Faces of CNM: Denise Reyes

Denise is using cosmetology to make people feel good about themselves
August 18, 2021

For Denise Reyes, cosmetology is a powerful tool. She knows that when people feel good about how they look, they often feel good about themselves.

“We’ve all been there where we get a great haircut and we just wake up feeling on top of the world,” she says. 

To hone her skills, Denise who's 23, decided to attend the Cosmetology program at CNM. She’s on track to graduate in December.

Of course Denise has had to work hard to chase a career she loves. She originally enrolled at CNM several years ago but had to drop out after she had her daughter. She worked to support her family, but then got laid off because of COVID-19. Instead of giving up, however, she took the layoff as an opportunity and decided to re-enroll at CNM.

“I always knew I was going to come back to college and this was the right time,” she says.

Denise discovered her love for cosmetology early on. She has curly hair and spent hours on YouTube trying to teach herself styling techniques. After she mastered her own hair, she moved on to her sister’s. 

Within hair, Denise loves both cut and color. She likes using cuts to accentuate people’s facial structures, and she likes color because of how it can make clients feel like a completely new person.

“Everyone gets sick of their hair color at some point, so it’s liberating to change things up,” she says. “I’m a brunette and when I went blond I immediately felt so much better. It was magical. Right now I love having yellow hair because it makes me stand out. No one has yellow hair.”

Denise also likes nails because there’s so much room to be creative. She likes seeing what’s out there from other stylists and then adding her own touch. She’s struggled with nails in the past but says that thanks to detailed feedback from instructors in the Cosmetology program, she’s now much more confident. 

Once Denise is done with her program at the end of this year, the plan is to get a full-time job at a local business as a hair stylist and nail technician. She looks forward to helping people feel great about themselves, especially as we all struggle through a difficult time.

“If you have confidence in your looks, you have confidence in yourself,” she says. “And right now we could all use as much confidence as possible.”