Forty years of hairdos and don’ts

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City College’s cosmetology program is designed to provide entry-level skills to students who are interested in a career in the cosmetology profession.

Students are taught the fundamental practices and procedures of the service by a handful of subject matter experts.

One such expert is Constance Calhoun, a professor who’s been teaching cosmetology at City College for the past 19 years.

Calhoun was born in Stockton in 1948. She later  moved to San Diego after earning an English degree from the University of California Davis and a cosmetology instructor’s license from the state 1970.

“By the time I got my bachelor’s degree, I had already been working in cosmetology for over 3 years,” Calhoun said.

At 20 years old, Calhoun was already the proud owner of a salon in Stockton, a business she later sold after her move to San Diego.

“It became more of a challenge to try to juggle the business and purse a teaching career here. I had to let it go,” Calhoun said.

Once in San Diego, she took various teaching jobs in beauty schools across the county and, in 1992, was hired by City College.

“There were a lot of differences back then: the students wore more larger hairdos, from the peacock look to the huge updos,” she explains “…now the looks are not all conservative, but more professional; I see more longer hairdos on students these days.”

Change has not spared having an effect on gender, as the number of male students in her classes have risen over the years.

“I now have about 13 men, of various ages, in my classes, a big difference from when I first started teaching here nearly 20 years ago,” Calhoun said. “My first class at City College had just one male at the time.”

Calhoun passion for teaching is evidently just as strong as her passion for cosmetology.

“I always wanted to share my knowledge with up-and-coming cosmetologist,” she said “…with time and experience that I’ve gained in doing so, I know this was what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

Calhoun now teaches both intermediate and advance levels of cosmetology, specializing in facial care, hairstyling, and hair cutting studies. She conducts two advance labs in the field, as well.

“The [labs] allow students to really learn the proper procedures of actually performing cosmetology; it sure is a science in its own right,”  Calhoun said.

Calhoun’s dedication to teaching and her keen attention to her students’ academic needs are quite clear in the way she leads her classes.

Her years of knowledge, experience, and dedication to her craft and as an instructor at City College has made her an asset to the college and serves as an inspiration to the students she teaches.

“She’s very disciplined,” said Ariel Jackson, a student in Calhoun’s Advance Cosmetology Lab.,”She takes a lot of time to listen to us. She’s just an awesome teacher.”

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