Stylin' again

Toni&Guy Hairdressing Academy reopens; students and customers welcomed


Alexa Fitzpatrick is a student at the Toni&Guy Hairdressing Academy and she dreams of being a hairdresser in the entertainment industry.

Alexa Fitzpatrick's heart sank when she found out the Beauty Institute - Schwarzkopf Professional had closed its doors on March 31, 2017.

The young single mom from Hope, Idaho felt her dreams slipping away. Over six months of beauty school education were now in doubt and her career plans as a hairdresser for the entertainment industry were fuzzy.

“It broke my heart because I was about half way through the school,” said the 20-year-old. “I had followed my dream to become a hairdresser and everything was ripped away in an instant. I didn't know what I was going to do.”

Nearly 50 students and 10 staff members asked themselves similar questions at the end of March when the school abruptly shuttered. In the aftermath, however, a family who had dedicated their life's work to beauty school education and hairdressing came to the rescue.

“People can have a great career cutting hair,” said Sandy Chandler, who opened the Toni&Guy Hairdressing Academy on May 9 as a brand new business. “They're getting a quality education and learning a life skill. It's perfect for the single mother who wants to take care of her children.”

Chandler owns and operates a franchise of Toni&Guy Hairdressing Academy, an international business, in Colorado Springs. Her son, Steve Chandler, manages the main campus there. He also owns two hair salons under the Toni&Guy brand in the Colorado Springs area.

“I want the community to know we're a family-owned business and I have 47 years of experience in beauty school education and running salons,” said Chandler. “When the old school closed, there was a huge void. Ninety percent of the graduates in this area get jobs.”

Toni&Guy Hairdressing Academy in Colorado Springs is thriving with about 140 students currently enrolled. Sandy Chandler invited her daughter, Barbara Lyon, a longtime Coeur d'Alene resident, to run the day-to-day operations of the school in Coeur d'Alene.

“I grew up in the hair business,” said Barbara. “My brother cuts hair, I've cut hair as a stylist. We've both attended beauty school more than 24 years ago and we're still passionate about running these business. It's a big challenge, but we're up for it.”

If the Toni&Guy Hairdressing Academy name is familiar, it's because the previous ownership had operated the beauty school under it for years in Coeur d'Alene before switching to the Schwarzkopf Professional franchise in 2016.

“Toni&Guy is the Harvard of Hair,” said Sandy Chandler. “When you see graduates of the school, you know you're going to get a great haircut because of the quality of the education they've received.”

The 15,000 square foot facility at 410 W. Neider, near the Harbor Freight store, was remodeled. The gleaming tile and classrooms provide students with state of the art equipment to learn beauty skills.

Currently, the Toni&Guy Hairdressing Academy in Coeur d'Alene has about 25 students. Lyon would like to see about 100 students receiving training on how to cut hair, color hair, give manicures, and waxing.

“Our program takes about 14 months to complete, but once they're graduated, they have a complete skill set to work in any beauty salon,” said Barbara.

Part of that education is having students use their newfound knowledge and skills on customers. Idaho requires students to have 2,000 hours of education and training before they can be licensed to cut hair on their own.

“The prices are a phenomenal value and there is an instructor overseeing students' work from start to finish,” said Barbara. “We're part of this community and we want to see more customers come in.”

One of the important steps in reopening the school was honoring all of the credit and training hours former students had accumulated at the previous school, which meant students like Fitzpatrick could graduate on time and not have to start over.

“I have a lot of faith in (Sandy Chandler) and (Barbara Lyon) because they have proven their passion for this industry,” said Fitzpatrick. “The way they run this place is great. It's a lot smoother and they're here every day. I know they will be successful.”

For more information call their new number at (208) 930-1276 or

 -Written by Marc Stewart, Director of Sponsored Content



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