ALLIANCE – Tre’Vaughn Hawkins knew he wanted to cut and style hair since sixth grade.
“I tried to cut my hair and messed it up,” he said. “So I just started to keep trying, keep trying on my own head. Then my friends started letting me cut their hair.”
Two years ago, Hawkins decided to enroll in the Cosmetology program at Alliance High School. He obtained his license in cosmetology last spring.
Today, the 18-year-old has his own chair in a hairdressing salon in Alliance.
What is the cosmetology program?
The Alliance High School Cosmetology Course is a two-year, 1,500-hour program that teaches students a variety of skills in the beauty industry.
Senior cosmetology teacher Lisa Scanlon said students develop skills such as cutting and coloring, styling, permanent waves, manicures, pedicures and skin wellness. They also spend time in the classroom learning topics such as safety and sanitation, chemistry, anatomy, electricity, and skin diseases and disorders.
Students in the program serve clients during school hours, allowing them to gain hands-on experience of the profession. In addition, they must complete a 125-hour internship between their junior and senior years.
The cosmetology industry has been predominantly female for years. Tony Fiore, executive director of the Ohio Salon Association, said about 77% of Ohio salons are owned by women, while 80% to 90% of hair salons are owned by men.
Fiore said it is difficult to determine if there has been an increase in the number of men studying cosmetology because the state does not track this data, but the industry offers many career opportunities for men. and women.
“There are licensed cosmetologists in the state of Ohio who earn over $ 100,000 a year,” he said.
Hawkins saw enrolling in Alliance High School’s cosmetology program as an opportunity to develop his skills. Few boys participate in the program, Scanlon said. She described Hawkins as a “kind, respectful and talented student,” and said he was determined to achieve his goal of being successful in the industry.
Hawkins completed his internship in the summer of 2020 at RL Xexperience, a hair salon at 700 N Union Ave. The salon is owned by Robert Fountain, a 2008 graduate of the Alliance High School cosmetology program.
“I was basically doing living room shadowing and I really liked it,” Hawkins said. “We were supposed to have a certain number of hours for the end of the summer, and that will help you determine whether you want to do that or not.”
When students complete the program at the end of their final year, they test for licensure in cosmetology at the Ohio State Cosmetology and Barber Board.
Hawkins earned his certification when the class traveled to Grove City for testing in June. Now he has his own chair at RL Xperience. He said it was exciting to have a job so quickly after graduation.
“It feels good,” he said.
Fiore said cosmetology programs like Alliance High School give students the opportunity to connect with local barber shops and salons, which can help them find work after graduation.
“Sometimes you don’t necessarily see that with private sector salons that may have their own clinics where they want students to work,” he said.
Hawkins advises anyone interested in cosmetology to keep working on their skills and pay attention to the latest industry trends as they are constantly changing.
He hopes to have his own hairdressing salon one day.
Contact Paige at 330-580-8577 or [email protected]
On Twitter: @paigembenn