A military style school in Shanghai trains hairdressers and cosmetologists. Julie Noce reports.
Like lots of schools in China, this academy in Shanghai is run, military style. Students assemble for morning exercises. They stand at attention and march in time while a higher ranking officer shouts commands. But students at this school are not preparing for battle. They're learning how to become... beauticians. Founded in 1998 the Wenfeng Beauty and Hairdressing School aims to create a 'unified standard' for it's salons across the country... The company has some 10,000 employees who all learn how to cut hair, and give facials the Wenfeng way. Students say customers appreciate the conformity. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 28-YEAR-OLD STUDENT AT WENFENG BEAUTY AND HAIRDRESSING SCHOOL, WANG MIN, SAYING: "Our salons across the country have the same standards, so wherever they go, when our customers see our outfits, they would know we are from Wenfeng." The man behind the shear madness is Chen Hao, the school's president. Large portraits of Chen adorn the school grounds, and often he can be seen leading students in a warm-up dance before his lectures. Although he's never served in the army himself, Chen says its all about being unified. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) PRESIDENT OF WENFENG BEAUTY AND HAIRDRESSING SCHOOL, CHEN HAO, SAYING: "Students must be like soldiers. They must have the ability to carry out orders. Their acts must be unified and standardised." With more than 300 outlets nationwide, Wenfeng is known as China's 'fast food chain' of beauty salons.