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Rosanne Ullman | July 10, 2011 | 6:22 PM

I've been writing about the salon industry for a while now and I have to laugh when I think back to the way we used to do things at MODERN SALON-inserting paper between typewriter rollers and rubber-gluing paragraphs onto dummy pages.

MODERN SALON has been around since 1924, which, yes, beats my own record. The magazine's history has mirrored the industry's coming of age, as I learned in 1999 when we celebrated MODERN's 75th anniversary with a year-long series of retrospective articles that culminated in our editorial selection of the industry's top 75 educators. I had the opportunity to speak with most of the icons on that elite list-what a privilege!

Honoring the educators proved to be the perfect way to mark the MODERN SALON experience. Paging through every issue, I noticed an ongoing editorial theme: Hair professionals thrive on education. MODERN established its reputation by conducting original photo shoots and sharing the step-by-steps to creating the styles. No other magazine did that in the early days, and today MODERN SALON remains unmatched in its dedication to educating readers in both technical and business topics, IMHO (in my humble opinion).

Blogging for Education

Combine my humble opinion with education, and you get my latest venture: a blog on This website goes beyond our traditional technical training by offering interactive, online courses in hair cutting, coloring and styling. Extremely affordable, these courses are appropriate for both newbie stylists and veterans who want to brush up on techniques and pick up a few new tricks. Some states have even qualified our courses for continuing education credit.

Through my blog I try to contribute to the education arena through open-ended discussion of both the big issues and small nuances of salon life. Should you specialize or be a generalist? Drive clients toward styles that you believe will look best on them or bow to their preferences? Remain loyal to a salon that no longer nourishes your professional growth or move on?

In some posts I pass along the many keen insights I gain from interviewing salon professionals, who could not be more generous in sharing their secrets of success as well as recounting pitfalls they've experienced. Other posts originate with something I hear in my everyday life, such as the time a mother explained to me how her teen son's stylist gained his undying loyalty simply by dealing directly with the kid instead of the mom for making appointments and hair cut decisions. But my favorite topics have to be the celebrity-inspired posts. I've invited readers to weigh in on Victoria Beckham's bob, Carrie Underwood's curls and Jenna Bush's wedding 'do.

The blog is so fun for me to write, and I couldn't have a more appropriate topic than continuing education. I'm guessing you have some wisdom of your own to share.

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