by DESIREE MENDEZ//Staff Writer
Instructor by day, rock star at night, Juan Partida is a man of many talents.
Partida, who some may know as Johnny Rockstar, is an instructor of Cosmetology at South Plains College. He was born and raised in Levelland, attending Levelland High School and graduating in 1986. Partida then attended SPC three times for an Auto mechanics certificate, Cosmetology certificate and his Cosmetology Instructors certificate.
Partida has been married for 27 years to Lori Partida. They have two kids together, Madalynn and Jazz Partida. His son-in-law, Taylor Colwell, also attends SPC for cosmetology. Partida has two granddaughters, Analeigh and Lyllah. Partida’s mother, Maria Partida, has been a cosmetologist for 30 years. Jazz is also a cosmetologist. They both work along side Partida at his Levelland salon.
Partida wasn’t always an instructor for Cosmetology. He also taught boxing for 10 years to his son, Jazz, and another student who was deaf. Partida learned sign language so that he could help this student learn boxing.
“Well, my dad is an awesome person,” said Jazz Partida. “He’s hard working and knows how to enjoy life. My dad has always been a mentor and role model to me. He has always been there to push me and help me every step of the way, and I am lucky to have had such a great dad.”
Partida became a cosmetologist 21 years ago after his wife talked him into going to see two brothers who performed on stage while cutting hair.
“When these two brothers were on stage, they’re cutting hair and flinging hair and slinging their shears around, with the lights and the music, it was like a concert but for hairdressers,” recalled Partida. “I ran into Altriera Power Hair, and when I saw him, I told him, “Dude, I want to be just like you. He told me, “Go to school, get licensed and find a hair team to get on with.”
Partida decided he was going to prove people wrong who didn’t believe in him and told him that he would never make it.
“Back when I was in cosmetology school, it was very hard for a male to succeed, because it was a very female-oriented field,” explained Partida.
Partida then started to work for Sexy Hair as a stylist for hair shows. It was one day in Los Angeles that he helped the owner of Sexy Hair on the platform. For eight years, Partida was a platform artist.
“I love being able to make a difference in someone’s life,” said Partida. “When someone comes to you for a haircut or a color, they come in looking one way, and then you help them feel better and they leave looking like someone totally different. That is what I love being able to do.”
In 2000, Partida opened his own salon, Attitudes. “There is only Juan cut,” is the slogan on his billboard.
“I opened Attitudes because I was always told that I would never make it, and here I am today,” said Partida. “Never give up your dreams, no matter what anyone tells you. Always believe in yourself!”
In 2007, Partida went back to SPC for his Cosmetology Instructor’s license. He has been an instructor for 10 years. He is also the cosmetology instructor for the Levelland High School program. When he first started the high school program, he only had five students. Five years later, he has 31 to 35 a semester.
“I became an instructor because I was traveling way too much, and my kids were getting to that age that I needed to be around more,” explained Partida, who opened a second salon, Bella’s, in 2010.
Partida said he enjoys passing on his knowledge to the next generations of cosmetologists.
“Teaching can be very challenging, and every day is an adventure,” said Partida. “But I wouldn’t change anything about it. Getting to meet new people every day and building new life- time friendships is worth waking up every day and coming to work.”
Partida wanted to be able to give advice and help teach students on a level that he didn’t have while he was in school. He wanted to inspire students to create art with hair and to never give up on their dreams.
One of Partida’s students, Jackie Guadalcasar, a second-semester cosmetology student, said, “Juan is so open and easy going. He’s not one of those people that are super judgmental and won’t criticize you. He gets it.”
Partida is like a parental figure to some of the kids in the cosmetology program. They always come to him for fatherly advice or problems they are having, because he has kids and he has been through those types of things before.
“He is very nice, blunt and very helpful,” said Sara Quintanilla, another one of his students. “He is always willing to help you, no matter how many times you ask for help. He’s just fun to be around.”
Partida currently has 11 seniors and 17 juniors in his high school program.
Partida isn’t just an instructor and hairstylist, he also has a father-and-son duo called “LEWD and TATTOOED.” They are an ‘80s cover band, and he is known as Johnny Rockstar. Along with their band, they are also members of the band where they attend church.
In 2016, Partida participated in Dancing with the Texans at SPC. He also takes ballroom dancing classes, taught by Vanessa Moffett.
“Dance is life,” stated Partida, who has not been able to participate this year after having knee surgery in December.
In 2009, Partida ran for mayor for the City of Levelland. Even though he didn’t win, he still does his part to help the community.
“Being able to help students make a difference in the world, and make friendships that will last me a life-time, I wouldn’t change any of that,” said Partida. “Whether it is being a hairstylist or an instructor, helping people is what I love to do.”
Rock star at night, instructor and hairstylist by day, Partida is living life to the fullest.
[Photo by DESIREE MENDEZ/PLAINSMAN PRESS]