The Selkirk College Hair Salon is now open in Nelson and a crew of seven students brimming with enthusiasm for their trade are ready to book appointments. After a first semester filled with classroom study and building essential skills, the Hairstylist Program has moved into offering full salon services to the public.

“It takes a little bit longer because we are students, but it’s a fun environment,” says student Steve Thom. “We see people come in with smiles and leave with even bigger smiles, so that is very satisfying.”

Thom’s entry into the Hairstylist Program is unique. Prior to returning to post-secondary, the 44-year-old spent 25 years as a Red Seal auto mechanic. Looking for something different, he found his way to Discover Skills BC where he took part in a workshop that pointed him in the direction of hairstylist.

With encouragement from family and friends, Thom decided that his people-skills and dexterity were well suited for a career change. He contacted Selkirk College and returned to learning on the Silver King Campus.

The Hair Salon has been a staple on the Silver King Campus for more than five decades. The program has provided generations of graduates who work in every aspect of industry both in the region and beyond. To help these future contributors to style hone their craft, the salon relies on customers to ensure they find their groove.

Whether it is a colour, perm, trim or bold new look, students are ready to take on the challenge. With 25-year industry veteran and Hairstylist Program Instructor Luree Gould carefully advising students through every appointment, satisfaction is guaranteed on many levels.

“The best way to gain experience is actually having a person sitting in front of you,” says Thom, who also takes part in the required once-a-week practicum training at a local salon. “The more clients we get in the chairs, the better off we will be in the long run. We rely on our new and repeat clients, and are so grateful for them coming in. Every step of the way, Luree is there for guidance and to make sure we are staying focused while we are learning.”

The Selkirk College Hair Salon is open between 9 am and 3 pm, Monday to Wednesday. Appointments can be made by calling 250-354-3243. The salon operates until the middle of May 2020.Learn more about the Selkirk College Hairstylist Program at www.selkirk.ca/program/hairstylist

– Bob Hall