Bennington native starts cosmetology school


HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. >> A longtime hair stylist has opened her own school.

Wendy Larson has founded the Ever Changing Hair Styles School of Cosmetology, which she says is now accepting new students for the fall.

"I've been having people shadow me for as long as I've been in business," Larson said. "A lot of girls who have worked under me now have their own business. I'm at a different time of my life now, so I thought, why not teach."

Larson is originally from Bennington and graduated from Mount Anthony Union High School in 1983. She went to the Troy School of Beauty Culture and in 1987 opened her own salon. She is president of the local Kiwanis chapter and previously served on the Hoosick Falls Youth Football Board. She's been a real estate broker with Hoosick Realty for six years and said the market is slow, one reason she wanted to start teaching. The school will be at 199 Church St., where she has had her own salon.

Larson said that, for some, pursuing a trade like this can lead to a happy and successful living. That's reflected in her mission statement, which is: "Not everyone is college bound. Tech school is something they can have forever."

"I want kids to know they don't have to go to a four-year college," she said. "Look at what I've been able to accomplish."

In order to practice hairstyling, people must have completed 1,000 hours of training and obtain a license from the state's Division of Licensing Services. And schools like Larson's must be licensed by the state's Adult Career and Continuing Education Services Department.

The nine-month course follows the state's regulations and is a unique combination of anatomy, chemistry and manual skills, according to Larson. Before students can work on clients, they must complete 200 hours of training. The first part of training includes the theory behind cosmetology – the practice of providing service to the hair and head of a person, including trimming or shaving hair, or applying treatments or dyes.

Other sections include the chemistry of beauty products, salesmanship, and shop behaviour and telephone conversation skills.

"I had a vision for the type of salon I wanted to open," Larson writes in the school's admission catalogue. "It wasn't just about doing hair, it was about making people feel good, wanting to wash away the trials of the day."

For more information, call Larson at 518-686-4910 or email

Contact Ed Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111.


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