Magazine article Vocational Education Journal

Move over, Clairol: Students Create a New Hair Care Line

Magazine article Vocational Education Journal

Move over, Clairol: Students Create a New Hair Care Line

Article excerpt

Cosmetology students at Moore-Norman Vo-Tech Center in Norman, Oklahoma, have seen the future of hair care and it comes in a bottle. A fancy bottle, preferably, that touts all-natural ingredients and is labeled with a scientific-sounding name.

Hair care products are big business. Manufacturers contract exclusively with salons, which often count on the sale of these products for a large chunk of their revenue.

About a year ago, cosmetology instructor Cheryl Kubiak had a brainstorm. Why not have students create their own line of hair care products to be used and sold in the school's styling salon? It would lend a certain cachet to the place as well as save on the cost of designer products the salon normally has to stock. The project also would teach basic business, marketing and chemistry skills and give students a chance to put their signature on the program.

Students loved the idea. In fall 1992 they tested existing products to determine the consistency, fragrance and other qualities to shoot for in their line. Mannequins and students alike were lathered, rinsed and spritzed for several weeks.

"It took a lot of sampling to determine a final product that we all felt good about and that created the results we desired. We knew the standard we wanted and would not settle for less," says postsecondary student Karen Wisdom, who along with secondary student Jennifer Fletcher led the project.

Texture and fragrance are essential to a hair care product's appeal, but it takes a little something more to grab the attention of today's jaded salon clientele -- a catchy name and attractive packaging. Class members brainstormed with reference books and chose the name "Symmetrics," a word that suggests harmony and balance and sounds similar to popular lines like Nexxus and Matrix. Moore-Norman graphic arts students designed a logo for the Symmetrics products. …

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