Expert Advice

Your Career In Cosmetology: “What’s the best way to choose an advanced cosmetology class?”

Victoria Wurdinger | July 10, 2011 | 6:17 PM

This month's question: "What's the best way to choose an advanced cosmetology class?"

From DVDs to hands-on classes in London, from free courses to ones that cost hundreds of dollars, advanced training comes in all forms. Narrowing the options beyond the topic you want to study can be hard.

What should you look for and how can you be sure you get what you paid for? There's no one better to ask than a stylist who takes tons of training, who was also an educator herself.

Julie Stahlecker is a master stylist and the manager of Top Designers in Jamestown, North Dakota. Her career in cosmetology has included work for Regis and she was a cosmetology instructor at Town & Country Beauty College. A specialist in formal hair styling and corrective hair coloring, she works behind the chair overseeing 18 stylists, five receptionists and two licensed instructors-when she's not preparing the new spa addition for its grand opening.

She says the top four things you should look for in a class to advance your career in cosmetology are:

1.    Hands-on work. "If you don't pick up the shears or a tint brush, you won't get as much out of the class."

2.   The instructor's skill level.

3.   A motivational aspect. "The presentation should keep you interested and be exciting."

4.   Education that you can bring back into the salon and develop in your own way.


The most recent courses Stahlecker took covered foil placement and chemical service efficiency. The salon also brought a motivational speaker in-house, because keeping things high-energy in a small-town business is essential.

"Ideally, you should attend at least two outside programs a year and train in-house bi-monthly," says Stahlecker. "It's a challenge in a rural area. We've been lucky with distributors. Technology helps; we buy all the DVDs we can. It would be awesome to get more online training."

For city slickers and hinterland dwellers alike,  Modern Salon  now offers continuing education online just visit for a free demo.

Your Career In Cosmetology: “What’s the best way to choose an advanced cosmetology class?”

Former instructor, salon manager and master stylist Julie Stahlecker says when it comes to free classes, any education is worthwhile.

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