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The Pickens Technical College Cosmetology Department prepares students for running their own salon. Instruction is focused on not only how to cut and style hair (which obviously you’ll need to learn how to do to open your own salon), but also how to manage client expectations, work with all kinds of clients (and hair), and more. The Cosmetology program at PTC also includes training in makeup, nails, and skincare.

While introductory students get a bedrock of theory in a lab setting to understand what clients are looking for in a hair or nails salon and how to satisfy those needs. Then, in the intermediate and advanced classes, students get the opportunity to work with real patrons of the Salon at Pickens Tech, where customers come in for great service and care from students gaining valuable experience. The Cosmetology Department has several instructors, all with strong cosmetology experience and backgrounds to help students get the skills they need to succeed.

PTC’s Cosmetology Program produced professional stylist Justine Robbins in 1992. Since then, she has loved having a trade skill she could always fall back on: “There have [been] many times in my adult life that having a license to do hair has [gotten] me through…” Mrs. Robbins says that “having a trade is, at times, better than having a college degree.” She learned a skill twenty-five years ago that still pays the bills and gives her opportunities.

And now, Mrs. Robbins’ daughter Armani attends PTC’s Cosmetology Program in hopes of one day going into business with her mother. Armani says that because her instructors in the Cosmetology Program “have gone over things that could happen in the salon & how we need to take care of them” as well as how to consult with clients and help even the most difficult of customers. Armani has gained valuable experience working hands-on with real clients to practice her skills on all types of hair to prepare her for her future in the salon business.

Armani’s dream is to work with her mother. She has already talked to Justine about opening their own Sola Salon together. Mrs. Robbins already has a loyal clientele who swear by her services. If Armani can bring in her own customers, they can set up shop together as mother and daughter, both doing what they love for a living. “…my goal is to end up working with her because she’s been a really good guide while I’m in school anyway, so having her by my side is definitely want I want in my future cosmetology career,” says Armani.

Between the experience and skill of her mother and the experience-focused education in the cosmetology department at PTC, Armani is well on her way to realizing her dream and becoming another skilled salon owner. Creating something for oneself self is difficult, but with a skill learned from some of the finest teachers at PTC, you can make a business and a way of life for yourself. Two generations of Robbins women have shown this is possible.