For newly licensed professionals, or those still in school, thinking about entering the workforce during this time is daunting. But Adrean de la Parra, a winner of the Beauty Envision Awards for Men's Cutting, co-founder of Equis Atelier, a platform for Spanish language education, and an educator at Bellus Academy in Chula Vista, CA, says that the old rules still apply, today.
“I can understand the frustration they might be feeling,” says de la Parra. “Many ask, how am I going to build my clientele? How am I going to develop my confidence? But I tell them be patient, things are going to get better. Even in a pandemic, I offer this advice for new stylists just starting out.”
Put Yourself Out There
- “You have to let the world know that you are ready to take care of their beauty needs. Let your immediate circle know, then tell the world on social media.”
- “The traditional business card still has a place. Keep them with you and pass them around. When I was at school, one of my educators said that when she ate in a restaurant, she always left her business card with a tip. She would leave a note, sometimes, that said, ‘Valid for a free deep conditioning treatment.’”
- “Talk to people when you’re out and about. Comment on good hair. Let people know you’re part of the beauty industry and that you can take care of them.”
Join a Team
While still in school, de la Parra says to get as much practice as possible, and then once graduated, he recommends new professionals start at a salon that offers an assistant program.
“I still think most beauty professional aren’t one hundred percent prepared to take clients when they graduate. In a salon setting, you’ll get so much experience and education. And you’ll have the backup of someone there to support you if anything goes wrong. You’ll also become familiar with different types of clients by working in a salon.”
He says a trend with salon owners is to actually prefer someone fresh out of school. “That person hasn’t picked up bad habits, yet, and can be molded and trained to fit into the salon culture.”
Young in ‘21
An encouraging sign de la Parra says he’s seeing is that, despite everything, students continue to enroll in beauty school.
“When we first shut down, and we were doing all our beauty education online, I put myself in that situation and I probably would have waited to enroll if I couldn’t be there in person. I don’t know if I would have wanted to do my training online. But I still see a lot of students who are enrolling in school.
“My sense is that when you want to do something, and it’s your goal and your path is set, it doesn’t matter the situation,” he wraps up. “You’re still going to make that dream happen, no matter what.”
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