Northern Michigan University Debuts its First-Ever Natural Hair Cultivation Program

by Xara Aziz

Northern Michigan University’s School of Cosmetology is launching a new program that will help future hairstylists better meet the needs of a diverse array of clients.

The program has just announced it will debut a natural hair cultivation certificate for students who are passionate about understanding more about different hair textures and patterns. According to the school, the program aligns with NMU’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

One of the program’s instructors, Charmaine Goodlow, owns Charmaine’s Beauty Bar in Iron Mountain, and told TV6 that “cultured hair” is “usually textured hair, and we can manipulate the hair in a natural way” through “techniques that put tension on hair strands. These include locking, twisting, wrapping, weaving, extensions, braiding by hand or wig-making,” according to a report in the student’s news publication.

“The community has been asking for it, the campus has been asking for it and students have been asking for it,” said another instructor, Michelle Whitaker. “It’s something that has been around within the state as far as licensing is concerned for quite some time, so we are really excited to be able to bring this to NMU.”

The report further stated that the new generation of cosmetologists must now become aware and “understand human anatomy, physiology and nutrition as it pertains to the scalp and hair. They must also be familiar with a variety of hair types.”

Steve VandenAvond, associate provost and dean of the College of Technology and Occupational Sciences, further addressed that the program would be instrumental to the school’s success. He made these remarks during NMU’s Board of Trustees in May when the program was approved.

“We think it’s going to have an impact on our students and their ability to get jobs wherever they want to go,” VandenAvond said. “It’s a 16-credit program.”

Learn more about NMU’s natural hair cultivation certificate program and how you can enroll here.

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