“Path to red seal” guest blog by Morgan Mclarren

Have you ever thought to yourself  “what’s next”? Now that you’ve completed your 1400 hr program, what is the next process to get licensed and red seal certified? We asked Morgan to tell us where her path took her. Here is her story.




-Morgan McLaren


I am sharing my path to obtain my red seal journeyman certificate. This can look different for many people, but if you’re someone who has yet to attend beauty College, or is in school currently for a hair styling certification, let this story help you out!

If your not in school yet, I will let you know how I decided on which beauty college to attend. I have met many people who have attended different schools in Calgary, or other cities. I asked other stylist their thoughts and opinions on their schools they attended. I also took tours of several beauty colleges in Calgary. My opinion was definitely affected by watching my best friend, and coworker Stephanie Fiori who attended Delmar College and went on to successfully get her Red Seal. She recommended Delmar to me because it is so focused on passing government exams -both theory and practie. I can now say the same thing! I would not be where I am today without Delmar, their instructors (especially Sonya Afshari) and their curriculum.

Middle: Instructor Mrs. Soniya Afshari   Right: Morgan McLaren


Our theory exams are also very to to the ones you will have to write. So be sure to study the best way for you. Learn how you memorize the best. Is it by taking practice multiple choice exams? Is it by someone reading questions out loud and you answering? Or, if you’re like myself, I remember information best by jotting down notes. I created study cards throughout the school year and truly thanked myself later for having them as a tool for studying for my government theory exams.




I chose to start my apprenticeship while still attending Delmar. I would recommend this, as I did the 3 day program and had the time. I have me loads on insight into the salon environment, and the expectations. It was inspiring and motivating to work at karma, and was my light and the end of tunnel with school! My coworkers gave a ton of support and cheered me on throughout school and afterward. Be sure to choose a salon that works with who you are. I know personally I wanted a salon with a “family” like culture, and lots of education. I did not want to be rushed on to the floor as a stylist, and wanted to truly be a sponge taking in all I can and building my confidence.

Find someone at work as a mentor – someone licensed and that you can go to Witt any questions. This person can keep you accountable in signing up for exams and helping you with feedback on practical work.

The scary part:

The scariest part about the red seal, is the government exams (at least it was for me). I personally struggle with a lot of test anxiety leading up to and during exams. I no longer had my instructors to hold my hand, or motivate me to get them done. My advice is that no matter when you decide to sign up, it’s going to be scary. So just get it done right away! It makes more sense to have all the information from school fresh in your mind, because It can take a while to get through all 5 exams with waiting on available examination dates.

I personally called shortly after graduating in to the apprenticeship board, and asked what my next step was for singing up for my first exam. I was asked to mail in a copy of my diploma from Delmar, and once it was received I can submit payment online. This was the same for each following exam. As soon as I found out I passed exam, I would sign up for my next one right away. If you put it off, and makes it so much harder. I was calling, submit payment through my trade secrets been anxiously wait to receive the date of my exam. Be sure to be on top of checking their website and your email as not to miss the dates and be prepared! Once you have a date, take the time to study or practice drills, get a good nights rest the night before and have some sort of reward for yourself for getting it done. I personally would reward myself with some sort of treat for getting an exam done, because it is something to be celebrated!

There’s how many exams?

There are 5 exams I had to write to receive my red seal.

1. First period theory – you can sign up right away to do this exam.

2. First period practical – you can sign up for this as soon as you pass the first theory exam, and so on for others.

3. Second period theory.

4. Second period practical.

5. Red Seal theory exam

Stay motivated and get’er done!

No matter what, this process is going to be stressful! I tried to look at it one step at a time. Go to school, graduate, get an apprenticeship then do the exams one by one. It’s okay to feel like you’re struggling, know you have support from Delmar, friends, family and coworkers in this journey. Never stop practicing, studying and be on top of you. You’re ultimately responsible for getting licensed, and you have to take all the steps necessaryto do so. If you’re wondering when to sign up, do it as soon as you’re able. Know that by getting your period two and red seal done, you get government grants as a reward! It’s totally work all the stress and time it takes! It personally took me a year and a bit from graduating Delmar to get all my exams complete. YOU CAN DO IT!

-Morgan McLaren

No gimmicks, just great education

Social media Coordinator Brittany Connors

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