Totally Hott Salon visits Cosmetology

Totally Hott Salon offers students introduction into the industry

Bianca Torello walked out of Building D and right on over to C Building as if she had been here before. That’s because she had, many times. The Class of 2021 graduate was now visiting campus as an alumna, ready to help with a presentation to Cosmetology students.  

Joining her was Ebony Harris, Totally Hott Salon education director. The two work together at the Rye location and were on campus to demonstrate blow-out techniques.

Ms. Torello was fortunate to get a job right after graduation, having met Ms. Harris while a student during an earlier visit. Ms. Torello said she is grateful for the assistance BOCES mentors provided    in helping her get her resume together and offering tips for interviews, which landed her in a job she loves.

“It’s a great salon to start off with,” Ms. Torello said. “I’m planning to stay forever. They really care about your education and it’s a great team atmosphere.”  

“I love BOCES,” Ms. Torello continued, adding that it was instrumental in setting her on a professional path in a preferred industry and is a wonderful alternative for students who may not be college bound.

The two colleagues set up their tools in one of the Cosmetology classrooms and were soon showing current students how to use a hair dryer to produce different types of curls. While working in a salon is a dream come true for Ms. Torello, being in front of a class of students elicits the same emotion from Ms. Harris.

“I teach because I like to help students,” Ms. Harris said. “It’s always great to teach someone what you know. I don’t need to hold all the secrets.”

Ms. Harris has worked for Totally Hott Salon for seven years, in all four of its locations throughout Westchester County. She is a blow-out specialist; however, teaching is one of her favorite things to do. Doing demonstrations like the one at the Center for Career Services is one of her roles, as is teaching her colleagues new techniques as part of a regular education program offered by the salon.

Ms. Harris had a special offer for the students. She invited two students to attend one of the two upcoming seminars she will be hosting -- a cutting class and a balayage class. She left it up to the teacher to determine which lucky students would attend.

On this day, with Ms. Torello’s assistance, Ms. Harris was demonstrating blow-out techniques while also offering tips on working with clients.

For the techniques, Ms. Harris suggested pre-drying the hair, learning everything about the products you use, practicing on a person, sectioning the hair for maximum efficiency and always keeping the hairdryer on. She recommended learning the brush curl, because with that, “you can do anything.”

Ms. Harris demonstrated the brush curl, along with a brush wave, a straight blow out and how to add volume to the top of the head — all with a hairdryer.

“There’s nothing like having someone from the industry come in and talk about the industry and the salon and give guidance and instruction,” teacher Laura Mirabel said.

Ms. Harris is also a recruiter for the salon and is always looking to introduce others to the business. She encouraged students to consider applying for a job at the end of the school year or even an internship. She assured students that even if they do not have their state licenses yet, there is still plenty of work they can do at the salon that does not involve working directly with clients.

Additionally, employees have an option to learn everything the salons offer. If they want to expand beyond haircuts and colors, they can be trained to attend to eyebrows and lashes, waxing and more.

“I’ve always been creative,” Ms. Torello said. “I’ve been given an opportunity to be creative with hair and have a lifestyle I like.”