Wilks set to open Panola’s first barber school

Published 4:18 pm Monday, February 11, 2019

Hollywoods Cuts to make transition on Square

By Myra Bean

Cameron Wilks is on his way to opening the first ever barber school in Panola County. Hollywood Cuts Hair Salon will soon be Hollywood Cuts Barber School.

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Wilks recently completed and received his instructor license. The other instructor, Calvin Connor, has also received his instructor license.

Wilks burst on the barber scene five years ago when he open his first shop on Highway 6. He took a chance and moved to downtown four years ago and has watched his business flourish.

Using social media to spread his fame far and wide, he draws business from as far away as Greenville and even New York, as Chicago Bears assistant coach Deshea Townsend patronized his shop during a trip home last month.

The state requires barbers to have 1,500 hours in order to take the state board test and receive their license to cut and style hair for the public. The program includes 500 classroom hours, morning and night classes, according to Wilks.

“Our job is to make sure you are ready for state boards, passing the test and clinicals. There is a written part and practical part and analysis,” Wilks said.

There are barber schools in Clarksdale and Grenada, where Wilks received his instructor license. There are also some cosmetology schools in Memphis and the Delta, but this is the only strictly barber school.

This school will be to train barbers of all races, according to Wilks.

Opening a barber school is a mission for Wilks. When he went to school for his license, he called it a bad experience.

“I didn’t learn anything about hair. I never saw a textbook. I was never taught the proper way how to cut hair. I never was taught how to hold clippers. I learned on my own during school. I am trying to offer the next person something, and give them what I didn’t get,” he said.

Connor said he had the same experience trying to get his license.

Thankfully, he had started at 12-year-old experimenting with hair.

“I learned by watching. Some brothers would say do this piece (hair) right here,” Connor said.

“I want to give everybody the opportunity they deserve. We know what not to do,” Wilks said.

He would like to open the school this month, but he said it will probably be March before everything is ready and set up.

Cutline:  Cam Wilks is set to open Hollywood Cuts Barber School. (Myra Bean)