Industry professionals are witnessing a shocking surge in under-trained beauty therapists putting their clients and their businesses in jeopardy. Nadia Stennett reports.

According to a recent study by The Economist, worldwide spending on beauty services is now at $160 billion a year and growing, but not all clients are getting what they paid for, with reports of treatment related injuries on the rise.

“With so much money at stake including every woman’s short and long-term beauty, it’s important to know not every beauty professional touting oneself as such is actually thoroughly trained in the techniques being provided,” warns principal trainer at Brow Artists International, Elle Wilson, who says she’s one of many beauty professionals shocked by a recent surge of under-trained theorists coming through the industry.

Being lead astray

According to Wilson, who trains hundreds of beauty professionals annually worldwide, on her company’s proprietary natural brow restoration technique, increasing numbers of under-trained beauty therapists are putting their clients at risk offering treatments like permanent makeup in Australian salons.

“We meet many in our own training and admissions process here at BAI,” says Wilson.

a Sydney woman won a $200,000 law suit against a beauty clinic that left her with painful scarring after a permenent makeup treatment went horriby wrong

“It’s not that they don’t wish to be trained properly. Most were duped by so-called overseas trainers from places like Russia and the UK who promise mastery of advanced restoration and brow shaping techniques in as little as a weekend – and for exorbitant cost to the beauty professional.”

And it’s not just bad brows some clients are walking away with. In late 2013 a Sydney woman won a $200,000 law suit against a beauty clinic that left her with painful scarring after a permenent makeup treatment went horriby wrong and in December last year businesswoman Maria Foti initiated a high profile tribunal proceeding against a nail and spa clinic for pain and suffering caused by alleged improper and unsafe use of filing equipment, while IPL treatments have come under major scrutiny by consumer advocacy body CHOICE for their use by untrained therapists in the past twelve months. 

Expecting the impossible

Treatment related injuries are costly on both a financial and emotional level for therapists involved, but Wilson says they’re easily avoidable by practicing a little common sense and using a far more critical eye when exploring training options.

“You wouldn’t consider yourself a tennis pro after a weekend of training. The same is true of services like brow artistry. What these trainers promise is nothing short of impossible,” asserts Wilson.

We are talking about advanced and potentially damaging techniques – sometimes irreversibly damaging

And many self-professed trainers are asking would-be beauty professionals to cough up a hefty amount in exchange for their inadequate training courses,  leaving some students feeling short-changed.

“We are talking about advanced and potentially damaging techniques – sometimes irreversibly damaging,” warns Wilson.

Many of the Australian beauty professionals we meet who have been duped into incomplete training are left completely high and dry afterwards

“Many of the Australian beauty professionals we meet who have been duped into incomplete training are left completely high and dry afterwards, with no support, no ongoing training, no community of fellow professionals to support their growth as a professional.”

How to avoid being duped

When it comes to looking for training courses, Rapport College of Beauty Therapy principal, Kerry Gilmore says there are some key signs that will indicate whether the training is legit or not.

“Look for registration as an RTO – Registered Training Organisation – and check what industries they belong to, such as AABth.,  ACPET. and CIDESCO. If they have these logos pertaining to their status and level of expertise it means they have met with the training requirements. Recognised training competence through CIDESCO for example ensures the students meet international standards as tested through an independent assessor.”

The same level of thorough checking is essential when taking on staff too, says Sothys head trainer, Sandi Daley, who warns you can never be too careful.

“Don’t always assume that just because your team member has been in the industry for five or more years that they know everything there is to know about managing clients and advanced skincare treatments. Hiring improperly trained staff can result in losing your clientele, and your business.”

Have your say: Do you think training courses need to be better policed by the industry? Have you ever fallen victim to a dodgy course?

 

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2 Comments

  1. Like a superior athlete, training is not a once off thing for any professional. Ongoing training for therapists, even in the services that they are qualified to provide, is a must. However, this is not happening in most salons due to cost. Cost of sending employees to courses, cost of paying their wages and their travel costs. Salons need to be able to produce a better revenue so that these expenses can be met.

  2. Who provides Insurance cover for these therapists ? Many are shocked when we request evidence of qualification and insurance to obtain Trade Account and Trade information. Perhaps it is the companies who manufacture equipment and products who should insist on more training- we see professional products being sold on discount sites – these being open to the general public, some therapist sell used products on such sites. It is legal ? Eve Taylor. OBE..

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