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Fashion divas formed at academy

Anyone who’s looking to get pampered from head to toe and still stay on a budget needs look no further than the Cosmetic Arts Academy in Lincolnton.
“Anybody and everybody is welcome as a customer,” said Kathy Pitman, instructor.
Need a haircut complete with a shampoo? Five dollars please. Looking for a facial after a long work week? That’ll be $12. Want to spice up your look with a new cut and color? It’s only $35 for both permanent and semi-permanent dye.
The catch, of course, is that your hairdresser, facialist, manicurist or eyebrow tweezer is pretty new to the job.
Prior to working on customers, however, students have to log in 300 hours of practice on mannequin heads and fellow students.
“They do a lot of work on each other,” said Pitman.
The school has a wide variety of students from 16 year old high schoolers to single mothers to Costa Rican women. The oldest student is just shy of 70.
Sherry Moretz, a 34-year-old single mother enrolled in the school “to have a career and not a j-o-b, to get financial stability.”
Yendry Segura has wanted to be a hairdresser since childhood.
“When I was a little girl, I always played around with my sister’s and my mother’s hair,” she said.
At the school, she helps translate for her friend Ileana Campos who worked in a salon in Costa Rica and is hoping to get certified in the United States.
“The teachers have patience with my language. I feel comfortable,” she said. “I feel really good here.”
Learning the art of making women beautiful is not a simple task. There is theory to be learned, books to read and bedside manner to be cultivated.
Pitman reminds her students that working at a salon is one of the only careers outside of medicine that demands immediate physical contact with strangers.
Because of this, it is of the utmost importance that they make their clients feel comfortable.
“Be nice in every way, shape or form,” said Pitman. “This is a service – that’s what we stress.”
Many of the customers seem pleased with the attention they receive at the academy. They also enjoy the dirt-cheap prices.
“You can get a pedicure and manicure and get a facial for as cheap as getting your nails done some place else,” said Loukie Ward who received the full treatment.
Ward’s favorite part of the day was having her arms and feet massaged during the pedicure and manicure.
“It makes you relaxed,” she said.
She added that a good bit of pampering can also make troubles float away, at least temporarily.
The school is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It has also just recently opened on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
For more information call 704-732-3629 or visit the school at Lincolnton Plaza on 1575 North Aspen Street.

Students at the school must learn theory before practicing on real hair. Kendra Johnson, Sheree Russell and Jasman Roseboro (right) study their manual during class. Sarah Grano / LTN Photo

Donna Holmes, an instructor at the Cosmetic Arts Academy, teaches class. Sarah Grnao / LTN Photoby Sarah Grano

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