As Barbering Makes a Comeback, BOCES Program Grows

December 05, 2018

There is no doubt about it—barbering is back. “There was a time in the seventies and eighties when a lot of men were going to unisex hair salons,” said Career and Technical Education teacher Camille Osterling. “But barber shops are really in vogue now.” Osterling, who teaches Barbering to students on the campus of Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES, said the jobs are there—and so are the students.
“Barber shops have become more than just places to get a haircut,” Osterling said. “Some shops have entertainment, game systems, refreshments—they provide more of a social setting. We have a great group of students this year who want to learn the trade because it is a great skill to have.”
Dante Joseph, from John Jay High School, said he has always had an interest in barbering. “My grandfather owned a salon in Ossining, and I always liked the fact that while he cut people’s hair he would talk to them.”
In fact, students who graduate from the two-year Barbering program earn their state licenses and become proficient in hair cutting with scissors and clippers, styling, beard trimming and more.
Eric Breault, from Carmel High School, said he plans to make money barbering while in college. “I am interested in fashion, and I like the way barbering combines fashion and style,” he said.
Osterling, who has a master’s degree in education as well as barbering and cosmetology licenses in New York and Connecticut said the nice thing about the field is that you can combine it with other work. “I always worked at hair cutting when I had other teaching jobs,” she said.
But the Barbering program at BOCES combines both of Osterling’s passions. “For me, this job is a dream because I get to do two things I love at the same time—teaching and barbering.”
Dante Joseph, John Jay, practices barbering.