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What I Wish I Knew In Beauty School

Cosmo’s, this one’s for you, babes! You asked and we listened.

Surprisingly enough, regardless of the decade gaps, the simple truths of ‘what I wish I would have known in beauty school’ stays the same.

Let’s dive in.

Yeah, we know, the industry is evolving at a rapid rate, and it almost will make your head spin. It seems like it’s no longer enough just to be a really great hairstylist. It’s as if you have to be so much more even to be noticed. Striving to become a successful service professional in the Beauty Industry is comparatively this generation's new “starving artist game”. We all just tryin to be famous it looks like (smdh).

Look here, I know we all aren’t trying to be famous, but those demands are put on us before we even graduate school. How many followers do you have? What is your engagement like? Will this even help me build my clientele?

It simply comes down to wanting to succeed at what you do, and let’s be honest, sometimes fame helps.

But before we go building our house on sand, take a step back and realize that you chose to be in a skills-based industry. This means, I wouldn’t hire a Mechanic to work on my car if he didn’t even know how to change a tire. Same with hair, I wouldn’t pay someone to give me highlights if they didn’t know how to properly wash them out.

These skills take practice.

Cheat Code: no matter what your following or engagement is like, if your skills are not developed, you will never retain those clients.


I think we can all agree that when we jumped into this industry, none of us did it so we could become professional videographers or photographers.

In the word’s of Hilton Sophia “the world said it’s not good enough just to be a hairdresser any more, you have to be a hairdresser and good at social media… a professional photographer and videographer, and editor as well as a f*&@#ing comedian or do a dance routine, and I just want to sell some f*$%!ing highlights”

We have industry influencers like Gina Bianca

laying it down for us saying that “this generation of stylists will have to work harder than any generation before them”, and she might be right. But I don’t that means what you think it means.

Working harder than any artist generation before you means discipline in your craft. If you and your doll head aren’t in a committed relationship by now, you better settle down and realize that one tool is what is going to pay your bills, and keep paying your bills for years and years.

Before we have a full panic attack about dating our doll heads, chiiiiiilllllll babes.

Chill & take a deep breath.

She ain’t gonna care if you mess her up, but a client definitely will. She is your biggest ally and best friend in this industry.

Can I give you some advice?

Just focus on enjoying your craft. Mind you, those who enjoy the journey will always go farther than those who only enjoy the destination.

Simply put, consistency over intensity, babes.

Doing hair is not about the glitz and glam. Doing hair is about serving others first. Doing hair should always be about the excellence of the craft. Doing hair should be about the human connection. Doing hair is not a show, it’s not a performance, it’s not an ego trip.

I promise you, if you focus on being the best you can be with every single client, day in and day out, you will rise. The magic is always in the small, unseen moments with your clients. Without that, you have nothing.

Again, do not build your house on sand. Do not pray to your Instagram God’s hoping they will hear your cry for success.

Your craft deserves so much more, it requires passion, discipline and devotion. Your clients deserve excellence and you deserve to love your career.

Old Proverbs tell us that what you practice in private will always come to light in the public.

Do not be discouraged lovies, Rome was not built in a day, and your career takes a firm foundation for it to experience sustainable long-term success.

My advice is to get yourself into a salon that has really superb leadership. Someone that you can really look up to. Find the most fierce visionary out there, and join their team. Nestle yourself into a community of like-minded high-achievers who have overcome what you are facing and will support you through the journey. Find a salon that will create an ecosystem that allows you to just enjoy doing hair and not require you to be a social media content puppet. When you find those things, lock in for the ride and do not let go.

You will not be better off alone, I promise you, the right salon for you is out there. Do not give up. You are worth it, your future is worth it. There are clients out there who’ve you’ve never even met yet that will sit in your chair one day and be so grateful for the excellence and artistry you have put into your career. That excellence is built with time. Enjoy the ride babes. You will go farther that way.

Blessings on your journey!

-Lauren Lake Petrich

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