• July 8, 2024

Juan Gallardo brings big-city style to STC Cosmetology program

Juan Gallardo brings big-city style to STC Cosmetology program

South Texas College Cosmetology Instructor Juan Gallardo said it’s more important than ever to ensure students entering the field are fearless and confident in their abilities.

Beginning his journey at STC in spring 2024, Gallardo brings skills learned on the West Coast, with big-city style and flair that will ensure students are ready to adapt to a fast-paced and ever-evolving cosmetology industry, he said.

It’s a teaching style created by years in the business, and the often-heartbreaking stories from new cosmetologists entering the field for the first time.

“Working in salons over the last 12 years, it has been common to see a lot of students right out of cosmetology school just be intimidated from having to work with a master stylist who has been there for years – they were afraid and would quit after two weeks. We as instructors need to teach them how not to be afraid,” Gallardo said. “Starting here at STC, I want my legacy to be that we will train our students to work at the same level as these master stylists through proper mentorship and rigorous instruction.”

Born in Mexico, Gallardo said his family emigrated to the United States when he was 11 years old and settled in Oxnard, Calif., a seaside community west of Los Angeles.

The influences and the styles of the big city inspired his work, he said, when he arrived in Texas.

Trained and certified for Matrix, a leading professional haircare and hair color company, Gallardo said he has worked behind the scenes on music videos for artists like Meghan Trainor and at various pageants and fashion shows. He also contributed his talents to Miss Teen Oxnard while living in California, Moda 2000 Fashion Show Experience and Miss Texas Southwest Galaxy pageant.

Gallardo said he combined his industry experience in California with teaching experience at a local, privately-owned cosmetology school in Mission, Texas, which influenced his decision to share his knowledge with students.

“I used my experiences growing up in California as a tool. People are always looking for the newest thing and it’s especially true in cosmetology,” Gallardo said. “I feel like the community has needed this program for a very long time. Now we have a community college that gives us the opportunity to take cosmetology as a major for college credit. That fills a tremendous gap in our community and people are reacting very well to it. I feel like it’s going to grow tremendously.”

Gallardo said he immersed himself completely in the STC community when he arrived. He entered the college’s Visual Arts program and is currently pursuing an associate degree to add to his cosmetology background.

He is also using his teaching platform to recruit more men into the female-dominated cosmetology field, especially those aspiring to enter the profession as skilled barbers.

“There are a lot of men successfully working in the industry,” Gallardo said. “I think we just need to stop with that stereotype and once you let that go you can actually begin to reach for your dreams. In my case, this career field just opened up a whole new world for me.”

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