Meet Our Alumni

Get a sneak peek into the journeys of some of our incredible alumni.

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image of paula houston from paul mitchell the school costa mesa

Paula Houston

Paul Mitchell The School Costa Mesa / Stylist, Salon Mix / International Trainer, John Paul Mitchell Systems

How did you get into hair styling? arrow graphic element
"I was working in the construction industry, making great money…and not loving my life. Then I got laid off. A hairdresser friend suggested I check out cosmetology school. It instantly felt so right for me. I am a natural connector and that’s the best part of being a hairdresser – you get to connect every day!"
What are your current career goals? arrow graphic element
"Right now, I’m co-authoring a book and focusing on doubling my salon business."
What was the highlight of your Paul Mitchell Schools education? arrow graphic element
"I had a lot of incredible opportunities! I assisted backstage at Caper, attended Beacon and spent time on set with the John Paul Mitchell Systems Artistic Team."
image of bryce carey from paul mitchell the school gastonia

Bryce Carey

Paul Mitchell The School Gastonia / Freelance Makeup, Hair and Men’s Grooming for Television, Print and Film

How did you get into celebrity and entertainment work? arrow graphic element
"The Hunger Games movie recruited from my school. I worked in the makeup department. That led to other entertainment work, like at ESPN, and from there I started working with athletes."
What brought you to cosmetology school? arrow graphic element
"I was 35 and teaching elementary school. Creatively, I wasn’t getting out of it what I needed, so I took a chance on the beauty industry and enrolled at a Paul Mitchell School. It was the best adult decision I’ve ever made!"
What was it like being an older student? arrow graphic element
"Most people were younger, but I never felt intimidated. I fight right in. It was a great experience. That education and the people in that building meant the world to me."
image of jeremy mcdougle from paul mitchell the school salt lake city

Jeremy McDougle

Paul Mitchell The School Salt Lake City / Master Stylist/Salon Director, Lunatic Fringe Salon / Cutting Educator and Artistic Team Member, Lunatic Fringe Salon Chain

What do you love about what you do? arrow graphic element
"Working behind the chair is my absolute favorite part of being a hairdresser. I’ve made incredible relationships. I also love working on photoshoots. It allows me to create art and capture it so it lasts forever."
What got you where you are today? arrow graphic element
"Nothing more than a lot – and I mean a lot – of hard work, and the most amazing support system of family and mentors that wouldn’t let me be anything but great."
What did you like about your Paul Mitchell Schools education? arrow graphic element
"It was an environment that encouraged creativity, individuality, passion and fun. It allowed me to be me!"
image of aref hamed from paul mitchell the school new haven

Aref Hamed

Paul Mitchell The School New Haven / Owner, The Barbershop CT / Men’s Cutting Specialist, Paul Mitchell the School North Haven, CT

What’s special about what you do? arrow graphic element
"It’s a personal service with a sense of trust. Other than a tailor or a doctor, who gets that close, touching your face? It’s an honor."
What first got you interested in barbering? arrow graphic element
"In seventh grade, I gave my friend a haircut on his back porch. By lunch, a quarter of our grade had approached me saying, “hey, can you hook me up?"
What was the best thing about your Paul Mitchell Schools experience? arrow graphic element
"My teachers. They saw something in me that, at the time, I didn’t even see in myself. They kept fighting for me."
image of argenis pinal from paul mitchell the school temecula

Argenis Pinal

Paul Mitchell The School Temecula / Makeup Specialist

What were some highlights from your Paul Mitchell Schools education? arrow graphic element
"Caper and the Gathering were hugely inspirational experiences. They motivated me to want to do bigger and better things in my career, which has led me to where I am today."
What’s the secret to a rewarding career? arrow graphic element
"It’s very important to take on new challenges, and keep bettering yourself and your skills. For example, over the past few years I’ve expanded my makeup work to include body and face painting. I now have 226,000 fans on Instagram for that work, and that has opened so many doors for me – like working with Xbox, with celebrities, and on music videos."
image of scott cunha from paul mitchell the school rhode island

Scott Cunha

Paul Mitchell The School Rhode Island / Freelance Celebrity Hairstylist / Stylist, Andy LeCompte Salon, West Hollywood, CA

What’s your favorite part of your job? arrow graphic element
"Traveling with my clients. I’m so lucky to have seen so many parts of the world – for work! Plus, I’ve become close friends with other hair and makeup people, it’s like a little family. And I’m close with my clients, too – a lot of them, like the Kardashian and Jenner girls, I’ve worked with for six or seven years, and I’ve gotten to grow with them as they’ve grown."
What are your goals for the future? arrow graphic element
"I’d love to have my own product, and go on from there to build a brand for myself and become a household name – like Paul Mitchell®."
How did your Paul Mitchell® education help you to start your career? arrow graphic element
"It gave me a really good foundation. And I had a lot of confidence coming into a salon because I’d already been working with clients at school."
image of dj quintero from paul mitchell the school san diego

DJ Quintero

Paul Mitchell The School San Diego / Fashion and Celebrity Stylist

How did you get from Paul Mitchell Schools to where you are today? arrow graphic element
"I knew I wanted to work in fashion, so when I graduated I moved to New York City and applied to every major salon. Eventually I got a job with Serge Normant. He’s a top stylist in the fashion world, and I learned about the whole industry from him. When I’m not on a shoot or on the road with a celebrity, I’m behind the chair in his salon."
You recently collaborated with the legendary designer Valentino when he created costumes for the New York City Ballet. What was that like? arrow graphic element
"Nerve-racking – but really cool! Valentino would give me drawings of how he wanted the hair to be, and I would practice the hairstyles in front of him. His vision was so grand and extravagant – huge things on the dancers’ heads – and they had to be able to dance. But we made it work. And now I have this whole book of Valentino sketches at my apartment."
image of stanley nolan from paul mitchell the school las vegas

Stanley Nolan

Paul Mitchell The School Las Vegas / Learning Leader, Paul Mitchell Schools

What do you most enjoy about teaching Paul Mitchell Future Professionals? arrow graphic element
"I love watching them grow in such a short time. They start off super nervous. About three months in they’re a little bit more comfortable. And by about nine months – well, these guys are up to three or four clients a day, they’re in Phase Two, they’re rocking it out and super confident! I just love being party of that journey. It happens so quickly; every day I have to make sure that I’m giving them the best that I can. So it pushes me as well, to be the best educator I can be. I really enjoy it. They make my day every day. We’re like a little family."
You pursued a few other paths before deciding on the beauty industry. What was coming to a Paul Mitchell School as a Future Professional like for you? arrow graphic element
"The energy was so amazing. It seemed like it was where I should have been all my life. For the first time, I thought, “This is what I need to do.” I just was excited about it, and I’ve been excited about it ever since! I get paid to do hair and makeup – you can’t beat that!"
image of jenner feroah from paul mitchell the school provo

Jenner Feroah

Paul Mitchell The School Provo / CEO, Lunatic Fringe

What do you do? arrow graphic element
"I’m the CEO. I oversee all Lunatic Fringe salons, train managers and watch over the business. We open about two new locations a year, and I take the new salons from the first moment of interest through the agreement and training."
Do you have a lot of stylists from Paul Mitchell Schools at your salons? arrow graphic element
"Yes. They know how to be part of a team, they know how to work hard. They seem to be better prepared coming into the beauty industry. "
Tell us about your Paul Mitchell Schools education. arrow graphic element
"I loved it! I got involved in absolutely everything that I could – Student Council, Caper, Beacon – I was Beacon Student of the Year. I was already 24 when I started school, so I knew that this was my career and took every opportunity to learn and grow and see where I naturally thrived. I was also working, so it was a very busy time in my life. But, anyone can do anything really hard for a short amount of time – you just dig in and you do it. There’s always that greater payoff at the end."

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