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.
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.
Nails by Amores's professional beauty mavens transform nails into 10-piece appendage accessories during manicure and pedicure treatments. Both manicures begin with the classic cut, file, and cuticle grooming, prepping nails' satin-glove entrance exams. During spa manicures, a seasoned staffer sloughs away outdated cells with an exfoliating scrub steeped in hot towels before massaging hands and adding prismatic pop to fingertips with one of the salon's many polishes. Otherwise, Shellac manicures fuse a gel-based polish to nails with the rays of a UV lamp, instantly curing and drying polish for a formidable finish that lasts up to two weeks, protecting against chips spawned from normal wear, typing, or tickling rhinoceroses. Nail artists then massage hands before patrons dunk their grippers into a paraffin dip that works to seal in skin's silky demeanor. While the top-floor tensome undergo their makeover, feet soak in a solution and are then quickly made over with a cut, file, and polish that leaves toes ready to strut their stuff in flip-flops, open-toed heels, or invisible shoes imported from the Emperor's new collection.
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.
Miller's hair services will make your mane feel like a star without the costly expense of hiring paparazzi to hound it when it exits the gym. Owner Miller Gonzalez has been working behind the chair since age 15, and creative designers Krystian and Margaret boast a combined 25 years of experience with expertise in Bumble and bumble products. Check out these and other staff bios before coming in for a shape and style ($75+), coloring ($65+), fashion tint ($20+), or La Bomba Conditioning Cocktail ($30). Otherwise, get runway ready with a hair straightening ($50+) or red-carpet curls ($65). For a different type of aisle-walking, there’s bridal hair design ($100+). Call ahead to schedule your coif coddling.
The skilled bilingual staff of Ross Spa helps clients achieve their aesthetic goals. Facials, waxing, and massages, including couples massages, stand on the menu of services alongside more unexpected offerings including ultrasound cavitation and lymphatic massage.