Born in 1936 in Carnwath, Scotland, Paul Mitchell’s passion for hair began early in life. His mother was the first hairdresser in Carnwath, and at the age of sixteen, Paul followed suit by enrolling in London’s Morris School of Hairdressing. With his world-class talent and sharp, innovative eye, Paul soon created a revolution within the hairdressing industry. He helped shape and popularize the art of hair sculpting, introduced hair products with Hawaiian awapuhi ginger, and created the first cutting club in the United States at his Superhair Salon in 1973, where hairdressers from across the country came for high-quality training.
While hair was always his primary focus, Paul was also interested in sustainability and pushing the limits of innovation. Alongside John Paul DeJoria, Paul founded the solar-powered John Paul Mitchell Systems® Awapuhi Farm in order to sustainably source Hawaiian awapuhi ginger for their products. However, they also ventured outside of the industry to pioneer one of the world’s first solar and wind-powered racecars. Designed in collaboration with Jonathan Tennyson in 1987, the 19-foot-long car was covered with 150 solar panels and named the Mana La, which means "Power of the Sun" in Hawaiian. Today, the Mana La resides in the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, where it represents the sustainability ideals of both Paul Mitchell and John Paul DeJoria. To this day, John Paul Mitchell Systems® strives to carry on Paul’s legacy through initiatives dedicated to giving back to the planet and creating a more sustainable workplace.