"It’s a skill that is useful to you throughout the rest of your life.”By Andrea Alvarez

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – If your current job isn’t cutting it, take some advice from these local barber academy students. One Hillsborough County instructor is inspiring her classroom to take clippers and hair extensions to the next level.

“The four different angles of cutting are zero degrees, 90 degrees, 180 [degrees] and 45 [degrees] is the last on,” said Jaelle Jean, a sophomore at Middleton High School. She and a handful of other students there are learning to cut hair properly. “I’m in my tenth grade year of high school. I just wanted to enjoy it before I leave.”

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Although it may seem simple in nature, it’s no shortcut in Mrs. Grooms’ classroom. Under these perms and conditions, students with MHS Barber Academy are encouraged to become licensed professionals.

“Locally we have three to 4 top barbers in the city that are working in top salons as well as barber shops. Top nail techs,” said barber instructor Stephanie Grooms. “Julio, who is dear to my heart, has since now since developed his own product line called Divine Roots.” The first ever to graduate from MHS with a professional barber license did so this year along with 125 hair braiding licensed students to date. “I also teach them how to write a business plan,” she said.

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“It is definitely something I’d like to pursue further. Maybe owning a barbershop,” said Nolan Thresher, a junior there. He says he even found is useful at home during the pandemic when barbershops shut down across the country. “Even if you don’t want to become and entrepreneur, even if you don’t want to open a business, it’s a skill that is useful to you throughout the rest of your life.”

We asked what advice students had for others interested in the elective. They say the clock is ticking so don’t put it off.

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“If I had the option to decide to take this class the first year so that i could be more advanced in what I’m doing,” said Jean.