Limitless Learning: Inspiration, Education and Collaboration

Alison Alhamed | November 28, 2012 | 1:35 PM

Luis Alvarez, co-founder of Aquage, once told me, “You never really graduate beauty school because to be a true master of your craft the learning must never stop.” This statement has stayed with me as I just hit the one-year mark of earning my cosmetology license. And, as I’ve learned, Alvarez was right—advanced education is critical to not only maintain the skills acquired in beauty school, but to learn new techniques, new abilities and to stay inspired.

I never realized how limitless a career in beauty could be until I experienced advanced education classes. In addition to incredible hands-on education, I often discovered my biggest takeaway was from what I learned from other students in the class—whether a seasoned professional or new grad like me. I’d watch the way they wrap hair around an iron, how they cross-check a cut, or perform their personal consultation process.

“I still learn from new graduates every day,” says seasoned pro Carole Protat, Wella Professionals North America Education Director. “Seeing the way they work, the way they process information, how they interpret a technique—that freshness and those wide eyes inspire me.”

That’s what this issue of FIRST CHAIR is all about—celebrating and recognizing the education gained through networking with other licensed professionals. Whether it’s entering a competition and learning from your fellow competitors, sitting in a roundtable discussion, enrolling in a certification class and learning a new skill, or getting the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join a new graduate recognition program (like Spread the Love or Team I.C.A.N.—get details on page 42), if you want to be a true master of your craft, the learning must never stop.

One of the best ways to network with your peers is through professional pages like The network of nearly 100,000 professionals is always jumping with the latest beauty buzz, links to step by steps, new collections and trends. But, if you’re
looking for a place to share your work interact with current students and new grads, “like”—it’s the best place to connect with new talent.

As always, this issue is dedicated to you, the future professional. As you follow the career timelines of seasoned professionals Chrystofer Benson, Dean Banowetz and Yolly ten Koppel, beginning on page 28, remember, “Nothing of value comes for free,” says Wella Professionals Top Stylist Diego Raviglione. “Nothing of substance comes without sacrifice. You need to askyourself, what am I willing to do to win?”

If you’re anything like the professionals I’ve had the honor of learning with this past year,
I’ll bet your answer is, “anything.” Here’s to you and your success!

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