Citing a decision made by its corporate headquarters, Paul Mitchell the School of Santa Barbara recently posted to its website an announcement stating it will close at the end of September. “We are very distraught over how it affects the staff and the future professionals,” said the post.

The school, one of Paul Mitchell’s five southern California campuses, opened its 525 Anacapa Street salon and beauty school over eight years ago. Since then, hundreds of “future professionals,” as Paul Mitchell calls its students, have offered $10 haircuts while honing their cosmetology skills with teachers known as “learning leaders.” On its website, the school lists 17 team members currently working at the Anacapa Street salon in areas ranging from admissions and financial aid to cutting and color.

According to a recorded phone message, the Santa Barbara school has stopped enrolling new students, whom it’s directing to Paul Mitchell campuses in Sherman Oaks, Pasadena, Costa Mesa, San Diego, Temecula, and Fresno. “Our number one priority is completing our future professionals in a timely manner,” said the school, whose 48 students are being directed to other campuses.

“It really has to do with real estate,” said the school’s director Sam Burns. “The Santa Barbara location is not the best for a beauty school,” he said citing high property costs. After the building’s lease expired, the owner group dissolved, with it liquidating the $2-million Santa Barbara campus.

In its eight years of existence, the school graduated approximately 120 hairstylists per year and raised over $100,000 for local charities, said Burns.

The beauty schools and salons are a product of John Paul Mitchell Systems, the hair-care company founded in 1980 by former Redken employee John Paul DeJoria and hairstylist Paul Mitchell.


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