LCTC students styling for the future

Published 4:32 pm Monday, October 25, 2021

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Editor’s note: Only first names were used for students at the request of the school.

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

High school students are getting their first experiences working in a salon through the LeCroy Career Technical Center cosmetology program.

Emily, a senior in the program, said she enjoyed doing hair and makeup and became interested in the program after touring it during her sophomore year.

“I have enjoyed the activities we’ve done and the people in the class in general,” Emily said. “It is always a good time in the class.”

The student-run salon is usually open to the community, but has been closed to the public during the pandemic.

Students are still getting practice though by doing each other’s hair and makeup.

Competitions have also been canceled because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Instructor Tracey Minor said the students usually went to Selma to compete.

Instead, the seniors participated in a Skills USA Halloween competition at LCTC to style a mannequin head the past two years.

The juniors in the class will be doing Christmas styles on their mannequins.

Emily said she has “learned a lot and my skills have really improved.”

Her favorite thing has been learning to do hair coloring and highlights.

“It’s really fun,” Emily said.

After graduation, Emily plans to attend a community college that offers cosmetology in order to complete her license and take business classes.

Emilee, a senior in the program, said she wanted to learn cosmetology after having an anxiety disorder when she was younger.

“I used to pull my hair out because of anxiety, and it made me feel really insecure,” she said. “I want to be a cosmetologist, so I can make other people not feel so insecure about any of the problems they have.”

Emilee said she has enjoyed meeting new people in the program and making new friends.

“Learning how to do color, I think is everyone’s favorite part,” Emilee said. “The perms are probably the most challenging thing … remembering the different sectioning … it is just really exciting to feel like a professional.”

Emilee plans to pursue a vocal scholarship through the Jeff State Singers to complete her basic courses for a business degree.

“While I am doing that I hope to attend Paul Mitchell (the School in Birmingham) to help me finish my hours and get my license,” she said.

Her ultimate goal is to own a salon.

“Everyone in the class has ambition … they want to do it,” Emilee said.

The two-year program gives students a foundation that they can build on after graduation to become a licensed cosmetologist.

During the two years of the program, “students work in a full-service clinical salon environment that provides real-world experiences to gain knowledge while providing customer service,” according to assistant principal Alfredia Shavers. “Students are trained in haircutting, coloring, texture services, nail technology and skin care service. Students use product lines used in the current salon industry such as Redken, Wella and Matrix providing valuable experience that translates to more job opportunities.”

Students will complete 840 hours toward certification. Students then finish their hours through a cosmetology school or college program.

Minor, who has been teaching the class for 25 years, said she loves teaching the course.

Minor is a LCTC alum who worked at HeadStart Hair Care for 11 years before going into teaching.

“I love these girls,” Minor said. “I love what I do.”

This year, business management and finance was added to the second year of the program.

“It helps them do the business part of running a salon,” Minor said. “… They used to have to work for a year under someone before they could own a business, but now once they get out and get their cosmetology license, they can actually own a salon.”

“Businesses within the community often seek out Career Tech second year cosmetology students for employment opportunities,” Shavers said. “Students who have completed the program are employed at various businesses throughout our area as well as Prattville and Montgomery.”

Student Samantha had initially been more interested in another program offered at LCTC, but was accepted to the cosmetology program as her second choice. Through the program, she has developed a passion for the field.

“I really love it,” Samantha said.

She said the class has been more challenging than she had anticipated. Her favorite part is doing different hairstyles, getting to know people and helping them feel beautiful.

After graduation, Samantha, a senior in the program, plans on attending Aveda Institute for a year to complete her cosmetology license. She also plans to study international business at Jefferson State Community College before transferring to a four-year university. She wants to be a business manager and eventually own her own business.

Students expressed appreciation to Minor for her support in the program.