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!

Find Your Second Chance at TSPA Altoona

Everyone deserves a second chance.

At The Salon Professional Academy(TSPA), Altoona we firmly believe that no matter what your history or background is, it is never too late to change your path. This goes for your education as well. If you have attended another school recently and found your educational journey cut short for one reason or another – it doesn’t have to be the end!

We have former college students come through our doors every day, ready to pursue their dreams and discover a second chance in their education. That is why we created the Second Chance Scholarship, to help support former college students in the investment toward a future that may have otherwise felt out of reach.

It’s Never the End

confused student in class

Did you feel like you were lost in a crowd? Or perhaps you felt like you were only a number and didn’t have value to your school? Did you feel lost and confused, without easy access to support and office staff to help answers your questions? Maybe you enjoyed some of your courses, but the further you got into your program you started to feel out of place and longed for a more cooperative environment?

Does any of this sound like you? Have any of these come to mind as you made your decision to pursue different opportunities?

There are many reasons that you may have found your previous education experience come to an end. No matter what your reason, At TSPA Altoona we understand! We are ready to help you find an education and career that you love, that helps you pursue that dream that you may have had to put on the back burner.

Find the Perfect Fit

“Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.”

happy cosmetologist

There is a reason so many of our childhood dreams inspire us, why they fill our fantasies and often our future. Sometimes, we put these dreams aside in hopes of finding a career that we believe could provide us a more stable income, or we may choose a career that avoids the negative stigma that a pursuing our dreams may have. While many people may find a new passion as they travel their education journey, many others find themselves still longing for the career that they have dreamed of for years.

Finding that perfect fit in your career and in your life can truly make your education and your career one that you can find joy in for years to come.

If you love being creative and working with your hands, if you are longing for a cooperative atmosphere that supports you in your learning and looks at you as a person, and not as a number, we invite you to come tour the facility at The Salon Professional Academy, Altoona. We would love to speak with you about your dreams and show you how we work to support our students in an environment that lets them learn and grow into a beautiful future.

Are you Ready for Your Second Chance?

Sometimes when you change your education path you are left with a financial burden that can make pursuing another education feel daunting. It’s for that reason that we introduced the Second Chance Scholarship to qualifying students at TSPA Altoona.

If you are interested in the Second Chance Scholarship we invite you to schedule a time to sit down with our Financial Aid Administrator to discover if you qualify, how to apply and how this opportunity can positively impact your investment in your education.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median loan debt of students who completed the program and other information visit

Financial Aid is available to those who qualify. Scholarship qualification and application processes vary, not all will qualify. Contact us today to speak with a financial aid administrator for more information.

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


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®. 


5 Easy DIY Costume Ideas for KILLING IT This Halloween

Haven’t picked out a costume? Don’t stress. Let us do that for you! Forget expensive pre-packaged costumes or complicated candy skulls. Here are five costumes you can pull off with what you’ve got right now.

Snapchat Filter

FILTER out the basics and get crafty in a SNAP!

Remember that gorgeous butterfly filter that brought out your inner goddess? Bring it back this Halloween in real life. Pick up some inexpensive craft butterflies and spray-paint them gold. Now you’ve got the perfect little accessories to fasten to some bobby pins and arrange around your face! Got gold glitter? Dab a little extra wow-factor on your forehead. Consider it done!

My Pale Skin Blog poses as golden butterfly snapchat filter

Channel that tech-savvy unicorn with a mouth full of rainbow! Using face paint or even eyeshadow, draw vertical lines downward from your bottom lip to your neckline. Don’t stress about perfectly straight lines. The filter’s rainbow is wavy and whimsical! Rosy up those cheeks with bright pink blush and you are as good as gold. Talk about tasting the rainbow!

Rainbow snapchat filter costume

That purple pouty Bratz Doll filter sure takes us back! You can be one too, doll! Dramatically overline your lips with a vibrant purple or pink. To achieve big and bold eyes, heavily line them with a brightening white liner and highlight the inner corners. Find little rainbow and heart stickers for your cheeks (or draw them on) and you are glammed and ready to go!

bratz doll filter costume

Catty Devil

Want to bring out the little devil in you but don’t have the horns to match? Trust us: all you need is your hair! You can say you’ve “grown” your own horns if it’s made up of hair. Twist small sections of hair into messy tall mini-buns behind your temples. Add additional strands to perfect the cone shape. Spray with red hair color for a devil, or leave your hair as is, paint on some whiskers and you’ve got a purrfect cat look!

devil makeup and horns


Pull off the perfect pun! Just because puns are done doesn’t mean they are overdone! We’ve seen The Spice Girls (peep nutmeg and cumin) or Smarty Pants (with Smarties taped to pants). But this one’s easier than a PB&J! Grab a loaf and wear a metal. Before you know it, you’ll have yourself a sugar baby. You’ll sure WIN Halloween with a look that is MONEY.

bread winner punny costume

Regina George

You know what’s fetch? Retro plaid skirts of course! Between malls, thrift stores, and Mom’s closet, you can’t be far from one. Add a white tank, heels, and cap it off with a homemade Burn Book. All you have to do is print out a picture and tape it to a notebook! You’re not wearing a regular costume. You’re wearing a cool costume!

Regina George Halloween Costume

Of course that skirt doesn’t have to be limited to one costume! Try different plaid-wearing characters: Serena Van der Woodsen, Blair Waldorf, or Cher Horowitz.

Happy Tears

Feeling particularly strapped? Get busy for “crying” out loud! If you’ve got glitter, you’ve got a costume. Luckily a hot mess like this is lower maintenance than it looks. Take some glitter and any color of choice and apply it in a gravitational tear shape from the lower lashline to your cheeks. Don’t worry if it’s not neat. Tears aren’t Either. Call it A Happy Cry, Happy Tears, Unicorn Tears, Tears of an Angel, whatever comes to mind!

Happy Tears Makeup glitter

Halloween costumes are a MUST not a BUST. But picking one out shouldn’t be on your list of scares! Take it easy this Halloween with a costume to match. If your makeover includes dramatic makeup or fake lashes, check out these facts about lash extensions here!

Is TSPA Altoona in your future? Take this quiz to see if cosmetology is right for you.

{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}

All About Our Scholarships

When it comes to your education, nothing should stand in the way of your goals. However, financial roadblocks are unavoidable sometimes and can make achieving your dreams seem difficult. The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA), Altoona is dedicated to making sure every student can attend beauty school and work toward their career aspirations. To help out incoming and current students, scholarships to students who qualify.

TSPA Redken Scholarship

We’re proud of our relationship with Redken here at TSPA Altoona. It not only enables us to offer you a professionally-infused education but an exclusive Redken scholarship as well. Redken and TSPA are both passionate about helping aspiring beauty professionals follow their dreams. The scholarship awards 35 newly accepted and current TSPA students with $1,000 applied toward tuition, fees, and books needed to complete training. Deadlines for the scholarship vary each year, so it’s important to check the Redken website to make sure you complete your application on time. You can read about the Redken Scholarship requirements here!

TSPA Memorial Scholarship

The Carol Jo Sicheneder “Mrs. S” Memorial Scholarship was created to honor a woman who was very special to everyone at TSPA Altoona. She and her husband purchased the school in 1982, where she served as both co-owner and educator for the rest of her life. Carol wanted to share her passion for cosmetology and learning to the next generation of beauty professionals. That’s why we offer this scholarship of $4,000 to graduating seniors in the Altoona area. This scholarship is available to those that qualify and must be used toward tuition at TSPA Altoona. You can read more about the scholarship’s backstory here, or fill out the form on our website for more information about deadlines and requirements.

TSPA Second Chance Scholarship

Sometimes unexpected events happen that get in the way of your educational goals. If you were attending a university, college, or trade school in the past and had to leave for whatever reason, we have a scholarship for you! The TSPA Second Chance Scholarship was created specifically for former students to use for their personal investment in beauty school. Keep in mind that this is an annual scholarship offer, the date for 2018 has passed, but there will be a new date in 2019! Everyone deserves a second chance to achieve their goals and dreams. That’s what this scholarship is dedicated to!

We Can Help Fund Your Future

TSPA Altoona is approved by the Department of Education to offer financial aid to those who qualify. If beauty is your passion and you want to invest in your education, we want to help you. For any assistance with scholarships and federal financial aid, contact our financial aid office. We’re here to walk you through the process of applying for scholarships and make sure you have a financial plan that will work for you. Call us today! It’s time to get started on your future!

Graduation cap and money on a black background to represent financial aid.

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

5 Ways to Show Your Team Spirit This Season

Chances are there is a sports team that you associate yourself with. No matter how serious you are about your team, it is always more exciting when you show some team spirit! Need some ideas to get you started? These are a few ways to let your spirit shine!


If you bleed your team’s colors and want people to know, then coloring your hair might just do the trick! This bold statement will leave everyone knowing exactly which team you are rooting for, and how committed you are to it. If coloring your hair is currently not something you want to do, don’t worry there are other ways to show your colors.

Girl with long, vibrant red hair.


Another less permanent way to show your team spirit with your hair is by using ribbons. Simply tying your hair up or braiding your hair with a ribbon will help you stand out. The more creative you are the better, so think outside the box! Ribbons are very inexpensive and easy to find. You should be able to find your teams colors at your local craft or fabric store.

Blonde girl with sports team bow.


Wearing your team’s apparel is always a good way to show your allegiance. Things like jerseys, ball caps, and even foam fingers can be game changers when it comes to team spirit. Not wanting to spend a lot of money? We know how you feel! Go buy some paint, a white shirt, and a hat and then go to town! Doing it yourself is a great way to stand out.

Sports team apparel.

Face Paint

Another bold way to support your team is by painting your face! Face paint stands out and is easy to use. Painting a logo will always look good, but if you want something more simple, just paint your whole face. It can be difficult to paint something on your own face, so we would recommend having a friend do it for you.

Dark haired girl with green makeup and sports face paint.


Painting your nails is another awesome way to show your team spirit! As you can see in the picture above, it’s easy to be creative. Look online for cool ideas or just think of something yourself!

Sports team nails.

We hope that our list has given you some good ideas! Let us know if you have other ideas in the comments below. Also If you need some help getting ready, check out our student salon! Give us a call or book an appointment when you get here!

All services provided by students under the supervision of licensed professionals.

Are You Ready for Your Journey Into Cosmetology?

Are you about to graduate high school and are looking ahead to your future? Or have you been attending a local university and are in need of a change in direction? Perhaps you have been dreaming of career in beauty for a while and just need a little nudge.

Everyone’s journey toward their dreams are different, and every journey has different blocks along the way. Perhaps you have a friend or family member that is trying to talk you out of your goals. Or perhaps you are struggling with feelings of failure after your last school attempt and are worried of a repeat.

No matter where you are in your journey, at The Salon Professional Academy(TSPA), Altoona we are ready to answer every question and help you make your future what you want it. Contact us today at 814-944-4494 to take your first step. We are ready to answer questions and help you schedule your tour.

Need a bigger boost?

Check out our five facts for future beauty professionals. We’ve compiled these to answer all of your questions, with the intent to empower and inspire you to move toward the future.

Want your own copy? Download it here.

Ready to Get started?

Contact our admission coordinator to schedule your tour and discover more about how our programs can help launch you into the beautiful future you have always wanted.

Want to Learn More?

Read more about our scholarship opportunities, tips on how to speak to parents, and what makes our school different on our blog.

You can also read more about one students journey, and gain a sneak peek into what awaits you on our Open Letter to Who I Was last Year.

Color your life. Color it beautiful.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median loan debt of students who completed the program and other information visit