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Savannah Tech cosmetology students prepare for a booming field

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ItaLian Charms

of Savannah Featuring the hot new trend in jewelry...

photo Christina Seeger

One of Savannah’s last great bargains sits off their lives,” Roland says. “It has a real effect.” White Bluff Road, on the Savannah Technical College Wilke, Savannah Tech’s head of cosmetology for main campus. the past 12 years, doesn’t manage it all alone; a team A complete salon, staffed by students and instrucof instructors helps her tutor individual students like tors in the college’s cosmetology department, offers a Roland. full range of services, includ“I’ve taught a lot of these ing hair styling and coloring, teachers myself. Altogether pedicures, manicures and our instructors have 94 years nails. of experience,” Wilke says. “A Accepting walk-ins as lot of them will go out and well as appointments, the get experience in the business salon not only offers deeply world, and then come back discounted prices to the here and teach.” public -- most importantly, One Savannah Tech init gives the students valuable structor who did exactly that hands-on experience to preis Deatia McFarlin, who papare them for the real world. tiently shows Roland tips and “This is maybe half of techniques during my haircut. what a regular salon might “Keep in mind that the charge, because the cosmeback of the neck is a very sentologists here don’t have the sitive area,” McFarlin counstate license yet,” says Millie sels. “So when you’re using the Cosmetology department head Millie Wilke edger, make sure the client is Wilke, Savannah Tech’s head looks on as Marcelina Roland cuts the author’s comfortable with you using it. of cosmetology. “But all our students are highly trained For some people you have to hair at the student salon before they’re allowed to even use clippers instead.” touch a client.” Wilke and McFarlin both To put this theory to the test, I volunteered to get say now’s a great time to study cosmetology, given the a haircut from a student at the Savannah Tech salon. current boom in styling services for both men and As at any other salon, there’s a reception area where women. you sign in. And as at any other salon, you can request “Back in the day it was mostly women who used individual stylists if you prefer. I went in determined these kinds of services, but now it’s about half and half to just be as good a guinea pig as possible, accepting men and women,” McFarlin says. whatever student and whatever style came my way. “A lot of salons are really becoming more diverse, Under the watchful eyes of Wilke, Savannah Tech including more multicultural styles,” Wilke adds. senior Marcelina Roland gave me a To fully prepare students for this expanding range tight, professional and modern cut, of client demands, Wilke insists that all Savannah costing only $5, in surroundings as Tech cosmetology students be trained in “hair, skin clean, bright and pleasant as at any and nails,” a mantra she repeats often around the other local salon. (A woman’s cut classrooms. begins at $10, with shampooing and While previously a license from Georgia primarily coloring available; manicures are $5 limited a cosmetologist to work in this state only, new and pedicures and facials are $10.) reciprocity agreements taking effect just last month “This may sound cheesy, but mean that a cosmetology license from Savannah Tech what I enjoy most about this is makis honored anywhere in the U.S. ing people smile,” says Roland, who And because of the total learning approach in currently lives in Effingham County Wilke’s department, “they can go to work in a spa and and plans to do facials, or be a nail tech or work in any full service stay in the salon,” she says. “I have a lot of former students who local area to go on to become salon owners. A lot that are in the style after her program right now will be salon owners before it’s all upcoming over with.” graduation. While Savannah Tech’s salon does charge for its “Someone services, the revenue goes back into the cosmetology can be having program to help purchase equipment for students to a really bad use. day, but when “That money enables us to buy quality nameyou make brand products to use, rather than educational prodthem look ucts that may not be as good, and also to have good good you’ve technology for the students to learn on,” Wilke says. w really made a difference in The Savannah Technical College Cosmetology Salon is located at the school’s White Bluff campus. It’s curTop, a student trains in the nail lab; bottom, the customer rently open Tues.-Thurs. 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., but night always comes first hours will begin soon. Call 443-5779 for info, prices or appointments.


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