“There is a huge demand for hair stylists and aestheticians on PEI,” says Deanna Clow, Aesthetics Instructor, the Private Institute of Hair Design and Aesthetics in Charlottetown.
The school opened in 2001, and offers two nine-month programs: Aesthetics and Hair Design.
“All our graduates found work last year,” says Deanna. “Those who take all the steps to become certified, including finishing the program, completing the required apprenticeship hours, and passing the exams, are very employable.
“We don’t have to help our graduates find work. Employers are head hunting for graduates, and there have been instances when they have had multiple job offers. There is definitely a need for more people in this industry.
“Our graduates work on PEI and in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and western Canada,” says Deanna. “Like any trade, hairdressing and aesthetics is a mobile career that can take you anywhere.”
Opportunities for males
“We don’t get a lot of male students, but those who come here have done very well,” says Deanna. “There is something about a male hairstylist that attracts a lot of loyal customers.”
Applicants need a minimum of Grade 12 or equivalent. Aesthetics applicants need a science background of grade 11 and 12 biology. “Skin care specialists deal with people’s faces and bodies, so they need knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and biology.”
The Private Institute of Hair Design and Aesthetics offers the only aesthetics program on PEI. The program takes up to 16 students per year.
Individuals who wish to study hairdressing must enroll in a hairdressing training program offered by a school under the Schools Act or offered by a private training school registered under the Private Training Schools Act.
The hair design program includes 80 hours of on the job training, and aesthetics has 120 hours of OJT under the supervision of a master stylist, who signs off on the hours worked.
After hair design students complete the program, they must pass a practical exam administered by the PEI Hairdressers’ Association. Then they work under a Master Stylist to complete 2,000 hours of apprenticeship, which takes about two years. They must pass another exam to get their Master Beauty Operator license. At that point, they can work without supervision or open their own salon.