Embracing the season of giving

Palmview High School Cosmetology offers free haircuts monthly

Palmview High School Cosmetology is proving that the only thing being cut this season of giving is hair.

The students who participate in SkillsUSA and PHS Cosmetology have been setting up a monthly shop where peers and parents alike can receive haircuts free of charge. PHS Cosmetology instructor Leticia Ramirez said the endeavor is led by the students.

Seniors in the PHS Cosmetology program give free haircuts to members of the community. Photo courtesy of La Joya ISD.

“It’s a good way for the students to give back to the community,” Ramirez said. “They’re experiencing what they’ve been learning in the curriculum: customer service, the experience of the haircut, consultations, the infection-control process and having to clean before and after and of course, being of service.”

Ramirez also added that the program is a way to give back to the La Joya Independent School District and the people that feed into it.

“We have gratitude for what the district has to offer our students,” Ramirez said. “The community needs to know what’s offered, and what the students can do.”

Originally, the PHS Cosmetology students were solely providing this service during the district’s annual Back to School Bash, which draws students from every campus.

“It was only offered once before school starts,” Ramirez said. “I discussed it with my students – we all do belong to a chapter of SkillsUSA, and when we discussed it we wondered, why should we only have it once a year? Why not offer it once a month?”

She noted that the students were all for the endeavor once it was suggested. Ramirez pointed out that the time slot for free haircuts (typically 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.) is a challenge for the students but it allows them to gain further experience.

“It will look good on their resume, that they have experience working in community service,” Ramirez said. “The students learn from this experience, and it’s only about 40 minutes to complete a haircut. They only have this window and timeframe to complete the tasks, and they’ve been doing well and kept that time.”

Ramirez hopes the free haircuts will be beneficial to those in the community who struggle to fit everything into their busy schedules.

“As a working parent, sometimes your only day off is a Saturday, and you have to do errands,” Ramirez said. “So to take all of your children for a haircut, it could be time-consuming, and budget-wise not everyone can afford it.”

The next round of free haircuts is set for Wednesday December 11 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at 3901 La Homa Rd. in Palmview. The school plans on offering additional days of free haircuts again in January, February, March and April of 2020.

“We felt that whoever needs a haircut is welcome to come,” Ramirez said. “It’s been going well.”

This article originally appeared in the Friday Dec. 6, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.

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