By Izzy Wheeler / Staff Writer

The Hutchinson Community College Cosmetology program is doing everything possible during these difficult times to give its students the best education possible for their future experiences.

Students have been taking in-person classes, but the classes didn’t open until Sept. 1 because of COVID-19.

Alex Hass, HutchCC Cosmetology Coordinator, said “It was impossible for them to come in.”

Classes start twice a year at the cosmetology school, which is located at 200 E 3rd Ave. The certificate program takes one year to complete, and many students will complete the degree program in three semesters.

Compared to last year, Darian Pickery, a second-year cosmetology student, said “There is more online homework, but we’ve been trying to get more hands-on.”

While the students are there, they learn about the hair, skin and nails.

The program is being strict about enforcing clients to wear their mask while in the salon. Clients have to call when they arrive, because the school does not want clients waiting in the lobby. The program is booked at half capacity.

If someone does happen to walk in without a mask, they will have a box of face shields and masks. The students will not be able to serve clients until they have the mask or face shield on.

At this time, the program is not doing anything that requires them to have their clients remove their masks.

To keep everything clean, students are sanitizing themselves and their clients as soon as they sit down. When they leave the salon, they do the exact same thing and sanitize their stations after each client.

Ever since the pandemic, the program doesn’t have as many clients as they used to, which makes the students have to use more mannequin heads instead of real people. It has been difficult trying to get people to come in, but most of the clients don’t understand what the students are saying due to the masks. The mask creates a “muffled voice” and it is hard to color and cut hair. Plus, the students have to learn to go around the mask’s strings.

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