Cuts For Success

January 30, 2017

Making a good impression on prospective employers at the annual Career Fair was a mite less expensive when students took advantage of free haircuts on Monday, Jan. 16, courtesy of Est-Elle Academy. NAITSA set up a temporary salon in the CAT building where students could go for a dry cut, just in time to look great for the Career Fair the next day.

Est-Elle Academy is a family-owned educational salon on Edmonton’s south side at 8004 Gateway Blvd. They offer a full list of salon services from pedicures to perms for the general public. Their low prices reflect the fact that the estheticians and stylists are studying and not yet fully qualified. For over 30 years this local company has trained salon professionals, some of whom have come back to pass on their experience and knowledge to future professionals.

Miriam Marifa was the instructor on site at the CAT building. She enjoys guiding students in advanced cuts and supervising the whole hair affair. Marifa has been in the industry for 22 years and is also a happy mother of three. Her career started in British Columbia and continued after moving to Edmonton in 2003. Always open to learning, she enrolled in Est-Elle Academy shortly after settling into her new home and graduated in 2005. This education helped her take a step into management which she found rewarding. After a seven-year break from the industry, she is very happy to have become
an instructor with Est-Elle.

“I felt that if I could give back even to a handful of students who will take information from me, I am giving back into the community … I have done my job building great hairstylists,” reflects Marifa.

The salon’s philosophy is to train students not only in the foundations of the art
of hairstyling but also to foster individuality and creativity while being mindful of business fundamentals such as listening to and working with the customer. Some tips that Marifa passes on to prospective hair stylists include learning the various terms that are used to describe cuts. Some examples like feathering, which is also called travelling (only backwards) and always following the curve of the head, are essential techniques for successful styling.

Lots of chatting and laughter could be heard spilling out into the CAT hallway as the impromptu hair salon was continually full from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Many students were content to wait 10 to 15 minutes for the free styling. Approximately 12 stylists in training were working hard to get NAIT students ahead of the well-groomed curve. While a dry hair cut concerned some, at least one student was more than happy with the results.

“I was desperate to get some kind of style before taking my resume tomorrow, but a dry hair cut? I am used to the whole shampoo thing … but it turned out great! I actually think I will book there (Est-Elle Academy) next time,” reflected a student who wished to remain anonymous.

Est-Elle Academy has worked with NAITSA before, for the 2014 NAITSA’s Next Top Model competition. More information can be found at estelle.ab.ca or on their Facebook page Estelle Academy of Hair Design.

– Jennifer Rae