Vidal Sassoon – Graduate VS. Training

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Vidal Sassoon – Graduate VS. Training

by Sacramento Master Stylist – Greg Saumure / Vidal Sassoon Graduate, Santa Monica

Not an easy answer

Vidal Sassoon Graduate VS. Training.  I used to hear this frequently in interviews.   “I am a ‘Vidal Sassoon’ Stylist”  Great, I’ll ask, which Academy did you attend?  “I attended in London.”  My next question is, “When did you graduate?” I can usually tell by their face, that they took an Advanced Training Class through a partner school.  So here is the best explanation for our ever-inquiring public.

Vidal Sassoon Academies

There are currently only 6 Vidal Sassoon Academies in the US.  These institutions are in Santa Monica, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, and New York City.  There are also Academies in the UK, Canada, and Germany.  The advanced 1600-hour, 44-week course, prepares you for a career befitting Vidal Sassoon credentials.  It also prepares you for the California State Exam.  Here, in summary, are the Vidal Sassoon Academy’s list of graduation goals:

  • Project a positive attitude, a sense of personal integrity and self-confidence.
  • Project professionalism, visual poise and proper grooming.
  • Communicate effectively with colleagues and clients.
  • Respect the need to deliver worthy service for value received.
  • Be able to advise your clients in their total look.
  • Apply your education to ensure sound judgments, decisions, and procedures.


What I strive for

If that philosophy sounds familiar, it’s because I am a Vidal Sassoon Graduate and a Master Stylist.  Every day I do business by the same basic philosophies.  It’s how I learned. and it’s how I teach.   If you have graduated from a Vidal Sassoon Academy, you understand and live these philosophies.  I listen to my clients.  I ask questions about their lifestyle.  I want to know any trouble you are having with your hair.  I want you beautiful, sexy and happy.  In short, I want you back.

The Sassoon Academy Network

Many excellent local schools may partner with The Vidal Sassoon Academies through the Sassoon Academy Network.  The Vidal Sassoon Academy offers advanced courses for licensed cosmetologists. They range from 2-day short term classes to 5-day Intensive Training.  For instance, many of my staff had attended Paul Mitchell or Federico Beauty Institute and later took Advanced Education through a Sassoon Academy Network class.  The most popular being ‘The ABC Cutting Class’.  If your stylist has invested in these classes, they are truly dedicated to being salon professionals.   These classes are comprehensive and expensive.  If your stylist has dedicated five consecutive Sundays and thousands of dollars for an advanced training class, they are probably worth trusting.   After successful completion, stylists are awarded an ‘abc Diploma’.   For example, they would be Federico Beauty Institute Graduate with Advanced Training through Vidal Sassoon.   But, they are not Vidal Sassoon Graduates.

What’s a Master Stylist?

I also use the title ‘Master Stylist’.  Coined as a way to define stylists who have 10 or more consecutive years of experience in a salon environment.  We see that term thrown around quite a bit, even with stylists who we know have not been on the job that long.  So be careful out there.  The Board of Cosmetology does not designate titles to independent contractors.  Don’t be afraid to ask your stylist questions.  Where did they go to Cosmetology School?  Do they have advanced training?  For example, if you need a specialty service, such as wedding, color corrections or hair extensions, do they have experience with that service?

Vidal Sassoon Academy – Santa Monica

I’m proud to be a graduate of the Vidal Sassoon Academy in Santa Monica.  When I began in 1984, there were only two academies, one in Santa Monica and one in London.  There was an extensive application and interview process that took months to complete.  Tuition ran 6-10 times a local academy price.  Of the thousands that applied worldwide, only 12 students were chosen for each 9-week class.  My acceptance letter both terrified and excited me.  Sitting in the lobby on my first day, dressed to the hilt, I felt like an imposter.  I was determined to do whatever it took to earn my place.  I fully immersed myself in Sassoon life.  We were not allowed to have a job.  The commitment to be full-time students ensured we were completely focused on our education.

The Art of Hair

On the weekends I went to barbershops and museums.  We would be asked to chose our favorite museum piece.  And then relate it to hair. The experience opened my eyes to a new way of looking at everything.  I was fully immersed in the cult of Sassoon and I loved it.  My fellow students came from Australia, New York, Chicago, Canada and Asia.  Standards were incredibly high for attendance, testing and technique.  Dress and demeanor were scrutinized carefully and our instructors were brutal.  To receive a ‘nice haircut’ was the highest degree of praise.  It kept us constantly striving.  Sassoon is truly the ‘Harvard of Hair’.

The Benefits

After graduation, job hunting was easy.  Owners wanted to talk to me.  I assisted in a salon named Paragon.  The owner of the salon I’m at now was the Art Director.  His wife was his assistant.  And I remain friends today with the owner of the Paragon.  I’m proud of the education I have passed on to all my former staff members.  I’m happy when our young stylists say they were trained in ‘Vidal Sassoon’ techniques.

About Greg

Vidal Sassoon Alumnus, Greg Saumure is a Master Hair Stylist and Colorist with over 30 years of experience.
He has worked behind the chair in Sacramento as a stylist, colorist, educator, and lastly as the owner of Sacramento’s Largest Privately-owned Salon.
He has launched the careers of hundreds of California stylists through his training and education program.  

Greg is also one of the few Vidal Sassoon Alumni in greater Raleigh.  

He has earned his loyal following of clients through a life-long commitment to exemplary customer service.  We hope that you’ll be one of them.

Read more about Greg Saumure here.  

Check out dramatic before and after videos of Greg’s work on our YouTube Channel here.

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