The start of spring always calls for some change. Spring cleaning, putting away the winter coat, and perhaps a new hairdo? You might find yourself sitting in a chair adorned in a gown and chatting with a stylist. At the NMU cosmetology salon, that stylist is a student just
Hair products, nail polish, salon stations and dozens of mannequin heads fill the spaces in between each student salon station. After 350 hours working on the mannequins, students are ready to start styling and cutting your hair.
At the Jacobetti Complex, NMU students are not only learning alongside licensed cosmetologists, but performing like them too in the state-of-the-art cosmetology studio.
Students of the NMU cosmetology salon offer haircuts and styling, braids and extensions, facials, perms, coloring, waxing, manicures and pedicures to the public. A regular haircut is $8, while a bang trim is $5.
“All of your practical work is done here, at Northern,” said Denise Hudson, an NMU cosmetology instructor. Students can pursue a one-semester certificate in esthetics (the study of the skin of the head, face and neck) or manicures, or enroll in a two-year program for a cosmetology license. After obtaining a cosmetology license, students can return for an additional semester to become a licensed cosmetology instructor. The two-year certificate is state-mandated and requires students to acquire 1,500 hours of hands-on experience to gain certification.
Typically, those studying cosmetology have to complete an apprenticeship before full certification. For those at Northern, all of these hours can be completed before graduating by working in the campus salon, Hudson said.
“When you get your cosmetology certificate here you have a profession within the two year limit.
“Our graduates are prepared to work in a professional setting,” Hudson said. “They take away a lot of skills—we build their self-esteem, self-worth. They’re confident in what they’re doing, confident in themselves. Combining all of these skills is what’s going to make them a professional in the industry.”
Hudson, who has been a cosmetology instructor at Northern for nine years, graduated from the program herself. The program has been in place since the early ’80s.
“Before that, there was a beauty school located here by some private individuals who
implemented this program here,” she added.
Her favorite memories from the program have come from watching her students grow.
“They come in and they’re excited to learn, and for these two years you watch your students develop. That is one of the greatest rewards as an educator that we can give our students—the sweet taste of success and watching that growth,” Hudson said.
Because Northern is a public institution, students can get financial aid for the cosmetology program and get the full university experience while getting the unique hands-on experience in the cosmetology salon, Hudson said.
Around $200,000 worth of renovations were completed in the salon within the last couple years adding 16 stations, new facial equipment, a separate space for manicures and pedicures and more.
“My hopes for the program are for it to grow and be here for another 30-plus years or longer. My hope is to hit the 100-year mark one day,” Hudson said.
The salon is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Call 906-227-2383 for prices or to schedule an appointment.