Career and tech schools offer budget-friendly salon services
Pamper yourself for less and help students gain valuable real world experience as they earn their cosmetology license at full-service high school campus salons that are open to the public.
Cosmetology clinics at area career and technology schools offer salon services such as haircuts, color, facials and pedicure/manicures at rock bottom pricing.
Lenape Tech Cosmetology Clinic in Ford City has been styling and coiffing the public since 1965.
“Our students are gaining real world experience,” says Lenape Cosmetology instructor Gara Atherton. All aspects of the salon are student driven, from the front desk duties to the sweeping of the floor.
Students must fulfill 1,250 hours of training during the three-year course before taking their boards for a Pennsylvania Cosmetology license.
The affordable prices keep the customers coming back to Lenape's salon, which operates on Wednesdays and Thursdays. An up-style costs $15. A pedicure? Only $8. Craving highlights? A mere $23.
“At most salons. highlights and color services will run $100 or more,” Atherton says.
Other salon services include waxing, make-up application, perms, deep-conditioning treatments, paraffin dips and permanent and semi-permanent hair color.
Repeat client Robin Hileman of Burrell goes weekly to Lenape for various services.
Her visit is twofold. She gets to see her granddaughter, who is a Lenape Cosmetology student, and she loves supporting the program.
Hileman's last visit included a paraffin wax treatment and a pedicure. She had to shell out $14.
“I know I saved more than $50 to $60 dollars today,” Hileman says. “The school needs the support.”
All work is done by students enrolled at Lenape from the Armstrong, Leechburg, Apollo and Freeport school districts, under the watchful eyes and instruction of licensed cosmetology instructors.
“My goal is to be a hair stylist and doing hair color is my favorite aspect,” says Kayleigh Davis, a junior at Lenape.
Salon prices are low because they just have to cover the cost of the supplies.
Lenape librarian and English teacher Cassie Wensel likes to pop in during her free time and describes the students as “eager learners.”
Wensel recently booked a haircut and considers the low cost and excellent result a “perk of my job.” She says she has never had a bad haircut and chose long layers during her last visit. A instructor always checks all services and makes sure customers are happy.
Students may receive tips from customers, an added bonus, they say.
At Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center in New Stanton, the clinic is operated by students dubbed the “CWCTC Hair Force,” says Denise Nenni, cosmetology instructor.
“Colors, cuts and pedicures are our most popular requests,” Nenni says.
About 50 students can work at the same time in the salon that welcomes clients of all ages, she says. Service costs range from $5 to $25.
“We are a full-service salon with up-to-date technology, including new pedicure spas just like salons in the community,” Nenni says.
Senior Alyssa Sadecky plans to graduate from Lenape in May and has her sights set on college.
“I want to go to college and graduate with a business degree and open up my own salon,” she says.
Kendra Lutheran, a senior from Leechburg, also plans to attend college.
“I want to work part time as a cosmetologist while in college and study forensic science,” Lutheran says. “I think of this as job security too. because I already work part time at a salon in Apollo.”
Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.