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Summer program puts students on course for natural-hair license

by Sydney Jones —

Students will have the opportunity to become licensed natural hairstylists and learn about the cosmetology industry before the fall thanks to Tamika Turner’s Institute of Beauty Summer program.

Turner’s Institute of Beauty is Tennessee’s first free-standing natural hair school and has graduated more than 400 students

Turner is a licensed barber, who opened her own beauty school, as well as a natural hair salon.

Turner’s story began when she enrolled in a beauty school, taking evening courses while taking college courses during the day. 

She went on to barber school and later became the regional director for that school. During Turner’s time in barber school, she learned what was needed in a school, as well as what students needed outside of the classroom. 

 “I knew that it wasn’t just about opening a school and students getting hours. Students need emotional support, mental support, and so many other things I didn’t think of coming into the industry,” Turner said.

As result, when Turner opened her own institution, she could offer her students more than just the hours they needed to obtain their license.

 Turner’s passion for the hair industry and teaching has led her to start more programs for students who want a career in the cosmetology industry.

Throughout Turner’s time as an educator, she noticed many of the problems that happen in the classroom, such as students tearing each other down, stem from the lack of confidence in students. So, building her students’ confidence by educating them on natural hair care was one of her goals.

“If I can show them (students) how not only to take care of someone else’s hair, but take care of their own hair and educate them on the damage of these the new (style) trends coming out, then maybe we can prevent the damaging of the hair which can also lift the confidence of the students.”

The institute offers courses in the specific discipline of natural hair. The program is 300 hours and is only a fraction of the cost and time it would take one to go through full cosmetology school. 

Over the six-week span, students will be given the knowledge they need to enter the hair industry. 

Students of the institute not only will learn braiding, twisting, and loc-ing, but also hair extension methods, such as sew-ins and wig construction. 

Since the institute emphasizes natural hair care, students will learn how to perform scalp treatments, trim hair and transition from chemically-treated hair to natural hair without having to do the “big chop,” which is when someone cuts off the chemically-treated portion of the hair.  

Students also will learn how to create natural hairstyles like bantu-knots and two-strand twists.

The Institute of Beauty also teaches students the business aspects of the cosmetology industry. Turner refers to these teachings as the “business basics.”

Turner noticed many hairstylists have not been taught how to properly set up their business. So, Turner created her business bootcamp, where students will learn skills such as how to save and charge for their services. 

The Institute of Beauty Summer program has about 15 open student slots. Enrollment is open until Thursday (July 1).

Turner wants to keep the program small so students will be able to thoroughly understand all the information they will be given over the short period of time.

Students under 15 years old will be able to fill out an application for the program, but they must be 16 years old before the year is over in order to take the exam. 

(For more information, visit https://www.iobtn.com/training.)

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