Let’s Elevate our Educational Standards in 2018

Sam Villa teaching

Happy holidays, my friends, and a happy New Year to all! May we all continue to have success in 2018!

As this year comes to a close, I have so much to be thankful for. It’s also a time for reflection and planning.  I’ve had editors ask me about the state of the industry and changes that could improve it.  So I’d like to share my thoughts with you.  These are things I would like to see take place, so let’s start the conversation.

I believe consumers will continue to look for simplicity in their life and most will want in and out of the chair quickly. This means they’ll be looking for value in the things they purchase, so hairdressers will have to look at how they’re able to add value to their services. Is it that massage at the bowl that becomes mainstream, or is it taking a mannequin out from the back room to teach a guest to braid, so she can go home and braid her daughters’ hair? Adding value will be what makes a hairdresser stand out...after all, value is knowledge, take time to share your knowledge and you will bring value to everyone you know.

Take control of technology! Consumers regularly utilizing social media in their decision-making and turn to YouTube tutorials to quench their interest in learning professional techniques, so a salon that capitalizes on educating its clientele will not only increase loyalty, but expand its digital footprint via social network channels and reinforce the fact that stylist are professionals.

I would love to see a change in how today’s hairdressers view education. Both YouTube and online education are important, and I will continue to support YouTube, social and digital. That said, today’s hairdresser must understand the importance of LIVE shows/classroom education, and get out and ATTEND shows. Going to college on campus is quite a different experience than participating in an online college program. You can’t ask a computer questions or get feedback on your performance. LIVE education allows you the opportunity to ask or listen to questions…to be motivated and touched in a different way. It’ allows you to network with other likeminded hairdressers and share ideas and learn from each other.  LIVE shows are an experience and because you are actively participating, you will retain the information better. Yet, I also believe shows need to change to focus more on education.  My dream: every show booth gets a microphone, no music.  Can you imagine a show floor where the noise we hear is the sound of teaching?  The sound of listening and learning? That is my professional dream…not loud music and dancers, but the sound of teaching and the sharing of hairdressing skills.

Focusing on better education begins with educators/platform artists, as we all must continue to stand before an audience motivated by the passion to teach, teach, teach!  You see my friends, along my journey I discovered leadership is based on inspiration not domination, on cooperation not intimidation. Together we need to continue to raise the professional standards of the industry and support each other as teachers, leaders and artists.

We also need to lead the way in supporting and continuing professional licensing standards for our industry. Currently there is ongoing debate about licensing in the beauty/hair sector. In some states, it can take more than a year for a beauty school graduate to receive a license. Another problem is that many states are in favor of deregulation, despite the fact that 94% of voter’s support cosmetology licensing, according to a Professional Beauty Association study. I have a concern that deregulation will lead to a decline in quality and safety and will denigrate the beauty industry as a whole.

Lastly for all the teachers/platform artists, let us remember that we must never cease to learn. We need to work together to elevate this great industry we all love. Let us stand together and be proud to be hairdressers. I’m talking about salons supporting salons, brands supporting brands, and artists supporting artists. Together we can be so powerful and celebrate our diversity!  I truly believe that there is room for every VOICE in this wonderful industry.

Let’s start off 2018 by focusing on quality, LIVE education, as well as online. Education is the heart of our industry…as an educator, if you can connect with stylists, you can grow with them…. let us continue to connect with each other as one VOICE to make a positive impact on this beautiful industry.

Thanks for listening, and if you see me out on the road, please come up and say hi as you have a friend in me!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Sam

[Image courtesy of Sam Villa]

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