a job—we train them to launch a career,” says Brian Weed, CEO of Tricoci Unviersity.