Are Your Online Cosmetology Classes Missing These 7 Essentials?

Beauty educators and cosmetology teachers: Could your online cosmetology classes be better?

Are your cosmetology students learning effectively?

Are you confident that your online cosmetology classes are actually teaching?

Find out if your online cosmetology classes are missing these 7 essentials.

Online cosmetology classes in the Filmbook Cosmetology app


The 7 Essentials of Online Cosmetology Classes

Let’s get started. The first essential? Step-by-step procedures with illustrations.

1. Step-by-Step Procedures with Illustrations

Cosmetology students tend to be visual learners. Even those who learn well from textbooks still need imagery—and illustrations. Visual images make the steps of a complicated procedure clear.

So what could be more important for online cosmetology classes than detailed, step-by-step procedures with illustrations? Every haircut, every haircolor, every hairstyle, and every procedure on chemical texture should be explained with images. Here’s one example of a step-by-step procedure with illustrations from the Balayage class in the Filmbook® Cosmetology app:

Online cosmetology class from the Filmbook Cosmetology class on balayage

The Filmbook Cosmetology app has over 2,000 illustrated steps to explain 392 different procedures in its 37 cosmetology classes. Who’s counting? We are! Because that’s a lot of hands in hair for students to see.

Here’s another example from the Balayage class:

Balayage class in the Filmbook Cosmetology app shown on an iPhone

In these online cosmetology classes, every cosmetology procedure is demonstrated—clearly—by master stylists with decades of experience in the salon, the classroom, and the performance stage.

And every cosmetology procedure is broken down into easy-to-read steps, written by the curriculum team in consultation with master stylists who are beauty educators.

Online cosmetology class on balayage from the Filmbook Cosmetology app.The Filmbook beauty educators know what’s important to teach. The Filmbook curriculum writers make it easy for students to understand.

What’s the second essential for online cosmetology classes? “What-Why-How” explanations.

2. What-Why-How Explanations: Essential for Online Cosmetology Classes

How many times have your cosmetology students asked you why they need to do a technique in a particular way?

Often, the why comes from impatience. Students just want to get their hands in the hair. They don’t have time for the why.

In the classroom, you’re used to slowing them down and helping them understand why. But how do you work that necessary oversight into your online cosmetology classes?

Here’s an example. In the Filmbook Cosmetology app, every procedure has a what-why-how built in.

Every page of a Filmbook step-by-step procedure is structured the same way:

  • What to do.
  • Why it’s important, explained in bullet points.
  • How to do it, explained in step-by-step instructions.

The best online cosmetology classes explain "what-why-how" as shown in the Filmbook Cosmetology app.This what-why-how structure is clear and effective.

And, when students work on the practices for each class, the same what-why-how procedure is re-used.

Now, the third essential. “Spaced repetition.”

3. Spaced Repetition

Cosmetology is a performance-based skill. This means that students learn by performing salon services—over and over again. They build physical dexterity and confidence over time through repetition.

The more they repeat, the more they understand. But to limit boredom, this repetition must be spaced out. And new variations must be added.

That’s why the best model for teaching cosmetology online is based on “spaced repetition.”  Students learn by practicing salon services that become progressively harder.

Let’s look at one example of how spaced repetition works in the 37 online cosmetology classes that make up the Filmbook Cosmetology app:

  • Start by teaching a one-length haircut. Have students practice it repeatedly.
  • Then, introduce graduation, both the theory and the practice.
  • Next, add the variation of layers. Explain round vs. square layers. Demonstrate round vs. square layers. Have students practice round and square layers repeatedly.
  • Then introduce the variation of long layers.
  • Finally, teach graduated layers through illustrated steps, demonstrations, and practice.

Spaced repetition makes sure that a cosmetology student reviews a key procedure or technique just as she is about to forget it.

An example of "spaced repetition" in the Practice tab of the Filmbook Cosmetology app
An example of “spaced repetition” in the Practice tab of the Filmbook Cosmetology app

The research on the effectiveness of spaced repetition goes back 100 years and the research is still continuing today.

Learning science has proven that spaced repetition is simply the best way to embed new concepts into long-term memory.

And that’s why the Filmbook Cosmetology app uses spaced repetition in each of its 37 cosmetology classes.

Next up: open-book tests with instant feedback. For every online cosmetology class.

4. Open-Book Tests with Instant Feedback

You know it well. Fear of testing is common among cosmetology students—whether they’re taking paper tests in the classroom or digital tests in online cosmetology classes.

That’s why the tests in the Filmbook Cosmetology app are designed to reduce student fear by giving them every opportunity to succeed.

All the tests in the Filmbook Cosmetology app are open book.

(We’re not talking here about a separate printed book, but rather the digital book that makes up the book portion of the Filmbook app.  After all, Filmbook = Films + Book.)

If a student isn’t sure of the answer to a test question, she simply taps the corner of the app to open the section of the book where she can search for the answer.

Open-book test question in Filmbook Cosmetology app: What kind of pressure should you use to texturize hair with a razor?Online cosmetology class in Filmook Cosmetology app showing an open book test with the look-in-the-book feature.

Once students tap the correct answer, they get instant feedback. Instant feedback is essential for learning. The learning science research is clear on this. When you’re working on-on-one with students in the classroom, you know how to give good feedback.

But giving timely feedback is not so easy when students are working independently for much of the day in online cosmetology classes.

That’s why the Filmbook Cosmetology app includes instant, helpful feedback on every question of every test in every Filmbook class. Right when your students answer it.

Test question with answer and feedback from Filmbook Cosmetology app.

Students get several tries to answer a Filmbook test question, which helps learning and reduces test anxiety.

If they get the answer right on the first try, they earn the full point value. If they get the answer correct on the second try, they still earn points, but a reduced value.

The 5th essential for online cosmetology classes? Unlimited re-tests and test review.

5. Unlimited Re-Tests and Test Review

Every Filmbook class has three different 20-question tests. That’s 60 questions in each of the 37 classes, for a total of 2,200 questions!

And your students can take unlimited re-tests. All answers are randomized on re-tests, so memorizing answer “positions” won’t work.

Even when students pass the test with 80%, we see many who retake tests multiple times to earn a higher score. It’s their competitive nature at work.

And to lock in learning, students can review any completed test by tapping on a completed “test square” as shown below.

Filmbook Cometology app Test tabThat’s how the Filmbook Cosmetology app helps overcome fear of testing.

Another online cosmetology class essential? Practice, as part of every class.

6. Practice as Part of Every Class

Practice makes perfect. You know it. Your students know it. So your online cosmetology classes must have practical exercises—as part of every class.

Think about it. Cosmetology students spend more time doing practical exercises each week than anything else.

When learning a hands-on profession like cosmetology, there’s no substitute for putting the hours in. For perfecting difficult techniques—first on mannequins, and eventually on live models.

One of the most rewarding aspects of teaching cosmetology is working with students as they are doing these practices.

  • You guide them toward perfecting a cut.
  • Keep them on track during a difficult chemical service.
  • Step in at just the right time to correct a mistake.
  • Review the final result.

But managing the weekly practice schedule of a classroom full of students can be challenging, even when you’re not distance learning.

That’s why the Filmbook Cosmetology app has a Practice Tab for each of its 37 classes. And on that Practice Tab you’ll find over 200 structured practices for students.

Learning how to cut long layers in the online cosmetology class on the Filmbook Cosmetology app shown on an iPhoneFor example, in the Long Layers class, the Practice Tab directs students to:

  • Perform a one-length haircut, then cut long square layers. Twice!
  • Cut another one-length haircut, followed by long round layers.
  • Texturize both cuts using point cutting, then slide cutting.

Here’s another example of the structured practice inside the Filmbook Cosmetology app. This example is from the Clipper cut class:

Clipper cut practices in the online cosmetology class on the Filmbook Cosmetology app shown on an iPhone
Just one example of the structured practices built into every class in the Filmbook Cosmetology app. Here you see four different practice exercises for students learning how to work with a clipper.

Practice is paramount. Structured practice in every class is essential for the best results.

The final online cosmetology class essential? It’s three items rolled into one: Search, bookmarks, highlights.

7. Search, Bookmarks, Highlights: Essential for Online Cosmetology Classes

Your students grew up with Google. Searching for answers is fundamental to how they learn.

That’s why all cosmetology students today expect any online cosmetology classes to have a search feature. And a good one at that.

Looking for information on ammonium thioglycolate? The Filmbook search bar is loaded with a 1,200-word cosmetology glossary so your students do not have to type out complicated cosmetology terms like thioglycolate.

Students just start typing “thio” and then choose from a pop-up list of terms with those letters. Like “ammonium thioglycolate” or “glyceryl monothioglycolate acid.”

Search results for ammonium thioglycolate in the Filmbook Cosmetology app.
Search result as student starts typing “thio” in the Filmbook Cosmetology app

The search results are organized by class. Each result shows a snippet of text from the page where the term can be found. Students simply tap the snippet to open the page.

Each search result includes the entire section of the book where the term is found, so your students can swipe through to gain more context about the search term.

Once you find what you want, you can bookmark that page for future reference. Or, highlight a specific section of the text. Your bookmarks and highlights immediately appear on the Bookmarks and Highlights tabs next to the Search tab.

Here are two examples, of a bookmarked page and a highlight on a page:

Online cosmetology classes? Use the Filmbook Cosmetology app. This page show how to understand color formulas.
Example of bookmarked page from the Filmbook Cosmetology app.
Need online cosmetology classes? Try the Filmbook Cosmetology app. Shown here is the Toning Color class with user-highlighted text.
Example of highlighted text in the Filmbook Cosmetology app.

Do you like switching between your iPhone and iPad? Filmbook keeps all your work—including your Bookmarks and Highlights—synchronized across devices.

So those are the 7 essentials of the best online cosmetology classes.

Looking to Improve Your Online Cosmetology Classes?

Many cosmetology schools have been struggling with how to teach cosmetology online—effectively.  The simple fact is: Education technology will never replace effective teachers.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t effective education technology.

We’d believe we can offer you effective education technology that holds student interest and received teacher approval.

The Filmbook Cosmetology app. Student-Centered. Teacher Tested.™

Download Filmbook Cosmetology on the App Store

Ask yourself: Are you trying to transition part of your cosmetology school online?

Is it time—right now— to prepare for another round of distance learning?

Do you need to add a structured curriculum into your existing cosmetology program—using the technology today’s students are used to?

The Filmbook Cosmetology app for iPad or iPhone  just may be your answer. Here’s a quick look at the 37 online cosmetology classes the app offers:

You can get a free preview on the App Store—with one complete class on graduated layers. Check it out! Let us know what you think.

Beauty School in an App!™


Download Filmbook Cosmetology on the App Store

One last note before you go …

If you’re trying to ensure that MORE of your cosmetology students pass the cosmetology state board licensing exam, check out our other education app: the Filmbook State Board app.

With UNLIMITED state board practice tests, a built-in cosmetology exam study book, and over 20 minutes of film on state board topics, it’s a great way to help increase the licensure rate at your cosmetology school. And what could be better than that?

See you on the App Store!

Until then, be well. And keep a kind heart.