To say that I’m alarmed at the number of cheap online beauty therapy courses popping up is an understatement. It makes me scared for our industry and petrified for the clients visiting these therapists who have learned their “skills” by watching a few videos.
Both budding therapists and clients alike need to be educated that cheap training is not necessarily the best. These online companies appeal to so many therapists on a budget and in our “I want everything now” culture, it makes sense to take a chance on turning your life around so quickly, with promises of starting that dream career from the comfort of your own home.
However, most of these courses aren’t up to scratch and don’t deliver what therapists need. One £50 course I found promises that you can learn manicure, pedicure, gel system, fibre system, nail enhancement removal, consultations, and health and safety, plus advice on how to market your nail services. Each module is assessed by an online multiple-choice exam, with no tutor contact at all.
Here’s another example: for just £207 you can study seven different beauty therapies online – facials, make-up, spray tan, waxing, eyebrow tinting and shaping, eyelash tinting, and eyelash extensions – with no teacher contact, just 32 videos to watch. The trainee then just has to send before-and-after photos to a tutor to assess.
These online courses exist and people are buying into them, which is worrying. I’ve been a beauty school lecturer for many years and I can count on one hand the number of therapists who have been able to pick up a spatula and carry out a fully competent bikini wax first time, without any tutor guidance. It just doesn’t happen.
Students are being misled by these online academies into thinking they’re qualified enough to become professional therapists
I love that people want to learn new skills and want to start beauty therapy businesses, it helps our industry thrive, but what I don’t love is that people are cutting corners and finding quick fixes to make those dreams a reality.
Students are being misled by these online academies into thinking they’re qualified enough to become professional therapists – that they can charge for their services and even go out and become employed. This is impacting the industry’s standards and reputation.
While I don’t have any issue with the theory part of a therapy course being taught online – it is in fact an advantage as it saves time and keeps costs down for the learner – I don’t believe a therapist can learn the practical skills without being shown them by a tutor in real time.
Trust me, it will cost you more in the long run when clients complain about the treatment and no one returns, creating a business that flops or just depends heavily on discounts.
Investing in the right education to become the best therapist you can be will ultimately create you a career that will stand the test of time and have clients returning again and again. PB
Kerry Beavis is a home-based therapist who won Professional Beauty’s Therapist of the Year Award in 2016. Hear Beavis’s talk “Be your own boss – going mobile” on the Business Skills stage at PB North on Monday, October 14.