First graduates of barber program

Posted Wednesday, February 25, 2009 - 5:57pm

When the College of Eastern Utah cosmetology department is mentioned, many think of the beautiful women seen frequently around campus, and not often are men mentioned. What many do not realize is that there is a barbering program at CEU. There were only two men to complete this course, Nicholas Lucero and Donnie Leonard.

What sort of draw is there to being a barber? Lucero said he does it for the fun, "But in these hard economic times everyone needs a haircut." Leonard said that, as a child, he would go to the barber with his father and lately there aren't many old barber shops like that anymore.

"Barbering is a growing lost art," says Lisa Critchlow, instructor of the barbering program at CEU, "It has been allowed to be separated from the cosmetology program as its own individual program." The students must complete 1,000 hours to graduate from the program and this usually takes around nine months.

There is a theory class required for the course and the book work goes side-by-side the hands-on experience. "The book work was probably the hardest part," Lucero says.

When asked what they would do with their newly licensed gifts, they had several ideas. The general answer was to ideally own their own shops someday. Lucero said, "I couldn't see myself doing anything else." Leonard said he would like to call his establishment "Good Fellas."

The barbering room is actually the same as the cosmetology, thus the two men get to work with quite a few women. They were asked how they felt about it and the responses given were very positive. Leonard said, "It was a definite perk." But working with the women also helps them out quite a bit. Lucero said, "Sometimes when I'm giving a haircut at the same time as someone else, I wonder if I can get done faster than them. It really helps to build confidence."

The two professions are a very tightly knit group and they are willing to help each other out. As the cosmetology women are moving in to their barbering section, they have had two great examples preceding them. The two men promoted the barbering program so well that the women will have a good amount of clientele they can work with.

On Feb. 18 they both graduated as the first-fully licensed barbers from CEU.

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