On Friday, Megan Cash was a zombie hair stylist.
It was 11:30 a.m., and she had already been working a while. Her face tattered with fake gashes of flesh and blood, she carefully lifted up a strand of a client’s hair and curled it a bit. She made a few adjustments, stepped backward and scratched her eyes doused in black mascara.
“You’re done,” she said.
The client inspected Cash’s work with an outstretched mirror. It looked good.
Cash, a student in Catawba Valley Community College’s cosmetology program, is not a bloodcurdling beautician most days. She, as well as the rest of her classmates, had played dress up for a good cause.
The Cutting Edge, a club made up of area cosmetology students and instructors, held a fundraiser on Friday that will benefit the area soup kitchen The Corner Table. Students and teachers alike costumed at CVCC’s Newton Center on North College Avenue to cut hair and give facials, skin care treatment and chemical services. Profits from the services benefited the Corner Table, which is also located in Newton.
Studying clowns, ninjas, cats, witches and even a peacock dressed up for the event on Friday. CVCC cosmetology director Tammy Muller said she’d like to make the fundraiser an annual event to give back to an organization that helps her students.
“They feed our students,” Muller said. “They are able to help out some of our students by giving them a free lunch every day.”
CVCC’s cosmetology program is made up of about 50 students that hope to be beauticians. While students work with mannequins during their first semester of classes, they practice on live clients as upperclassmen.
They offer services to anyone, and at discounted prices, too, said Joyce Thomas, cosmetology instructor.
“We have clients that go in and out and anybody can drop in,” Thomas said, adding that students work in the cosmetology center on different schedules Monday through Friday. The center offers manicures, pedicures, waxing, chemical services and hairstyling, among other services.
Most of the students are from Newton, Conover and throughout Catawba County. Cash, who’s in her second semester of studying, said making the jump from a mannequin to a real person was nerve racking.
“The mannequins don’t talk and complain,” she said jokingly. “But I love it and this and it’s what I’m supposed to do.”
Beth Erickson, of Newton, and Joellyn Rader, of Mountain View, have studied cosmetology for a little more than a year.
"I've wanted to do it since I was 4," Rader said. "It's just the experience of getting to help people look good and feel good about themselves."
Interest in CVCC’s cosmetology program has grown recently, and instructors said students are still finding jobs. Muller said the program has a waiting list of about 35 prospective students.
“We’re still doing a lot better than most other industries because people are always going to get their hair cut,” Thomas said.