Urbana is home to one of the few locations of Tricoci University: a nail, cosmetology, esthetics and barbering school built on the foundation and values of Mario Tricoci salons. Tricoci University in Urbana is a space for students and educators to work together to develop cosmetology and esthetic skills. Their school features a salon and spa space for students to learn hands-on with mannequins and real clients.
Joshua Camden, Director of Digital Marketing for Tricoci University, explained the many services Tricoci has to offer.
“We offer basically full salon services, so cutting, coloring, perms, hydration, just like a typical salon. And on the spa side we also offer traditional spa services like peels, wraps, facials, waxing, nail care, all the basic typical spa services,” Camden said.
In addition to the many services offered, Tricoci’s prices are significantly lower than other salons’, considering students are completing the service.
Camden emphasizes that each of the students is overseen by teachers who are licensed, trained professionals who have had many years of experience working in salons. Alongside their background in their respective fields, they are also required to earn an additional license to teach at the University.
Alyssa Alzona, business student at Harold Washington College, visited Tricoci University in Urbana last year to get a perm service. She was impressed with the customer service in the salon, as well as the collaborative effort between students and teachers.
“I noticed that he sometimes had difficulties with rolling my hair because it was one of his first few times perming hair. But whenever he had trouble he never kept me waiting. He always grabbed a teacher and asked for help, someone who had a better idea of what was going on,” Alzona said.
Alzona states that although his inexperience made the process last a bit longer than a typical perm service, she was happy to help the student learn a new skill.
Tricoci University offers flexible schedules for their students by giving them the option to apply to a part-time or full-time program, both in cosmetology and esthetics. This gives students the opportunity to work or take other classes while studying at Tricoci. Montserrat Villalpando, senior in LAS, had a stylist who had been taking classes at the University of Illinois.
“She told me that she was taking a break from (the University of Illinois), and that this is what she’s doing in the meantime,” Villalpando said.
For University of Illinois students interested in cosmetology and esthetics, Tricoci University is an option to become a licensed stylist or esthetician.
Camden mentions that when compared to other cosmetology schools, Tricoci better prepares its students for success after graduation. He states that Tricoci University focuses heavily on professionalism when training their students. Their curriculum includes instruction on how to run your own salon or spa by teaching management, business and customer service skills. Most importantly, Tricoci University provides financial-aid opportunities for students who may need help in affording tuition.
Being a student at Tricoci University also includes the chance to become involved in extracurricular activities that aid in teaching students professional skills that go beyond hair, skin and nail services. Students can join the student council which allows them to have more autonomy over their education and learning community. They can also join Tricoci’s design team which focuses on marketing skills if students wish to open their own business. To apply, an applicant must have a high-school diploma or GED, and must be at least 18 years of age by the time their classes begin.
As a customer at Tricoci University, it is important to be patient with students and to recognize that the service you receive may not come out perfectly. Making mistakes is a step of the learning process, which is why the students work so closely with their teachers. Alzona states that although her hair turned out how she had asked, people who are picky about their hair might think twice before considering Tricoci.
“I would say, just always do your research and know what you’re getting into. Make sure you are prepared for different outcomes. People should keep in mind that Tricoci is a beauty school and that you can’t always have the highest expectations for students,” Alzona says.
However, for customers who are a bit more experimental, Tricoci is a student-run salon that enables the next generation of professionals by allowing students to practice their skills on real people. Without the open-mindedness of their clients, students at Tricoci would not be able to graduate with the confidence and professionalism that they do.