The paid apprenticeship program at San Francisco’s diPietro Todd Salon, called “Development” offers concentrated education in cutting or color as well as customer service, consultation and retail. “Our program takes approximately two to three years to complete depending on a student’s individual skill, motivation and productivity,” says Communications Director Kelly Nyland. “Classes are held every Monday to provide students with technical training and to allow them to practice their skills on models under the supervision of highly qualified educators in both color and cutting departments. All students begin this training by supplying and working on 3-4 models each class day. A student’s performance on model Mondays is a critical factor in determining the time it takes him or her to complete the apprenticeship program.” During the rest of the week, the students receive practical knowledge of the beauty industry by working as assistants to stylists and colorists. “Our salon is departmentalized so students in the color department work one on one with their colorists, while students in the cutting department typically assist two stylists,” adds Nyland.

After completing the basic development program, students advance to a 3-month staff training, they polish their skills on four models, five days a week. “At the end of staff training, they will earn their positions as diPietro Todd stylists,” says Nyland. “Our training program gives employees a deep-rooted understanding of the values of our company and what it takes to work in a high-end salon."

The highlight of the program is the annual hairshow where the artists select their own models, make up and fashion, and provide the music and video support. This year owner Kim Todd selected artist James Turrell as the theme believing his work with light would be interesting to translate into hair because of the vibrant colors and geometric lines.

MODERN has been invited to share some of the finishes, included here.

All photos by Kristin Cofer.