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November 9, 2022


Livi Ralston

Senior Cassidy Linville gives a customer a pedicure. Linville feels inspired to “make other people feel good and make them feel confident…”

Haircuts, dyeing services, manicures, waxing, facials. Need a big change or just some touch ups? The newly opened East Cooper Center for Advanced Studies Salon has it all, and with affordable prices too. 

The ECCAS offers cosmetology classes where juniors and seniors dedicate two blocks to learning the ins and outs of various services. Practicing on mannequins allows students to build their skills until they can upgrade to actual clients. 

With previous years being dampered by COVID-19, the ECCAS Salon was not able to open to the general public or any students due to health concerns. This year, students are able to hone in their skills on real people, giving them experience that they wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere. 

This is Danielle Rinaca’s first year teaching at the ECCAS, and she has taken over as the program lead for the salon. Previously, she was a hairstylist, but she is now able to share her skills and experience with students. This prepares them for future job opportunities in salons and offices. 

“They could only really work on mannequin heads, so this year, to be able to have the public come in and to have actual clients, it’s so beneficial for them. Working on a mannequin head, they don’t talk, they don’t listen, they don’t do anything. They are just a head so to have to actually please a client, it’s awesome, and they are doing so well,” Rinaca said. 

It’s junior Thalia Uribe’s first year in the program, and currently she is taking clients at the salon. Juniors are limited in what they can do, and are unable to do haircuts because of their lack of experience and practice. Instead, they work on nail and skin services or styling skills like blowouts. 

“We don’t learn how to do just hair…I think it’s really just an inclusive thing and I really like it,” Uribe said. 

Allowing students to explore their interests and gain experience is crucial for building career skills. Students gain the opportunity to network and connect with real clients, and the local community has been keeping them busy, with the salon being booked constantly. 

“A friend of mine has a salon and she has now had three people from this program come and work for her, she currently has a senior in here and a junior, so now five people from this program have left and will go and work for her,” Rinaca said.

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