THE NEXT LEVEL OF SALON PROFESSIONAL™ At The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA) we believe that pursuing an education in the professional beauty industry is the first step to discovering a career filled with creativity and endless opportunity.  Our goal is to maximize your artistic potential through a program that teaches not only the latest techniques, but also proven business and marketing strategies.  TSPA’s quality education can significantly improve your earning potential and prepare you for a long-term future in the industry.

  • Our curriculum and training has been co-developed and continually updated with help from REDKEN 5th Avenue NYC. This ongoing collaboration translates to education that is some of the most relevant, trending and compelling in the industry.
  • Our approach to personal, hands-on training includes smaller class-sizes that enable more interaction and one-on-one time with educators.
  • We continually train and support the educators who instruct you in the skills you’ll need for a successful and rewarding career.
  • Our beautiful, innovative Academy locations provide a positive, real-world learning environment.
  • In addition to technical skills, TSPA develops your ability to grow clientele and bookings, increase retail sales, and build lasting guest relationships – abilities that put you in high demand with top salons.
  • We make the privately-held salons and spas, where incomes are highest, a target for placement.  Area salon and spa owners serve on our advisory boards and recruit from our school.  Additionally, we have relationships for placement with more than 6,000 Redken Club 5th Avenue salons across all 50 states.
  • Debra McFarland - Director of Operations/Owner

    Deb McFarland, Owner/Director/Financial Aid Adminstrator
    Deb has been in the hairstyling industry for 32 years, following in the footsteps of her entire family. She worked as a hairstylist on the Air Force Base in Grand Forks, ND and Ramstein, Germany. She also worked as an accounting technician for the Department of Defense before returning to Iowa in 1993 as an educator in her parent’s school. She graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1991 with a BS in Business Administration.

    Wanting to branch out into the business side of the industry, she began as Financial Aid Administrator/Educator in 1995. She is quoted as saying “I have the best of both worlds. I get to share my passion for this industry every day, both the creative aspects of hairdressing and assisting students on the financial aid side of their education. What could be better than that?”

    When Deb purchased the school from her father ten years ago, she knew this was her chosen path. Not only has she educated several second generation students, but her daughter and niece as well.

    In 2013 she opened The Hair Gallery and Hair Replacement Studio in Waterloo, Iowa with her daughter, a 24 chair full service salon and spa.

    In 2015, Deb joined the TSPA team, opening in a new location in February 2017, with a renewed sense of excitement for the industry. Working with Redken and the team at The Salon Professional Education Company has opened her eyes to a whole new level of education. The professionalism and educational opportunities offered with TSPA are beyond amazing and she is eager to share this wisdom with students for several years to come.

    Deb is on the go, even in her spare time. From watching her son in his many sports activities, to spending time with her husband, daughters, son-in-laws and grandchildren, she loves time with her family. Her goal is to follow in the footsteps of her parents, and create the same larger-than-life legacy in the hairstyling industry they have.

    Ferida Sabic - Director of Education/Owner

    Ferida Sabic, Owner/Director of Education
    Ferida grew up in Bosnia and moved to the United States in September of 1999 when she was 17 years old as a result of the war in Bosnia. Coming to a country she knew nothing about and did not speak the language, she began to fill her time doing hairstyles and make-up.

    She enrolled at College of Hair Design immediately after graduating high school finishing her education in 2003. She immediately began working as a hairstylist in a full service salon and spa.

    Ferida began working at College of Hair Design as an educator in 2008. She quickly advanced to the position of Director of Education. What Ferida loves most about being an educator is the ability to impact someone’s life in such a positive way. The joy of watching a student grow into a professional stylist with the technical abilities to really make a positive effect in this world is her most rewarding accomplishment.

    Ferida has been a platform demonstrator, organizing and participating in continuing education courses for the past nine years, and has taught educational classes with the Iowa Barber and Cosmetology Association of Iowa. Her expertise continues to be sought after by many local hairstylists.

    If asked what is her most memorable event as an educator, she answers, “When graduated students call and thank you for pushing them to be the best stylist they can be. They don’t usually like it at the time, but hearing it after graduation makes my day.”

    In 2015 the school joined the team of The Salon Professional Academy. Ferida has been busy training with some of Redken’s top educators and loves passing that knowledge on to her students.

    In July 2016 Ferida became co-owner of The Salon Professional Academy in Cedar Falls. She looks forward to the future and assisting students in achieving their goals as a hairdresser.

    Nell Bijelic - Admissions Representative

    Jeannie Ostlie - Educator

    Jeannie has always had a passion for hair. She attended Waterloo School of Barber Styling (currently known as The Salon Professional Academy) and was a graduate in 1986. Over her 30-year career she has been licensed in 3 other states, spending most of her time in North Carolina. Jeannie owned her own salon, working behind the chair along with managing. Jeannie is trained and certified under Matrix, Joico, and Bedhead, but her dream has always been to become a Redken educator. She enjoys teaching and watching the students grow. Jeannie quoted, “I love when they get that Ah-Ha! Moment”. Jeannie is excited to be part of the TSPA team and to further her education. She is most excited to be able to teach top notch students in this field of barber styling.
    In Jeannie’s free time she enjoys spending time with her husband, kids, and grandchildren! She loves to be outdoors, where she spends a lot of time in her garden.

    Cedrick Whitlock, Educator

    Alley Swanson, Educator

    Mia Halverson, Financial Aid Administrator

  • Over a decade ago, The Salon Professional Academy joined forces with Redken 5th Avenue NYC to develop a salon and cosmetology franchise that has changed the industry.  Redken and TSPA collaborated to redesign what a “beauty school” was from the ground up – revisiting everything from the way things were taught to how the student salon area looked and functioned.  The result was a ultra-modern training facility providing students with skills beyond what they do behind the chair; skills that prepare them for a professional, successful career.

    Recognized By Redken For Excellence In Education.

    With a commitment to industry-leading education, business skills that prepare students for more than passing state boards, and a desire to see our students surpass all expectations for this profession, Redken has provided The Salon Professional Academy franchise locations the exclusive designation of “Recognized by Redken for Excellence in Education.”

    • “To have a passion in life is one of the strongest emotions we can have, to experience it every day is a gift, and to earn our living doing it is the blessing only few of us discover… hairdressing for me is all of the above. If being a salon professional is your dream then realize it in the capable hands of the Educators at The Salon Professional Academy, recognized by Redken 5th Avenue NYC. It’s the place to be to learn what you need to enable you to live better and earn better. You will leave school with intense enthusiasm, continued support and a stronger passion for one of the best professions that can take you to where you want to be.”

      Kris SorbieRedken Education Artistic Director and President Kris Sorbie LLC, NYC
    • “Being that the TSPA academy is a Redken recognized academy, I believe that the principles that make Redken a huge success in education are easy to recognize when you’re experiencing the academy. I'm excited to see what we will witness in our profession in the near future because I know that the principles I've learned have changed my career and life. Now, seeing our youth start with these skills is very exciting to see unfold. The quality that a TSPA academy creates is a salon professional that is more technically skilled and is more career-focused, over all a better professional ready out of school.”

      Hugo UriasRedken Artist, FUEL Facilitator, Hairdresser for 20 years
    • “I have been working with the educators at TSPA for many years. The difference is in the educators. They say… ‘the bigger the party, the more people show up.’ TSPA schools attract passionate, committed professionals who love teaching others what they've learned. You can feel their commitment in everything they do and that translates to the TSPA graduate in more confidence, better skill retention, and at the end of the day - more earning power.”

      Scot ShermanFormer Redken Artist, Salon Owner
    • “The combination of strong technical skills and unique business building essentials make TSPA one of the top education facilities in the country. Students are provided the opportunity to gain skill excellence from amazing instructors as well as internationally recognized guest artists from across the country. When students graduate from TSPA they are fueled with a skill set to build a solid foundation behind the chair.”

      Ryan MorganRedken Artist, Redken Exchange Facilitator
    • “Exclusive training and unforgettable moments are in store for the student that attends The Salon Professional Academy. [They] offer top-notch education that will create healthy habits early on in your career behind the chair, as well as, more money in your wallet for the rest of your life. The point of difference with TSPA is this: While you are building your technical skill, you aren’t just learning to pass the State Board exams, you are learning how to build, run and grow a business.”

      Jayson MorganRedken Certified Designer & Colorist, Salon Owner
    • “Beauty schools are a great way for students to learn practical cosmetology skills while simultaneously preparing themselves for a rewarding career path and there is only one that I recommend and that is The Salon Professional Academy. In today’s world of cosmetology schools there is no better school that trains a student for the salon community then TSPA. TSPA schools teach technical skills, as well as solid business skills to support any salon, as the school atmosphere is professional and conducive to the achievement of excellence by student and faculty alike based on learner-focused education. The educators at TSPA find the knowledge and guidance to prepare a cosmetology student for a long successful future in the cosmetology field. The staff and management of TSPA schools instill the student with confidence to succeed in the professional salon industry.”

      Sam VillaRedken Education Artistic Director, Platform Artist
    • “I am thoroughly impressed by the well-rounded skills of the students that The Salon Professional Academy provides our industry. And as an owner, it is refreshing to hire students that are so well prepared.”

      Phil LeeRedken Educator, Salon Owner
    • “TSPA is undoubtedly the finest and most thorough academy for coaching and grooming the hairdressers of tomorrow! By not only learning your new hair skills from the industry's best, most experienced instructors, but also how to combine them with essential business strategies, you will be fully prepared for success!”

      Kenny BerkRedken Artist, 35 years industry experience
    • “I believe the Salon Professional Academies are some of the finest schools available in our industry. They have an excellent education philosophy and [their] curriculum stands out; providing their students with a complete cosmetology experience and prepares them for a great career in this industry.”

      Patrick ParentyPresident L’Oréal Professional Products Division, USA
    • The decision on choosing the correct academy to fast track your hairdressing career can be ominous. I think that means hard! LOL. Seriously, as the Artistic Director for Redken, President of Fuel Education and hairdresser for 47 years, I’ve traveled the world, taught and performed in 27 different countries. There is one common thing in the hairdressing industry… your “Learning to Earning” ratio. Simply put, the more you learn and the higher the quality of your learning – the more you earn.
      TSPA is affiliated with education-centric companies like Redken and Fuel Education Systems that train and help to produce the finest TSPA educators with the highest standards of education in the industry – bar none. How does that affect you? The best educators produce the best students. Salon owners want graduates who are salon-area ready with minimal post-academy training.

      TSPA understands your need to be grounded in the Principles of Design, Finish and Color upon entering your first salon. They help ground you in those principles and ready you for that position behind the chair; and TSPA has one of the highest rates of job placement …and after all that is the point, isn’t it

      Chris BaranEducation Artistic Director - Redken
    • As an educator for Redken (and as a working hairdresser), I have trained and worked with thousands of hairdressers in salons and schools all over the nation. No matter where I am, I can always tell a "TSPA" graduate because they are consistently one step ahead of their peers - in skills, professionalism, and customer service.

      Jesse LinaresRedken Artist, Artistic Director - The Studio by Studio Gaven