Barber College Opens on South Side

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Beyond Expectations Barber College opened its doors Tuesday at 2246 Glenwood Ave. in Youngstown.

The school, which was founded in 2013 in Akron, offers an 1,800-hour program that teaches students everything they need to know to become certified barbers and better community members.

The program includes 1,200 hours of haircutting instruction, 200 hours of theory and doing bookwork, 100 hours of practical work, and 300 hours of instruction in “how important it is to become a part of the community,” co-owner and director of BEBC Daniel Williams said.

Ed Bankston, Daniel Williams, Jerrison Wyatt, Amarra Prieto, Chris Mercury, Alexis Simpson and J’Saun Mitchell gathered at the grand opening of Beyond Expectations Barber College.

The college periodically presents free haircutting events at local schools. Students are also taught about the importance of voting and knowing their city council and state representatives. Additionally, students are taught about paying taxes – something that can be hard to navigate when working in a cash-based business, Williams added.

BEBC offers 11-month training programs for students to earn their Ohio barber’s license. Additionally, prospective students with a cosmetology license can take classes at BEBC and earn a barber license without completing the full 1,800-hour program, said Ed Bankston, an instructor.

“We teach the whole spectrum of the 1,800 hours, from chapter one to 22. That entails female hair services, shampoo services, scalp manipulations, facials, shaves and haircutting,” said Bankston.

The barber college prides itself on teaching students life skills such as the basics of owning a business.

“As a barber, once you [complete the program], it’s your community that is going to support you,” Williams said.

During his address at the opening ceremony, co-owner Eric Garrett thanked the community, City Councilman Julius Oliver and Mayor Tito Brown for their support.

Mayor Brown said the college is a great opportunity for young men and women in the area, giving them the option of a career as a barber.

“Everyone needs a great haircut, everyone needs a great barber. I wanted to show today that even the mayor gets his hair cut here,” he said.

The college has a high placement rate, the owners said, and its graduates are experienced in supporting their community and being active citizens.

BEBC student William Hardenbrook says he feels he is being set up for a successful future as a barber from his studies at BEBC. Nearly done with his courses, Hardenbrook plans to use his haircutting talents wherever he can upon graduation.

“I’ve been a part of quite a few [free haircut] events at elementary and middle schools in the area. You don’t really get a sense of how much it helps until you see their faces,” Hardenbrook says of the community service he has done with BEBC.

“This [college] is going to be great for our city, great for the young and older people… this is an opportunity if you want it,” said Marguerite Douglas, Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. board vice president, and a supporter of the college from its start. It is “great to see all these young men and women, and diversity and energy at this school,” she continued. 

About two months of extensive work went into readying  the Youngstown location, an investment of about $40,000, according to Williams.

BEBC Akron has graduated over 150 students and boasts an 85% graduation rate and a 90% licensure rate. The owners say they look forward to continuing to reach these numbers with their Youngstown locations.

In August, the barber college is planning a back-to-school event with free haircuts for kids, plus school supplies and food, Williams said.

Beyond Expectations Barber College employs four and has 17 students enrolled, with room for 32 students. The college aims to have one instructor per 25 students.

Haircuts start at $6 for children and $7 for adults, with upgrades for designs or beard and mustache trims available for $10 extra. Senior and military discounts are also available. BEBC is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Those looking to attend BEBC can apply at www.bebc-ohio.com. Community members can follow the college on Facebook and Instagram for more information about upcoming events.

Pictured at top: Councilman Julius Oliver, YNDC Board Vice President Marguerite Douglas and Mayor Jamael Tito Brown joined co-owners Eric Garrett and Daniel Williams, BEBC students and instructors for the grand opening of Beyond Expectations Barber College Youngstown.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.