Within only a few years after entering the beauty industry, Cantrell Mitchell’s work has graced the covers of magazines such as South Bay Magazine and Urban Gentlemen Magazine. Cantrell developed a strong ethic for building his portfolio and has styled for many fashion shows and editorial photo shoots. As a cosmetology student, Cantrell entered and won the Beacon Competition, which has inspired him to enter NAHA and Wella Trend Vision in 2013.

Cantrell’s passion for the Beauty industry encouraged him to educate with leading companies such as “ERGO Styling Tools” and “OC Network Productions.” Trade show platform work, in-salon classes and cosmetology schools have allowed Cantrell to wholeheartedly share his passion for designing hair. Cantrell brings his excitement right off the runways and into the classroom. His warm and welcoming approach is evident in every class he presents.

You weren’t originally planning on becoming a hairdresser, right?  How did you fall into this industry?

I wanted to be a Cinematographer. My family actually recommended I look into getting a trade before starting Film school, which was my original plan when I moved to California 4 years ago. I chose Cosmetology knowing that hairstyling would be my ticket onto a movie set.



We have been friends with Brenton Lee for years…tell us about your experience assisting him at Salon Sessions.

Brenton is the older brother I never had. He shares knowledge in such a gentle and efficient way that I one day hope to glean.


You have really utilized Youtube and blogging to the fullest. Why do you think it is so important for all stylists out there to do the same?

There will come a time where new clients won’t go to a salon/stylist without YouTubing and/or googling them first.


You also mention you have made all of your videos via your IPhone. What program do you use?

Yes, I do all my editing on my iphone: For Video editing I use Splice, and SocialCam For Pictures I use Instagram, Instaframe and Picswithwords.


During your career at West Valley, you really were a dedicated and involved. What do you feel was the greatest benefit for being such a stellar cosmo student?

Having huge dreams and goals, working for an Industry leading tool company and an open mind.


Since you have graduated you have done in one year what some do in 3… What is your advice to current students ?

Find an Artist that does what you aspire to do and assist/shadow them. Surround yourself with talented Hair stylists. Stay humble!



How did you become an educator for Ergo? What has this experience taught you?

After the founder of Ergo, Robert Reed, spoke at my school I followed him out to his car and told him I wanted in. I assisted the senior educators, Jerry Tyler and Chad Clark until being given my first class. Educating keeps me on my toes with my craft, as well as making me into a confident speaker.


Beacon, Why should every student compete? And share your amazing experience with us! 

Beacon is a life changing experience. Beacon will put you in the same room with our industries leaders, the networking possibilities are endless. I loved Beacon! I was able to talk with my Role model Vivienne Mackinder, see NAHA for the first time and meet ROBERT LOBETTA!!!

cantrell and lobetta

We love Faatemah’s faithful assistant, Amy Jo Beniek! How did you score doing her hair for NAHA?

The Goddess, Faatemah, was one of the amazing speakers at Beacon, so Amy was there, as well. I had the pleasure of previously meeting them both at a trade show and as we were reuniting Amy said she wasn’t sure what she was going to do with her hair and that’s when I offered!


We have crossed paths with you at a handful of big shows, Why do you think it is so important to attend these events?

Shows offer great education that might normally be based far away from where you live. The networking opportunities are endless and tons of discounts on Tools, Products, and Education.

Some say it’s best to focus on a specialty, what do you say to that?

I agree, but this Industry is Harder when you only do One. My current two are Hair & Wig Design. So I’ve replaced the gigs that require you to know both Hair and Makeup, with gigs that are renting one of my wigs.


Our Hair Nerd, Carrie, is a lefty too! Do you find it challenging at times being a lefty artist?

No, it gets confusing sometimes because most education is taught right-handed but most Lefties are used to translating the content in our head.


Cantrell, you compete often. What competitions do you have your sights set on in 2013?

Naha 2013 and possibly Wella Trend Vision.


Session work is obviously your passion. What advice do you have for students and young stylists wanting to work towards a career in editorial?

Don’t refuse a job because of money. Be proactive in putting together your own photoshoots. Join ModelMayhem.com that is a great site with access to Models, Makeup Artists, Photographer, etc.



If you could only take 3 items on set with you, what would you pack?

Ergo Smoothing Iron

light flexible hairspray



Most amazing experience in the industry, so far?

Meeting Robert Reed.


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