Monday, November 25, 2013

The Sky is the Limit for Careers in the Beauty Biz

The Sky is the Limit: Many Opportunities in Beauty Biz

Written by Sherri Jessee December 4, 2012 

For almost as long as I can remember, I have been interested in the world of beauty. Even as a child, I could be found sketching out hair designs and cutting hair. However, never in a thousand years would I have dreamed it be possible for someone from a small town to travel the globe, work with celebrities, have work published in magazines internationally! 
Four page editorial in MODERN SALON.

After more than twenty years of salon ownership and working behind a chair, I can truly say that I STILL love doing hair. It is tremendously rewarding on a daily basis to be able to help people look their best and, consequently, feel better about 
However rewarding working behind the chair can be, there are countless career options available to those fortunate enough to be armed with a cosmetology license. I want to share with you, my professional colleagues, a few of the many options and give some inside info on my personal favorites and, as a bonus, share with you what other indsutry insiders have shared with me!
A few Career Choices in Beauty Biz:
  • Cosmetologist
  • Nail Technician
  • Esthetician/Makeup Artist
  • Wig Specialist
  • Work in a Salon
  • Work on a Cruise Ship or at a Resort
  • Salon Owner/Salon Manager
  • Platform Artist/Educator
  • Hair/makeup for TV, Movies, or Theater
  • Beauty Writer/Magazine Editor
  • Sales Consultant
  • Beauty Advisor/Retail
  • Session Stylist
  • Develop a Product Line

With the famous Ted Gibson.
I asked fan-favorite Ted Gibson to list some of his amazing achievements. Along with working behind the chair (his prices start at an astounding $950 per hair cut!), Ted has been able to “develop a product for a manufacturer; be a beauty school teacher; do editorial and covers for major publications like Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Glamour and InStyle; work on the most beautiful celebs in the world; own multiple salons; be the hairdresser on “What Not To Wear”; and even develop [his own] product line.” All this by being a beauty school graduate!
Working backstage NY Fashion Week.
Ever considered the idea of doing hair for fashion shows? Touted as one of the “Four Kings of Fashion Week,” renowned Session Stylist Peter Gray was generous enough to comment on doing hair for such high-profile events, which, according to Peter, requires, “blood, sweat, and tears…with huge highs and lows. The challenge is very real and the satisfaction enormous when it all works.” He exudes, “I wouldn’t trade it for the world!”
There are also careers available in the print world. As New York editor of Peluquerias International, which is available in sixty-three countries, Helen Oppenheim gets to choose what goes into her magazine. She stresses that “Integrity is key. I only publish the photos I like.  My editors and I agree that the face comes first, then the photo, next the hair and makeup.” Attending the top shows, she also covers the semi-annual Fashion Weeks in her eight beautifully informative columns each year. Timing is also of the essence as “great photos from sources often arrive too late to use that season” due to deadlines.
With editor Helen Oppenheim.

Thought about owning or managing a salon? As a salon owner/manager, I encourage both professional and personal development in my team and enjoy watching them grow stronger and prosper. The relaxing/nurturing environment in my salon makes it a pleasure to come to work as we all continue to grow our skills. As a platform artist, it is tremendously rewarding to share cutting/coloring/finishing methods with stylists around the world and see them become more confident and successful as a result. Personally, I just love doing session work, and pulling off a successful photo shoot is exhilarating. One of my NEXT goals is to teach classes on the process.
Just like setting your GPS in your car when you go on a trip, you will need to establish your beginning location and final destination. Then you can map out the steps you need to get where you want to go.”
On stage in INDIA for RUSK with Apeni George and Marcus Cailett.

Which brings me to the point of setting goals… It is crucial to do this if you want to see progress. Just like setting your GPS in your car when you go on a trip, you will need to establish your “beginning location” and “final destination.” Then you can map out the steps you need to take to get where you want to go. Occasionally, you may find yourself “recalculating your route.” The momentum is amazing. As skills and connections develop, I am able to do things I NEVER dreamed possible.
About the Author
Sherri Jessee has owned Sherri’s Hair Salon in Bristol, VA for 20 plus years. Amazing artistic talents in hair and makeup combined with the knowledge gained from a Bachelor’s degree in education from Emory & Henry College have helped make Sherri one of the most sought after educators in the beauty industry. Sherri has been featured as an industry expert in such acclaimed magazines as OK!, Cosmopolitan and Beauty Entertainment, as well as in numerous educational videos and television shows. Sherri also writes a regular blog entitled “Sherri’s Steps to Style" blog where she covers topics and offers tips on hair, makeup, working with celebrities, salon ownership, marketing tools, business building, and advanced education. Visit Sherri’s website at for more info.

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