The hairdressing students of Aldergrove Community Secondary School (ACSS) showed off a wide array of hairstyles at a memorable end-of-semester hair show Thursday night, honouring the lessons of their teacher Peggy Wickenden.
This year’s runway theme “Classy Hair to Runway Flare” marked a visible distinction between ornate everyday hair designs and wild, eye-catching, and colourful looks.
Nearly 98 models of all ages volunteered to have their hair cut and styled by the nine students currently in ACSS’s Youth TRAIN in Trades hairstylist program, where Grades 11 and 12 students are able to earn high school credits while kick-starting their hairdressing careers.
The models – who included school president Jeremy Lyndon, vice-presidents Carla Clapton, Jason Malo, and English teacher Vera Sutton – all wore black to accentuate their runway-ready hair.
Grade 12 stylist Elle Bosh prepared 12 models for the showcase. Many of them donned hair extensions, braiding, and luminescent colour patterns.
“I like playing around with hair extensions,” Bosh said, hinting at a few of her designs.
Former student Samantha Harder’s career as a special effects makeup artist and stylist was launched after the career program, so much so that she returned with gratitude and her makeup kit to apply “runway flare” makeup for the debut.
Student stylist Marie Glynn used the runway to spread holiday cheer in several of her designs that included Christmas accessories such as lights, ornaments, bows, and candy canes.
Glynn enlisted the help of her older sister and principal Lyndon as models.
Lyndon strutted his stuff in front of a packed house alongside other ACSS administrators vice-principals Clapton and Malo in school’s dramnasium.
Lyndon and Malo also participated last year.
This year, their hair was dyed teal blue, they wore makeup, and they danced in unison to a routine choreographed to Cha Cha Slide.
Aldergrove teacher and stylist, Peggy Wickenden, whose overseen the program for 15 years, said the hair show is the Accelerated Credit Enrolment to Industry Training (ACE-IT) program’s “grand finale.”
It was hers as well, as she will hang up her teacher scissors and retire at the end of the semester.
Wickenden left it up to her students to research any alternative or eccentric hairstyles they wanted to execute for their final assignment.
“I don’t do any of it for them. I won’t even touch the hair,” the teacher emphasized. “Because it’s their show, not mine.”
“But if they get stuck I am here to suggest ways to improve their designs,” Wickenden assured.
For longer than a decade, Wickenden and her students have run ReCreations Training Salon out of their classroom, which doubles as a studio with 19 stations, enough for her and each of her students.
“Mrs. Dub” – as she’s been nicknamed by the student body – is passionate about the school’s hairdressing program.
“Not only because I know students can be successful, but it can take them to wherever they want to go in life,” she explained.
Whether it be travelling the world as a Red Seal-hairstylist or living domestically as a stay-at-home parent with an in-home salon – “there’s so many more things they can do than just say ‘I’m going to cut hair for the rest of my life’,” Wickenden touted.
Lyndon presented the long-time teacher with a bouquet of flowers on the runway, thanking her for the many years she’s inspired students as both a friend and teacher.
“They want to be able to make people feel good about themselves,” Wickenden esteemed about her students.
The popular hair show doubled as a fundraiser for the charity of the students’ choosing.
This year’s class of stylists chose $5 ticket proceeds to be donated to two different charities – Save The Oceans and Abbotsford Addiction Centre.
Tuition for Langley students in the program is paid by Langley School District. All students need is an estimated $1,350 for styling tools they get to take with them into their careers as stylists.