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How To Have A Great First Week Of Cosmetology School

Flip your mindset! What? I am going to give you the advice I wish someone had given me my

first week of Cosmetology School. It would have saved me years of struggle in becoming a

Hairstylist. Pay attention, here’s how I want you to flip your mindset...

Treat it like a job. Treat Cosmetology School like a job. I know it is called Cosmetology “School”, but if you treat it like school, and if you have a “school” mindset, it is going to be to

your detriment.

When I went to high school, and then on to Cosmetology School, I had a “school”mindset. I

stayed up late, rolled out of bed in the morning, came into class as the bell rang, hit Taco Bell for lunch, hung out with my classmates, procrastinated on my assignments, and figured out the

teachers to know the bare minimum I needed to do to pass their class. Lol, maybe I just described me, and not you, but if you can relate, listen up!

Cosmetology School is the beginning of your CAREER. You will have a little less than one year

to learn the basics of your new career. So treat your first week of Cosmetology School the same way you would treat your first week at work. Be on your A game. Get yourself organized, get your sleep, lay your clothes out the night before. The other students won’t be doing that, but I’m not talking to them, I’m talking to you.

If you treat Cosmetology School like a job, you will respect it more, you will pay closer

attention, you will realize what you don’t know, and you will go back to your textbooks and

relearn what you didn’t understand in class. The good news is, Cosmetology School is typically

set up like a traditional workday, usually you go 5 days a week for 8 hours a day. That alone will

help you to flip your mindset, and treat Cosmetology School like a job.

Treat Cosmetology School like a job.


Prepping for Cosmetology School is exactly the same as prepping for your first job in the

Beauty Industry. Consider this your practice run.

  • Dig around and pull out all of the paperwork, the orientation guide, go to the website, Social Media and troll that Cosmetology School and program before you ever step foot on campus. Who are the teachers, the school administrators? Read up. I want you to walk in that first day of Cosmetology School knowing as much about them as they know about themselves.

  • What is the dress code, the tardy policy, what are the hours, the school breaks? Where is the parking, how long does it take to drive there from your place, how bad is traffic, how long does it take to walk from the parking lot to your classroom?

  • Does the school orientation guide have a checklist? What do you need to bring to school? Do you have a bag/backpack? Pack your lunch and a snack, I don’t want you spending your time trying to get somewhere for lunch and back in time for class. A notebook and a pen or pencil, make sure your phone is charged. Pack your glasses, water, feminine supplies, lip balm, money, breath mints.

  • And most importantly, I want you to remind yourself what made you “want to go to Cosmetology School in the first place”? That will keep you focused and motivated to keep moving forward.

Get Dressed

This is an industry where we are surrounded by mirrors, and have close physical

contact with our guests. That means good grooming is a must. A must. I don’t care if your

classmates look like slobs, I am giving YOU the insider scoop. Cosmetologists who are well

groomed are more successful. I mean it. Get in the habit now. Period.

  • Take your shower in the morning, have clean hair, (not dirty or wet), shave, have your nails groomed, if your nail polish is chipped remove it, and absolutely do not chew gum. Your blow dryer will be blowing the air around your body, if you didn’t shower or put on your deodorant your client will know. Your hands are in front of your clients face, they will see your chipped polish, and when you talk to your client, they can smell your breath. These are routines, habits, practices that will make or break you in the Beauty Industry, start good grooming now while you are in school.

  • Your clothes and shoes or uniform must be clean, not wrinkled, stained or worn looking. Guests are at eye level to our bodies and staring into our clothing and looking down at our shoes as we provide services. Your clients will notice if you haven’t ironed your clothes, if your shoes are dirty, and if your shirt has stains from lunch.

  • DO YOUR HAIR. We are in the Hair Industry, having your hair done will show your clients they can trust you with their hair because you know how to do your own hair.

  • Smile. I don’t know about you, but when I am nervous, (which you will be your first week of school) I don’t look nervous, I look like a b**ch. I don’t want to look like a b**ch, and neither should you. Slap a smile on your face... a smile calms you down, and everyone around you as well.

Show up!

Just show up.

  • Don’t be absent! – This is your career, your future. When you miss a day in school you miss learning essentials for your career. When you are working in a salon and miss a day, you lose clients, and you lose money. Learn in school how to show up, be consistent and be dependable.

  • Sit in the front row and pay attention. Start this your first week of school, walk in the classroom and walk to the front. Put yourself under the teacher's nose while they are teaching or doing a demonstration. Your years of sitting in the back row are over. The front row keeps your mind from wandering and limits your distractions.

  • Raise your hand and TRY EVERYTHING. School is your golden opportunity to try and screw up, try and screw up with no major consequences. Screwing up in the salon does come with major consequences. Screw up now while you are in school. It’s also your golden opportunity to try out all aspects of our industry, and see what you like, enjoy and might want to pursue in your own career.

  • Practice every chance you get. Don’t get distracted by the student next to you that wants gossip, this is your career, take complete advantage of every hour you are spending in school.

Is this your first week of Cosmetology School? You got this. I’m so excited for you to start this

amazing career! Flip your mindset and treat Cosmetology School like a job. Hit the ground running! You can thank me later.

Elevating The Industry,

Karen Spinelli


Cosmetology Students and New Hairstylists My intention with every post is to give New Hairstylists all over the world the tips, short cuts, and tools they need to quickly achieve success. I would love to hear from you! You can reach out here, on my site, Instagram, or Facebook. Sign up for my newsletter to receive my weekly blog sent to your inbox.

Cosmetology Schools and Teachers I would love to talk to your students! To book Karen as a speaker at your Cosmetology School, click here.

Karen Spinelli is from Pasadena, California. She was behind the chair for thirty five years, as well as Salon Director of Education for New Hairstylists for the last twenty years. Karen loves Hairstylists! She loves to be a part of “Ah Ha” moments, and to watch New Hairstylists grow in their confidence and skills.

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