Hair Isn't the Only Grooming at Twinsburg's Paul Mitchell Academy

Students of Paul Mitchell-The Ohio Academy share their amazing experiences and how they are getting life-changing education.

When Sonya Rookstool decided to enroll at Paul Mitchell-The Ohio Academy, it was thanks to a deep family connection that she remembered fondly.

"I grew up in my aunt’s salon," Rookstool said. "I would hang out there a lot and in high school I was always cut everyone’s bangs and I was really good at it. I just knew that cosmetology school was for me."

Walking through the doors of Paul Mitchell-The Ohio Academy, Twinsburg’s local cosmetology school, gives people a taste of the fashion industry. But choosing to become a student could very well change your life.

Before admittance, students are required to take a placement test. This examines a student’s typical learning behaviors and habits. At Paul Mitchell, they use the multiple intelligence theory to measure what type of learners they have. This helps teachers, like Alishia West, create lesson plans that cater to all of her students despite their different learning intelligences.

Once accepted, students are given their cosmetology kits containing all the necessary tools they will need to start their careers as hairstylists. Students must complete 1,500 hours, which can take up to 10 months, in order to graduate. During these hours they attend four core classes covering the subjects of cutting, makeup, color and texture.

In the color class, students get hands-on experience with hair dyeing by practicing various scenarios on mannequins. During these exercises, students work in groups, where they perform the entire hair dyeing process from start to finish. This includes foiling of the hair and mixing the dye at the school's color bar. Practicing on a mannequin allows students to have freedoms with creative problem solving. So if they do screw up, they aren't ruining a real customer’s appearance. However, as the students progress through the program they are given the opportunity to apply for an honors program where they get their own hairdressing stations.

Student Katie Ganazdea said she came to Paul Mitchell because of its great reputation.

"I researched and it’s a really good school," Ganazdea said. "We get a really good education."

In the other classroom, students in the core class work on their "look books."

"[The book is] a style profile of looks the student can create, and they hand it to their guests as they sit down, in order to show the guest what they already know how to do," instructor Ashley Sampsel explained.

Jessica Schalml said, while showing off her color wheel page to be placed in her look book, that she came to Paul Mitchell for even more experience.

"I went to beauty school before, and I heard a lot of good things about Paul Mitchell," Schalml said. "I already have my state license, but you learn a lot more here, it’s a really good school."

Because all of the stylists are students, the school can offer services at a discounted rate to the public.

The school also hosts princess parties for young girls. During these events girls bring their friends and get makeovers, updos, manicures, and the occasional face painting. The school decorates the floor for the party and guests get a room to have cake, ice cream and open presents.

Students leave the Twinsburg Paul Mitchell Ohio Academy with a variety of opportunities at their fingertips. This year 25 students went on a trip to Las Vegas for three days of hands-on educational training.

Others had the opportunity to visit New Orleans Fashion Week to do makeup, and another group stylized Kent State University students attending Bajgin Fashion Week for a photo shoot.

One student even took her talents to LA Fashion Week.

Students said it’s not just learning how to be behind the chair, but learning how to maximize your knowledge and take it out into the real world.