Young Americans: Cantrell Mitchell Jr.

The true definition of a triple threat, Cantrell Mitchell Jr. has vision, talent and drive. —Kelsey Murray

Just 25 years old, Cantrell Mitchell Jr. is an editorial freelance stylist, lead educator of Ergo styling tools and an originator of the socially engaging education environment, Hair House. Five years ago, he relocated from his hometown of Chicago to California to pursue his original passion, film. He attended West Valley Occupational Center in Woodland Hills, CA to study hairstyling. He figured knowing the trade would support him through film school and lead to a career in cinematography. “Hair was the ticket to get on set and get close to producers,” Mitchell says.

Instead he fell in love with the beauty industry. “With film there is always pre-production, production and post-production,” Mitchell says. “With hair there is instant gratification. I like the idea that I can instantly create art with my hands.”


Enjoying this story? Subscribe to the American Salon Newsletter

Get inspirational trends, techniques, tips, education and the latest beauty news delivered right to your inbox! To read on the go, sign up today to get weekly beauty news and updates.

And that he does. You’ll find Mitchell everywhere from campaign and advertising sets to lifestyle and editorial shoots, but when not on set, he’s traveling, creating curriculums and planning classes.

Mitchell knows he’s garnered success at a young age, but understands there is more to learn. “When assisting someone, focus less on the fact that they’re taking you under their wing and more so on being your own bird,” Mitchell says. “Let them see you as a beautiful bird, flying high and they will want you as their wings, as opposed to being under their wings.”

His close friend and personal mentor Robert Reed, owner of Ergo Research, says that Cantrell is one of the best discoveries in his professional career. “I rarely meet someone with the passion and magic in the way that he demonstrates and touches hair,” Reed says. “He has a visualization in his mind; he sees hair in a finished form before he begins working on the hairstyle itself.”

Mitchell hopes to sign with an agency, open another Hair House loft and build a chain of schools around the world, teaching his craft to those who have just as much passion. “I feel I will be incredibly productive and I am going to make an impact,” Mitchell says. “I want to look back on my life and say, ‘You did a great job. You did a really great job.’” ✂

Photography: Robert Lynden/Sole Icon Productions