Roots of cosmetology
by DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Dec 30, 2013 | 1259 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Banner photo, DELANEY WALKER A SALON at Cleveland High is open to the public for hairstyling and nail care services at a discounted price to allow students in Cosmetology I and II to practice in the various areas of service.
Students in Becky Davis’ Cosmetology I and II classes at Cleveland High are learning everything from cuticle care and thermal styling to bacteriology and the structure of the hair.

Cosmetology I provides the groundwork for advanced lessons in Cosmetology II and beyond. Studies cover basic hair-cutting, basic manicuring and pedicuring, braiding, structure of the hair and thermal styling. Students learn how to ward off infection through the control of bacteria in the workplace.

Davis explained there is a lot of theory involved in the lessons. Students are challenged to determine why salon workers carry out certain actions, from customer service to clean-up.

Students Rebeckah Massengale and Bayleigh Ellis said they have received plenty of experience both in the classroom and in the school salon.

Massengale became interested in cosmetology as a fifth-grade student. She was a part of a group who had the opportunity to visit the school’s salon. That was it for Massengale. She was hooked.

The feeling has only grown since her fifth-grade visit. She described what continues to make the experience so special for her.

“When someone comes in to get their hair colored or cut and they love it, their face just lights up and it sparkles and it glows,” Massengale said. “Their smiles make me happy. I feed off of their energy.” 

Both girls visited other salons in town for a school project. It was an opportunity to place what Davis has taught against the practices of professionals in town.

Ellis suggested the lessons taught by Davis are invaluable.

“There need to be things that are followed,” Ellis said. “Like greeting clients and making them feel welcomed and following proper disinfectant rules.” 

Cosmetology II, also known as Chemistry of Cosmetology, takes a deeper look into the foundations of the beginner’s class.

Davis separated the course into design principles and chemistry. The first covers nail care, advanced nail care, like acrylics, gels, wraps and more, and skin care. Students also learn about the structure of the skin, diseases and disorders of the skin, how to recognize skin disorders and either recommend products or a doctor’s visit.

A favorite among students studying design principles is fantasy and special effects make-up.

Tanesha Colquitt, a student in advanced cosmetology, said she would like to pursue the art after graduation.

“There are too many misconceptions about cosmetology,” Colquitt said. “Many think that cosmetologists can’t make money. They think you only cut hair. If you have a passion for it, you can make thousands.”

She originally chose the elective freshman year. She was interested in learning more within the realm of beauty. Now it has become a way to express herself and channel her stress.

The classes are more difficult than Colquitt initially thought.

“I just thought it would be really easy, but it is not,” Colquitt said. “It does have a lot of science in it and you have to be educated. I like that aspect, because I enjoy science.”

Colquitt said she plans to attend a four-year university after high school for a medical degree. She said she will then incorporate medicine and health with beauty, like dermatology and aesthetics, into her practice.

The chemistry portion of the advanced class counts as a fourth science. Studies allow a closer look at the pH scale, water purification process, how chemicals affect the hair, hair coloring, and texture services.

An in-school salon equipped with all of the amenities of a commercial salon provides a place for students to practice their craft. The salon is opened to the students’ peers and members of the community. Students give manicures, pedicures, hairstyling, coloring and apply make-up to one another when no clients are present.

Appointments are made by calling Becky Davis through the Cleveland High School number at 478-1113. All services cost a nominal fee.

The 34-year cosmetology veteran who still has a hair salon in town, Davis said she enjoys the opportunity to work with the students.

“I am overwhelmed every day that I get to do this. It is so great to be able to pour something into someone’s brain and see them be successful,” Davis said. “It is amazing to see the talent. It is rewarding to think I might have had a part in that.”