A Head Start

Students explore their passion in the cosmetology program at TECC East.

Sixteen-year-old Larson Teasley wakes up at 7 a.m. He puts on his black scrubs. He heads out the door.

16-year-old Charlesia Davis wakes up before 7 a.m. to give herself time to get ready. She puts on some mascara and her regular clothes before she goes to the career center bus. She packs her black scrubs. 

Larson Teasley and Charlesia Davis are part of the cosmetology class at the LISD Technology, Exploration and Career Center (TECC) East. When Davis arrives in the cosmetology class she goes into the locker room, puts her scrubs on with tennis shoes and begins to make her way to clock in on a computer. They both must clock in each day. They head to their station and wait for instructions on where they will start for the day. They are excited, it’s what they both love to do. 

“I chose the cosmetology course because since I was 7 years old, I started flat ironing my own hair and my sister’s hair and I used to experiment on dolls,” Davis said. “My mom thought that I was really talented at doing hair and she was actually the one who talked to me about the class.”

Mannequins in the cosmetology class that the students can practice hairstyles on. (Larson Teasley)

There are three main stations in three different rooms that the cosmetology students find themselves on a given day. The first room is called “the floor” station; the station where students style hair on mannequins or on a student’s hair. The second station is on the left side of “the floor” with instructor Juanita Flynn.  In that classroom students have a lesson to take notes for the day. The last station is with instructor Kalpana Coleman- in that classroom students learn about hair or hairstyles and some parts for test reviews.

Teasley and Davis rotate between the three classrooms throughout the class period until they’ve completed all three. Teasley’s favorite station is when he gets to put his hands in some hair, and practice.

“I chose cosmetology because I thought it was something fun that I could do and I also like to do makeup and I do a lot of hair at home, I have my own mannequin head that I practice on every day for at least an hour just because I find it something cool to do,” Teasley said.

Today, Teasley and Davis are focused on french twists. They move the hair between their hands. Under. Over. Under. Over. Focused on their craft.

Junior Charlesia Davis works on her mannequins hair during class time. (Larson Teasley)

Some of the things they have learned have been washing and drying hair properly, wrapping towels and putting capes on the right way. They have also learned how to do deep cleanings and surface cleanings. They’ve practiced on how to master roller sets, over braids and under braids.

Davis pays close attention to her teacher, because she wants to teach someday, too. 

“I want to be someone’s guide on starting their own salon, since I want to be a salon owner myself,” Davis said. “In my own shop I wanna teach people how to do their own hair, for them to have the opportunity to work at a salon, also to help them learn to work at a salon and to teach them the professionalism of it.”

Teasley loves doing hair, especially creative styles. He loves to take risks, but sometimes fears the response. 

“When I’m doing hair sometimes I feel anxious because people are looking at you. Sometimes I can be scared to just do creative things because I feel it’s going to be ugly and I think people are going to be judging me for the things I do,” Larson said.

Cosmetology at TECC East gives students an advantage of having real world experience in high school. It allows for students like Tealsey and Davis to get a head start on their futures in cosmetology. They hope to learn new things to improve their skills as they keep growing. 

“Doing the cosmetology course has been pushing me to continue for what I want in the future,” Davis said. “So me taking the course and me continuously doing hair everyday has also made me better at doing styles that I like doing.”