To Barber or not to barber? Guest blog by Alison Confrey

Delmar welcomes a new barbering/stylist program to the list! Starting this exciting new path of men’s grooming at Delmar College is going to be taught by Alison Confrey.  Here is her story!


By: Alison Confrey


Hi! I am Alison, Delmar’s first 1400 hour Barbering/Hairstylist instructor. ‘To barber or not to barber?’  That was the question facing me in 2014 when I was offered a position as a Barber in the Downtown Core. Not a very difficult question you say!

However, I was living just outside Dublin, Ireland at the time so it was a huge one for me! I am Irish through and through and had never considered living outside of Ireland. So, the challenge of moving to a new country was a major decision for me and my family. This also meant leaving behind everything I knew about ladies hairstyling and moving into the world of barbering which was an even scarier decision at the time. In my 25 years as a busy stylist, I also taught apprentices and managed salons. However, barbering to me consisted of older men going to older barbers for their ‘short back and sides, please’!

My family decided to ‘bite the bullet’ and move to Calgary arriving in freezing temperatures we had never seen before! It wasn’t long before I started work and to say that I was nervous is a huge understatement! However, looking back, it was the BEST decision I ever made!

Some of Alison’s work



Wow! I was shocked at how much the men’s grooming industry is booming here. It is so much more than the ‘short sides and back’ I was anticipating! Being in the downtown core, surrounded by oil companies, banks and law offices, has proven to me how much guys are into how they look and how their look is perceived by others. They are completely up-to-date and focused on men’s trends which is incredible! All my fears were ‘quashed’ and it is exciting to work with colleagues who are vibrant, fashion-forward go-getters!


Some of Alison’s work


Being a barber is such a fun, creative and exciting career and I encourage you to get involved! Coupling this with learning new skills like hot shaves and hair tattooing has made me decide to be part of Delmar’s new program. It is so exciting!


Delmar has put together a totally new program combining everything you will need to enter into the wonderful world of barbering including all haircutting (both scissor and clipper), fades, hair tattooing, hot shaves, facial massage, facial hair design and much more!!!! Your major will be in Barbering and you will be able to join any barbershop with confidence in your skills! You will also get a solid grounding in all the techniques required to pass your government licensing exams necessary to become a Licensed Hairstylist.

Delmar’s First Barbering/Stylist class!


We are very excited to begin this new journey which is a HUGE step forward in the industry! Follow our progress through the program!

For more information regarding our program, please contact Shauna at . We can’t wait to meet you!


No gimmicks just great education

Diary of a Hair Student Entry #5 by Morgan Calvert

Hello Everyone!

School is starting to get really fun! Since I last wrote to you all we have done our first term evaluations, learned colour correction, learned extensions and started on the salon floor!

I FINALLY did an okay job at finger waves, I struggle with them so much, but I think I’ve got it!
(Morgan’s fingerwaves)


I think I can speak for everyone when I say that I was super nervous about starting on the salon floor, but I now realize that it’s actually going to be a lot of fun and the instructors are there to help us every step of the way!

I’ve only had one day on the floor so far and I was lucky enough to get a returning client, so it looks like I’m going to get really good at brick lay roller sets!

I don’t have as many photos this time due to some phone malfunctions, However I do have some fun photos of my classmates.

(Team shaving exercise)

In the mens grooming portion of the program we played a game where we shaved balloons to see if we could do it without the balloon popping!

The photo below is our “quad mannequin”. It was  my first time doing a quad mannequin colour correction where we had to reach one even colour all around!

(Quad mannequin for color correction class)







Remember to stay positive and keep learning!

-Morgan Calvert

See Morgans post next month to see her progress and success on the salon floor!

No gimmicks just good education!

Student to Instructor : A Guest Blog by Cassie Aravena.

There are moments that we all experience in life about what path we should take and if it will be the right choice? With so many options available, so many paths to take it makes each decision harder.  Today we will hear directly from one of Delmar College’s alumni Cassie Aravena and see how her decision has led her to her current career.

IMG_3774(Cassie instructing her class)

“After I graduated high school I was unsure like most about what I really wanted to do with the rest of my life. I was conflicted! ”

Everyone I knew was going to attend a known secondary school like: Sait, Mount Royal or Bow Valley. To one day become a Nurse, an Engineer or part of Business Administration. “One thing I knew about myself was that I loved anything that involved detailed art”.

I was definitely the student to attend Fashion shows, take Cosmetology or culinary arts in high school. Being able to create something by hand fascinated me and made me. It was my passion.

After having multiple discussions with family and friends, they all recommended the same thing! Why not attend a beauty school to become a Hairstylist or Nail Technician?
After deliberation  I did my research to see what my options were for beauty schools in Calgary. I came across Delmar College’s website. I was blown away by the fact that there were so many options for programs. It immediately grabbed my attention.

Esthetician, Nail- Technician, Clinical Esthetician and Hairstylist – I wanted to do it all! When I arrived for my scheduled appointment I met with Linda, the Director of Esthetics for Delmar College. “I remember being so inspired by hearing about her own experiences being an Esthetician as well as a Nail Technician opening up her own spa.”

(Cassie with her classmates)

I started with the full time Esthetician Program. It makes me smile and laugh to remember how it felt to be a student and the things I learned about skin, waxing, tinting, mani/pedi’s and facials. I made amazing friends that I treasure and have remained friends with to this day.

“During my Esthetics program I had gotten into a car accident on Deerfoot. I ended up getting severe Whiplash in my neck, making it really hard to perform services in my program.“Just like most, the time you miss in class you need to make up!”

I looked into my options for making up the time I had lost in my course with Linda and my instructors. I was then
allowed to attend the evening Nail Tech class as a model. After I saw the students hard at work. I knew that night I wanted to be an amazing Nail Tech. Just watching how they worked with her product and applying it really opened my eyes to the nail section for Esthetics. I was blown away by the color options, designs and shapes you could do with nails. That night I received my first sculpted gel set ever and I loved it!

That one night seeing students at work and how they were being instructed made me want to join the Nail Technician program. “The next day I went to Linda and registered right away!” The Nail Technician program had taught me so much about the nail industry that I never knew before. My instructor had shared her experiences and that made me feel so excited to be apart of the industry and to this day she still continues to inspire me to be the best Nail Technician l can be. I wanted to be just like her!
“I was so excited to graduate and have my own experiences to share as a Esthetician/Nail-tech”.

(Nails by Cassie)

I kept in touch with my instructors and Delmar as I adventured into the work place of my own. Creating my own brand, style, and experiences. One day I had heard that my instructor was planning to  move.  I remember feeling really sad to hear the news but she assured me that she’d stay in touch! She then asked me if I ever thought about teaching, or if I would like to teach? I then thought about what she said and remember replying “of course, that would be awesome!”.

A few weeks later I was contacted by Linda. She had asked me if I wanted to teach the Delmar evening Nail Tech class? In the moment I was feeling all kinds of emotions, but honored to share my knowledge of a industry I love so much.

 (Cassie’s first class)

I remember doubting myself.  Asking myself  “what if I’m not good enough to teach?” or “am I ready to do this?” I then found out like any new instructor, it was normal to feel this way. The reassurance I received from my coworkers and family made me feel confident that this is the right path for me.

Now, I have been a instructor for Delmar for One year. I already feel like I’ve learned, and grown so much. Being able to teach my students everything I know about being a Nail Technician feels amazing! Watching my students grow, gain skills and confidence by far has been the most rewarding feeling. This is what being an instructor was all about and I love every minute of it!

My first class will be graduating soon and I couldn’t be anymore proud in each and every one of them. Being their instructor was definitely a privilege and I can’t wait to see where their education takes them.  Next, I begin a new chapter with Delmar College. I am now taking on new classes and new experiences to go along with it.
I am excited to see what it all brings!





 – Cassie Aravena, Nail Technician Instructor



no gimmicks. just great education

September 2017 at Delmar: a Recap

We welcomed our new evening Esthetics class!


Welcome to our new September Hair Design class!


Welcome to our first period Apprenticeship students!


Congratulations to our Makeup 102 graduates!


September Delmar Ambassador, Callie Nuyens, wrote a really great blog post for us. If you missed it click here.


Morgan Calvert wrote another installment of our Diary of a Hair student. Click here to check it out.


Our banner went up and construction is under way at our new campus!


And we featured some amazing student work. Scroll down to see it all.

Hair: Abell / Model: Bryce / Photo: Analog Dog Creative

Makeup by Chloe

Hair: Emily / Makeup: Martha

Hair: Stephanie / Model: Ceanna / Photo: Analog Dog Creative

Nails by Silvana

Hair: Melanie / Model: Denise / Photo: Analog Dog Creative

Hair: Typhani / Photo: Analog Dog Creative

Concave Layers by Reagan

Hair: Trista / Model: Brandon / Photo: Analog Dog Creative

Hair: April / Model: Maddie

no gimmicks. just great education