There's waaaaay more than one terrific reason but let's start with one of the best reasons (imho).
The ability to determine what you earn.
There aren't a lot of careers where you have the freedom to determine how much money you can make per day, per week, per month, per year. Being a licensed salon professional gives people that privilege. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income in the U.S. is $44,668 a year (let's call it $45,000 for shits and gigs). Unlike a corporate work environment where annual raises are determined on the profitability of the organization and can be as low as a 2% cost of living increase (ask yourself what's 2% of $45,000 a year?), hairstylists and makeup artists can write their own raises based on the number of clients they wish to serve or the types of services they wish to perform. If the average person wants to earn almost twice the U.S. median personal income, $90,000 a year, they'd have to have a professional, white-collar career with extensive schooling starting with four years and going up to twelve or more. For example, according to U.S. News & World Reports, the top 20 positions where people can earn $100,000 a year include a veterinarian (schooling requires a bachelor's degree and a graduate degree); an art director (bachelor's degree); physician assistant (undergrad degrees, plus master's degrees in their field and cost on average $71,000); nurse practitioner (college degree, master's degree); computer network architect (bachelor's degree); mathmetician (master's or doctoral degrees in addition to undergrad degree); or, like, fourteen other advanced degree career opportunities like physician, lawyer, political scientist, or actuary. A hairstylist, however, according to BeautySchoolsDirectory.com pays anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 to attend cosmetology school, graduates anywhere from twelve to twenty four months, and has unlimited earnings potential based on the salon they choose to work in and where they are located geographically in the U.S., and, even though the Bureau of Labor and Statistics says a hairstylist or salon owner makes just $23,000 to $51,000 a year (which, unfortunately, because the salon industry is still significantly a cash-based business, the numbers are skewed), stylists have the opportunity to earn a significant income based on the following scenario.
Before we get started, we have to include the (duh) disclaimer that says we do not guarantee the employment or earnings of anyone in or out of the professional salon industry and earnings are dependent upon a myriad of factors, none of which we have control over. Now that that's out of the way, let's say a hairstylist wants to earn $100,000 a year before taxes. If the salon the stylist is working in pays a 50% commission (we're not going to include service charges and that kind of stuff because each salon is different), a stylist has to generate approximately $200,000 in services. How did we get that number? Easy. Divide $200,000 by 52 weeks - that's $3,846 a week in services that that stylist needs to generate. Divide that number by 5 working days - that's $769 in services that needs to be generated each day. Divide that number by 8 working hours - that means that each hour that stylist has to generate $96 in order to earn $100,000 before taxes. If that isn't a terrific reason to join the professional salon industry, stay tuned - we have plenty more terrific reasons why you should join us.
When I was little, I was like one of two mixed people in my community. So, when I say finding a stylist in an all white community (minus me and my mixed chick friend who actually got the shiny, straight, "white hair" of my dreams) was damn near impossible, it was beyond damn near impossible. And, my (white) mom, who was a hairstylist at the time, by the way, knew how to do my hair two ways: parted down the middle and twisted in a fake braid down either side, and/or parting my hair down the middle, putting my hair in two pony tails and giving me mini-mouse ears (now trendily called space buns). UGH. The struggle was REAL, my friends. And, guess what? It didn't get better as I got older. I remember going to a salon when I was about nineteen years old thinking, ahhhh, finally, and the stylist whose chair I sat in had such a look of fear in her eyes, I just sighed, knowing she was going to jack it up. An hour and a half later I walked out with a half straight, half frizzy, low-key Gene Simmons afro.
Fast forward to today and, not only are there more mixed kids than ever (yayyy!!) but there are now so many stylists who know how to do ALL types of hair textures; it's not just "black hair" and "white hair." AND there are so many products and tools for people textured hair! But because textures vary SO dramatically from person to person, we want to know from our followers what products work for you. Are there protection styles you love? Have you found a product that has made a remarkable difference in your hair? Do you have a favorite tool to style your hair? What about salons? Do you have a favorite that specializes in textured hair that you'd recommend? Help us help textured haired people everywhere find the best products and practices for keeping their hair gorgeous!
We've all had them; blackheads and whiteheads. Clustered on the tips of our noses or generously sprinkled around our faces, they are the bane of many a teen and adult man and woman. So, what are these annoying, uninvited visitors and how do we get them to leave?
Often mistaken for dirt trapped in pores, blackheads are actually pockets of oxidized melanin on the surface of the skin; dead skin cells and an oily, protective substance known as sebum. Our bodies and faces have tiny hairs that grow out of our skin. Normally, hair grows from the follicles in the pores and the sebum-producing sebaceous glands lie underneath. When these pores get clogged, the dead skin cells in the pore react with oxygen in the air and turn black (kind of like when an apple is peeled and left out and it turns brown), forming a blackhead. Blackheads have nothing to do with cleanliness of the skin but tend to be brought on by hormonal changes, humidity, cosmetics, and other environmental factors. So, how does one deal with these pesky plugs? Certainly not by scrubbing with St. Ives Peach Exfoliant (yikes). Blackheads should be addressed using products that include benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, retinoids, salicylic acid, or sulfur - all products that work to gently (gently) exfoliate the skin to cleanse and unclog. Over scrubbing can make blackheads worse, causing them to turn yellow - into whiteheads. Dunh dunh duuuuuunnnhhhhhhh.
Wait - whiteheads are actually aggravated blackheads? Well, kind of. Whiteheads are commonly referred to as a form of acne. (There are several levels of severity when it comes to acne but for the purpose of this post, we're going to consider whiteheads first level acne.) Approximately 80% of Americans have experienced acne at some point in their lives. Many experience it in their teen years while there are also people who have experience adult onset acne - acne that starts in middle age and oftentimes extends into a person's fifties. So, what exactly is a whitehead? By definition, if a comedone (zit) has skin over the surface of it, it is considered a whitehead. What makes it white if it's actually a blackhead? Since the opening is microscopic, compared to it being 100% open like a blackhead, the sebum beneath the surface cannot interact with oxygen and oxidize. So, instead of turning black, it stays white (hence the name, whitehead). But here's the tricky part. Though the two comedones are essentially one in the same (a clogged hole in the skin), they must be treated entirely differently and here's why.
Benzoyl peroxide is commonly suggested for use on people with blackheads because of its powerful but gentle exfoliating properties. But if someone were to use it on whiteheads, their skin can get markedly worse! But how is that? Didn't you just say they're one in the same? Yes and no. Whiteheads are an inflammation; a pore that's visible, surrounded by red skin with a white head. Since it is considered an inflammation, most dermatologists will suggest salicylic acid as it is an anti-inflammatory (it's actually derived from aspirin). In addition, it contains anti-bacterial and drying properties, helping unclog pores and clear the skin. Salicylic acid "breaks up the cells, which stick together in the inner lining of the skin pore, thereby declogging blackheads and whiteheads," says Dr. Marnie Nussbaum, a board certified dermatologist and chief medical spokesperson for a popular skincare brand.
So, if you're suffering from blackheads or whiteheads or a combination of both, make sure the products you are using on your face are appropriate for your problem area and the type of skin challenges you have. Also, be be consistent in the care of your skin. Washing a day here and a night there won't allow the products to do their job. If you have questions or would like a skincare consultation, schedule a visit with an esthetics student at Pulse Beauty Academy.
Let's face it (haha, pun intended), aging is inevitable. Looking your age, however, isn't. Here are a few ways to keep your skin gorgeous while getting younger looking skin.
STOP TANNING. Period. Tanning, though giving us the illusion of health and vitality, is actually the WORST thing you can do to your skin. Not just your face but your entire body either; the skin on your arms, legs, chest and hands ages just as much, if not more. If you spend time outside, make sure SPF is part of your regimen, period. If you go in tanning beds, stop immediately. Not just because you're going to look older, sooner. But because you increase your chances of getting skin cancer by more than 75%. Make self tanner your friend.
USE RETIN-A. What exactly is Retin-A? Retin-A is an acid that changes the molecular structure of the skin for the better. Whether treating acne, reducing the appearance of fine lines and spots from sun damage, or shrinking large pores, Retin-A continues to be one of the darlings of skin care specialists across America. Because of its potency, it is available only by prescription but don't work, you don't have to go to a cosmetic medical spa to get your hands on this fountain of youth in a tube; your primary care physician can write you a prescription. Just make sure you follow the directions exactly; lots of people think more is more but with a powerful prescription like this, following the directions is everything as you can end of up burning and itching with overuse.
MAKE PEELS A REGULAR PART OF YOUR LIFE. More so than coffee. For real. Glycolic peels are made up of alpha-hydroxy acids (acids that are effective but not as intense as Retin-A, for example) that "eat" away dead skin cells to reveal a clearer, shinier, brighter complexion and younger looking skin. Peels boost collagen production, improve skin texture, fade age and sun spots, and give an overall appearance of younger, healthier skin. If using a peel more than 30% effective, a dermatologist or licensed medical professional is required to apply. If using a peel up to 30%, a spa technician or esthetician or esthetician in training (ahem, a Pulse Beauty Academy Esthetics Program student) is able to apply it.
What are you doing to keep your skin healthy and young? We want to know! Share in the comments. If you aren't doing anything, make sure you schedule a peel or a facial at Pulse Beauty Academy today! Call 610-873-8600 and speak to a receptionist to discover which facial is going to be best for you.
The esthetics program is here and our esthetics students are helping Chester County residents get lit. How, you ask? By cleansing, detoxing, hydrating, waxing, and polishing them, that's how. Want to learn more? Here's a breakdown of the services our esthetics students offer:
Anti Aging Facials (with steam, or without) - we've been looking for the fountain of youth for millions of years but little did we realize it's inside the Dermalogica Pro-60 Anti Aging facial service. 30.00 for steam/25.00 without
Sensitive Skin Facial - is for, spoiler alert, sensitive skin. 25.00
Deep Cleansing Detox Facial - if you wear makeup, exercise, exist in this free-radical infested world, then you need a deep cleansing detox facial. And with it's tiny price tag, you'll be able to get one once a month. 30.00
Teen, Men's and Classic Facial - listen, everyone deserves gorgeous skin; the man in your life (whether it's your son, son-in-law, husband, you get the idea) and the teen in your life (who knows, it might relax them long enough to actually *want* to hang out with you). 25.00
Rejuvenating Moisture Infused Facial - if you're dehydrated after a long summer laying by the pool, then this is the facial for you. Plump up those skin cells with a moisture infused treat. 30.00
Mini Facials - short on time or funds? Take advantage of our mini facials! Offered in Deep Cleanse or Classic, you'll still get the benefits of the facial just not all the time to sleep (which is what most people do when they get a facial, they're so relaxed). And for the eensy price, you'll be able to give one to a friend! 15.00
Lash or Brow Tint - nix the lash extensions and micro-bladed brows for this quick, inexpensive service. Lash and brow tinting adds depth, darkness, and volume and gradually fades.15.00
Add Ons - For less than the cost of a triple shot grande latte, you can add a paraffin hand or facial masque, an essential oil scalp massage, a hot towel exfoliating hand treatment, or a hot towel heavenly hand therapy treatment. 5.00
Body Polish - exfoliate dead, dry skin cells from your body with this relaxing body polish service. 35.00
Deep Back "Facial" - like a deep cleansing facial but for your back. 30.00
Back "Facial" - like a facial but for your back. 25.00
Brow, Chin or Lip Wax - 6.00 (combine any two and pay just 10.00)
Back Wax - 25.00
Bikini Wax - American or French 25.00
Half Leg Wax - 15.00
Half Arm Wax - 15.00
Underarm Wax - 10.00
Now that summer is over, your skin is most likely dry with a build up of dead skin cells. Before you head into the fall, schedule a facial now. Facial services are only available Tuesdays and Wednesdays so hurry up and get a head start on your glow up!
Enrolling in school can be an overwhelming process. There are forms to complete, financial aid to learn about, start dates, parking rules, uniform expectations - and then there’s the, “Am I making the right decision?” questions we beat ourselves up with.
It’s okay. Breathe.
We have all been where you’re sitting right now and we’ve all experienced those same feelings and asked ourselves the same questions. And, because of we’ve been there, we’ve made it our goal to make the enrollment process as easy as possible for you. Here’s a short breakdown of the typical enrollment process - a kind of What To Expect When Enrolling guide. Each person’s experience may be different so we always encourage you to contact us anytime with any questions you may have. You are not bothering us - you are not asking stupid questions - we are here to support you, guide you, and answer any questions you may have!
The Initial Interview and Campus Tour
Usually the most exciting and nervewracking time is when students visit our campus for a tour. They don’t know what to expect and they may be feeling nervous or anxious. Not to worry! We are excited to meet you and can’t wait to learn about what’s inspiring you to explore the professional beauty and salon industry! We’ll sit down in the Admissions Office and have a relaxed get-to-know-you interview where we’ll ask you questions about what makes you, you. You’ll have a chance to ask us questions during that time but don’t feel weird if you don’t have any questions - a lot of people are so excited they forget to ask! After we show you what is included in your student kit, we kick off the tour of the school. During the tour, you’ll have an opportunity to check out our classrooms, meet some students and some educators, you’ll learn about our classes and how your journey through our program will progress. We’ll end up back in the Admission Office where you’ll have an opportunity to meet briefly with a Financial Aid Specialist. This, too, will be a low-key chat where you can ask questions about how to pay for your education, learn about the FAFSA, tuition payment options, and more. You’ll receive information packets to read when you get home and business cards with contact information for any questions you think about afterward. At that point, your Admissions Specialist will come back into the office with an Admissions Packet with more stuff for you to read and complete including your Admissions Application, and then you’ll be on your way to start planning the life you’ve always dreamed of.
The Financial Aid Process
With student loan debt at an all time high, knowing that your cosmetology school tuition is under twenty thousand dollars is extremely satisfying to both students and parents. However, like many other Americans, many families do not have money saved for their child’s education. That is where student loans and grants come in. Here are some very common questions we’ve received along with the answers you may need:
Q. How do I fill out the FAFSA?
A. Go to FAFSA.ed.gov. To start a FAFSA you’ll need a Federal Student Aid ID and password. If you’ve filled out a FAFSA previously, you probably already have those. But if you don’t have an FSA ID yet, you’ll need your Social Security card or Alien Registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen. To complete a FAFSA you’ll need to provide information from your (and, if you are under the age of 24, your parents’) most recent income tax return, W-2s, and bank statements. You must file a FAFSA each academic year you want aid.
Q. When is the FAFSA due?
A. Every state has its own deadline for the FAFSA. Some states and colleges distribute aid on a first-come, first-served basis, so file as soon as you can. Anyone planning to attend college in the fall of 2017—high school seniors and current college students—should fill out a 2017-18 FAFSA as soon as possible. Wherever you live, you should also check with your college financial aid administrator to find out your college’s FAFSA deadline. But don’t stress out if you’re late. The FAFSA gives you a full 18 months to file. That means students who started college in the fall of 2016 can still file a FAFSA as late as June 30, 2017 and receive federal grants or loans retroactively.
Q. When do I find out how much money I will receive?
A. After submitting your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), which is a summary of the FAFSA data you submitted. Review your SAR for accuracy, as this information will be sent to a list of colleges you select to determine your financial aid. Each college that you are accepted by will then use the information to create a financial aid package—typically a mix of grants or scholarships, loans, and work-study jobs—for you. Some schools will send you an award notification quickly. Others will take months. Applicants hoping to be freshmen in the fall who have finished their applications before March 31 should get their notification no later than April 15. Returning undergraduates typically get their awards a little later, possibly as late as June.
Q. What is FAFSA?
A. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form is the single most important financial aid gateway. It asks you questions about the student’s (and, if you are under the age of 24, the student’s parents’) income and savings to estimate how much aid the student needs. Your FAFSA information is used to award federal grants, state grants, and numerous scholarships from colleges, foundations, and companies. Experts recommend all students file a FAFSA, even if you are uncertain whether or not your family will qualify for aid.
Q. What tax information will I need to fill out my FAFSA?
A: Because of a quirky change in the deadlines and rules, the 2016-17 and the 2017-18 FAFSA will both be based on your family’s 2015 tax information. One reason for this is to make it easier for you to fill out the FAFSA. You can just check a box on the online FAFSA form and it will automatically import all of the information you filed with the IRS, saving you lots of time and tedious answering of dozens of questions.
Q. How do I get my FSA ID?
A. Go to fsaid.ed.gov to create the FSA ID. You will need to create a unique user ID and a password and verify that you are at least 13. You will need to provide your Social Security number (or Green Card number, if that is all you have), date of birth, and name exactly as it appears on your official documents. If the student is under the age of 24, the parents will also have to get an FSA ID. (If you are applying using email addresses, you and your parents will need separate email accounts. You cannot share email accounts for FAFSA purposes.)
Q. If I am undocumented, can I still apply for the FAFSA?
A. No. Undocumented students are not eligible for federal student aid. There are some states, however, that offer grants to undocumented students, like California and Texas. These states have forms specifically designed for undocumented students. Additionally, there are private scholarships available.
Q. If my parents are undocumented but I am a legal resident, can I apply for the FAFSA?
A. Yes. Your parents’ citizenship status does not affect your eligibility for federal student aid. In fact, the FAFSA does not ask about your parents’ status. If your parent does not have a Social Security number, you may simply enter all zeroes in the question that asks about their number on the FAFSA. Because your parents don’t have a valid Social Security number, though, they will not be able to create a FSA ID and therefore cannot sign the FAFSA electronically. In this case, you should electronically sign and submit the FAFSA form, then print the signature page so that your parents can sign it. Once they have signed it, you should mail it. Note: It will take longer to process your FAFSA, so plan accordingly.
Q. I have no money to pay for college; does that mean I can’t go?
A. You can definitely go to college no matter how little money you have right now. Low-income students who fill out a FAFSA, for example, typically receive enough federal grants (and loans, if necessary) to at least pay for tuition and books at a local community college. Many other kinds of colleges provide full aid to different kinds of students—those from disadvantaged backgrounds, those with top grades, etc.
Q. What is the difference between a subsidized loan and an unsubsidized loan?
A. The federal government offers two kinds of student loans. Both have low interest rates and lots of benefits, including the possibility of forgiveness (which means you might not have to pay it all back). The best kind of federal student loan is called “subsidized” because while you are in school the government will pay (or subsidize) the interest on your loan. In other words, if you borrow a $1,000 subsidized loan in your freshman year, you will only owe $1,000 when you graduate. The government only awards “subsidized” loans to students whose FAFSA indicates they need aid to attend their college. But any student who fills out a FAFSA— now matter how wealthy—can take out a federal “unsubsidized” loan. That loan’s interest charge builds up while the student is in school. A freshman who borrowed a $1,000 unsubsidized loan in the fall of 2016, would owe close to $1,200 on graduation day in 2020 because the debt will have grown by about 4% a year in fees and interest charges.
If you don’t qualify for student loans or are having challenges getting documents from your parents, for example, don’t worry. There are other ways to pay for school. Contact our Financial Aid team and they will walk you through every payment option available to you.
I’m enrolled, my financial aid is in place, I have a start date - now what?
Now the fun begins! Let’s cover the basics:
Pulse is located at 150 East Pennsylvania in the beautiful town of Downingtown. We are located in the Milltown Square shopping center where Planet Fitness and Kimberton Whole Foods are. There are also many doctor offices in our center and each of the businesses has very clearly labeled parking except Pulse. Pulse students are allowed to park in any of the exterior, numbered parking spots in the lower and upper lots (the one closest to Pulse and the one closest to Patient First) unless they are marked Sherwin Williams, Kimberton Whole Foods, or Patient First. Please be sure to arrive early to find a spot and do not park in spots not indicated for Pulse or the property management company will tow your car. Pulse Beauty Academy is not responsible for cars that are towed.
What do I wear?
Our uniform is in place to assist you in the development of a professional image. The state board approved black shirts, black pants or skirt, and black shoes as our uniform. Open toe shoes are not allowed per the State Board of Cosmetology, nor are sleeveless tops that expose the armpits. At Pulse, we understand that a person’s opinion of you is established within the first four seconds of meeting you so we encourage you to dress professionally and respectfully with regard to length of skirt, exposure of decollatage, and otherwise inappropriate dress. If your clothing is deemed inappropriate for class by a staff member, you will be given the option of wearing a stylist apron or asked to go home to change into something more professional. Always use your best judgement.
Where do I go my first day and what do I bring?
This is such a fun, exciting day! Bring yourself - bring your smile - bring your positive attitude - bring your dreams - bring your goals - bring your commitment - bring your get up and go. You are about to embark on the journey of a lifetime and your first day is probably going to be the most relaxed. Head into the reception area, introduce yourself to our Service Desk team and then take a seat and relax. We can’t wait to see you!
Am I forgetting anything?
Even if you are, no big deal. We are here for you and will be here for you for the rest of your career. Pulse Beauty Academy graduates from the very first class back in 2005 are still our friends, still reach out to us for advice, come back and teach guest artist classes. This is a journey of exploration, of discovery; and, if you discover you’ve forgotten something, we’ll take care of it.
Cosmetology school is essentially a vehicle to get you from point A. (a person in love with the salon industry but without a license) to point B. (a person in love with the salon industry and is now prepared to become licensed) in 1250 hours. During that time you'll cover a lot of ground- history of the salon industry, tools, instruments, chemicals, anatomy, geometries of haircuts, resume building, client interactions, communication skills, blow drys, perms, color, color theory, braiding, extensions, marketing, interviewing, product knowledge, nails, skin, facials, makeup, highlighting, balayage, fantasy color, mens haircuts and grooming, time management, personal goal setting, and so much more. But the real education begins the moment you graduate and get behind the chair. There is so much to learn and so many opportunities to learn, it's incredible! Continuing education opportunities are everywhere - in your salon, in your chair, off-site, at hair shows, at clinics, and more. A career in the beauty industry is the most exciting and rewarding because it never stays the same and you're always learning. Discover more about a career in beauty. Contact a member of our Admissions Team today!
There's something magical about the beauty industry. Maybe it's the Christmas morning feeling you get when you walk into Sephora to look at the new Jaclyn Hill or Jefree Star collections? Maybe it's the butterflies you get in your stomach when you change your hair color and you're just about finished blow drying and flat ironing it and you're gonna post the most bomb ass selfie ever. Whatever it is, there isn't another industry as amazing and our students and graduates are living proof. Take Alicia, for example. An OG Pulse Beauty Academy graduate, Lish has been working at Calista for years as a stylist, making Chester County and Delaware County residents gorgeous. On the side though, Lish was exploring the world of radical, artistic color formulation and application. A bonafide member of the Unicorn Tribe, she is now an educator for indie color brand, Pulp Riot, and is literally lighting the world up with her stunning color and texture work. Lish is traveling and teaching and publishing her work, still spends time behind the chair, and is living the dream.