By Katie Neal, freelance writer
PARIS, Ky. — So much more than hair and nails are being shaped at the Campbellsville University School of Cosmetology in Paris, Ky. One year after its opening, the future for students is as bright as the nail polish selection.
Shanea Capps grew up in Bourbon County and has always had a passion for beauty, hair and makeup. After completing her bachelor’s degree in psychology and working with children on the autism spectrum, she dreamed of opening a salon that feels inclusive for people with sensory issues.
So, when Campbellsville opened its program in her hometown, she transferred from another cosmetology school and never looked back.
“I wanted to be able to combine my two passions in one, and Campbellsville really does allow me to do that,” Capps said. “It was like God just opened the opportunity at the right time.”
The mission of Campbellsville’s first academic program location in Paris – its sixth in the Commonwealth of Kentucky – is to train students with real-world knowledge and experience so they can obtain a license to work in a spa, salon or other beauty-related career after graduating.
It values teaching beauty, both inside and out, to students who want to become hair stylists, makeup artists, estheticians, instructors or salon owners.
Helping people feel as confident as they look is the kind of transformation student Leanna Butcher wants her clients to experience and enjoy.
“You can change their entire day when they sit in the chair. That’s my favorite thing,” said Butcher, who lives in Cynthiana. “Everyone’s already gorgeous, you just fix them up.”
Pampering people and making them feel good about themselves are important ways professionals in the beauty industry give back to their community, Amanda Roop, Campbellsville University’s director of cosmetology and barbering, said.
“We have an unwavering commitment to providing the highest quality teaching and learning environment, and we are appreciative of the community support shown in Paris,” Roop said.
“It is our hope that the cosmetology program will open the door to many opportunities and partnerships that will inspire a lifelong passion for learning, and help our students become the best version of themselves, with responsibility and integrity at the core.”
In addition to taking classes toward their certificate, students operate a full-service salon with skin, hair and nail care services.
Ashlee McCoy has visited the salon several times since it opened last fall. As a busy mom and educator in the Bourbon County School System, she doesn’t want to drive to Lexington when high-quality and convenient self-care are available in her hometown.
“I love the customer service and availability. The students are amazing! They make sure you get what you need and go above and beyond,” said McCoy, whose daughter is also interested in cosmetology. “They wanted to try some new skills during my daughter’s pedicure and were so proud when they finished. I would recommend them, hands down!”
Campbellsville students say practicing their technical abilities and interpersonal skills gives them a cutting edge. “I don’t just want them to leave with a happy result. That’s the goal, but I want to build a relationship with people so they keep coming back,” Butcher said. “My hairdresser is like family.”
“We have one-on-one connections with our instructors and other students. My classmates, we are literally like family,” Capps said. “Our instructors are positively influencing us and impacting our lives on a daily basis, and we pass it on down to our clients.”
The Paris location is located off the U.S. 68 bypass in the same shopping center as Save A Lot.
Campbellsville also offers a certificate in cosmetology at six locations, including the main campus, Harrodsburg, Liberty, Louisville and Somerset.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 12,500 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.