Sponsored by Forest Grove Economic Development
Home The Latest The hair design business keeps growing

The hair design business keeps growing

| Print |  Email
The Latest
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

By Jacq Lacy

On Saturday mornings, Beau Monde College of Hair Design in downtown Portland is high energy. Dozens of customers saunter through the door to get their hair cut, colored or styled. Both night-school and day-school students arrive early to prepare their chairs for customers and practice cuts and styles on their real-haired mannequins. Teachers wander through the aisles making sure every service is correctly performed. The crowd of male and female, young and middle aged students attends the school to study the art of making people beautiful.

These students have chosen this field because the Oregon hair design industry holds promise of unusually high job placement, job security, flexible hours and profitability. The Oregon Health Licensing Agency issued 21,187 hair design licenses this year, an increase of 241 licenses issued since 2008. 

"Everyone on the planet gets a haircut," Dianna Peterson, owner of Beau Monde, said. "You can't outsource it. It's not computerized. It's all skill. You never worry about someone taking over your position. We are kind of a recession proof industry. Even in Detroit you still see salons and people getting their hair done."

Hair design seems to grow as other cosmetology industries in Oregon fall to the wayside. Over the past three years, licenses in barbering have decreased by 17.1%, esthetics by 2.6% and nail technology by 7%.

"Skin care and esthetics will be first to go. Nails will be the next to go. But [clients] will not give up their hair color, their weaves, their crowning glory," Peterson said.

"It’s very fashion driven," says Joseph Climaldi, partial-owner and campus director of Phagans' School of Hair Design. "If it is in fashion to do hair, people will specialize in hair. Nails have gone out of fashion."

Attendance at hair design schools is up, say teachers and directors of Oregon institutions.

“We have more people wanting to come than we have space here. Our biggest challenge is finding room," said Denise D'Angelo, a faculty advisor at The School of Hair Design at Mt Hood Community College (MHCC).

The classrooms and studios of Oregon's beauty colleges are filled with students who want to work in a salon or open their own salon.  The majority of students have already received community college degrees or attended four-year universities. Some pursue their bachelors while attending beauty school, such as the business administration students that want to start their own business in the fashion and cosmetology industry.

Business management, consumer psychology and customer service lessons can be found at many beauty schools. MHCC provides students with courses titled: Psychology of Human Relations and Workplace Communications.

After graduation most students find work as employees in a salon. Between 2008 and 2009, 100% of graduates reported to the Academy of Hair Design and the State of Oregon that they had found work after graduation. Other schools report similarly impressive placement.

"The [National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology] considers us a zero unemployment industry. You may not find your dream job, but you can find a job," D'Angelo said.

Although some small hair salons in rural areas noted a slight downturn of clientele and revenue, the majority of salons have hired an average of four new hair design specialists in the past two years. Most salons said they recruit students from nearby schools.

Pay usually begins at minimum wage in rural areas, and increases as students gain experience and acquire metropolitan clients. In Oregon a usual starting salary is about $20,000 per year; approximately $30-40,000 per year in the Salem and Portland areas. Students usually leave school with little debt since federal financial aid assists students with tuition costs raging between $15,000 and $25,000 for a 1-2 year cosmetology program.

At the end of the day Beau Monde students collect tips and log experience. Students pack up to go home. The long day has brought the students one day closer to jobs, entrepreneurship or both.

Jacq Lacy is an associate writer for Oregon Business.

 

More Articles

Community colleges and sustainability

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 31, 2014
sustainabilityBY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.


Read more...

Who said we should sell in May?

Contributed Blogs
Friday, July 18, 2014
BullMarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”


Read more...

Blips and trends in the housing market

News
Thursday, June 26, 2014
062614 thumb realestateBY ERIC FRUTS | OB BLOGGER

Last year, the housing market in Oregon—and the U.S. as a whole—was blasting off. The Case-Shiller index of home prices ended the year 13% higher than at the beginning of the year. But, was last year a blip, or a trend?


Read more...

Why I became an Oregon angel investor

Guest Blog
Monday, July 14, 2014
AngelInvestBY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE

I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.


Read more...

Portland: Where young people go to work?

News
Friday, June 06, 2014
UntitledBY KATIE AUSBURGER | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

How to build a hipster-friendly work environment.


Read more...

13 West Coast seafood species now 'sustainable'

News
Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Fishing OrBiz Fishing 0357 ADOBErgbCiting the transition to catch shares management as a key to rebuilding stocks and reducing bycatch, 13 species caught by the West Coast trawl fishery today earned designation from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as sustainable.


Read more...

Updated: Disrupting innovation

News
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
070814 thumb disputive-innovationBY LINDA BAKER  | OB EDITOR

The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation  — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment. 

Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS