Photo by Shari Sirotnak on Unsplash
Before we fill you up with awesome hair tips, announcements and great deals, we just wanted to take a little time to introduce ourselves.
The Hair Stylist Guide Inc. are salon professionals, motivated to help other hairstylists and barbers achieve their goals and dreams in their careers in the world of hair.
Why do I want to help stylists and barbers get their hair license?
Getting your hair license helps to bring you one step closer to having the freedom to run your own successful hair business – but the exam itself is not that easy and can be the source of much stress and anxiety. I get it, because I wrote it myself. I know what it’s like to feel nervous and unsure and to be confused about where to start studying.
I personally have been working in salons and spas since I was 19 and have over 10 years of experience working in the hair industry and managing salons. A lot of my coworkers and I took our hair licensing exam around the same time. Although I passed on my first attempt (after WEEKS of studying), I know many people who were not so fortunate.
Although the exam is a learning experience, failing it costs money (because you have to pay for each rewrite) and also is a bit of a blow to the ego. No one likes to be told that they didn’t pass a test. Bummer. But what matters is that you don't give up. Take your exam attempt as a learning experience and go write that son of a betch again so that you can continue to (legally) make this world a more beautiful place.
Why are so many people failing the hair license exam?
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash)
The people I know who failed the exam are extremely talented hairstylists. They knew what they were doing, no matter what client sat in their chair. Sound familiar?
Basically, I think there are a few main reasons why people are failing their exam:
- You really need to know a lot of hair industry jargon…words and terms that you probably don’t even deal with in the salon or with your clients on a regular basis – because you don’t use them in day to day conversation at work.
- Language barrier – a lot of people writing the exam have English as their second language. The exam is difficult enough with English as a first language due to the technical terminology. Imagine writing it when you’re English or French isn’t quite up to par. Sure, you are allowed to use a dictionary and bring an “interpreter”. But you still need to know the material and recognize what’s written in the questions.
- People are studying the wrong things. You are not being tested on things the same way you did your multiple-choice quizzes back in hair school. You don’t just need to know what things are or definitions. You need to know PROPER PROCEDURE and protocol according to the standards laid out by the Ontario College of Trades. What you’re used to doing in the salon might not be the “right” way according to what you’re being tested on.
- You are being tested on services you might not even be performing or practicing on a regular basis. How often does a barber who focuses on creating amazing fades do a full head of perm? You are most likely being tested on things you don’t even need to know in your day to day work.
- Let's be honest - it may be years (perhaps even decades) since you last cracked open your hair textbook(s). This exam really requires going back to the basics, which may have become irrelevant to the things we are doing day in and day out on the job. You just need direction on where to start studying.
All of these factors led me to the conclusion that there’s a huge gap between what we do as hairstylists and/or barbers on a day-to-day basis and what we need to know to pass the Ontario hair licensing exam. This gap just isn’t being adequately addressed for so many people who need to take the exam.
You know what you’re doing – you just need to “prove” it. Basically, the Ontario College of Trades wants to make sure that you’re not a risk to the public when you do hair.
How did the exam go for me?
Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash)
Well, I passed and with flying colours…. but I put in A LOT of work making notes, talking to other people who wrote the exam, and studying my a$$ off….and even still, I was taken for a ride with some of the questions. Totally not what I was expecting.
How could someone who has worked in salons for almost 10 years have never heard of some of the things they were tested on or seen them performed in the salon? And why were the questions so different from the types of questions we were asked in hair school?
After writing my exam, I spent the entire subway ride home frantically writing down the things that I was tested on so that I could warn my friends and coworkers about what to expect. Because despite how hard I studied, I still was taken for a surprise.
Even though I had passed my exam with over 90%, I felt like what I had walked into the exam expecting and what I was actually tested on were worlds apart – and nothing could have prepared me better than simply having gone through the experience of writing the exam itself.
So, I decided to update the study notes that I used to pass the exam with what you should be focusing on. And I decided to make these available to all hairstylists and barbers out there who just need to pass their exam to get on with their careers.
What if you’re not so good with the books?
Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash
If reading notes isn’t your style, we also offer 2-hour exam preparation sessions to help guide you and prepare you to write your exam.
I know what it feels like to just be really motivated to succeed. It can be quite stressful to prepare and study for a major exam, but I hope to make your life a little easier with my study notes and tutoring. I also know how to make thorough study notes and little tricks when it comes to studying.
I was a TA (Teaching Assistant) at York University for 2 years and I really enjoy teaching people and helping them to understand concepts. Watching someone get that “a-ha!” moment go off in their brain is the best!
The goal in my exam preparation session with you is not to teach you the ABC’s of hair (like how to hold a pair of scissors). My goal is to try to get you to pass the exam!
What else do we got in store for you?
As our team at Hair Stylist Guide continues to build and grow our website, we also look forward to providing you with practice questions and free educational blogs on topics like colour formulas, products that we have used and just general advice that we can offer from our salon experience.
We also look forward to providing affordable hair tools, accessible to everyone at all stages of their hair career. Because who wants to drop a pair of scissors that costs hundreds of dollars or an expensive carbon comb while they are still learning? No one.
Our goal here is to have a fantastic resource centre that will help hairstylists, with a lot of awesome, free content that will hopefully be useful or inspirational to you in some way.
Just follow the link on our bio to have access to all of this cool stuff.
Send us an email if you have any questions or comments, or if you have anything that you’d like to have featured on our site.