Service Review - New Paul Mitchell Salon School in Charleston

Some of you may remember that back in August, I did a post about a new Salon School that had opened up in North Charleston... and I said that I couldn't give my personal opinion about it because I hadn't been there...

Well, I finally let the combination of curiosity and a dire need for a trim convince me to try them out!

WOW - for $10 I got a complete wash, cut and style with one of several students who was about half way through her training at the Paul Mitchell Salon School.  I was greeted at the desk by Celeste, and after a brief consultation about what I wanted was whisked away to the wash house - a large, airy room with over 10 sinks, outfitted with a variety of Paul Mitchell products...

I warned Celeste that I was there to because of my blog and set about asking questions while I was being treated to a scalp massage... The program requires that they complete a number of training hours and pass both a written and mens hair cut test before they are permitted to start taking clients.  After that, they enter the second phase of their training, where they work on perfecting basic techniques, while still learning more and more... the final phase of the program before graduation is all about getting creative - none of the classes have gotten to this stage yet, but from what I saw, Celeste and several of her cohort looked well on their way to being ready.

Once I was shampooed and conditioned, we made our way back to the main area to her station, and she set about to work... The salon itself was large, airy and despite the number of students working on clients and mannequins it didn't feel too crowded or busy.

Celeste was able to get right to work, as were the students working on the other six clients who were there that day.. including one lady who was there to check out the cool Color Bar:

where they give you a consultation about your hair color and then mix everything right in front of you, explaining how each element will work.  Celeste recommended that I, as a busy mom, might benefit from trying out one of their demi-permanent colors, that washes out in six weeks, rather than a full on color that requires regular maintenance - in case life dictates that I can't get back their on a regular schedule... 

Once Ach Baby is born, I may just try that out - color services start at only $30!

While she was busy sectioning, snipping, razoring and shaping my hair, we talked about why she was at the school... turns out that we had a lot in common - she's a marketing professional who worked on micro-blogging for several clients, but always wanted to go back to school and learn the salon arts.  When the economy started to slow, she jumped on the opportunity to go back to school and started her program with a small cohort in April (the inaugural class).  New classes form every few months, so there were students who had started in July on the salon floor as well, and some new students who had started in September who were still working on their initial theory.

Celeste and I also had other things in common, and I met a fellow Canadian who was studying there as well.  All in all, everyone from students to staff to the supervising teachers were friendly, helpful and professional.

I have to say that the cut took a little longer than my usual 'professional' salon experience, but I appreciated Celeste's attention to detail and careful work and part of that extra time was the getting to know each other process.  Plus, was it really a bad thing that I had to sit and be pampered for an extra 15 - 20 minutes?  I think not...

If you're looking for a new experience (that you will want to repeat) and you live in the Charleston area, I highly recommend checking out the new Paul Mitchell Salon School:

Call today to set up an appointment!

Paul Mitchell The School Charleston
4952 Centre Pointe Drive Suite 114

North Charleston, SC 29418
Phone: (843) 725-0246

PS. There are several schools around the US -
if you're not in Charleston, find out where the nearest school is by clicking here