About Us


About Big Island Beauty Academy

Big Island Beauty Academy offers a full range of courses in Cosmetology, Hairdressing, Nail Technology, Esthetics, and Beauty Instruction. We are licensed by the Cosmetology & Barbering Board of Hawaii. Our primary goal is to establish a solid base of education and experience to equip students with the essential tools to launch a successful career in their chosen career path.

It is our commitment that each of our graduates has the skills and confidence to immediately join the workplace in their chosen craft. At Big Island Beauty Academy, we utilize the Milady’s curriculum. Milady’s is the leader in the industry and has been around since the 1920’s. They update their curriculum regularly to stay abreast of the most current trends in the industry.

It is our desire to lay down a foundation in both theory and practical training that will prepare our students for an exciting journey, leading to high self-esteem and a quality lifestyle. We strive to exceed not only what is expected from us, but also what we expect of ourselves.

Our Staff & Instructors

Monica — Director of Education

Monica May

Director of Education

I truly appreciate your interest in Big Island Beauty Academy!

Upon arriving to the Big Island 5 years ago, I just couldn’t believe the Big Island did not have a Beauty School. I started off by opening my own salon—Monimay Salon— and told myself that I would one day open a school here. Five years later, I can’t believe that day is finally here!

Hairdressing has been a very rewarding and lucrative career for me for over 25 years, and I have been inspired by every aspect of this exciting industry.

Throughout my career, I have worked for some amazing salons which provided me the opportunity to travel and teach. I have won national recognition for my work as a Color Specialist, as well as many local awards in Arizona. One of my awards was being voted by Vogue magazine as the one of the country’s Top 5 Colorists! I was also recognized in Seventeen and Cut and Style magazines.

I look forward to sharing my many years of experience and my passion with you, and to discovering new inspiration from you, my students!

David — Dean of Students

David Gramlich

Dean of Students

Since we first met 3 years ago, Monica has been very passionate about starting this beauty school, and her enthusiasm, and the enthusiasm from everyone we spoke with about it, made it an easy choice to go into a partnership with her to help make this dream happen! We intend to bring a great new career option to the residents of the Big Island in opening our Beauty School.

In my position as Dean of Students, I primarily oversee the students’ progress. I conduct school tours, market the school to prospective students, provide enrollment services, and track student attendance and progress in class. I also work closely with Monica in managing supplies, class materials, and products for sale.

I believe I bring a great skill set to running The Big Island Beauty Academy. I’ve been a resident on the Kona side of the Big Island since 1986. Since embarking on my career as a Painting Contractor in 2003, I have been contracted to work on shopping malls, condominium projects, resorts, and private residences. Throughout these projects, I have successfully managed over a dozen employees, worked tightly on schedules with other subcontractors, and worked with hundreds of clients in all types of environments. My real world project and people management experience make me a well-qualified choice for Dean of Students.

Interested in a career in beauty?

Get your start in this exciting and fulfilling industry today!