Chairs, mannequin heads, shears and mirrors await ready-to-learn students at the business complex on the southwest corner of Southern Boulevard and Golf Course Road.
The Rio Rancho Toni and Guy Hairdressing Academy and Salon opened its doors June 2. The newly renovated facility that once held Calles Beauty Institute will be a classroom to aspiring hairstylists looking for a high-end, renowned cosmetology education.
The Rio Rancho location is the second Toni and Guy Academy in the Albuquerque Metro Area, in addition to the academy in Albuquerque’s Uptown. Both beauty schools and a salon on Paseo del Norte are owned by Joe LiRosi.
Devon Thompson, marketing manager for those Toni and Guy locations, said the Rio Rancho location provides more convenience and opportunity for Rio Rancho students.
“There are lots of people in Rio Rancho that want to pursue a career in cosmetology but they don’t really have the resources in that area,” Thompson said. “So this just seemed like the right move at this point.”
The Rio Rancho facility will offer a 12-month program that will teach classic haircut and coloring techniques, as well as an interactive experience working in a salon, she said.
“(The students) get hands-on right away,” she said.
Thompson said students learn to run the salon as retailers selling products, in addition to providing services and building business skills necessary to run their own franchises.
“It really is a well-rounded curriculum,” she said.
The public services offered are conducted by students, but are always instructor-monitored.
“Right now we’re only offering hair services, so that would be cut, color and styling,” Thompson said.
All hairdressing is available at a discounted rate, she added.
The going rate for being a live dummy? It’s $15 — but be prepared to fill out a liability form.
Additionally, the program boasts technology.
“We’ve transitioned from textbooks and give each of our students iPads with the curriculum installed; it’s very interactive and students can access everything,” Thompson said.
There are TVs in the classrooms and all of the iPads can cast straight to the screen.
Prospective students can attend the Toni and Guy regular open houses at both locations.
“People who want to come in can take a tour, they can meet the instructors, and also go over the enrollment process and what to expect from the program,” Thompson said. “We offer those every four to six weeks.”
She said registration for the next open house will be open on social media soon.
Thompson would not give the price of admission.
“We do accept financial aid, so that’s always an option for students,” Thompson said. “We offer discounts for those who pay in full and an interest-free, in-house payment plan is available as well.”
Along with an education, Thompson said the Rio Rancho Toni and Guy hopes to bring a handful of jobs to the area.
“Basic staffing, receptionists, instructors and eventually we hope to transition (the students) into instructors and stylists — potentially opening a salon for licensed professionals,” Thompson said.
As for expanding in the Rio Rancho area, Thompson said, that depends.
“It would have to depend on the demand for enrollment in Rio Rancho, so right now we’re just starting out, it’s brand-new, so enrollment is certainly growing,” Thompson said. “If it is the right step to opening a new location in Rio Rancho, we would certainly be open to that.”
The first class will begin June 11 with seven students. Thompson said new students will be enrolled every other month.