Invest in Beauty's Next Generation

Contact Author Lynelle Lynch, President, Beauty Changes Lives Foundation
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Pictured, from left, at the BCL Experience: Howard Murad, Jeff Murad and Lynelle Lynch.

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Mention investing in the beauty and wellness industry and what comes to mind? Perhaps you think about emerging economies, accelerated R&D efforts, or new ingredients that address consumers’ and regulators’ growing interest in ethically-sourced formulations. Maybe you think about the Shark Tank investors at Cosmoprof.

But what about investing in the human potential of the industry—the next generation of beauty and wellness professionals?

Regulations Blocking Careers?

Recently enacted regulations are posing a threat to the industry’s supply of future “front-line” talent. Gainful-employment regulations crafted by the U.S. Department of Education and upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, have the potential to make it more difficult for aspiring beauty and wellness professionals to participate in federal student aid programs.

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Consequently, the next generation of beauty talent may find it more challenging to secure the education needed for entry into the industry.

Investing in a Beautiful Cause

Recognizing the critical role that educated beauty and wellness professionals play in the industry’s success, a coalition of brand leaders is uniting behind the Beauty Changes Lives (BCL) Foundation to invest in the future of next generation beauty talent. 

"It is so important to invest in the future of our industry by providing quality education, guidance and opportunity to next gen talent.”

Founded in 2013 as a 501c3, BCL is focused on a mission to fund educational scholarships and professional mentoring opportunities while elevating perceptions of the diverse and rewarding career opportunities available to licensed beauty professionals.

Since its formation, the foundation has raised more than $3 million to support scholarships and changed the lives of nearly 300 aspiring and licensed professionals through the gift of education. It has also rallied some of the biggest brands in beauty to invest in next generation talent.

Leading Industry Supporters

One longtime supporter of BCL is Wella, the salon professional division of P&G. Wella’s “Hairdressers at Heart” initiative has committed $1.5 million in “basic” and “advanced” scholarships through 2017 to fund scholarships for aspiring hairstylists and licensed professionals who wish to take their craft to the next level.

The Vidal Sassoon Professional Beauty Education Scholarships Competition honors the creative and entrepreneurial legacy of Vidal Sassoon while providing tuition scholarships and professional learning opportunities.

Many throughout the professional beauty industry share the sentiment that “a career dream is a terrible thing to waste.”

On the esthetics front, skin care pioneer Howard Murad, M.D. created the first BCL scholarship for esthetics students and the first retail product benefiting BCL. A limited edition Murad “Live Beautiful” set launched in fall 2015, and directed a portion of sales to fund esthetic scholarships.

Nail industry leader CND was another early supporter of the BCL Foundation and its mission.

"At CND, we are always looking for ways to advance the state of the industry and elevate nails and beauty as a rich and rewarding profession," said CND co-founder and style director Jan Arnold. "It is so important to invest in the future of our industry by providing quality education, guidance and opportunity to next gen talent.”

Inspired by actress and humanitarian Tippi Hedren’s success in helping thousands of displaced refugees find rewarding careers in the professional nail industry following the fall of Saigon, CND founded the BCL Tippi Hedren Professional Nail Scholarship in 2013.

With recent regulations upheld, and a tightening of the U.S. workforce, there has never been a better time to invest in the future of our industry.

“I never underestimate the incredible skill and character it takes to be a successful nail professional in today's world, and it is up to us all to help pave the way for aspiring artists who are following their dreams,” said Arnold. 

Massage Envy is helping students pursue a career in therapeutic touch through scholarships that offer tuition assistance. The company also offers each winner’s school a small grant to invest in its massage program educational offerings.

In 2015, Pivot Point International introduced the BCL Leo Passage Endowment Fund which brings together 50 of the nation’s top cosmetology educators for a “creative jam” weekend of learning at the company’s Chicago headquarters.

And most recently, MUD Make-up Designory launched the first scholarship for individuals pursuing a career in makeup artistry.

Mentoring the Future

Not all of the BCL funded learning opportunities take place in the classroom or on the academy floor. BCL mentorships pair beauty students with accomplished industry icons.

Johnny Wright, widely recognized as hairstylist to First Lady Michelle Obama, and celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson are just a few industry leaders who have developed BCL day of learning opportunities for students.

“It’s amazing to see students’ eyes open up to the options available to nail professionals,” said Arnold, who has created opportunities for students to assist behind the scenes at couture fashion events.

Getting Involved and Giving Back

On March 12, 2016, the BCL Foundation welcomed nearly 1,000 attendees to Chicago’s Soldier Field during America’s Beauty Show (ABS) for the 4th annual Beauty Changes Lives Experience.

Throughout the evening, attendees at the ABS signature event, had an opportunity to shout their definition of beauty on a special statement wall, celebrate the legacy of Dr. Howard Murad and hear from those whose lives have been changed by the BCL Foundation.

The fifth annual Beauty Changes Lives Experience will take place at ABS in March 2017. However, opportunities abound to get involved before the event.

For example, through August 7, Pivot Point International will generously donate $1 for every selfie posted with the hashtag #SHOUTYOURBEAUTY or #BeautyChangesLives.

Many throughout the professional beauty industry share the sentiment that “a career dream is a terrible thing to waste.”

With recent regulations upheld, and a tightening of the U.S. workforce, there has never been a better time to invest in the future of our industry. More information on involvement opportunities available through Beauty Changes Lives is available at www.beautychangeslives.org

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