Transforming Looks (and Lives) at Our Student Salon in Memphis

Contributed by Pat Zert, Administrative Assistant, and Kimberly Beaumont, Cosmetology Dept. Chair

We’ve all watched those reality TV shows that perform makeovers for willing participants. Typically, however, if the lady has long hair or the man has long hair and a beard, he or she can be very uneasy about the prospect of getting a much shorter haircut and/or a shave.

Over the past several months, Remington College – Memphis Campus Electronics and Computer Technology student Robert Mercer has been taking little steps toward his own makeover. Since the beginning of his program, Robert had been advised that, although his long hair and beard were fine while in school, the time would come when he would be preparing to enter the job market and would want a cleaner, shorter, more polished look.

Robert wanted to keep his long hair and beard because it helped him get jobs as Santa during the holidays. Nonetheless, from time to time, he would visit the Student Salon for a trim. As the holidays ended and classes resumed, however, came the scheduling of students’ mock employment interviews. Robert’s appointed time was Wednesday, January 18, so on Tuesday, January 17, he once again visited the Student Salon. But this time, it was for more than a trim. Robert was there for a “transformation makeover.” After careful consideration, Robert felt he was now ready for a change and the timing was right, since the holidays had ended.

The Cosmetology student on the floor that day was Chameleon McLendon, and she was supervised by Mary Dugger, the Clinic Floor Instructor. Chameleon carefully went to work on Robert to help him achieve the transformation he desired.

At the end of the appointment, Chameleon said, “This experience was challenging and exciting at the same time. It proved to me that hair is hair: No matter who it is, we use the same cutting principles and techniques. I’m glad I got a chance to cut Robert’s hair when it was long and he was taking it short.”

The pictures posted here tell the story, but that’s not all of the story.

Memphis Campus Administrative Assistant Pat Zert had spoken to Robert many times around Campus; he was easily recognizable. Just recently, Ms. Zert was busily working on a bulletin board in a Campus hallway when she noticed a man in a suit coming in her direction.

“This man passed by and asked how I was doing,” said Ms. Zert, adding, “I responded, but I didn’t realize who it was. In fact, I thought he might be a businessman or someone from our corporate office visiting the Campus.”

In fact, Ms. Zert didn’t know that the man in the hallway was Robert Mercer until she was asked to contribute this story to our “Today” site and was given his photos.

Proof, indeed, that the transformation was a success for everyone involved.

Our hearty congratulations to Chameleon McLendon and Mary Dugger on a well-executed transformation! And to Robert Mercer, Ms. Zert has just one comment: “If you don’t get the job, Robert, it won’t be because you don’t look the part!”

Mr. Mercer's transformation in progress, courtesy of Chameleon McLendon as supervised by Ms. Dugger.

Filed in: Beauty and Fitness, Cosmetology, Memphis, Recent News

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