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Self-confidence shines in Hairstyling and Esthetics

When you ask Shawna L’Heureux and Erin Krauskopf what they love most about their respective specialties in the cosmetology field, they will tell you the same thing: they love helping people feel good about themselves.

Shawna teaches Esthetics and Erin teaches Hairstyling, and together they are educating the next generation of stylists and estheticians at the Northern Lights College Salon and Spa.

Shawna started out as a makeup artist in Vancouver. After she started her family, she switched her focus to esthetics so she could work out of her home while raising her kids. She still did freelance makeup for TV and print while in Calgary but found the erratic schedule not conducive to her lifestyle.

So, she dedicated herself fully to esthetics. And she loved every minute of it.

“I’ve always been interested in working with people and making people feel better about themselves, that’s always been what I wanted to do,” she said.

Erin feels the same; she’s been doing hair since she was 18, but even before then, she loved being in a salon.

“My mom loves getting her hair done, I spent a lot of time in salons growing up and I just loved the vibe and the atmosphere and the camaraderie and how they were a family,” she said.

Erin Krauskoph is the Hairstyling instructor at the NLC Salon and Spa.

And that’s the vibe at the NLC Salon and Spa. Students have the chance to learn together, not only the skills but also things about themselves. It’s a safe place to learn, make mistakes, and let their creativity run wild.

As part of both the Esthetics and Hairstyling programs, students rotate out operating the spa and salon as a proper business. This gives them valuable experience in management along with the knowledge of how to do the services in their chosen field.

Erin and Shawna have both worked in spas and salons as well as worked at home or privately. Erin said that as a hairstylist, you can work however you want to.

“It’s very flexible, it’s just how much time, and effort and heart you want to put into it.”

Shawna found she was able to expand her knowledge the more she got into esthetics as a practice. She learned about holistic nutrition and how it works in relation to skin care and is also certified in oncology esthetics and in advanced skin analysis.

She said the best part is being able to help someone who has been to numerous doctors and dermatologists with little to no results, only to have them work with her and see results in six months.

“It’s kind of a high when you’re able to help somebody like that,” Shawna laughed.

Shawna L’Heureux is the Esthetics instructor at the NLC Salon and Spa.

Erin said she’s found there’s a lot of stigma around the industry, that people equate it with being low-brow or low skilled work.

That could not be further from the truth.

“A lot of the reasons why I do what I do is changing the perspective on hairdressing,” she said. “I wanted to change that to make it more of a positive and professional, uplifting environment.”

But in the end, people that get into this line of work should not only want to flex their creativity, but also take joy in helping others.

“When you go get your hair done, you feel really good about yourself. When you look better, you feel better… People are always happy to have their hair done,” Erin said.

Want to learn more about the Esthetics and Hairstyling programs? Visit the Esthetics page, the Hairstyling page, or the Cosmetology page to learn more!

Looking to get your hair cut or your nails done? Book an appointment at the NLC Spa and Salon by visiting