What I Wish I Knew in Beauty School: Caroline Kim

A young Kim just entering beauty school (left) and today’s Kim, a Kadus rising star (right).

As she sits on a plane coming back from an event in Germany, Caroline Kim, (@carolinekimhair) Kadus Professional Global Director, reminisces about her beauty school days—what made her nervous, what gave her encouragement and what propelled her forward.

Dear “Beauty School Caroline,”

You’re going to be completely surprised by what the beauty industry has to offer. You’re going to laugh, cry, make wonderful friendships and become a part of a major global brand that will allow you to do what you love, while traveling all over the world.  

Be prepared to experience a myriad of emotions—from happiness to sadness, fear to excitement, and frustration to accomplishment. Believe it or not, sometimes you’ll experience this emotional rollercoaster with just one client. Realize that in beauty school and in real life, you’re not going to make every single client completely satisfied. And that’s ok. Don't let this discourage you or bring your spirits down for the rest of the day, or even the week. Try not let your insecurities take over. Instead, accept those moments, learn, and grow from them. 

While you’re in school, treat every single beauty school client as a potential future client—even the difficult ones. Think of every head of hair as a learning opportunity. After all, the purpose of beauty school is for you to practice and learn. Sometimes you won’t even know how to begin, but take a deep breath, work slowly, and ask for guidance along the way. As you grow in your career, continue to ask for help and advice. We are all human, and the learning process is never complete.  

One day, an educator is going to visit your school and teach a seminar on color techniques and trends. This moment is going to change your life. You’re going to be inspired to become an educator and travel around the globe, sharing your knowledge with other hairstylists and beauty school students. You’ll attend many trainings and learn how to cut, color, and style from some of the best hairstylists in the world. Your mentors will support you, foster professional growth, and help you become an even better educator and hairstylist. And one day, after being the lead colorist for a major global campaign, you going to be flying back from Germany, sitting on a plane, and drafting this letter with a smile.  

All my best,

“Future Caroline”

Have some invaluable advice that you wish you knew in beauty school? Share it with others in a “What I wish I knew in beauty school” online letter. To be considered, please email your “Dear Beauty School self” letter to our Executive Editor, Andrea Dawn Clark, at: [email protected] And, send a “vintage” and current photo of yourself via Wetransfer, Dropbox or Google Drive. Use “What I wish I knew in beauty school” as your email subject. Students, and even seasoned pros, will appreciate your perspective and salon experiences.