BBC News recently reported that hairdressers are the second happiest workers in the world.

Happy hairdressers were in effect at the Vidal Sassoon Academy in Santa Monica on Monday, Nov. 15, when stylists, beauty editors, executives and students mingled at an open house that showcased Sassoon’s newly expanded facilities and introduced prospective students to the 44-week cosmetology program.

A few hundred people crowded into the new penthouse presentation rooms to sip champagne and eat chocolate dipped strawberries while watching Tim Hartley and Annie Humphreys present the new looks from London. Hartley and Humphreys – Sassoon International Directors of Creative and Color, respectively – demonstrated cutting-edge techniques on live models and gave the capacity crowd a small taste of Sassoon’s spring collection, celebrating 50 years of iconic looks.

Afterwards, the students, parents and career counselors took a guided tour of the Sassoon facility and learned all about careers in cosmetology.

"This is a great opportunity for students to see and learn about some creative career options," said Janet Metcalf, a counselor from Westchester High School in Los Angeles. "The students get to experience style and education right alongside the working professionals."

Cecelia Scott, a senior at Los Angeles’ Downtown Business Magnet school, said, "I have always liked doing hair. This type of job really interests me because I can make my own hours and also be creative."

Careers in hair and beauty are growing over 5 percent a year in the U.S. and the Sassoon Academy is widely recognized as the premier place for prospective hairdressers to get their chops. The program not only prepares students to take the California licensing exam in cosmetology (which 97 percent of them will pass) – it actually trains them to run their own salons.

For Sassoon student Simeon Lee, freshly graduated from UC Davis with a degree in managerial economics, the Academy seemed like the logical next step.

"I’m planning to open my own chain of salons," he said, "And I knew Sassoon was the best place to prepare me for that."

The reputation of the school, sometimes referred to as the "Harvard of Hair," is that graduates typically get their pick of positions after graduation.

"My only problem is choosing which salon I want to work at – there are so many options," gushed Christina Pogosian, a beauty student in her 27th week of the program. Pogosian looks forward to the day when she will join the second happiest profession on earth.

"Even working professionals from other fields often decide to switch to careers in cut and color," said Stephen Moody, the Academy’s International Education Director. "We’ve trained a policeman, a photographer and even a former financial advisor. If you are passionate about style, hair can be very rewarding."

The Vidal Sassoon Academy is located at 321 Santa Monica Blvd. in Santa Monica, just off the Third Street Promenade. For more information about the Vidal Sassoon Academy or careers in cosmetology, go to or call (888) 757-5100.