The Farrah. The Dorothy Hamill. The Princess Di. The Rachel.
They’re not the kind of historical figures you learn about in high school, but in the beauty world these women’s coifs represent the pillars of modern hair design.
They’re part of the history that students at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s new Cosmetology Clinic in downtown Kannapolis learn, in addition to training in the latest hair-styling trends that build upon those retro styles. Instruction in spa services like nail and skin care are also offered at the clinic.
The new 28,000-square-foot training facility opened this summer at 120 W. Ave., and has been serving between 30 and 50 clients daily.
It’s so great having room to walk around.
Wanda Pressley-Altman, director at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Cosmetology Clinic
Open to the public, the clinic offers patrons spa services without the spa prices. A haircut costs $5. A manicure is $6. A brow wax runs around $5. Senior citizens and RCCC students and employees receive a 10 percent discount for services.
The new center replaces its predecessor, which was housed in a much smaller location in Cloverleaf Plaza. Besides having more than 10,000 additional square feet, the current facility boasts updates like wheelchair-accessible hair booths and microdermabrasion treatment areas.
“It’s so great having room to walk around,” said Wanda Pressley-Altman, the facility’s director and program chair for the past 16 years.
RCCC received $1.5 million in funding from the county to update the center, and a $150,000 economic development grant from the City of Kannapolis to relocate to downtown.
Kannapolis has been in the process of revitalizing its downtown, buying back blocks of real estate from businessman David Murdock, building a towering new city hall, and even recently purchasing a $228,000 carousel to be situated in Village Park.
In a news release, Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant said relocating the school to downtown fits with the city’s master plan because it will bring in an estimated 250-300 students, teachers and customers on operating days.
For years, the beauty school had been outgrowing its Cloverleaf Plaza location. This fall, 200 students are expected to enroll in the program, one of the largest in the state.
The instructors are really on top of making sure they do a great job.
Tresha Denlat, customer at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s Cosmetology Clinic
Around 70 of those students come from local high schools participating in the Career & College Promise program, which allows juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn college credit, tuition-free, while in high school.
Although the thought of allowing a newly trained stylist cut or color your hair may be a little unsettling, the number of customers in the waiting room shows faith in those brandishing brand new scissors.
Inside the salon, separated from the waiting room by a door and a long hallway, Tresha Denlat sat for a shampoo and blowout. “I’m here every week,” said Denlat, 47 of Kannapolis. “Sometimes the students are nervous and you're nervous because you don't know how your hair is going to turn out, but the instructors are really on top of making sure they do a great job.”
There’s no need to worry, Pressley-Altman said. Not only are students trained in classes like anatomy and bacteriology, they must also complete at least 300 hours on a mannequin head before they can work on their first live person.
At his booth, David Souza, 33, practiced on a short-haired mannequin head with a manufacturer label identifying it as the “Erica” model.
“She started out with long hair and has been colored four times,” Souza said. “I’m going to go a little shorter, and then I’m going to do a flattop on her.”
Lisa Thornton is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walk-ins are welcome at the clinic, which operates from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, with additional hours from 5-6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Visit www.rccc.edu/cos.