By Nichole Harwood 

The next generation of beauticians are ready to take the beauty industry by storm, and they are not alone. The Aveda Institute of New Mexico’s elite team of educators is by their side imparting wisdom and ensuring their student’s success while encouraging creativity and innovation.

Owner and CEO of the Aveda Institute of New Mexico, Mark Pardo

Owner and CEO of the Aveda Institute of New Mexico, Mark Pardo, said he likes to consider himself the Chief Visionary Officer (CVO) rather than the CEO of the school. 

“I like seeing people take advantage of opportunities and find their way to their own meaning of success,” Pardo said


The beauty industry is a longtime home to Pardo, who grew up learning by observation at his dad’s business, Pardo’s Barber Shop. The family business ultimately became the platform that launched Mark Pardo SalonSpa—the largest independently-owned salon in the state—and the Aveda Institute of New Mexico. Though much has changed, one thing never has, Mark’s mission to provide the highest quality of education to the next generation of world-class beauty professionals and his commitment to giving back to the community that built him. 

“I like to refer to them as future professionals,” Pardo said. “Yes, they’re students, but they’re going into a professional industry, and they’re constantly evolving from the very first day of school. The passion that created the opportunity to have them come in and choose this profession is always there, and it’s the commitment to that passion that allows them to create the success and opportunity that they make for themselves.”

This year the Aveda Institute of New Mexico is ready to introduce a new generation of not just stylists but barbers as well. The school’s Barber program debuted in fall 2022, giving students 1200 hours of training that helped prepare them to take the state barber license. The barbers are open on the floor as of this week, and guests of the institute can expect complimentary traditional hot towel shaves from students as they practice in early February.

While the newest program has the students thrilled to start hammering out their barbering skills, students of every program have come in droves, filled with enthusiasm to add their creative outlook to the beauty industry in New Mexico.  Cosmetology Lead Educator Dillon Spranley said that ensuring students laugh and enjoy classes ensures they are more open to understanding their teaching. 

Cosmetology Lead Educator Dillon Spranley

“You definitely have to have a passion to be a teacher to help the students grow,” Spranley said. “I think what inspires me is how fulfilling it is to be teaching the next generation of beauty industry people. One of my first students does movie star’s hair and is super successful, and I have been connecting with him. Seeing how far he’s come is crazy and rewarding, and he’s kind of an inspiration to the future.” 

Students such as this help to encourage educators as they teach each generation. While the territory is always new for educators and students, Spranley encourages students to continue to chase their dreams not just in the wake of the New Year but throughout their lives. 

“The only things that are worth it in life are the things that are scary,” Spranley said. “If you’re not afraid to do something, then you probably will get it easily done. I think it’s more rewarding if you have to go through a lot of emotions to get to something that you really want. The scariest things are the things that are worth it.” 

Interested in becoming a student at the Aveda Institute of New Mexico? Class openings for both cosmetology and barbering are open NOW! Click here to learn more about how you can become a student!

Interested in the latest style article? Click here to read our last article: Passion’s Story raises money to Open New Mexico’s first Nonprofit Salon