Paul Mitchell School

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

Satisfaction Rating

I don't remember the schedules too well but I do remember that they were pretty flexible and reliable. I never had much problems with them. The qualifications were not strict which was fantastic for me since I have always been a slow learner. So if you think there might be a problem there I would not worry too much about it. Learning was very easy at Paul Mitchell's. The instructors were very talented and clear in the way they teach and I had no problems with any of my instructors. As a student who was very indecisive about attending this school it was definitely worth the price and I'd recommend attending.

Satisfaction Rating

The schedule is so flexible and convenient for anyone to go school and get the education they need. I would recommend this school for other people. The instructor is very qualified and very knowledgeable of the subject and knows the subject very well. The school is awesome but it cost a lot of money but it is worth it. The material and techniques is awesome. It helps a lot of people get through the schooling thru this process. More hands on than anything. The book is expensive. The classes is valuable to you if you go everyday and not skip or ditch classes every other day. Material is very informative and interesting.

Satisfaction Rating

I had an extremely horrible experience as a student at Paul Mitchell The School San Diego in 2008. I thought that getting my certificate with Paul Mitchell would change my career for the better. It absolutely didn't. My first experience I remember at this school was being bullied, harassed and shunned by the popular elite students at this school. Moreover, if you weren't already popular on the first day of school, your entire experience at the school was probably doomed. The instructors went out of their way to play favorites. If you were not on the teacher's pet list, you knew it every day. Moreover, the teachers and managers went out of their way to preserve this Hindu Caste-like social hierarchies on a regular basis daily. I went out of my way to be nice, to smile, and to do all my work. No matter what I did, I still earned the faculties scorn and ill will. Every day was a popularity pageant.

Sadly, I had just cashed out my 401k to pay for my hair school education. After months and months of being picked on and prodded by some of the students and faculty, I got into an argument with the Dean of the school, I for one brief moment lost my cool with her, and basically screamed at her, "this is not what I had paid to invest my money into." This was after months and months of playing it cool. I was labeled a resistor. They basically made life so impossibly difficult for me, I couldn't finish my education. Luckily, I had a lot of money invested, I basically took a 10,000 dollar loss with Paul Mitchell, and enrolled and graduated with Vidal Sassoon Santa Monica.

For what it's worth, I had I great experience with Sassoon Academy. After taking the California Cosmetology Practical Twice, I earned my license in 2010. My horrible experience with Paul Mitchell has been a blight on my hair career. Not only did they use their operatives at the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology to try to railroad my practical examination, they also went out of their way to Blacklist my hair career and my massage therapy career in San Diego, Ca. I am also a massage therapist and a licensed registered nurse with a BSN from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida. All I can say is, Thank God for Vidal Sassoon.

Satisfaction Rating

I lost my job in 2008 and decided to go to school for esthetics. I went to Paul Mitchell's skin academy for a tour and signed up to start that August. I filled out forms for financial aide due to the fact that I was employed. They told me I had been approved for a federal grant which would cover all but 1,000.00 of the 8,000.00 dollar tuition. I paid the 1,000.00 and thought everything was good. I was over halfway through the program when they tell me I didn't have the grant after all and I would need to turn it into a student loan. I also have the option of dropping out but I would not be refunded my 1,000.00. I was very upset but didn't want to quit since I was almost finished. I finished out the program, graduated but could NOT get them to turn in the necessary paperwork for me to take state exam for my license. I called several times, went to the school with the promise that it had been sent. This went on for months. I finally gave up.

I also found out they did 2 student loans in my name, which I was not aware of. I feel like I was taken advantage of and mislead. I actually signed student loan papers instead of grant papers and they knew this the whole time. I'm having to pay back these loans and I have absolutely nothing to show for them. The loans with interest are 10,000.00 or more. I kept trying to get forbearance but they ran out and now my wages are being garnished. I'm 53 yrs old and working a full time and a part time job to pay this off.

I think someone needs to investigate the school's illegal practices. I was told by the owner's mother who works at school to keep my mouth shut about what happened to me when I tried to warn others. The owners are taking advantage of unknowing and hard working people while they live the rich life in their million plus dollar home on the lake. DON'T GO TO ANY PAUL MITCHELL SCHOOL. You can get the same at a community college as you can at Paul Mitchell for about a fourth of the cost and have REAL instructors.

Satisfaction Rating

I had a wonderful experience at Paul Mitchell beauty school. Showed the stylist a picture of what I wanted and got exactly that. I was well pleased.

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Satisfaction Rating

I was taken in by a very convincing speech about why I should go Paul Mitchell The School of Atlanta. I regret it more than anything in the world, due to the horrible experience I have gone through since starting the program. When I was first looking into schools in early 2014, I was immediately drawn into the glitz and glamour of going to a Paul Mitchell School. I love PM products, and thought if the school is half as good as the products, it's gonna be the best experience of my life. I was so wrong.

I was told on my tour that my $15, 000 tuition would cover EVERYTHING I would need for the entire 1-year duration of the program. While it did include a mediocre kit and lackluster training DVDs and books, I was still forced to buy additional training supplies on a weekly basis - extra doll heads, scissor sharpening and razors, makeup for required makeup courses that would have to be used on several other students during class time, combs, clips, papers, pens, dye and a monster car park fee because there was absolutely NO free on-street parking. I had to pay on average an extra $20-50 a week on extra training materials, transportation, and clothes that would get easily worn working 35 hrs a week being splashed with dye.

My kit was pathetic, cheap, and virtually useless. The handle on it broke within my first two weeks of attending forcing me to have to carry everything inside it for the duration of my education. The scissors are not good enough quality to be used in your career after school. The combs and brushes are flimsy and most are not heat resistant. The clippers' batteries only last for about ten minutes before needing a charge. On time after all of the students left for the day, the kits were raided by administrators to retrieve our capes. We were not allowed to take our kits home with us, yet admin could just raid out kits whenever they wanted. These kits, btw, cost $3,000! If we were allowed to assemble our own kits, we could have had better materials for half as much. It was just another way to gauge students for every penny they could.

When working on clients, we had to leave our kits under are stations, which would get raided by students stealing items, constantly. Midway through my training everything in my kit was stolen which pushed me back four weeks of education due to no tools to use on clients or work on my mannequins. When I went to my learning leaders, to let them know what was going on they had me fill out stolen items report, and told me they would view the cameras. Weeks went by with me having barely any tools to use on my clients or mannequins, and I had heard nothing from any learning leader regarding my things. I was forced to repurchase almost every item in my kit, including the kit itself, plus a tripod and four doll heads. But it took me a while to do this, which set me back weeks in earning my credits, which hurt me in the long run because now I'm owing the school money due to lack of activity.

I went to the principal asking what can I do to help the situation and they told me they never looked in the cameras because they didn't know my things were even stolen. Then later finding out from the time I started school until now 6 months in not one credit was even entered into the system, because I had made a minute error in filling out the sheet. Instead of telling me they just never entered the credit. At this point now I am at a loss what to do. I am scheduled to be done in September and now time is running out and I don't feel confident that I will graduate on time.

The staff is dreadfully incompetent! Its turnover so high here, yet some teachers are allowed to stay and continually slack off constantly. You have to chase them to sign a credit off and the belittle you in front of your clients or you have to beg to receive a client. They don't take the time to teach you, and I still don't know the color system because I have not learned that much about it since core. When I ask for more help the teachers who do want to help are overwhelmed and can't really do anything except try and help you when you have a client.

Besides the teachers, be prepared to deal with a TON of student drama! The people that go here are straight up CATTY. Police have been called, fights have been started, numerous things had been stolen. Even the nicest person is not immune to the name-calling and cliquey-ness. Prepare to enter high school, part 2. This school constantly promotes a book called BE NICE OR ELSE, a book that encourages students to suppress negativity in their lives, not watch violent movies, and basically be fake to everybody they meet in order to get what they want, yet it's one of the meanest environments I've ever been in.

Speaking of high school, I wasn't prepared to spend a lot of time making posters with magic markers and magazine cut-outs. And they waste a lot of valuable learning time doing things like pancake breakfasts, "free hugs", and charity. I know a ton of students that can't get jobs because they just aren't taught anything! Favorite students get passed without a second thought, and the others are either forced out or made to work twice as hard for their grades. Now am left feeling defeated. I haven't learned much and I am at a lost as to what to do and now would just like a refund of my money. I felt I was cheated out of my education.

Expert Review

ConsumerAffairs Research Team

The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.

As a top name in the beauty industry, it is no surprise that Paul Mitchell also turns out 14,000 qualified graduates each year.

  • Comprehensive programs: They offer everything from full cosmetology to barbering or even teacher training.
  • Locations all over: There are more than 100 U.S. locations for you to choose from.
  • Accreditation: Paul Mitchell Schools are accredited by the NACCAS and COE and they are recognized by the Department of Education.
  • Location specific websites: Find out which programs are available at the locations nearest you, with individual websites devoted to each of their locations.
  • Online tuition calculator: Find out about costs before wasting any time on applications or admissions.
  • Best for High school grads, hobbyists and job seekers.

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Paul Mitchell School Company Profile

Company Name:
Paul Mitchell School
Year Founded:
20705 Centre Pointe Pkwy
Santa Clarita
Postal Code:
United States