SBCC cosmetology dept. moved from Goleta to Santa Barbara

The entry way and client waiting room for the new City College Cosmetology Academy Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, on East Cota street. The Academy moved from the Magnolia center in Goleta to downtown Santa Barbara at the old Paul Mitchell building.


The cosmetology department’s long-awaited upgrade to a new downtown Santa Barbara location has led to an increase in enrollment and client rates.

“You can’t compare the two [locations],” said Cosmetology Department Chair Michelle Puailoa. “The old school is like driving a car built in 1957.

“This is definitely a top of the line Rolls Royce,” she laughed. “I hope that wasn’t degrading.”

The SBCC Foundation gave the cosmetology and esthetician program $5.3 million to move from the Magnolia Shopping Center in Goleta to the new building located on 525 Anacapa Street, across from The French Press. The cosmetology students now have new manicure and pedicure chairs, sinks and facial machines.

Cosmetology student Leah Russell said the new location has had a large impact on the students.

“The environment totally dictates the mood,” said Russell. “I feel like the mood is a lot happier and just more exciting. I think it’s more motivational, definitely.”

Puailoa pointed out that the new location has allowed the program to reach out to the public more, and this has led to a noticeable increase in enrollment and client rates.

“We love being downtown. We love being closer to the main campus. We love that we have quite a few more walk-in clients,’’ said Puailoa.

The school is now also selling beauty products. The second story of the building is for classrooms while the first story is for the services offered, something the students appreciate.

“I like the fact that the upstairs is separate [and] just for classrooms only,” said Russell. “Leave the stuff like when you have to deal with clients on the floor behind. It just helps to keep the flow of the education.’’

Customers can get nail services such as $8 water manicures, $10 oil manicures, and $15 pedicures. Something fresh to the new location is $18 gel nail manicures and, because of the new machines, various facials ranging from $25-40. Students and staff receive a 10% discount for all services. A full list of services is available on the department’s website.

Puailoa explained that the student’s attitudes changed once they got used to the adjustment, and now benefit from the more spacious and modern environment.

“It feels…not to be disrespectful, but it feels like a proper school now,” said Russell. “It feels like what the academy should’ve been like.’’