For more than 40 years, the Clarksburg Beauty Academy has kept up with the changing trends and styles.
The academy instructors, all past graduates of the school, constantly are keeping up on the latest trends, as they change and circle back around over time, said Angela Policano, co-owner of Clarksburg Beauty Academy.
"This profession is one that is constantly changing. Hairstyles change, come and go," she said. "People see styles on TV, celebrities and on YouTube and the computer, so there's constantly change. Education is really big with us on our instructors and our staff, so they can train the students."
Tia Policano, right, gets new hair extensions from Tessa King at Clarksburg Beauty Academy. (Submitted photo)
Policano said that is one reason so many people like the profession, because it changes over time. Students can learn nail technology, massage therapy or cosmetology. Nail technology alone is about a 12-week course. Massage therapy is a five- to six-month course, and cosmetology takes just under a year to complete.
Graduates of the academy often own their own salons and have even worked as hair stylists at resorts or on cruise ships.
"We have students that are successful because all they wanted to do was have a salon where they could work the hours they wanted, be their own boss and run their own business," Policano said.
Some students may still be in high school because of a contract the academy has with the Harrison County Board of Education. The contract is in place for its third year.
Policano said one student who competed in a state hairstyling competition will be competing with her instructor nationally in Nashville in July. She said last year a high school student with the academy placed in the top 10 at the national competition.
"We're really proud of our student successes," Policano said, adding the instructors enjoy seeing their students succeed. "I think it's the satisfaction of seeing students that start out become successful."
She said that one requirement to becoming an instructor is passion for the job, because instructors will encounter an array of people and personalities.
"Nobody wants to see our students succeed more than our instructors. They take it very personal," Policano said.
The academy even helps students with job placement. Policano said job placement rates for the professions offered are very high. Because the Clarksburg Beauty Academy is accredited, and students who enroll may qualify for financial assistance.
The academy assists with various charitable organizations. Policano said the academy works with a local hospice program and the American Cancer Society by donating wigs, cleaned and styled by students free of charge, to clients of those organizations who are going through chemotherapy.
"We try to give back for the success we've had at the school," Policano said.
Because it is an academy where students are learning, Clarksburg Beauty Academy offers very inexpensive services to customers. The academy participates in Locks of Love, and it will offer a free haircut and style to those with hair longer than 10 inches who participate.