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Article by MICHAELA CHAMBLEE/Staff Writer

The students and instructors in the cosmetology program at South Plains College strive to make their clients look and feel better on the inside and out.

SPC has two cosmetology buildings, one in Levelland and one in Plainview. The program has a 100-percent passing rate, meaning all students in the program pass the licensing exam. Instructors want to see the students pass and succeed in their career and in life.

“I love teaching, which most of my family has been in the education field,” said Sarah Thompson, instructor of cosmetology at SPC. Students in the program learn the appropriate knowledge, skill and experiences necessary to get licensed by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to work as a cosmetologist.        

“I love seeing what the students see,” said Thompson. “When that light bulb comes on, when they get creative.”

Students who enter the cosmetology program must make a separate application to the program, in addition to sending the application to SPC. They also must participate in an interview with the program faculty. Once accepted to the program, students pay a $25 registration fee with the TDLR, and provide identification. Students spend a year in cosmetology classes preparing for their future as a cosmetologist.

“Students learn a career the first year that they are here,” said Patti Lindsey, program coordinator and instructor in cosmetology. “It really changes their lives in a good way.”

Whether you’re a student, parent, or an area resident, the Cosmetology Building is open to the public Tuesday through Thursday, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. They offer haircuts at $4, shellac polish for $5, a full set of nails for $10, facials for $10 and hair color starting at $5.  “I like to make people feel good, and look better,” said Kiambree McGruder, a cosmetology student. “I also like to see how it turns out on the clients.”  Most students in the program have grown up styling hair, or designing nails. They found a passion for it with their friends and family, and realized that it was something they wanted to do with their life.

“My little sister always let me play with her hair,” said Taylor Clair, a student in the program. “She was my baby doll, and I always loved being able to do her hair.”

The students go through two semesters of four classes, coming out with 15 hours, and one semester of three classes, coming out with 12 hours.

“I like when someone comes in and wants something done,” said D’Liesa Burleson, a cosmetology student. “We have the tools, creativity, and instructors to be able to do whatever it is, and can make the client happy with what they wanted.”

During the first semester, students start with the basic classes of orientation to cosmetology, fundamentals of cosmetology, manicuring and related theory, and advanced haircutting and related theory. In the second semester, they get into chemical reformation, principles of skin care and facials, salon development, and principles of hair color.

By the third semester, they are introduced to artistry of hair, advanced hair design, and preparation for the TDLR examination. “South Plains has the highest pass rate,” said Haylee Davis, who is also a cosmetology student. “I hear really great things about the classes here. I also talked to some of the instructors before I started, and I really liked them.” The Cosmetology Building is located at 206 Clubview Drive in Levelland, having opened at that location on March 7, 2014. The Cosmetology Building houses 118 work stations, three classrooms, 24 shampoo and hair dryer units, six private facial rooms, a student break room, a student locker room, a laundry room complete with two washers and four dryers. There also is an equipment dispensary room which contains hair products and mannequins, a room for manicures, a room for pedicures with 12 stations, and four hand-washing sinks and countertops for instructors to wash off hair color or perm applications in the work station room.  “The imagination and creativity, nobody wants the same color or hairstyle,” said student Samantha Cruz of what interests her about cosmetology. “It is completely new every time you change your hair color, or cut your hair a certain way.”

When you go into the Cosmetology Building, there are many different things you can do to make yourself feel better, look better, and have more self confidence in the way you look.

Cosmetology students are ready to assist you with your appointment or even figure out what you want done with your hair, nails, or face. “I really like to color hair, said Davis. “I like styling it too, but I am not as good at it. I enjoy ombre hair color because they turn out really cool in the end. It’s not just one color.”

You can get any kind of styling done, whether it be shampoo and style, multiple braids, a haircut, permanent wave, temporary rinse, semi-permanent color, permanent color, bleach, highlights, and ombre bleach or color and bleach.

“I love the cutting, washing the hair,” said Cruz. “When you see the aftermath of what you just did to their hair, I love all of it, and when styling it you can see the transformation of what you just created for that person.”

Nails can range anywhere from $2 to $10. You can get a paraffin wax, get a nail repaired, polish change, hot oil manicure, plain manicure, fill nails, shellac polish, a full set of nails, and a spa pedicure. “There is endless possibilities and fun you can do with nails,” said Burleson. “You can do anything, and it’s not a permanent thing. You can change it up all the time.” You also have the choice of doing anything with your face. They can do any kind of facial, from lash dye, brow dye, brow arching, waxing, basic facials, and RX clinical facials.

The cosmetology program also offers instructor classes for cosmetologists to become instructors, allowing them to be able to teach at high schools and colleges that offer cosmetology.

“The hands-on experience and working with the students on a individual basis,” said Thompson. “We help those who have already been through cosmetology become an instructor.”

Cosmetology students study and work hard to be the best at what they do and want to do in the future.

“I plan to work for a salon after graduation,” said McGruder. “Owning my own salon is not an option for another 10 to 20 years.”

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