Dominic Ryan found his way to Paul Mitchell The School Fayetteville at age 28, as a single dad raising two sons. After high school, Dominic attended college “very briefly, chasing football dreams that didn’t quite pan out” before enlisting in the U.S. Army. After serving for six years and being stationed in Germany, with missions to North Africa, he returned home and attended school to study business before landing jobs in retail, then management, and car sales.
“Cutting hair has always been a part of me,” Dominic says. In high school, his mom used to cut his hair, but “she was not the best at it so I started cutting my own hair. That led to my brothers’ hair, and then all around school. In the military, I was the barracks barber, the deployment barber, saving everybody money all the time.”
One day, as he was cutting a friend’s hair and complaining about his long hours as a car salesman and not having enough time with his sons, Dominic’s friend asked, “Why don’t you do this for a job?”
Discovering that the GI Bill could help with his tuition, Dominic started exploring nearby cosmetology and barbering schools. His biggest concern was how a school would set him up for success after graduation and how he would find a job in an industry he didn’t know anything about. Learning about Paul Mitchell Schools’ close connections with guest artists, educators, and local salons made his decision easy. “Obviously, it’s still up to me to show that I would be a good employee, but seeing the school set up that environment was A-one for me,” he recalls.
Today Dominic works at Boston’s Finest Barber Lounge in Charlotte, North Carolina. Inspired by school activities where he provided haircuts for the homeless and helped to organize a “soup day” where people could come in for soup and sandwiches, and wash their clothes, Dominic loves using his skills to make a difference for people.
DOMINIC’S WORDS OF ADVICE FOR FUTURE PROFESSIONALS:
Don’t fly under the radar. When you sign up at a Paul Mitchell School, ask about the teams they have. Get the full experience. If you just clock in, clock out, and go home, you’ll miss out on so, so much.
WORDS OF ADVICE FOR THE WORLD:
There’s too much going on to be negative. We all have stuff going on but everybody has something going on. What might be your worst day could easily be somebody else’s best day, so let’s just be positive and kind to each other.