Mario Tricoci giving students demonstration

How To Be Successful in “Essentials”

April 15th, 2015

Beauty Blog

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by Adeeba Khan

Here’s a few tips on how to be successful when you’re just starting out in cosmetology or beauty school. We like to think of it as the essentials of “Essentials”.


Every haircut, updo or full foil, take a picture and keep it in your files. There are many benefits for this. Firstly, you can see the progress you have made throughout the program. Secondly, you can add these to your resume so people get a visual of your talent and skill. Lastly, you can post them on social media which includes Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with relevant hashtags, you never know who can see your photos!


Every Saturday you are tested on the all the practicals you learned that week and every Tuesday you take a written test and turn in the three things: smart notes, lookbook and note cards. It always good to spread out these assignments through out the week so it’s not over whelming. I always suggest doing the note cards (which is summarizing in your own words the steps to a haircut or color application) on Friday so you can review the steps before the test. As far as your test, I would finish the smart notes by Saturday. Then look over my study guide provided by the teacher and review Theory. I have done this routine every week and never failed a test.


Be nice to everyone! There are so many reasons why this is important because you never know if your classmate might be your boss one day. Also, there is a lot you can learn from other people. You can learn tricks and tips on how to give the best air form or the cleanest manicure. This industry is always evolving and you want to master every technique so you can offer your client the very best.


Getting your name out there early. Two months into the program, I started applying for a receptionist positions or even a spa assistant, anything to get my foot in the door. I also wanted to show people that I have initiative and that I’m hungry for work. That even 40 hours a week working with hair is not enough to quench my thirst. Plus, it’s a bonus to have salon experience on your resume.


Energy is so important. School prepares you to work Saturday so our schedule is Tuesday-Saturday 9-5. And it’s up to you to take advantage of acting like you are getting ready for a job, looking professional with your image and your energy. You want to be able to look the part. I always make sure I have some makeup on, my hair is polished and my nails are clean. But life happens. Throughout school, you are able to practice putting your life to the side. You are practicing how to get through an 8 hour shift with full energy from beginning to end. Some tips is to have full a breakfast and bring a well packed lunch.


Invest in some comfortable all black shoes. If you are going to be committed in this industry you also have to accept the down sides: being on your feet all day!


If there is every down time, do sign-offs! The more sign offs you do in the classroom, the less you have to do when you are on the salon floor.

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About Adeeba Khan

Adeeba Khan is a current Cosmetology student at Tricoci University’s Chicago NW campus and her passion is hair, makeup and nails. It runs through her veins. It can either be giving a manicure or creating an updo, that is when she feels the most alive. She loves making people feel like their most beautiful self. She hopes to one day open her own salon or teach classes around the world because she wants people to come to a salon to escape from the world and make the cosmetology profession more dignified.

To see more of Adeeba’s work, check her out on Instagram at

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