“I’m beyond thankful to myself that I chose SMIHA” (Sylvain Melloul International Hair Academy)

Every year, hundreds of students join us, and every year, they graduate out to put their artistry and talent to work in the real world. And every year, we’re just as proud of them, as they are thankful to us.

Recently, there’s been a third-party student interview conducted with one of our current students. Here’s what Brandi, one of our very talented students, who is on the verge of graduating, has to say about her experiences at SMIHA. Read on.


Q: Brandi, thank you for volunteering. Can you tell us how long you’ve been in the academy now?

Brandi: Yes, just about 10 months. I’m very close to graduating.

Q: How has your experience been with the academy so far? And if you had to name one thing, what’s the best thing about the academy in your eyes?

Brandi: The experience has been absolutely incredible. It’s very difficult for me to just pick out one thing.
I really like the fact that we get on the front foot with the clients and that is just amazing.

And another thing that I really like is that, Sylvain, and the owners, are really involved in the school. It’s not like we hear their names, and never see their faces. They come in, take the time to talk to us, hear what we have to say, check our progresses – and I really think that’s a great thing for everyone, especially students.

Q: That’s incredible. What sort of message do you think that leaves behind?

Brandi: I think it leaves a very powerful message. And the message is that, they stand by the brand, they stand by us, they’re invested in it, and that they really do care.

Q: How does your experience with the Academy rank in comparison to your expectation of it?

Brandi: It 100% met, and exceeded my expectations. We definitely learn a lot. More than I had expected of it. I’m beyond thankful to myself that I chose SMIHA.

Q: Now lets talk about you. Has cosmetology always been your passion?

Brandi: Yes, it’s something that I’ve always been interested in. Even through middle school, I was always on the career day on Cosmetology, and it was something that was put off, until I finally decided to go for it. When I reached out to the school they sounded really nice, and that put a huge first impression on me. So I went and did the tour, and having seen the facility, it was that moment when I just made that call to jump into it.

Q: Did you shop around before deciding on SMIHA, and if so, what was the deciding factor?

Brandi: Well, yes – I did look around to see what was out there, absolutely. But after coming in, taking the tour, talking with Keena, and the team here.. It really made me want to come in and do it. I could tell that it was a high-end school, & I felt like I was going to get a really good education here.

Q: It certainly sounds like you’ve had very positive experiences. What do you want to say to those who’re considering a career change, and about taking Cosmetology up as a new profession?

Brandi: Before starting here, I was working elsewhere in a different profession. So I made that cross-career move myself. And I would say, definitely go for it. Don’t wait too long, because you only get one chance, and I’d say the school definitely will make that change worth it. Give it a chance, look into it, come take a tour.

Again, I’ll go back to say that we learn a lot, and I feel like they go above and beyond. We not only learn these skills, but we also get business classes, & professional image classes. So It’s not just the conventional type schooling, where you walk out with the technical skills, but you also learn all sorts of interpersonal skills. Again, go for it, and don’t wait too long.

Q: Great message. Last question. As you’re nearing the end of your education with the academy, do you feel you’ll be comfortable going out to the real world?

Brandi: I won’t say that I’m not nervous that my trainers won’t be there with me, looking over my shoulders – but yes, I know that we’re well prepared. Being on the front foot, and having all hands-on experiences we get here, it just knocks out some of the jitters that, if we could make it here so far, then we’ll make it just as well outside of the classroom as well.


This could be you – beyond pleased with the career choice, and very thrilled about the future. Are you that someone who’s always been fascinated by Cosmetology? Have you ever looked at this profession as an art, and felt you could be the next trend-setter?

To show up every day for your daily grind, unhappy at your job, takes hard work. Making a decision to take control of that situation takes courage.

Which one do you pick?


Give us a ring at tel:434-215-0192, or come take a tour. We’re conveniently located in the River Ridge Mall, in 3405 Candlers Mountain Rd, Lynchburg, VA, 24502.