In the last 12 months, many salon owners have requested a switch from traditional Education to Training. I have worked in Education for almost three decades and this change in direction got me thinking; what has created the demand for Training, and why the need to switch from Education? To fully understand it, I looked at the differences between the two types of teaching methods:
Education is primarily a Show ‘n Tell of a particular cut, technique or trend. It is typically led by an Educator explaining the features and benefits of supporting products. It’s an information-heavy Look ‘n Learn session using only two of your five senses: seeing and hearing. As a result, there are no opportunities for you to improve your skills or to try out new techniques.
Training, on the other hand, is all about physically taking part in the learning experience. Educator-led sessions include hands-on cutting, colouring or styling. All your senses are at play: touching, seeing, hearing, smelling and yes, sometimes tasting! The dynamic training environment creates an ideal space for you to improve your skills and learn new techniques. All the while, you learn all about the products by simply working with them.
The two examples below further illustrate the differences:
Example 1: Colour Melt
- Education teaches you that using shades not more than three depths apart allows for a seamless melt.
- Training teaches you the important technique of using a wide tooth comb and your fingers to melt the demarcation line between shades. You are required to train as if under the pressure of working in a salon where knowledge of hair texture and hair history, as well as the ability to make suitable product recommendations, is needed. Training makes your skills salon-ready by placing emphasis on the learning of the skill and not on the learning of the theory.
Example 2: Balayage
Balayage is the most googled hair technique in the world and there are thousands of online “how-to” videos out there. Most include foils and show you how to place them.
- Education imparts of the information verbally and visually. Having knowledge of how-to and the products needed does not mean that you have skill, let alone an understanding of the technique.
- Training teaches you the precise craft of hand painting hair using the science of clay lighteners to create a perfect balayage. Honing the skill and mastering the technique, under the guidance of an experienced Educator, takes time and practice. And practice makes perfect!
It is clear that the benefits of Training exceed those of Education and I encourage all stylists to repeatedly invest in training, because training is an investment and not an expense. The long-term rewards are undeniable.