Hannah and Her Scissors

Hanna Compton has wanted to be a hairdresser for as long she can remember. Her father is a set builder in Hollywood, and when she was young Hanna used to visit him on location. Instead of watching the actors, Hanna spent time with the hairdressers and makeup artists and just knew that someday that's what she wanted to do. Hanna had her heart set on attending a Paul Mitchell school in Alhambra, CA, called The Cao Institute of Aesthetics. When my sales associate, Kristine Compton—Hanna is her stepdaughter—told me about Hanna's passion for our industry, I reached out to Scott Cole, who owns two Paul Mitchell schools. He introduced me to Alee and Peggy Lee, who own The Cao Institute, and graciously set up an interview with Hanna.

Brett Vinovich
Brett Vinovich

The Cao Institute of Aesthetics is a Paul Mitchell Partner School, and everyone who works there is committed to helping the students not only prepare for their state boards but also succeed in a salon or spa, in business and in life. Teachers are called "Learning Leaders," and they're trained to draw out the artist in every student and prepare them to compete in the real world. One way that The Cao Institute of Aesthetics differs from other schools is that it provides each student with the supplies they'll need all year: a tool kit from Paul Mitchell that includes items like shears, a blow-dryer, a flat iron, a tool belt and much more; a nail kit from OPI that includes everything from liquid-and-powder systems to a range of fashion-forward nail color; and a complete makeup kit from Auraline Beauty that includes foundations, powders, concealers and a complete set of brushes. The Lees believe that education is an adventure and that the learning experience needs to be fun. That's why they introduce their students to the world of fashion, music, film and much more. Being so close to Los Angeles, the school can make this world accessible to its students.

Hanna Compton
Hanna Compton

"We have students from all over the country who enroll in our school or transfer here from other schools because of the opportunities we provide," Peggy says.


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Alee is one of the few Paul Mitchell master educators to own and operate a Paul Mitchell school. "I learned from many of the industry's greats, and I wish to pass on the knowledge that I have accumulated," he says.

The Cao Institute of Aesthetics in Alhambra, CA
The Cao Institute of Aesthetics in Alhambra, CA

Hanna started classes at The Cao Institute last month. I thought you might want to follow her progress through a beauty school dedicated to developing Future Professionals, so she'll be blogging for us at blog.americansalonmag.com. You can also follow Hanna on twitter.com/americansalon or read my monthly updates in this space each month. Please join me in wishing Hanna the best of luck. —Brett Vinovich, publisher, [email protected]


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