Vidal Sassoon – Graduate VS. Training
by Sacramento Master Stylist, Greg Saumure
I used to hear this frequently in interviews. “I am a ‘Vidal Sassoon’ Stylist” Great, which Academy did you attend? “I attended in Sacramento.” I immediately knew they took an Advanced Training Class through a partner school. So here is the explanation for our ever-inquiring public.
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. There are also Academies in the UK, Canada and Germany. The elite 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.
- Application of their education to ensure sound judgments, decisions, and procedures.
If that philosophy sounds familiar, it’s because I am a Vidal Sassoon Graduate & 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.
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.
I also use the title ‘Master Stylist’. We coined this expression 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?
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 unworthy. 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. We were full time students. 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’. After graduation, job hunting was easy. Owners wanted to talk to me. I’m proud of the education I have passed on to all my former staff members. And flattered when young stylists say they were trained in ‘Vidal Sassoon’ techniques. But- there is truly a difference.
Greg Saumure (GS HAIR) is located at 2398 Fair Oaks Blvd.Ste 9, Sacramento, CA 95825. We are in the modern building – on the corner of Fair Oaks Blvd. and Fairgate Drive. You can reach our direct booking line at: (916) 838-4642 we text! We are open Tuesday through Friday from 11 to 7 and Saturdays from 10 to 4. Closed Sundays & Mondays. We can’t wait to meet you!
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