- A Beautician with over three decades of teaching experience says the vocation is as rewarding as law, engineering or medicine.
By Ranee Mohamed
There is no likelihood that any young woman or man who has ventured out into the beauty industry will go without being rewarded.
“The beauty industry today is as prestigious and rewarding, or sometimes even more prestigious and rewarding than law, medicine and engineering,” said the confident teacher of beauty, cosmetology and hairdressing Gwendoline Kuhatheva. “Infact, in my opinion, it is the most beautiful profession in the world,” said Kuhatheva with a smile. Gwendoline Kuhatheva is the Directress of Technique International School of Hair Dressing and Beauty Therapy.
Kuhatheva has certain ‘ground rules’ for those wishing to embark on the profession — qualify yourself, learn and acquire the basic qualifications and more. For gone are the days when beauty was a ‘home-groomed’ do-it-yourself course.
Sophistication, colour and different brands of products have coloured the industry, offering both opportunity and choice.
According to Kuhatheva, beauty and hairdressing is more than doing a hairstyle or a facial. To become a qualified beautician, young men and women start at the beginning with the study of anatomy and physiology, analyzing skin types, product knowledge, cosmetic science. “Even though at the end of the day all that the client may get done is a facial and a hair style, one must remember that an intelligent client is quick to recognise a qualified cosmetologist,” said Kuhatheva.
Gone are the times when the beauty qualification involved learning to do facials and hairstyles at home or from a friend.
“The beauty industry today is so advanced, so streamlined and very sophisticated. Beauticians and hairdressers who study those subjects qualify first in the basics of NVQ3 and go on to NVQ4. Very soon, we will have NVQ5 diploma for hair stylists and beauticians. Apart from NVQ we offer IVQ, City and Guilds, World Federation of Hairdressing and Beauty Schools (UK), qualifications in make up and Confederation of International Beauticians and Cosmetologists for spa therapy, aromatherapy, reflexology and even media make up and fashion make up,” said Kuhatheva.
With spas being the latest trend, this spa therapy qualification opens whole new vistas the world over; young men and women who acquire the qualification will be sought after from spas worldwide and they in return will be able to work with confidence, backed by an on-the-job training and a solid paper qualification.
“We have registered many courses with us. All this has been done with young men and women who wish to tread on the path of beauty and hairdressing – the TVEC – Tertiary and Vocation Education Commission. The latest of our courses is the Advanced Diploma in Cosmetology and Business Management for Hairdressers and Beauticians,” said Kuhatheva.
“Studying beauty and hairdressing in a disciplined and rewarding manner is not easy as we insist on professionalism, correct attitude, regular attendance, maintenance of portfolios. Our slogan is, “There are no shortcuts to quality training,” insisted Gwendoline Kuhatheva.
Kuhatheva who has organised Miss Lanka – Beauty For a Cause, beauty shows since 1996, has put forth into society a significant number of beauty queens – groomed, crowned and appreciated. She is now on the path to venture into Asia with a glittering Miss Asia every year. However she cautioned that traversing the beauty industry is not for all. “One needs to be talented, interested, intelligent and with a desire to learn. It is important to remember that one cannot become a beautician overnight with a seminar certificate. Sri Lanka today offers national vocational qualifications and then go on to other foreign qualifications.
“Beauticians and hairdressers, wherever they may be, will never be out of a job. But I feel that there should be some sort of regulation to open up a business – that the NVQ4 is absolutely necessary. Any given course has a minimum of six months, and six months of on-the-job training which we provide at our school and salon – the Technique International School of hairdressing and beauty therapy which is situated on Horton Place. However most of our students do not stop with one course but go up the ladder to become masters of the art,” she said with a smile that comes with a job well done.