CUT ABOVE: SLSS students schooled in cosmetology

By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – A hands-on program at St. Lawrence Secondary School (SLSS) is teaching the ins and outs of beautification.

The cosmetology class at SLSS has become a big hit with students who plan on making a career out of hairstyling.

“This course provides a credit towards their high school diploma as well as an insight into cosmetology professions,” said Kerri Bergeron, cosmetology teacher.

The class specializes in hairstyling, hair colouring, perms, makeup and manicures.

It takes a few lessons before students actually get someone in a swivel chair for a chop. First, they learn how to fix a bad hair day on fellow classmates and mannequins.

“In my class, only senior students are allowed to cut hair,” she said.

Bergeron teaches three classes with approximately 20 students in each and every class has a male student. The classroom features several hairstyling stations equipped with mirrors, shelving, sinks and various amenities.

For student Caitlin Mingo-Loucks the class offers a real cutting edge for her future plans. She's pursuing hairstyling as a career and sees it as an opportunity to prep for college.

“I’ll know what to expect and a lot more than other students,” said Mingo-Loucks, 17.

Student Tanis Laframboise sees the class as a way to stretch her artistic side.

“Instead of a canvass I’m using someone’s hair to find my creativity,” she said.

Both students agreed that it’s also a nice break from biology.

Bergeron said people from the community have put their hair in the hands of her students with great results.

“We are fortunate that the Cornwall police have volunteered to have a student cut their hair,” she said.

To get a real understanding of the trade businesses come in for Q&As. Representatives of Art & Technique Hairstyling College and makeup artist Kayla Besner from ‘A Cut Above' show new techniques to students and answer questions.

“It provides them with the opportunity to learn skills that enhance their self-esteem, confidence, professionalism, and ability to work as a team,” said Bergeron.

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