Within the past couple of years Pennsylvania has changed the testing portion of their cosmetology exams. It used to be that one had to take both a written, and a practical part, passing both in order to receive their license and be allowed to work in a salon in the state of Pennsylvania. What both of these exams did, was prove that the student has a basic knowledge or understanding regarding how the services are performed, as well as how to follow through with the services. Now one is only required to take a written test. You may be asking yourself “what does this mean to me, or why does this matter.” It means that a student only has to take a multiple choice test in order to walk into a salon and perform say a color service. No testing is done now to see if one can even correctly apply color, or say cut a straight line. When such a big change like this happens, it causes the schools’ curriculum to drastically change. Now they need to make sure they are spending more time on the actual written side of things, because it is all that is needed to pass. In the grand scheme of things this also means that less time is properly spent on the services that students need to know before entering a salon. Would you want someone who has maybe only completed a multiple choice test on cuts cut your hair? We wouldn’t either!
Now this is in no way a slander to new stylists, or those still in school. Unfortunately they are suffering just as much as the client because they were never given the proper knowledge upon graduating. Here at Grace Kelly Salon we are constantly doing continuing education for all of our stylists’. We make sure that when our assistants are still in school that they can come over and watch us perform haircuts or colors. We encourage them to ask questions, and we take the one on one time to show them how to properly apply color and to do haircuts before they ever graduate and become a junior stylist. They are never “thrown” onto the floor without the proper knowledge or ability to complete the services they are doing.
The hair industry is constantly changing, never staying the same for too long. At least once a year we take a trip to either New York City or Las Vegas to train with the very best that Redken has to offer us. We choose the bigger cities because they are always ahead of the times. We can come back to Gettysburg and offer our clients the hottest trends before they even get to Gettysburg. Our theory is you can never stop learning, nor will you ever know it all. Watching “You Tube” videos alone is not enough to properly learn. You need to actually follow along, and make the cuts, make the mistakes even to understand fully. That’s why we go to actual classes with our mannequins.
Even though the cosmetology requirements for Pennsylvania have changed, we are trying to do everything possible for our staff to make sure it doesn’t affect them in anyway. Whether that is helping out our assistants, and junior stylists, or going to classes. We are all a team and want the very best for each member of our GKS team!