It was time for a change for Graciela Castro. After years spent working in finance, she realized that her fast-paced career had hobbled her health, relationships, and ability to sit still for a whole rendition of "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall." So Castro learned to style hair, something she knew she would love once she observed how much a chic cut could lift a person’s spirits. It wasn't long before she opened Graciela's Salon. There, staff members apply the skills they learned at international style conferences to perform services with Paul Mitchell hair treatments or Gelish or Essie nail-polish hues. To enhance the mind-body experience she values, Castro makes clients feel at home by providing such complimentary beverages as wine and coffee, as well as free wireless-Internet access.
The aestheticians of Skincare by Pevonia care about only one thing as much as they care about revitalizing complexions—protecting the planet. They marry their passions by fueling each service with naturally derived products developed in-house by beauty-conscious Swamp Things. The Pevonia Botanica line forbids animal testing and packages each formula inside eco-friendly containers. Though organic elements such as oxygen and hot stones factor into many of the facials and massages, the aestheticians also captain high-tech methods including radio-frequency and LED-light therapies.
The independent beauty specialists at Le Petit Salon at The Beauty Mall update clients' hair with a variety of haircare services. Along with cuts, color, and styles, they also transform locks with keratin treatments that eradicate frizz for sleek, shiny hair.
We spoke with Jack Macaluso?Regional Social Media and Web Coordinator at Beauty Schools of America?about how the academies prepare students for careers in the real world and why it's important for the schools to give back to their communities.
On the schools' mission
Above all else, Jack says that the schools "try to focus and harness the students' creativity," while giving them all of the experience and practical skills they need not simply to be prepared to enter the work force, but to succeed and thrive. The relatively lengthy training programs ensure that aspiring stylists, cosmetologists, makeup artists, barbers, and massage therapists fully understand the intricacies of their chosen specialty, as well as what they need to do to continue advancing their future career according to Jack.
On the role of the instructors
With a roster of instructors that includes industry professionals with international spa and salon experience, Beauty Schools of America strives to give attendees a broad view of the numerous options open to them. Jack is also clear that the teachers' guidance isn't limited to classroom environments. When the advanced-level students are allowed hone their talents by performing treatments for actual clients, "an instructor or two will always be there to assist and answer questions," he says.
On the products that the students use during treatments
Students use brand name products like Moroccanoil, Sojourn, Nioxin, and others. Working alongside their instructors at modern service stations, these stylists use these products to craft en vogue cuts, color, styling and therapeutic practices.
On the schools' charitable involvement
Beauty Schools of America embraces opportunities to give back to its communities while providing real-world experience for students at the same time. Jack goes on to describe events where the schools' aspiring barbers and cosmetologists performed complimentary services for underprivileged residents, and he mentions one specific occasion when massage students provided free treatments for community members who participated in a bike ride dedicated to raising awareness about multiple sclerosis.
Allure Day Spa & Salon pampers clients with spa services that include facials and massages. During each treatment, clients enjoy a private experience complete with wine, cheese, or tea. Unlike a neighbor who refuses to wear pants while gardening, the spa is a responsible member of the community, often raising money for worthy causes such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
In front of the mirrors inside Captiva Salon, the hairstylist at Orlan's for Hair specializes in trimming men's hair and creating sleek, executive styles that look cool and professional. Fueled by more than 25 years in the hair business, Orlan promises every client a timely cut in a comfortable, laid-back atmosphere.