Simply The Best

Are you curious why our students and graduates believe The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA) in Altoona is the best beauty school in Central Pennsylvania?   We are happy to share the facts, awards, and recognitions that have people singing our praises and referring students to our Academy.

First, The Salon Professional Academy in Altoona has been recognized by the professional beauty and product brand Redken 5th Avenue NYC with the REDKEN Diamond Academy award for our excellence in education every year since the award was introduced in 2014.  As a Diamond Academy, TSPA Altoona must demonstrate a commitment to, and delivery of, Redken’s advanced education protocols and standards, which is confirmed by a rigorous examination of our facility, systems, curriculum and staff!

Second, in 2017 the Blair County Chamber of Commerce awarded our Academy the Excellence in Small Business for our entrepreneurship, technology in our classrooms and business developing skills for our students.  We are the only beauty school in the area to have received this award in the past decade.

Third, we have an Award-Winning Team!  The Salon Professional Education Company (SPEC), which has 30 franchised beauty schools nationwide, has recognized the TSPA Altoona team multiple times over the past five years.  In 2016, Kim Hofer, our owner, was recognized as SPEC’s Operations Director of the Year.  In 2018, our Dynamic Duo of Michelle Fogal and Kayla Shook were recognized as SPEC’s Admissions Director of the Year and Financial Aid Director of the Year, respectively. Their outstanding teamwork is now a franchise-wide template to other franchisees as to how their roles intertwine and support prospective students.



So, if you are thinking about a career in the beauty industry, you should come in and visit with our award-winning team.  Our welcoming culture and learner-focused approach to education is truly different and designed to appeal to today’s students.  You want and deserve an incredible education and environment – you will find it at The Salon Professional Academy in Altoona, PA!

We are here to help you begin your path on an amazing journey!

New Year, New You?

There are always so many expectations that come with January 1st. Everywhere you look you will see someone or something that is telling you “New Year, New You.” But was there really anything wrong with the “old” you?

Whoever you were in December of 2018, is probably exactly who you needed to be at that time.

A high school student, just trying to make it to Winter break so you can get to the second half of your Senior year! Proms, Spring sports, finals, GRADUATION!

A college student, who always assumed going to college was exactly what you needed to do to find a successful career. Now you are one semester in and are finding out that maybe this isn’t for you, this isn’t the creative, exciting, rewarding experience you thought you were going to have.

A parent, you’ve spent the last few years making sure that your children have everything that they need. Your first priority is them, then comes the house, the bills, the Christmas lists, then finally, you.

Maybe you are someone who doesn’t fall into any of these categories. Maybe you are the person who had to learn at a young age to pitch in and help pay the bills, take care of family members, or even take care of yourself. Now you’ve gradated high school, found a necessary job, and you’re just trying to get by as well as you can.

No matter what stage of life you relate to, the clock striking midnight is not going to magically change who you are as a person. It will, however, give you 366 (thanks leap year) more chances to work towards the person you WANT to be.

We all want more for our significant others, our families, and our children, but don’t forget to add yourself to the list of things that deserve a little more attention and recognition. Remember, it is equally as important to focus on yourself.

“If you want to see where you will be in 5 years, look to those around you.” If you see strong minded, independent, hardworking individuals who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals, then hold on tight to those people, they will take you so far in life. If you don’t, don’t panic, maybe YOU are that person to someone else, or maybe you need to start looking for a new tribe of people.

That’s where we come in. We are The Salon Professional Academy of Altoona. We are a family, a tribe, a unit of individuals who come together with one common goal, YOU. You are the reason that our staff has chosen a career path in education. We don’t expect you to fit in a certain box and we aren’t expecting some “new you” version just because it is a new year. You are exactly who we want to meet, get to know, and help grow through coaching and mentoring.

Offering programs such as Cosmetology, Esthetician, Manicuring, and Teachers, allows more opportunity to receive an education in the field you are most interested in. We offer financial aid, payment plans, and scholarships to those who qualify. Our award-winning Admissions and Financial Aid team are ready to assist you through the process of enrollment. Our Front Desk Support Staff and Educators are here to provide guidance and training to help you achieve industry standards and expectations.

New Year, New You? We think New Year, Same You, New Opportunities has a better ring to it!

Quick and Easy Halloween Looks that are TSPA Approved!

If you are like us, you LOVE Halloween!! But maybe you aren’t sure what you can throw together for that work event, costume party, or kid’s school activity. The good news is, The Salon Professional Academy is here to help you find the perfect spooky, glamorous, or adorable makeup look you are needing! It is very possible that you have your entire look planned out in your head, but you just aren’t sure how to make it all come together. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to getting that perfect look this Halloween!

1. Find a couple inspiration pictures!
It’s best to have more than one, but no more than 3 pictures to draw some ideas from.
Put your own creative spin into the look, not everyone has the same face shape, products, or skill level, and that’s okay!

2. Make sure you have the basics!
You don’t have to be a professional or take hours getting ready to achieve some super cool makeup looks this Halloween.
A couple brushes, some foundation, an eyeshadow palette or variety of eyeshadow colors, eyeliner and mascara, and you’re good to go!

3. Accessorize!
No makeup look is complete without a little extra bling to bring it all together!
You don’t need to go out and spend money to find something that compliments your look.
Find some things that you have lying around the house to pull the look together!

Halloween is all about having fun with your friends and family.
Spending time with those you love makes any holiday, gathering, or get together worth it!
And of course, be sure to snap lots of selfies!

We’ve put together some DIY quick and easy make up looks for you to recreate at home OR you can schedule an appointment here at The Salon Professional Academy, Altoona to recreate these looks as well! Our student stylists are happy to help make your Halloween dreams come true!

The Pumpkin
Student Stylist: Megan
You can really use your imagination for this one! All black or all orange clothing would work for this look!


The Deer
Student Stylist: Shelly
This look is super easy to pair with some things from your closet! If you have a brown or white top and some leggings, you are good to go!

The Scarecrow
Student Stylist: Kaena
A flannel and a pair of jeans is all you need to bring this look together! If you have a straw hat laying around, that’s a bonus!

The Mermaid
Student Stylist: Brandi
A headband, necklace, or earrings with some bling will really bring this look to the next level!

The Skeleton
Student Stylist: Look # 1- Elexis, Look # 2- Becca
All black everything is a really easy way to pull off your skeleton look!

A Day in The Life: Breaking the Stereotype!

We know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that you would LOVE a career in the beauty industry. You’ve watched the YouTube tutorials, you’ve seen the beauty bloggers, you’ve purchased the make up palettes. You can totally do this for a living! We also know what “they’re” thinking. “They” being your closest support system, is thinking… NO WAY! You’ll work long hours, you are on your feet all day, and you will never make enough money to support yourself!

We’re here to set the record straight! There is more to the beauty industry than what you think, and definitely more to this career than they think!

A student at The Salon Professional Academy starts their day at 9:00 am. We start off with some morning energy to get your creative mind and body ready to take on the day! Learning requires ENERGY and if you want to be a student at TSPA Altoona, you are going to want to be ready to learn!


Those first 10 or 22 weeks in the foundations classroom is where you will begin receiving that core curriculum of cutting, coloring, business building skills, and product knowledge. All these chapters, including anatomy, chemistry, and electricity, is what sets this apart from being just a hobby, to being a career.


Once a student completes 300 hours of training, they are able to transition into our Student Salon Training Area until they’ve completed 1250 hours required by the State of Pennsylvania. This is their time to start building that clientele, working more hands on with the public, and begin experiencing what life would be like once they are in a salon. Redken is a goal orientated brand, which means we love setting goals for our students, and even more than that, we love to CELEBRATE those goals being met! Our student salon training area is where our students are able to provide that 5-star experience to their guests. That includes a thorough consultation, offering additional services, recommending retail products, and pre-booking that guest for their next appointment. These are the skills and tools that help make a smooth transition right into salon life after graduation.


The Salon Professional Academy Altoona has a graduation rate of 75%, licensure rate of 98% and a 94% placement rate. Which means educating, graduating, and helping our students find a home after they graduate from our Academy is very important to us! We always check up on our graduates to see how they are doing in their salons, and if they need help finding another place to call home, we are there to assist in any way that we can!

Ultimately, it is our culture, passion for a quality education, state of the art facility, and knowledge of this ever-changing industry that we believe sets us apart from “just a beauty school”.
If you are serious about taking the next steps towards finding out if a career in the beauty industry is right for you, please be sure to check out our “Crash A Class” and Affordability Workshop event that we will be hosting on Wednesday, October 9th from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. You can find more details and RSVP by following the link to the event on our Facebook page! ——–> Crash A Class – Free Workshop

Do something for your future self this year. Start your cosmetology education today! For more details about scheduling a visit, enrollment, financial aid*, class flexibility, curriculum, and more, contact TSPA Altoona today. Our staff is here to answer any of your questions and help you pursue your dreams in cosmetology!
*Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. For more information about our graduation rates, the median loan debt of students who completed the program and other information visit


We Have A History with Success –
Originally founded as Pruonto’s Hair Design Institute in 1963, we have spent decades helping to build future salon professionals. We are ready to help assist you in the journey of discovering your success.

Family Values-
Since the beginning, TSPA Altoona has always focused on the value of family. Owner, Kim Hofer, purchased the school from her parents in 2008. She has turned a small privately- owned business into a thriving enterprise based on the advanced education today’s students are looking for. That family spirit has resonated into the culture we have here at TSPA. From our staff, to our students, to our guests, our goal is always to make you feel at home with us.

The Full TSPA Experience-
Our programs are designed to engage all types of learning styles. Hands on, visual, and demonstration-based curriculum helps ensure that students are able to learn concepts such as product knowledge, business building skills, hair design, skin care, nail technology, eyelash extensions, and so much more. We offer the tools you will need to provide your guest with that 5-star experience. We are dedicated to helping you build the skills you need for a successful career.

Educators with a Purpose-
Our Educational team has over 65 combined years of experience in both behind the chair and facilitation. Our team is here to provide you with one on one coaching to grow you both personally, and professionally. It is this current experience, and continued trainings that our Educators attend throughout the year, that they are able to share their passion, and professionalism so enthusiastically with each of our students.

The Support Systems-
Our Front Desk Support Staff team members are here to assist you in guest services. They help you prepare for your real-life salon experiences by assisting with pre-booking, retail sales, and additional services.

The Admissions and Financial Aid partnership is as strong as our willingness to help you get started into your future career! When it comes to offering students support, guidance, and assistance, we are always on top of it. It is a great example of two people working together as a cohesive, dual unit of support for students. With a shared work mentality and love of the beauty industry, they can create a positive, welcoming environment at TSPA Altoona.

Our Office Administrator Ali is the woman behind the curtain. She assists the Educators, Admissions, Financial Aid, Front Desk Support Staff, and most importantly, the students. She sits with each student and walks them through the process of applying for their state board exam. She stays up to date with our Alumni to make sure our students are placed and finding a home after school.

                                                    We can’t wait for you to join our TSPA family!


Pick up some cool summer gear and support a great cause.  From June 1st to August 1st we will be selling a fun and versatile summer stretchy scarf or “buff” like the ones you’ve seen on the tv show Survivor.  They can be worn more than a dozen different ways and are the perfect summer accessory!  They only cost $5 and all of the proceeds from your purchase go toward support of The Central PA Humane Society.    Get them for you, a friend, a furry friend and the kids and know that you are doing your part to support a great cause.


The Salon Professional Academy is running a fun contest that could make you “Insta-famous” and hook you up with a fabulous prize.   Simply follow the steps below for a chance to win the grand prize.

The contest is simple:

  • Purchase a TSPA Buff at the school
  • Take a fun, creative selfie prominently featuring you wearing the buff.(keep the images appropriate please 😊 )
  • Post it to your Instagram account using these two hashtags: [#tspainthebuff] & [#tspaaltoona]
  • Post your picture by August 1st
  • Check back with the school, our social media accounts, and/or website to see if you won and to claim your prize.

CONTEST DETAILS: Employees, currently enrolled students, and direct account contacts from vendors/companies affiliated with the school are ineligible to win the grand prize.  All posts need to be of an appropriate nature. Lewd, profane, discriminatory, or inappropriate posts will be disqualified.  Winner must claim prize by September 1st, 2019 or it will be awarded to the next selected post winner.  Contact this school with any additional questions you may have.  The use of the word “buff” is a play on words as well as the colloquial, generic term for a stretchy, tubular-sewn scarf and not meant to imply the product being sold for charity is the trademark brand BUFF®. 


Fundraiser For Fallen PA State Trooper’s Family Begins Thursday at The Salon Professional Academy


Altoona – Thursday, March 9th, 9:00am – 8:30pm. 

Donations will directly support State Trooper Landon Weaver’s family.

 Join The Salon Professional Academy for a fundraiser to directly support State Troops Landon Weaver’s family. The Salon Professional Academy is donating 25% of all sales during the fundraiser.   For community member’s who want to make a direct donation, there will be a donation box. Purchases may include salon services, spa & spray tanning packages, gift certificates and all salon products.

Learn more about Trooper Weaver’s personal story here:

If you would like to learn more about the event or more about supporting this family. Please call 814-944-4494

Watch For Our Posters, please share this posting on your Facebook or other social media favorite spots.






Sara McGarvey at Shag Salon

Today Taylor our recruiter stopped at Shag in Duncanville, PA to sit and talk with stylist Sara Mcgarvey.

About Sara

Sara graduated in 2013 from TSPA she is certified in
Brazilian Blow outs, is a wax specialist, and is certified in Kenra color.

Sara’s favorite Educator was Miss Rose because she said she was stern, and she made her do something over and over until she learned it.

What made Sara choose shag? She said- ” my first impression was great, it looked like a really fun salon, and the atmosphere was great is was also super busy.”

Sara said that TSPA helped her learn how to sell retail and make money in a salon. She said that she has to hit certain numbers at Shag so it really helped her to be able to move up in the salon with the education they provided.

Sara’s future plans are to stay at shag for a few more years and than eventually be a TIGI representative and travel to salons to sell it and educate people on it.

Sara said her role models are her mom and her boss Craig. She chose her my mom because she said she was always there to reinforce that it will all be okay even when she thought everything was falling apart.
She chose Craig because he has taught her everything that she needed to know to grow and learn in a salon, and he has gone above and beyond his way to be her mentor and guide her in the right direction.

Sara wanted to give advice to the students at TSPA. She said that the students should go to a salon where they are able to move up and grow with the company and earn rewards and to go to a salon where they have opportunities. She mentioned that they should go to a salon where they can do so many different things and not just the same things over and over again.

Sara also said no matter how difficult the day is, there are always better days ahead and you can’t let the one bad day ruin the whole week. Also don’t ever let a client question your ability as to why your even doing hair.

How TSPA Altoona Made a Difference

Sara wanted to thank The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA), Altoona for always giving her the opportunities to continue learning even after she graduated at TSPA.

Anna Lewis a 2014 Graduate

Last week our recruiter Taylor was in Duncanville and Hollidaysburg at the local salons and got to sit and talk with a TSPA Graduate.

About Anna Lewis

Anna Lewis is a 2014 TSPA grad. Anna said she has been interested in a career in cosmetology since she was about 12 years old. She said she knew she always wanted to be a cosmetologist and started at TSPA as soon as she graduated high school .

Anna’s Favorite Educator was Miss Michelle. Anna said that she choose Miss Michelle as her favorite because she always had something new to show me and was very inspiring to me.

Anna said she chose Holiday Hair because it was close to home and was a good way to build up clientele!

Anna’s Future plans are to stay with Holiday Hair and work her way up in the franchise. Anna also wants to learn more and continue with classes whenever she can.

Anna’s role model is her father because he always pushed her to do anything she put her my mind to, and wouldn’t let her stop until her goals were reached.

How TSPA Altoona Made a Difference For This Grad

How did TSPA help Anna in her career today? Anna said ” TSPA definitely prepared me for boards and helped me with my confidence to know what I was doing without them by my side.” Anna also said that she wouldn’t of went anywhere else, she feels like she’s ahead of the game by choosing TSPA.

Anna would like to thank TSPA and each of the educators for everything that they do. She wouldn’t be where she was today without them by her side.

Who Loves Ms. Diane?!


Which means you get to meet one of our staff members here at the academy, and today in our staff spotlight is Miss D.

About Miss Diane

Miss D was a 2000 cosmetology Pruonto’s graduate and a 2001 educators license graduate.

She has been in the hair industry for many years and after she graduated from Pruonto’s she started out working alongside her sisters at Sister Shears Salon.
later she decided to take on the role of an educator at Pruonto’s in 2004. She started out part-time while working at the salon and became the part-time class educator.

In 2012 she became full-time lead educator here when we switched over to The Salon Professional Academy name.

Some fun facts about Miss Diane are that she is a Certified Redken Design Stylist, has been to the national Redken Artist Connection in Vegas, and has been to Symposium twice in Vegas.

Miss D has finally found her place in life and has never been happier helping students out on the student salon training area.