Campus salon offers its services to students and the community


Riko Nashimoto, 21, general education and cosmetology major, gets her hair dried in the cosmetology department on April 20. Riko hopes to become a traveling nail artist and work at fashion shows, movie sets, and weddings. Photo credit: Sue Hong

Four cafes, a bookstore, a computer lab, a technology center and even a small gym are just a few things on campus available to El Camino students.

But a hair salon is also available to students.

Yes, a hair salon.

hair girl 002.jpg
Saudi Grajeda, 19, cosmetology major, cuts hair for customer Thalia Villa, 2, on April 20 in the cosmetology department. Saudi gave Thalia new bangs and long layers. Photo credit: Sue Hong

EC’s cosmetology department offers its services Tuesday through Friday to students on campus and anyone else who desires to get their hair styled.

Cosmetology students have to log 1600 hours of service to finish the program, but after 500 hours they become “advanced” and are eligible to work with the general public.

Cosmetology department adviser Patricia Gebert is always trying to help her students get the most exposure possible.

“The idea is to work more on the public, so they are ready to go and get hired at a salon upon completion of the program,” Gebert said.

hair girl 003.jpg
Saudi Grajeda, 19, cosmetology major, cuts hair for customer Thalia Villa, 2, on April 20 in the cosmetology department. Saudi gave Thalia new bangs and long layers. Photo credit: Sue Hong

The salon on campus provides an ideal situation for those who are there all day. Full-time students who aren’t always able to make it to a salon, have the accessibility of cutting time and saving money by going to the campus salon.

While hair styling is the most requested, the cosmetology students go through a full-training course that involves expertise in skin, make-up, nails, facials and manicures.

nail mani 004.jpg
The cosmetology department has many services including manicures and pedicures. One of the services for manicures such as a polish change is only $3.00. Photo credit: Sue Hong

The advanced stylists have over 500 hours of training on dollheads (with 100% human hair) and other student’s hair.

Advanced stylist Alisha Williams (1200 hours) believes helping the public will eventually her in the long run.

“It’s a good way to rack up new clients and do hair events to get your work out there,” Williams said.

The youth of the cosmetology program is a big factor as well. Many of the stylists are under the age of 30.

Ruby Flores (Advanced/1515 hours), believes being on a college campus helps a lot.

“Besides the cost, most stylists here are young, and sometimes it’s easier to talk with and understand someone your age,” Flores said.

Students aren’t the only ones who can benefit, you don’t have to be a student here at EC to be a customer of the cosmetology program.

The question is would people pay less for quality haircuts, styling and cosmetology services if they knew about it?

Gardena resident Libby Smith seems to think so. Libby has been a customer of the EC cosmetology school for six years.

hair 005.jpg
Noelle Miller, 21, cosmetology major, styles hair for Libby Smith, age requested not to be disclosed, on April 20. Libby enjoys getting her hair done at the cosmetology department because the students are passionate about hair styling and the prices are very affordable. She only paid $20 for the tint retouch service. Photo credit: Sue Hong

“In a way they are better than salons and it’s not just about the price,” Smith said. “They’re better because they’re on trend, and they have a bigger urge to learn and get better.”

The department is working on getting a sign on the outside of the building so students can know where the salon is located (across from Café Camino going towards Manhattan Beach Blvd).