The Other Guys by Tera Thorne


Recently we shook things up at this is little beauty institute in Sacramento.  For the first time ever, we merged our barbering students with our cosmetology students on the studio floor.  The studio floor is where our future professionals are stationed while they take clients.  If they do not have an actual client to work on, they stay in the studio and hone their skills.  It looked great on paper but what we couldn’t account for is how the students would react and it raised the question:  Can we all get along?

Let me paint you a picture.  We have 4 rows with approximately 68 stations, another room that can hold 12 students and then a number of classrooms that can accommodate the over flow.  Imagine 70 cosmo students, flossing their particular brand of fashion and hair, a sea of black aprons and smocks.   And then, in walks the crisp white smocks of 20 barbering students.  It conjures up the scene from Pitch Perfect, when the Bartone Bellas and the Treblemakers compete head on.  It’s a classic battle scene but with a twist.  It’s the clippers vs the shears.  Light vs dark.  The Jets vs the Sharks.  What happened next?  I have no idea I work in the office!  In order to find out I went out in the field to survey the situation.

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Upon first glance, it looked calm enough.  Students are wandering around trying to get ready for appointments while others already have their mannequin heads on tripods cutting, perming, and curling away.  I walk up to Amanda W., one such student.  As she combing out another section of hair I ask her about what she thinks about the new seating arrangements.  She said that she thought it was a good thing.  “The barbers get all the clipper cuts for the most part so it’s nice to be able to watch the demos happening on the floor.”  She also likes being able to ask them questions about cuts that are traditionally considered barbering cuts.

As I watch two cosmo students discussing clippers, cases, and different size guards with a barber student, I had to wonder if this conversation would have happened if we kept the two groups segregated.  Aline Z. doesn’t think it would have.  She said before they merged the two groups the barbers and cosmo students pretty much stayed to themselves but now they are working together.  “I admit, at first I didn’t think it was going to be a good idea but it has been so awesome.”  For example she said that she traded services with a barber.  While she got tips on her clipper cuts, he was coached on his shampoo and blow drying techniques.


The most surprising and exciting news I received was that there was a master finger-waver hiding amongst the barbers.  Alexis W. was sporting some beautiful finger waves and when asked who her stylist was, she said Danny D.  I spoke to Danny and he said he has only being doing finger waves for 2 weeks.  “Mr Jerry taught me two weeks ago and I’ve just been going at it ever since.”  He supplemented his education with youtube videos and within this short amount of time he has already gained a little following.  I asked him what the secret to a good finger wave was.  “It’s all in the technique.”  He grabbed a second comb and held the ridge of one wave before rounding the edges of the next.  He continued by saying that “if you’re going to comb it out you need to use a non-alcohol based gel to avoid flaking and you have to wait until its completely dry.  If you don’t wait, it’ll go straight.”

As I watched Danny apply passion and patience to his work I am reminded of the schools core values: Respect, Inspire, Create.  You can see the respect he has for the work he’s doing.  It shows in his persistence and his desire to improve.  He was inspired by an educator which has led him to inspire others.  Cosmo students have come seeking his knowledge and on occasion his inspirational spark has led to impromptu tutorials.  This leads me to Create.  In the world of hair and makeup, creativity is always present but what has been created on our studio floor is a culture.  Through a small change in policy we created a shift in the learning environment of our students.  We opened the doors between two different worlds and found that they’re not that different after all.  This is something unique to our school and it sounds like it’s not only deepening the education of our students but its fostering cooperation and building new relationships.  And while I can’t take credit for what has been created here I can sure reveal in the afterglow, and so can you.  If you’re interested in becoming a part of our blossoming culture and are interested in cosmetology, esthetics or barbering please notify our admissions department for more information.

My First Impressions

Hey everyone, my name is Andrew Myers, Federico’s new student Services Coordinator.  I’m a 25 year old guy who’s only exposure to the beauty industry is the haircut I receive every couple weeks. Compared to my friends, I’m probably the most concerned of my appearance. A few of my friends haven’t seen a razor or a pair of shears in years, and have no intention of changing that any time soon. In fact, if you would have told me six months ago that I’d be working in the beauty industry I would have laughed at you. Yet here I am, starting a job working for a beauty institute. So, I’d like to share with you my initial impressions about the industry.

It’s not just about hair. I know, in retrospect I can’t believe that’s all I thought it was, but maybe you’re in the same boat as me and are equally blown away that hair is just one portion of the industry. The men and women here do cut hair, but they also address nearly every aspect of the human body. Where a painter has a canvas to create a work of art, a cosmetologist has the canvas of a human body to do the very same thing. In the case of the cosmetologist, however, they have a canvas with particular contours and preferences so there’s an added degree of difficulty in creating their piece. Here are a few examples of the transformative power of this industry:


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Even though there is an incredible amount of skill and talent shown in the images above, that isn’t where this industry ends. There is an immense push in this industry to help the less fortunate as well as those who have been through a tragedy. Some of the students I’ve met here at Federico want to take their licenses and follow it up with a nursing program so they can use their skills to help people with severe burns and the victims of abuse. Their hope is to remind these people of just how beautiful they are and to restore the physical beauty they had before their tragedy.

Here are a couple examples of the work they do:


As you can see, the work this industry does is impressive, helpful, and so much more than just hair. In just a few short days in this Industry I’ve discovered this much. I’m excited to see what the future holds and I hope you enjoy reading about it.

 -Andrew Myers

A personal message from Joseph Federico.

Recently, I became a proud parent. I was doubly blessed with twins: a boy and a girl. Becoming a parent for the first time I was flooded with fears, thoughts, and dreams for my children. Don’t worry I am not going to start to wax poetic about life and children, far better writers  than myself have devoted oodles and oodles of verse and prose to the subject. Instead, I want to speak of one subject in particular– longevity.

Being part of the third generation in a family business, it made me think what is Federico going to look like when my newborns become adults? Are they going to want to follow me into the family business? This industry was never forced onto me or brothers. Our parents gave us the freedom to make up our own minds, and I too want to give that option to my children. The question then becomes how will Federico weather the storms of uncertainty the future is bound to bring? In an industry that is constantly reinventing itself, how will we at Federico ensure that we remain at the forefront of these changes?

The answer that I keep coming back to is RIC (Respect Inspire Create). RIC is the essence of what we hold dear at Federico. Some may call it our guiding principles. Everything we set out to do within these four walls is an offshoot of RIC.

RIC is about respecting the craft, honing our skills, and showing up every day to do what we do. RIC is being so inspired that inspiration becomes naturally contagious to all those around you. And lastly, RIC is about creating. This goes far the simple artistic definition. It is about creating a community. It is about elevating everyone by giving back, by teaching and by expanding horizons.

I feel that if we commit ourselves to these basic principles that our reach will exceed our grasp. Federico will continue to not only strive but flourish for years to come so that my children and my brother’s children will have that choice to participate in our family passion.

Thank you for reading this.

Joseph Federico

Foil Boot Camp

4 pm on a Wednesday in the Advanced Training room…

Ms. Carrie has a small group of students for a class she likes to call Foil Boot Camp. The class revisits concepts that they learned in color class, but is designed to strengthen the student’s dexterity and proper foil placement.  She reminds them that, “Tension is the key. You have to have tension, if you want correct placement.”

The students work diligently on their doll heads applying shaving cream and folding the edges of the foil back on itself to ensure there are no leaks. Looks of frustration are frequent, but that is why they are in this class. Erin D, a cosmetology student, explains, “When I go in to pull a section it’s almost impossible to pull a straight line especially on these doll heads… I’m a perfectionist. In my mind everything needs to be in straight lines or else my brain explodes. I’m a little OCD,” she says with a laugh. “It’s ok. I took a break had a snack and was able to laugh at myself. Now that I’m back into it, it is going much better now.”

The afternoon progresses and the student’s skills improve and their timing gets faster. The students  find their rhythm. The comb flips back and forth using the tail to pull sections, and to secure the foil as they fold it. Ms. Carrie is delighted with the results and announces that tomorrow they will be using the real thing. No more shaving cream, actual bleach. Some students briefly register a look of mild panic, but it quickly fades. With every passing moment their skills improve and with that their confidence grows.

Mixing the Fundamentals of Design with Edwin Lombardi

Edwin Lombardi


Founder of BeautyMastermind

Original Sebastian Platform Artist


A true visionary with over 35 years of experience, Edwin Lombardi visited Federico on April 7th to present his class “Mixing the fundamentals of design”. This advanced education class included a live demo and a hands-on session with a select group of students utilizing mannequin heads.  The class focused on texturizing techniques to create a modern classic style.


Sonya, a student who attended the class appreciated the simplistic nature to the presentation, “he takes the fundamentals and simplifies them by removing all the fluff, to create completely attainable designs. He can take these simple ideas and combine them into something that looks almost impossible to do.”

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 Edwin who has worked with some of the biggest names in industry got his start at age 17. Fresh from beauty school, Edwin was given the opportunity to do a two year intensive training program that included private training from Sebastian founder, Geri Cusenza.

Working as platform artist, Edwin traveled the world as a member of the original Sebastian design team. Throughout his storied career, Edwin was a pioneer in the industry utilizing video education and eventually became an Artistic Director for Sebastian creating seasonal hair collections with other industry icons Geri Cusenza and Robert Lobetta.



Edwin gave a homeroom presentation the following day that included a dramatic transformation of one of our own students.

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Modern Foundations with Andrew Carruthers

Andrew Carruthers
Co-Owner of Lunatic Fringe
SAM VILLA Educator


Andrew Carruthers presented his Modern Foundations class in Federico’s advanced training room on February 16th and 17th. As the Education director for Sam Villa and co-owner of Lunatic Fringe, Andrew spends much of his time traveling and presenting to many of the industry’s top professionals.














Students, Alumni and local salon professionals were introduced to his technique of conjoining foundational techniques with fashion trends. “I love to take tiny sections and create flawless graduation. I also love taking the entire top of the head, compressing it into one section, and taking a razor to it.” Andrew believes that there is more than one way to skin a cat, “One of my biggest pet peeves is when we are told this is the right way to do something, because in the end there are many ways to get an end result.” Students appreciated the intimate atmosphere which left time for plenty of hands on education.


Q & A with Andrew Carruthers

Do you any advice for new stylists?

The wide variety of paths that we have in our industry can be overwhelming… especially to extremely motivated stylists. Dip your toes in a lot of different opportunities when you are young you find an initial direction to go. Don’t worry if it’s the right direction, you can always alter your course layer… every experience you have feeds the next.


What are 3 words you would use to describe yourself?

Passionate, Relatable, and Honest


What is your most rewarding memory in the Industry?

The first time I saw James Morrison cut hair… it wasn’t even the haircut that he was doing, it was how he approached the hair. You could see elegance, confidence, and passion just in a way he picked up the section and held his scissors. It was the moment that I knew what type of heart I wanted to convey through my hairdressing.