This story is no longer valid.

When the economic crisis (as they are calling it now) struck last year, many people were worried about how this would affect their lives, their jobs, their industry. I was saying to a student last week that I’m of the “old school”, starting my tenure at the National School of Aesthetics in the mind-set that, “beauty therapy treatments are probably one of the first things people cut back on in times like this.”

I was very wrong.

This story is no longer valid.

In light of our 25th anniversary, as stated before, we’re making a few changes, and some of these changes are to make the information we give prospective students and their loved ones as concise but informative as possible.

In the last few days, I’ve been updating our Web site to make it easier-to-read, mostly by revamping tables, de-emphasizing “the fine print” by making it, well, fine print, and, most importantly, adding pictures to give the reader “a break” once in a while.  The thing with a Web site is it is a living, breathing document; it evolves as time marches on, usually for better (one hopes).  We’ve also made some content “reveal-able”, i.e. when you click on a link, the information expands (as opposed to pop-up in a new window, which sent many an internet browser putting warnings up).

All in all, there’s that great struggle between providing information everyone wants, content people like me (the i’s-dotted-and-t’s-crossed people: you know who you are) would like if I were reading the Web site as a prospective student and the beauty and, well, for lack of a better word, design aesthetic.

The prospectus, on the other hand, has to have so many printed in order to make it a viable exercise.  I used to create them and print them on my own, but, a few years back, we found printing a run of them professionally would be much cheaper than printing them ourselves.  The problem with creating your own documents for professional publication is once they are published, that’s it.  You have to live with any problems or out-of-date information you might have in there.

So, there were some mistakes I made (hey, even I am human!) to the first professionally-printed prospectus on my watch, and I’m hoping I’ve learned from those mistakes.  The prospectus under development now has much more simplified and easier-to-understand information with a more uniform look throughout it, and we’ve also tried to trim the number of pages with more emphasis on our Web site.

We’re hoping to have the new prospectus up-and-running by the beginning of May.  Keep an eye on our Web site for more information, and if you have any suggestions about our Web site, I’d be keen to hear your input.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations for The National School of Aesthetics, the South Island’s leading beauty therapy, nail technology and spa therapies training provider.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Patch Tests

When someone books in for a tinting procedure in our clinic or during school hours, the patch test plays an important role.  While we understand this can be an inconvenience to some clients, overall, we are attempting to ensure their health and safety are looked after.

Just today, had an article entitled “Beauty Therapist Left Clients Blistered”, talking about a therapist who didn’t bother performing patch tests before laser treatments to determine sensitivity.  (As an aside, Intense Pulsed Light [IPL] and laser treatments should be undertaken by trained professionals, and a beauty therapist who wants to learn IPL needs to do this as a post-graduate course.)

In this article, a supposedly-qualified practitioner (trained in China, not New Zealand) burned at least two of his clients while practicing “medicinal beauty” using IPL hair removal treatments on them.  These clients complained to the Health and Disability Commissioner about “develop[ing] redness, pain and blisters” after the treatment, and the Health and Disability Commissioner’s report stated, “because the skin test was not performed on either woman, the practitioner had failed to follow the required safety procedures.”  (See Case Number 09HDC01350 for more information.)

It is very important to note that this person was not a member of the Association of New Zealand Beauty Therapists.

Updated on 22 March 2010: One woman shares her story about having her face burnt by IPL.  See the story for pictures and more details.

Things can go horribly wrong with any treatment requiring a patch test.  Indeed, a patch test does not indicate that an allergy or reaction cannot happen in the future (or even, sometimes, an indication that no reaction will occur when the treatment is given).  What a patch test does do is determine whether or not a client is likely or very likely to have an adverse reaction to a treatment, such as lash or brow tinting, IPL or some heat treatments.

Even if you have had a patch test in the past, you may be required to undertake another patch test if you haven’t had a tinting (or other) treatment with us within the previous 4 to 6 weeks.  Allergies and adverse reactions can occur at any given time, and, as with some foods and other possible allergens, just because a person didn’t have an allergic or adverse reaction weeks prior when they interacted with it, does not necessarily mean an allergy can’t crop up in the meantime.

Our policy at the National School of Aesthetics on patch testing is followed vigorously, and please know we do this for your health and safety.  If you haven’t had a tinting or other type of treatment with us before, or if you have but haven’t had one within 4 to 6 weeks prior, and we ask you to come in for a patch test prior to the treatment, please know we are doing this to protect you: you are important to us!

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations for The National School of Aesthetics, the South Island’s leading beauty therapy, nail technology and spa therapies training provider.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

A New Year: Our 25th Year

This story is no longer valid.

I’d like to apologise to all our readers for the delay in a new blog from the National School of Aesthetics.  Unfortunately, from the time when qualifying examinations swing around (usually late November) until our new classes are well settled-in (usually beginning of March) is an extremely busy time, and we have been hard at work up until now.

So here we are, fast approaching the National School of Aesthetics’s 25th birthday, and it is an exciting year for all of us here.  We’ve made some changes to usher in our silver anniversary, and we’ll continue to roll more out as the year progresses.

One of these changes has been the full introduction of our new uniform.  Gone are the white smocks with navy cardigans, (Some of our students, wearing the smock uniform, faced the question, “Are you a nurse?”) replaced with a more contemporary spa top and slacks.  Options abound for this uniform too, including a polar fleece jacket in the winter and apron to protect the uniform during treatments like waxing.

We’re also combing through our systems to streamline processes and procedures, and help prospective and current students gain more accessability easier. 

For example, every year we would print out and assemble case study packs, mainly to ensure students had the correct quantities of the correct forms all in one place.  As you can imagine, this was a tedious process, and, of course, some students would make mistakes and want new forms (understandably so!), so this would involve more photocopying and/or printing.  In addition, writing all those case studies by hand could be time-consuming in itself, so our team finally made the move to introduce downloadable, editable forms on our Web site for students to use.  This way, they can type (which is quicker) the data in and print off copies for the clients to sign.

Keep an eye out on our Web site for more changes as they become available.

Again, 2010 is an exciting year for us as we celebrate our silver anniversary, and we’d love for you to celebrate with us.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations for The National School of Aesthetics, the South Island’s leading beauty therapy, nail technology and spa therapies training provider.