How Cosmetology Students Can Get Practical, Hands-On Practice During COVID-19

As part of getting certified as a cosmetologist, classroom learning is vital. Good instruction, and getting the knowledge required to practice your craft allows you to operate confidently and competently. However, there is the other side of learning that has become increasingly more difficult during COVID-19 but is no less critical: practical application. 

In a normal, non-COVID-19 world, this is fairly straightforward: Work in a student salon, or apprentice to a regular salon in order to get the hours of experience needed to become confident in your skills and earn your certification. During COVID-19, while people to people contact is the main source of contagion, that becomes complicated. 

1. Work On Dummies

There are cosmetology specific dummies created both for nails, hair and makeup. It’s not the same as real human skin, or working with real people, but it works well for getting down the basics. Consider investing in a makeup face, or hair head, or nails hand to work on. They won’t break the bank and are an excellent way to get started.

2. Work On Friends and/or Family

Who did you go into lockdown/quarantine with? It’s safe to assume that person has a face that could be made up, and nails that can be manicured/pedicured. It’s also likely that they have hair to work on, but that is not always guaranteed. Since these people are the ones you have gone into lockdown with, you don’t need to worry about transfer of contagion and infection. 

Remember this: People love to be pampered, especially during times of stress. And pampering is exactly what you have to offer. This goes for people of all ages and genders. If you went into lockdown with children, this can become a great activity for an afternoon. Set up a mock wedding and do everyone’s hair and makeup, or a fashion show or photoshoot. If you’re with your parents or a significant other or friends/roommates, let them choose a day (or multiple days) to be spoiled with a full spa treatment of manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing or whatever it is you’re looking to practice. Odds are, you’ll become the most popular person in your quarantine house in no time, and they’ll be begging for more--which means more practice!

3. Work On Clients with EXTREME Precautions. 

We start this suggestion by urging you to look up the laws in your state and follow them. Not all states have the same rules for beauty industry technicians as far as if and/or how they are allowed to operate right now. If it is legal within your state, make sure you follow every rule--they are there to keep you and your client safe. 

We also recommend working with (relatively) low-risk people--mothers with infants, seniors, and people without underlying health symptoms are at much higher risk and aren’t good candidates during this time. Young children--who may not be able to avoid tactiley interacting with their surroundings and are more likely to forget new rules or disregard them--are also not ideal candidates. Someone who is an adult, mature, and in good health is the most ideal. Make sure to take their temperature before they enter your space, and to completely disinfect the space before and after their appointment. You and your client should wear masks and wear gloves at all times and a face shield, both to lower risk as well as to prevent you touching your own face. Make sure the room you are working in is well ventilated. This is by no means a perfect prevention recommendation, so make sure to research the newest and best ways to keep yourself safe. You and your client will be glad you did!

4. Practice on Yourself

If you are high-risk or want to take extra precautions, remember that you always have your own hair, nails, and skin to practice on! For many reasons, this isn’t perfect practice, and definitely won’t work for everything, but it is a far step better than not practicing at all and offers no risk of COVID transmission whatsoever! Consider filming yourself while you work and watching later to review your performance and see if there are any techniques you would like to improve on that are hard to spot otherwise. 

With these above tips, you can rest assured you will get your hands-on time in addition to the quality instruction we offer here at Cameo Beauty Academy. So what are you waiting for? Sign up now to join our upcoming semester!

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