The biggest misconceptions about studying beauty

Busting the big-haired, acrylic-nailed, bend-and-snapping stereotype.

Whether you’re just about to finish high school, or feeling like your current job isn’t for you, we know the struggle of finding your dream career is real. When we can, we like to check out the options around to help you land your ideal job. If you have an interest in making people look and feel good and want a career that’s challenging but also creative, you might want to consider studying beauty therapy. 

Or, y’know, you might just want literally everyone to look forever on-fleek

But we know there can be a little stigma when it comes to studying beauty (in no small part thanks to Paulette, bless) so we’ve decided to bust the big-haired, acrylic-nailed, bend-and-snapping stereotype. We asked a group of students from Australian National College of Beauty to set the record straight.

Myth one: It’s for people who aren’t smart enough to get into uni

You may not need an ATAR score but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a level of academic skill required to succeed in beauty therapy.

It can be pretty challenging. This diploma involves “understanding the body to help provide a safe and beautiful treatment,” says first year student Mandy. According to classmate Kimberley, the most surprising part has been “the amount of research that goes into developing treatments.”

Myth two: It’s easy and not much work

Not only do students have to learn the practical element of each treatment, they also have to study the body and the potential effects each therapy will have on it. It’s “exciting but you have to really apply yourself. You have to be committed to succeed in your studies,” says fellow student Tessa. 

“People don’t understand how important learning about hygiene is during beauty,” says Leani, who is six months into her diploma. “They don’t know how in-depth the beauty treatments can get and how much information you need to know about a person to prepare treatment.”

Myth three: It’s only doing makeup and painting nails

To the uninitiated, studying beauty may seem like a giant slumber party where all you do is hang out with your mates, gossip, eat popcorn and do each other’s hair and makeup. 

It’s partly true. One (particularly fun) part of studying beauty involves practical experience, meaning you get to practice your newfound skills on classmates, friends and yourself.

However, if you actually take a minute to think about all the treatments a beauty salon offers, you’ll quickly realise there’s much more to a diploma of beauty therapy than the stereotype allows. Beauty grads are equipped with skills in facial and body massage, hair removal, lash and brow treatments, nail technology services, makeup and aromatherapy while also learning business, administration and retail skills. 

Grads also have the chance to make people feel good about themselves by learning to – as Kimberly puts it – “educate people on the importance of self care, health and wellbeing.” And we think that’s pretty damn cool (baby, you’re worth it). 

Myth four: Job opportunities are limited

Beauty therapists have a huge skill set. And this translates to the job industry too. Many assume a diploma in beauty therapy presents limited career options, meaning you’ll be stuck spreading hot wax on hairy bits all day.

Not true. 

“The most surprising thing about studying beauty is how far it can take me. I am amazed at the job opportunities and doors beauty can open for me,” says ANCB student, Rachel.

Not only do students leave with the skills required to work as an independent therapist, they also have the opportunity to work in beauty salons, resorts, day spas, massage, management, training, and on cruise ships. 

“The Diploma of Beauty Therapy is a very appealing qualification for those seeking an exciting career with a range of employment opportunities” says program manager, Carmen Perkins. 

The combination of practical treatment skills and theory around how these treatments benefit the mind and body ensure someone with a diploma in beauty therapy can “be both job ready, but also provides themselves with the confidence needed to make real contributions to the beauty and spa industry.”

Find out more about ANCB’s next intake here.


Illustration by Twylamae

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