Students at Summit Academy Parma are lining up for comb-overs, simple trims, shaved-side cuts and various other hair styles of their choice, courtesy of instructional aide/cosmetologist Nerjes Taweel.
Twenty-one-year-old Taweel, a licensed cosmetologist pursuing a social work degree at Cleveland State University, has set up a mini, pop-up hair salon in the school’s conference room. With her caddie stocked with clippers, combs, capes, powders, clips and other hair stylist’s essentials, Taweel is giving free haircuts to interested students during their study hall periods.
“They just want to be in style,” says the to-go stylist, referring to the school’s K-12 students, many of whom have not had professional haircuts in some time. “You see their confidence boost a lot.”
Taweel has given haircuts to roughly 30 students since late November and has another dozen or so on her to-do list. She had an influx of “clients” the week before Thanksgiving and expects another big wave before the winter break.
By all accounts, the students are pleased with their stylish looks.
“I was more than satisfied with my haircut. I especially liked the fade she gave me,” says 11th-grader Nicholas Hufford.
Tenth-grade student Cora Karuse says Taweel trimmed her hair with an even edge. She says that Taweel’s generosity should go a long way to help students.
“I think it’s good for a lot of people who don’t have money for haircuts. She’s just offering it. She’s so kind,” Karuse says.
Chris Lusk, also a 10th-grader, says Taweel gave him the haircut he hoped for as well as tips on how to style it at home. “She did a really good job. She listened to me,” he says, explaining how Taweel cut his hair just as he described he wanted it.
When prom season arrives next spring, Taweel says she hopes to set up her portable salon once again to style students’ hair for the big event.