There are pros and cons to offering services managed and performed by students.
Pro, the services are exponentially cheaper.
Con, the services are not performed by professionals with years of experience.
The Spa at Humber College is managed by students in the Cosmetics, Esthetician and Spa Management program.
Yet because of how well supervised the students are, Humber Spa manager, Antonietta Perretta, says she trusts the facility over traditional spas.
“The great thing is that they have lab technologists that are in the room, three professionals that are full-time and we also hire a few part-timers ”
Students in the first year have no direct contact with clients but perform procedures on models they recruit, said Perretta.
“Every student will be tested before they work on clients until they offer service at an expertise level,” she said.
Students begin performing procedures on paying customers in the second year of the program.
“These are graduating students,” she said. “By now we are confident in the students.”
Students begin to perform more invasive procedures in the fourth semester, such as microdermabrasion, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) laser treatment, chemical peels and laser hair removal.
Contrary to popular belief, these treatments do not have to be performed by medical professionals.
In Ontario, estheticians do not require certificates to perform any esthetic service, said Perretta.
Perretta said she is more inclined to trust a spa at an educational institution over professional spas.
Perretta said the presence of a lab technician guarantees the procedures will be performed at professional levels.
First year Humber student in the Spa Management and Esthetician Program Natasha Mohammed said she is nervous to begin practicing invasive procedures on clients.
“You don’t know how people are going to react,” she said, “It’s like customer service but it’s people’s beauty in your hands.”
Mohammed said this stems from her fear of pain; she does not feel comfortable inflicting pain on clients with invasive procedures. But she confident because of the guidance she receives from her instructors.
The clientele at The Humber Spa is split evenly between Humber students and employees, said Assistant Lab Technician Amber Pastor.
Pastor said the most popular procedures performed at The Spa are laser hair removal and microdermabrasion.