Beauty on the cheap

Beauty on the cheap

Cosmetology Deparment offers services at half the cost to students


Walking into City College’s Cosmetology Department is not unlike going into an established salon. The only significant difference between the two is that at City all services are handled by the students.

The cosmetology classroom is equipped with an array of beauty supplies, and dozens of work station chairs, most of which seat students practicing on one another.

“All students do the work on clients, that’s how they learn. We supervise them and evaluate everything they do. Clients come in knowing that this is an environment in which students are practicing,” explained Constance Calhoun, professor of cosmetology.
These clients include an assortment of people who are drawn in by exceptionally low prices and word of mouth.
Due to the rehearsal based nature of the work done, most procedures are under $20; half off if you are over 60 or have a student ID from any of the San Diego community colleges.

Lacey Vidano,  receptionist and student, explained, “There are a lot of loyal people that have been coming in for years, even before we moved buildings. They refer their friends to us and that’s a big part of our business.”

“We do both hair and makeup; it’s a little bit of everything,” said Adela Reyes, as she gave fellow student Margo Churchill a gender-transformation makeover.

To learn more than just the fundamental skills of makeup, the students practice with fantasy makeovers; transforming other students into birds, monsters, and so forth.

All makeovers are accompanied by hair styling.

The students offered a range of reasons why they chose to pursue cosmetology as their major.

“I like making people look good,” said Brittiny Edwards.

“I heard from another student that the program was fast-paced and I wanted to check it out.” Ramon Valdev got an unusual chance to pursue his childhood dream after budget cuts forced him out of his previous social services major.

“I noticed a really professional environment that was tailored especially to students,” said Valerie, who declined to give her last name. “They are very focused on preparing students for being placed into the field.”

“I’ve been here 20 years, and I definitely like it,” said Calhoun of her experience with teaching the program. “First and foremost the interest here is the progression of the students, as opposed to money being a key factor. You get to see how appreciative the students are when they’re constantly learning, it makes it nice to work here.”

The Cosmetology Department is located on the first floor of the V-building. No appointments are necessary.

For more information on services offered/cost visit:

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Beauty on the cheap