Take a moment to get to know some extraordinary Vanguard College of Cosmetology, A Paul Mitchell Partner School, alumni.
Their stories speak to the power of dreaming big—and getting a great education.
Experience in education and the beauty industry…
Growing up I was the child playing in everyone’s hair and trying new styles, from there I went on to do hair and makeup for family and friends. My love for the beauty industry continued to blossom and it lead me to working in guest services in a salon, which turned into attended cosmetology school and graduating. Now I am a licensed cosmetologist, and I also get to share my passion for our school with all of our prospective Future Professionals as well as our current Future Professionals as their Admissions Leader.
Are you a Paul Mitchell School graduate?
I am a proud graduate of the Vanguard College of Cosmetology, a Paul Mitchell Partner School.
My mentor, or the person who has most inspired me is…
The person who inspired me and continues to inspire me is Courtney Daze. I consider her the little sister I never had because I have been knowing her since she was in pre-school and babysat for her until I graduated from High School. The reason she inspires me is because she was born completely deaf and that has not stopped her for one second. She went on to excel through her schooling, graduating top of her class as Valedictorian and with many academic accomplishments. She is now in her first year of college and excelling not only academically, but personally as well. Her perseverance and kind heart will forever inspire me.
My favorite thing about working at Vanguard is…
What I love most about working at Vanguard is the constant support for you to be your absolute best not only professionally but also personally.
To me, living beautifully means…
Living beautifully to me means being a positive light in every aspect of your life, even when it is hard to look past the darkness.
A pioneer (as Mark would say) with the first graduating class of Vanguard College of Cosmetology, A Paul Mitchell Partner School, Garrett is blessed to be the son of two wonderful hairstylists and salon owners. His late father, Neal Halphen, owned a salon in Baton Rouge for 20 years. His mother Lydia was the artistic director of Lockworks and is still doing hair after 39 years. He is the owner/creative director and stylist of The Garrett Neal Studio. Business has been growing and expanding ever since opening! He loves motivating, inspiring and educating the Rising Stars on his team. Garrett loves putting all of his creativity and enthusiasm into his business and making people feel good about the way they look!
Some of his accolades and accreditations include:
• Six years at Paul Mitchell Schools
• Gathering Advanced Training (Las Vegas)
• We Run with Scissors Advanced Training (Connecticut)
• International beauty show in New York
• Three weeks at the Vidal Sassoon Academy in London 2012, Advanced Color and Haircutting
• Revolution Advanced Business weekend seminar 2015 (Slidell)
• Winner of Beauty and the Big Easy 2013/2014
• Member of Paul Mitchell’s Color Club
• Dozens of in-salon and out-of-salon advanced education classes with Paul Mitchell National Educators
What do I do:
I create unique, head-turning styles that get my guests noticed! Most importantly, I strive for you to feel like family when you leave my place of creativity!
Are there other Paul Mitchell graduates working at my salon:
Yes, 100% of my team is Vanguard graduates. My commitment to Mark Palermo and my team is to keep the culture alive and well and I do so by only hiring rising stars from my Vanguard/Paul Mitchell family. Currently I have eight Vanguard graduates as full-time team members. I hire them into their first salon; my goals are to maintain a long-lasting relationship with my team and that the Garrett Neal Studio will be the last salon that they work at.
Also, my beautiful wife worked the front desk at Vanguard in Baton Rouge (we met each other while I was in school there.)
Who are my mentors:
I have many mentors in this industry including Robert Cromeans, for his passion for creative business; Stephanie Kocielski, for creating magic in this industry that pushes students to the next level; John Paul DeJoria for creating a space for schools like this to exist and for showing me what being humble and giving back looks like; and most importantly my mom and dad (Lydia and Neal), for being hairdressers themselves and showing me that you can have a fun career just by being a DayMaker. I wouldn't be the hairstylist or the man that I am without seeing that as an example every day.
"Every guest, every time!" and "Promise less, perform more."
What I love most about Paul Mitchell Schools:
The culture and the feel of family. My advice to all Future Professionals is to find a salon with ongoing education in and out of the salon. Find a group of people that love and support you in all domains of your life.