Tag: shampoo

A $21,000 Cosmetology School Debt, and a $9-an-Hour Job (Part one)

 

When she was in cosmetology school, Tracy Lozano had a love-hate relationship with weekday mornings. Those predawn moments were the only time she saw her infant daughter awake, and she savored them. When the time came to hand the baby to her own mother, she said in a recent interview, she would stifle her tears, letting them roll only when she had closed the door behind her.

She would put on her game face when she pulled into the parking lot of the Iowa School of Beauty, just outside Des Moines. From what Ms. Lozano could tell, a cosmetology license was a realistic way to ensure a better life, and she was willing to make sacrifices. While also working nights at a Pizza Hut, she borrowed $21,000 to cover tuition and salon supplies and put in eight-hour days at the school for the better part of a year.

The amount of time Ms. Lozano spent learning to give haircuts, manicures and facials was enormous, but the requirement was set by the state, and she didn’t much question it. She was determined to earn enough money to move out of her mother’s house. Only a few weeks after getting her cosmetology license in 2005, she was hired at a local Great Clips.  The job, though, paid just $9 an hour, which meant that her days double-shifting at Pizza Hut weren’t over. Even with tips, Ms. Lozano didn’t earn more than $25,000 in any of her first few years as a cosmetologist. For years, she relied on food stamps and health insurance from the state. She couldn’t cover living expenses and keep chipping away at her loan payments. Thirteen years after graduating, she still owes more than $8,000.

What Ms. Lozano didn’t know was that the state-regulated school system she had put her faith in relies on a business model in which the drive for revenue often trumps students’ educational needs. For-profit schools dominate the cosmetology training world and reap money from taxpayers, students and salon customers. They have beaten back attempts to create cheaper alternatives, even while miring their students in debt. In Iowa in particular, the companies charge steep prices — nearly $20,000 on average for a cosmetology certificate, equivalent to the cost of a two-year community-college degree twice over — and they have fought to keep the required number of school hours higher than anywhere else in the country.

Each state sets its own standards. Most require 1,500 hours, and some, like New York and Massachusetts, require only 1,000. Iowa requires 2,100 — that’s a full year’s worth of 40-hour workweeks, plus an extra 20. By comparison, you can become an emergency medical technician in the state after 132 hours at a community college. Put another way: An Iowa cosmetologist who has a heart attack can have her life saved by a medic with one-sixteenth her training.

There’s little evidence that spending more hours in school leads to higher wages. Nor is there proof that extra hours result in improved public safety. But one relationship is clear: The more hours that students are forced to be in school, the more debt they accrue. Among cosmetology programs across the nation, Iowa’s had the fourth-highest median student debt in 2014, according to federal data.

Walk into any hair salon in Iowa and you’re likely to find a stylist making $10 an hour who loves her job but is struggling to pay off her student loans. Over 10 months, in visits to a dozen salons and in conversations with 37 former Iowa cosmetology students — and an additional 25 in other states — we heard a variety of opinions about how much training the profession requires and the financial returns it offers. And we heard again and again how the dream of becoming a professional hairstylist, or someday owning a salon, can be stymied by debt.  The issue is national. More than 177,000 people enroll in for-profit beauty schools across the United States each year, which on average charge more than $17,000 for tuition, fees and supplies to earn a cosmetology certificate.  Across the Iowa border, in Fremont, Neb., Ashley Sandoval makes $10.50 an hour at another Great Clips location. In the five years since she graduated from cosmetology school, she said, interest has ballooned her debt from $22,000 to $29,000. “I’ll be paying it off for the rest of my life,” Ms. Sandoval said.

The Iowa Cosmetology School Association, which acts on behalf of several of the 13 companies that own schools in the state, would not make a representative available for an interview. But the association did provide written responses to questions through its lobbyist, Threase A. Harms. The group said that its primary concern was successfully preparing students, not making money, and that differences in state regulations made comparing hours difficult. The association also doesn’t see the crippling student debt as the schools’ fault, citing the fact that students are allowed to take out more in loans than is necessary to cover educational expenses. “We have students graduating with minimal debt because they made wise choices,” the association said.

Cosmetology schools have a unique business model in the for-profit school world. They have two main streams of revenue. The first comes from students, often in the form of taxpayer-funded grants and loans to pay for the tuition. Cosmetology schools took in nearly $1.2 billion in federal grants and loans during the 2015-16 school year.  The second stream is the salon work the students do while in school. They spend some time in classrooms learning about, for example, chemicals and how to sanitize the work space, but once they’ve hit a certain number of hours, they start working on real clients in salons run by the schools. In full-time programs, going to school becomes a full-time job, where students clock in and out for seven- or eight-hour shifts.

The total number of required hours varies, but all states require some amount of practice with paying customers. In Iowa, students spend 715 hours in the classroom and 1,385 hours on the floor.

Prices for these salon services — which include haircuts, manicures, facials and, at some schools, massages — are typically set below market rates to attract customers. The salons also sell shampoo, conditioner and other beauty products. One Iowa student said he and others had gotten perks (such as trips and special training) if they sold enough products. Another student, who sued a school in Pennsylvania, reported that her grades were partly based on whether she offered salon products to clients.  The schools don’t have to pay students for the services they provide; in fact, the students pay tuition for the hours they work in the salons.

All told, for-profit cosmetology schools nationwide brought in more than $200 million in revenue from their salons in the 2015-16 school year, according to federal statistics. Most schools are small, privately owned entities that do not have to disclose their profits.  “Without the revenue coming from those salons, most of these schools wouldn’t be profitable, or it would be marginal,” said Leon Greenberg, a lawyer in Las Vegas who has examined the financial documents of several schools he unsuccessfully sued under the Fair Labor Standards Act. “It’s pretty much ingrained in their business model.”  Some schools have pushed their business models to the legal limit — and beyond, according to government regulators.

La’ James International College owns six of the 27 cosmetology schools in Iowa, plus one in Nebraska and another in Illinois. Iowa’s attorney general sued the school in 2014, accusing it of defrauding students through deceptive marketing and enrollment practices. Under a settlement, the school admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to forgive almost $2.2 million in student debt. It had to pay a $500,000 fine, and the owners — Cynthia Becher and her son, Travis Becher — had to personally pay fines of $25,000 each. The federal government also placed La’ James under restrictive monitoring for alleged mishandling of students’ financial aid. (The Bechers declined to comment on the suit.)

Lisa Shaw, a former La’ James massage instructor, said Ms. Becher had met with staff members regularly and often told them, “This is a business first, and a school second.”

Ms. Shaw and Bez Lancial-McMullen, a former La’ James cosmetology instructor at the campus in Davenport, Iowa, recalled attending meetings in which company officials spoke of the need to maintain sizable profits. Students were regularly pulled out of Ms. Lancial-McMullen’s classes to work in the salon, she said. Other complaints submitted to the attorney general’s office about the school describe similar practices, although the Bechers have consistently denied the claims.  Both women eventually resigned because they objected to the way students were being treated. Ms. Shaw left in 2014, saying the company’s owners looked at students “as dollar signs.”  “I feel like the school is predatory,” Ms. Shaw said. “I could no longer be a part of taking people’s money and then treating them like that.”  Stephanie Wood Becher, who is the school’s director of marketing (and Travis Becher’s wife), denied that Cynthia Becher would ever tell employees to put the school’s business needs first.  “Education and betterment of the student is always and has always been the #1 priority for her and L.J.I.C.,” Ms. Wood Becher wrote in an email.

La’ James had to open its books during the attorney general’s lawsuit, revealing annual profits that ranged from $1.2 million to $3.4 million from 2009 through 2012. In Iowa, tuition, fees and supplies for its cosmetology program come to $21,500 per student.  Compared with other institutions, “I think we’re cheap,” Mr. Becher said, noting that the cost includes books and supply kits. “We’re private. We’re not public. We don’t get tax breaks.”  The Becher family also owns more than a dozen limited liability companies, which include a distribution center for its salon products. In 2017, the United States Department of Education reprimanded La’ James for failing to publicly disclose a rape in a dorm in Nebraska. Federal law requires colleges to publish annual security reports and logs about crimes on campus, which La’ James failed to do, “exposing students and staff to potential harm,” according to government reviewers.Joni Buresh, the school’s compliance officer, said in an email that the security reports were available to students, and that she believed that the law requiring crime logs didn’t apply to campuses like the one in Nebraska.    She acknowledged that a rape had been reported to the police but said that school officials “honestly are not confident that this rape incident ever occurred.” Ms. Buresh said they had now filed the paperwork requested by the federal reviewers.

END OF PART ONE.

ClassAction.com filed a lawsuit against L’Oreal and Matrix

Always in trouble they are, in a industry were you have manufacturing deception and price gouging. It come to me this is the same old same old crap in my industry.  I was once told when I entered in the beauty its a ‘whore’s business”, or the beauty shows are “flea markets”. That was the best advice and description I could have ever have gotten. And as time has past in my 30 years I see nothing has or will change in my industry. Shop to you drop are the ‘Beauty Shows”. It’s all soap my friends with maybe a little oils, or fragrance. That”s all it is.  So as usual the manufacturers will say anything advertising wise to make a sell to you as the consumer and as to me the professional. I never fall for it anymore.  It has been a very long time since I have been to a “hair show – flea market” that I have lost my respect for the manufacturers. Also they are filled with “snake -oil” salesmen and saleswomen to be correct.  Buy this and buy that will be the first impression from them, I once did a documentary called ‘The real Hair Truth” and we had a few snake oil sales men in it. These are people who will go from company to company selling there “speal” to them for a paycheck. And offering there devotion to them for a few nickels. Most of them do it because of a over sized ego. And most of them there work looks no better than a beauty school drop out. But the manufacturers will place anything on a bottle or label.  Its makes no difference to them if they get caught they will pay penny’s on the dollars in civil court. big Deal, no worry’s maybe they will say a batch of products did not have the “SECRET INGREDIENTS”. MERELY A TECHNICAL GLITCH WITH THE FACTORY MACHINERY.

In the latest case of a company allegedly promising ingredients and benefits its products do not offer or contain, last week ClassAction.com filed a false advertising lawsuit against L’Oreal USA and Matrix Essentials over an array of hair products that appear not to contain the protein keratin.

The products cited in the complaint are the following:

  • Matrix Biolage Keratindose Pro-Keratin + Silk Shampoo
  • Pro-Keratin + Silk Conditioner
  • Pro-Keratin Renewal Spray

The 39-page complaint—filed in the Southern District of New York on January 26, 2017—states:

Through its uniform, nationwide advertising campaign… Defendants have led consumers to believe that their Keratindose Products actually contain keratin and will confer the claimed benefits of keratin to the consumer.

In reality, the Keratindose Products do not contain any keratin at all and are incapable of providing the claimed benefits of keratin to the consumer.

The complaint states that the products’ labels are “false, deceptive and misleading, in violation of the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetics Act and its parallel state statutes, and almost every state warranty, consumer protection, and product labeling law throughout the United States.”

The plaintiffs seek relief for damages, for the defendants to stop engaging in the deceptive advertising alleged in the complaint, and any other relief the Court deems just and proper.

Click on the link to download the file to read. Loreal_Matrix_Keratin_Lawsuit(1)

I am not surprised at all with the lawsuit, but what is surprising to me in my industry we have this so called organization called the “PBA” PROFESSIONAL BEAUTY ASSOCIATION.  THEY DO NOT SAY A PEEP ABOUT ANY OF THESE LAWSUITS OR DO ANY INVESTIGATING AT ALL. BECAUSE THEY ARE IN BED WITH THE MANUFACTURERS.  They tought themselves as the watch dawg’s for the beauty business. Basically if you join them they charge you $300.00 for membership and give you a 10% discount on a hair show.  I call them the Professional bullshit association. They do nothing for the professional but they will sure do a lot for the manufacturers. And anything to do with Licensureship, anything that will hurt the manufacturers schools or state boards they will jump on in a minute. Because if they reported the truth about the industry they would lose manufacturers dollars. They use that to sustain themselves. With out that they would be history. Good day everyone.

Illegal Cancer-Causing Chemicals Found in Nearly 100 Shampoo Brands! Oh My Lawd!

The Real Hair Truth

Cocamide Diethanolamine (cocamide DEA), a controversial ingredient found in body care items, has landed four personal care manufacturers with a lawsuit in California.

The Center for Environmental Health filed the suit after discovering the presence of cocamide DEA, the foam stabilizer and voluminous, in shampoos and soaps. In the state of California, Proposition 65 requires manufacturers to warn consumers over the risks of certain substances. Cocamide DEA is on that list because it is a suspected carcinogen. It was banned in the state last year after a study found it caused cancer in laboratory animals.

Some of the products that contain high levels of the illegal chemical are sold under well-known companies such as Colgate Palmolive, Paul Mitchell, and Prell. Lab tests also found the carcinogen in children’s products, such as a store brand bubble bath from Kmart, and a shampoo/conditioner from Babies R Us. Other store brand products that contain the carcinogen came from Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Kohl’s.

Unfortunately, manufacturers can put any toxic chemical they want into shampoos because  the FDA allows all sorts of chemicals to be used in these products, including chemicals that are known carcinogens and that contribute to liver failure and nervous system disorders. How’s that for protecting public health?  NADA it won’t change? Get over it! I guess profit is more important to them than the health of their customers. After all, it’s safe to say that many of these CEOs and top executives have ties to Big Pharmaceutical stock, so the fact that their products make people sick is a real win-win for their bank accounts.

 

Sulfate Free Shampoo Is “A Marketing Gimmick.”

real hair truthSulfate-free shampoo is a new form to trying to get people’s attention, “a marketing gimmick.” The hair industry is a billion dollar business. . Example: Green tea is the new trend and it is healthier for you, or buying coffee at Starbucks, they taste sweeter. More profits for them. BK’s green tea had been recalled, or the eggs, is that mean people won’t be buying green tea or eggs anymore? The hair industry wants your attention, but they don’t give money back guarantee for damaged hair or hair loss.

It would be boring if they just call it shampoo! Google shampoo, it’s meant to clean. They want a variety of product, to attract a variety of hair textures/condition/smell.

There are sulfates in many of the everyday products we use at home! Sulfates on shampoo doesn’t cause cancer. But Google hair dyes & cancer. Many customers and stylists do not know that Brazilian treatment often contains high concentrations of formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical and there’s been so much publicity during the last year. Google Permanently straightening hair warning, about 7,410,000 results (0.08 seconds) , more warnings during the last month. I’ve been posting about them since 2009. Canada had issued a public health warning regarding Brazilian Blowout and has stopped the distribution of their salon products; Ireland has also issued a recall. ~ Also published in Vogue Feb. 2011.

How about Mane & tail people think it makes their hair grow faster. Mane & Tail is another shampoo meant for horses. Horses don’t abuse their hair, using heating tools, and they eat better than people, but it won’t add more hair & make their hair longer faster. Shampoo intended for animals may contain insecticides or other medications for treatment of skin conditions or parasite infestations such as fleas or mange. These must never be used on humans.

When you wash your hair with one of those nutrient-rich shampoos, most of the nutrients and active ingredients in the product don’t actually end up in your hair, they wind up down the drain… along with all the money you spent on the shampoo.
It is HOW you use to style your hair or what styling tools that damage the hair, and what chemicals you’re adding to the hair, not the shampoo.

So what can you expect from switching to a sulfate-free shampoo? A higher price tag, to start, as most drug store brands don’t yet produce products without sulfates.  Perhaps the biggest adjustment to using sulfate-free shampoo is a superficial one. Without this lather-producing chemical, these shampoos have less of the over-the-top bubble that is associated with cleansing hair.  Its all a bunch of baloney!

FYI: “CRUELTY FREE” OR “NOT TESTED IN ANIMALS” MEANS THAT NO ANIMAL TESTING WAS DONE ON THE PRODUCT AND ITS INGREDIENTS.
Believe it or not
Even if a product never was tested in animals, there’s a very good chance its ingredients were. A company might call its products “cruelty free” because it isn’t doing any animal testing on these ingredients now, although the ingredients may have been tested on animals in the past. In some cases, “no new animal testing” might be a more accurate claim.

So Far The Beauty Industry in 2015 at a Glance

real hair truth

Comprised of a diverse yet interrelated set of business lines, the beauty industry helps us look and smell our best. Before we leave the house each day, we have likely undergone our personalized beautification ritual. Included in this ritual is the daily shower and shave, the weekly nail trim, and the monthly haircut. And increasingly we are taking a more holistic view of our health, and our beautification ritual may now include a periodic massage and trip to the spa. But our concern with our appearance is hardly anything new; indeed the beauty industry has been expanding and growing for all of recorded history. For the interested entrepreneur this continuing growth and evolution offers a diverse menu of opportunity.

The beauty industry today encompasses far more than cosmetics and skin care products, though they are still a significant portion of the sector. A wide range of services and products are available to help us put our best face forward, and the beauty industry now also encompasses hair styling and hair removal, nail and tanning salons,massage parlors, shower and shaving products, perfumes, colognes and more. Many people now treat their beauty ritual as an escape from the hustle of the information age, whether its a few minutes spoiling oneself with a high-end product or a full day at a luxury spa.

Lotions, Treatments and Baths. Oh my!

Beauty industry opportunities can be broadly separated between products and services, though many providers offer both. Within both products and services, however, exist a wide range of business models based on target market, production processes and location.

From exfoliating soaps and volumizing shampoos to anti-wrinkle creams, the beauty industry provides us with choices galore to keep us looking younger and healthier. Cosmetics exist for every style and taste, as well as every skin tone, texture and even allergy. Rows of toothpaste stretch off into the distance at the local retail outlet, and it is no longer a choice only of brand, but between whitening, tartar protection, flavor, packaging styles and more! And a similar story is told in the aisles for perfume, deodorant and hair coloring. Certain businesses also distinguish themselves through manufacturing processes such as using all natural ingredients or a refusal to use animal testing on products.

While the diversity among service providers is not quite as extensive, there is considerable differentiation between offerings based on price, location and target markets. Some businesses target the inexpensive, fast hair cut market while others focus on providing a luxury spa experience. Franchise opportunities exist for hair salons, skin treatments, nail care, and tanning. Niche providers offer products and services focused on children, weddings,  and fashion, among others.

Different Beauty Franchise Opportunities

  • Hair Care
    • Stylists
    • Salons
    • Shampoos/Conditioners
    • Coloring Product
    • Styling Product (Gels, Sprays, etc.)
  • Cosmetics & Skin Care
    • Make-Up
    • Moisturizing Lotions
    • Tanning Salons
    • Sun Care Products
  • Fragrance

    • Perfumes
    • Body Sprays
    • Cologne
    • Deodorants
  •  Miscellaneous
    • Nail Polish
    • Shaving Products
    • Massage Parlors
    • Hair Removal Service

Beauty Industry Trends

Such diversity and innovation exists because we demand it. The beauty industry continues to expand globally, with some projections claiming 8.5% growth by 2014; revenue growth in 2010 is estimated at 3.3%. Several trends support this expansion and promise continued profitability into the future.Globally, rising per capita incomes and greater access to international markets are increasing spending on discretionary items such as perfumes and cosmetics. Though the recent economic turmoil had decreased spending on some discretionary products in the United States, purchasing of beauty products has remained strong. Consumers did tend to be more price-conscious however, with over 70% of survey respondents claiming to give mass market products more consideration over high-end products during the downturn.

Perhaps not as surprising as it once was, one of the fastest growing segments of the beauty industry is products and services aimed at men. Traditionally focused on female consumers, men today are gaining increasing attention from the beauty industry. Of course most of us have been using deodorant and toothpaste for several months already, but increasingly men are being targeted for body sprays, specialty hair products, lotions and even nail care. Salons offer a menu of pampering services for men, including cuts and shaves, facials, massages and manicures.

Consumers of beauty industry products tend to be brand loyal, and share what works for them with their friends. 58% of those surveyed claimed that personal recommendations weigh more heavily than celebrity marketing, and only 44% bought a particular product for its claim of specific product attributes. Like many things, beauty products gain a level of familiarity and comfort for the consumer, and switching to a new product often takes some extra incentive. Popular and successful marketing campaigns in the beauty industry often include a free sample and discounts for referrals to lure new customers in, and loyalty programs to keep them.

Beauty Industry Franchise Opportunities

From product innovation, organic industry growth and continued growth into the male half of the population, the beauty industry continues to offer a diverse set of profitable franchising opportunities. Beauty franchises exist across the space with dozens of strategies reaching all types of consumer.

Retail opportunities include brick-and-mortar store locations as well as home-based businesses, and span across cosmetics, skin care, hair care, tanning and more. Frequently producers of beauty industry products will have a franchising distribution system, or even have training locations for service providers. Cosmetic and skin care entrepreneurs offer specialized services such as nail care and tanning, a complete menu designed for the full day experience and everything in between. Some salons offer an exclusive membership experience and others specialize on walk-in business.

Hair care opportunities exist for barbers and stylists alike, with a range of different franchises available based on cost, location, and gender. Many male-focused franchises offering everything from the basic barbershop to “the ultimate relaxed grooming experience” have been springing up to complement the traditionally female-focused salon offerings. Franchise chains devoted to children offer a more entertaining environment for kids. There are also businesses focused on hair removal and coloring. Eco-friendly salons such as the Splish franchise offer hair care in an environmentally conscious environment.

As we can see, the beauty industry encompasses a wide range of products and services, and franchising plays a major part in bringing them to the consumer. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, profitable opportunities will abound…the hard part is choosing which one!