6 tips for choosing the right cosmetology school for your future
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6 Tips for Choosing the Right Cosmetology School for Your Future

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Cosmetology School for Beginners

Let me guess; you’re probably thinking about going to cosmetology school and don’t know where to start.

There are so many options available, and you may be having a hard time deciding the best one for you. Girl, trust me, you’re not alone! Picking the right wig to wear is hard enough for me. I can only imagine how choosing the best school may be challenging for you.

Don’t worry about a thing because everything will be just fine! Sit back, relax, and grab your notepad because I’m going to give you six tips that will make choosing the perfect beauty school a breeze!

hair school salon

Six Tip Guide


Before choosing any school, check to see if it is accredited.

A school that is accredited means that the school’s curriculum has been approved and covers all of the material needed to pass the state board exam. Accreditation makes an institution more credible and helps schools to be recognized by employers nationwide.

Attending a cosmetology school that is not accredited is almost like going to college for four years without receiving a degree.

Did you know:

• Schools that are not accredited does not offer federal financial aid
• Most states require you to graduate from an accredited cosmetology school before you can sit for the licensing exam
• Those who attend accredited cosmetology school land better jobs
• Students who attend accredited institutions receive a more quality education
• If you attend an accredited institutions can receive more hands-on training.

Choosing a school that is accredited is vital to your journey in becoming a professional cosmetologist (Check out this article: pros and cons of being a cosmetologist). Whatever school you pick, make sure it is one that is accredited!

hair programs

Develop a checklist

It is helpful to know what you are looking for before selecting a school. Make a list of your top priorities and arrange them from most significant to least importance.

Would you prefer a school that is heavy on job placement or one that is near home and easily accessible? Would you prefer an institution that is more affordable or one that offers hands-on training in your area of interest?

I find that this step is beneficial because it saves time that you can spend on other things such as touring the campus or gathering financial aid. It also helps you to know what you are looking for and not be indecisive when it’s time to choose a school. Knowing what you value the most will help narrow your search and make the process a lot smoother.

What are some of the must-haves on your list?

Draw It Out

Have you ever seen a credit card ad that compares and contrast different cards and what they offer?

Some may charge higher APR while others offer no APR interest for the first six months of your banking with them. Now, I’m no financial expert, but it helps me to better choose from my options when I can see them in front of me.

Think of this step as each school and everything that it has in front of you on a chart. I find that this action helps me to see the pros and cons of my options with ease.

Now, let’s see what each school is working with and what they could potentially offer you as a future student.

model hair

Here’s what you need to do:

#1 Make a chart with five rows and six columns

#2 Write the name of each school in the first row and factors such as Special Programs, Location, Cost, and Hands-on Training in the first column. (Feel free to choose your categories or add more)

#3 Highlight options that align with your checklist

#4 Begin to narrow your list based on your observation

Schedule a tour

Reading information about a school online is good, but touring the campus in person is even better.

Now that you’ve narrowed down your search, I highly recommend scheduling a tour of your top schools. Touring the campus will help you to get an idea of the environment, people, and classes. Visiting the campus will also grant you the opportunity to ask faculty, staff, and students about any questions that you may have.

You will be able to see if the school is really “putting their money where their mouth is” Maybe you can sit through a live class or talk to instructors about the program that interests you. You can even chat with current students and ask them about their experience.

If you want to get an actual feel for your future school, be sure to schedule a tour right away!

Closeup of a female hands busy typing on a laptop

Ask for advice

Maybe going on those tours has helped you to narrow down your list even more and now you’re in your final two. Sometimes all we need to seal the deal is a second opinion.

I encourage asking family, friends, or colleagues in the beauty industry for their advice on which school you should choose. Chances are, they were once in your shoes asking someone else the same thing that you’re asking them. Maybe you could ask them about their experience in cosmetology school or about some of the courses they took to help them get where they are.

You could also ask their inspiration for choosing the school they went. Since they have been in your shoes before, their advice can be constructive in finalizing your decision to what school you will choose.

Be sure to have a listening ear!

salon blow dry

Go with your gut

After I’ve done everything that my logical mind can do, I just go with my gut.

Okay, I know I’m not the only that has those “gut feelings.” You know, the feeling that you feel when something is just meant to be. I encourage you to listen to your instinct and trust yourself, girl you got this!

Out of all the tips mentioned, I believe this may be the most important. Advice from family and friends is helpful, but you know yourself more than anyone else.

If you listen to what your instinct is telling you, you can’t go wrong!

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Get Ready, Set, Learn!

It wasn’t so hard, was it? Well, whatever school you choose, I am happy for you! Congratulations and cheers to being a step closer to your dream.

What are some tips that you have for choosing the right cosmetology school? Leave them in the comments!

About EdLeea Brewster

EdLeea is a Mass Media Arts student at Clark Atlanta University. She enjoys thrifting, blogging, and finding Vegan desserts on Pinterest. She often switches it up by trying new hairstyles, outfits, and makeup looks. She lives her life through the famous Maya Angelou quote "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."

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9 thoughts on “6 Tips for Choosing the Right Cosmetology School for Your Future

  1. Amy M says:

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    I haven’t thought of going to cosmetology school because I didn’t plan on getting into the hair industry until last year. The styles that interest me aren’t taught at schools in my area to be honest. I enjoy doing my hair and my daughters hair and my family’s crochets or sew ins. The longer I’ve been with PLE group chat the more I know i want to try to make wigs more so for myself than for my business to see how it goes. I’ve been searching for my passion and it’s nagging me to take this step. If things work out I do plan on getting the proper education so that I can learn to color and cut the wigs. It’s just so much to learn and expensive. But I’m determined to make my hair business grow and allow it to teach me more.

  2. Angela wynn says:

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    I personally did not go to cosmetology school because i don’t have the “gift” of doing hair. At least not for someone else. I feel that as a cosmologists that should be an outstanding feature that one needs.

  3. Levita winfield says:

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    I went to cosmetology school and did my 1000 hrs. For me, it was a great learning experience on one hand and a very catty high school like feeling on the other hand. Let’s start with the catty high school like experience lol…there were a lot of women and there would be a lot of arguments over chairs and tools because there weren’t any assigned seats. I was more first come ..that model was to try and force students to arrive early it worked but caused a lot of fights …everyone had the same kit and labeled with names but for some strange reasons people were fussing over tools ..it became very annoying or hostile for some ..but for me I Had a goal and was determined to complete the course so I never let it dull my light ..
    Moving on to my great learning experience..there were many outside teachers at the school doing workshops and live demos which in turn provide students with options to take on different certification classes, like various extension methods and color and cutting methods as well as products. The classes were small and ran by great informed/educated professionals with years of hands-on training. Not only was I absorbing information like a sponge from teachers, I was able to learn a lot from other students. Many were stylist that been doing hair for years without a license and had great work ethics and tricks.
    While in school, there was a lot of competitions, which forced you to always bring your A game to show off your talent and style. We went on a lot of trips to many salons in able to actually get a feel for what was to come in the future.
    While in school, I was able to work on live clients, which helped master what I learned and of course build my confidence. This is a big part of working with clients and feeling confident enough to complete the hairstyle.
    I was able to attend beauty shows and gain so much useful knowledge.
    For me, the experience was a great and wonderful start to my journey and most of all getting certified. Now don’t get me wrong. There were days I wanted to just quit, scream, and pull my hair out. There were days I felt overwhelmed, days I felt defeated, but I pushed through and kept my goal at front center ..it’s a process but in end, it’s all worth it. I would recommend going because at the end of the day we all want to learn to take the test and become certified..that is the main goal!
    In the end, when I graduated, I actually cried thinking of the long journey those 1000 hours felt like years. On top of that, I had a full-time job and a life I was trying to live lol, so yes those tears flowed like Niagara lol but were soooooo worth it …

  4. LaToya Malone says:

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    I never thought about going to cosmetology school when I was younger, even though I was the neighborhood stylist. I started doing my hair in the 3rd grade(if you see my school picture you’ll know why lol) I was tired of half-done styles by my mom or her not being able to afford to have someone to do it. I got pretty good and started doing everyone else’s hair when I was around 10 or 11. I started hearing people say “cosmetology school you’ll love, since your already good at doing hair!” It hyped me up and since I didn’t have a real solid plan after graduation I said: “why not?!” I didn’t do any research, I just enrolled with my best friend at the only cosmo school that was in our city and it was also where we’d get our hair done for school dances etc. I loved school, did my 1600, hours graduated from Gene Juarez worked in the industry for almost 10 years and now planning on going back but to get my instructor license! This company/group has been so inspiring that I want to give back and share all the knowledge I’ve gained over the years and help others to be great inspirations for generations to come! 💇🏿‍♀️

  5. Takeala Lewis says:

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    I didn’t do any of this. I wish I had seen this back in 2016 when I went to school. I probably would have chosen a different one. My school was not good I recommend ppl to keep this post in mind. The school I attended shined a light on their favorites and I saw how the teachers downed students and made them feel this field was not for them. They were nasty to clients sometimes as well. I read the reviews and stats after I started and they horrible. But we did have 2 teachers who went above and beyond to help me with achieving our goal. Them 1500 hrs was no joke between theory, practice, clients my kids and work I almost lost it. But i was so determined to get my license i came early and stayed late. I don’t regret going to that school because I learned a lot about the industry and myself.

  6. Franchessca Spearman says:

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    I completed cosmetology school in the state of Texas last year in February. It was a 1500 hour program. It was also my second time on cosmetology school. The 1st time I was able to complete about 600 hours. The school I went to was amazing with a great support system but the schedule was too demanding for me. I had to withdrawal because my mom was sick at that time.

    My second time in cosmetology school was rough, to say the least. I was pregnant about 90 percent of the time. I had an instructor who tried to make me quit and give up on my dreams not once but twice. I had uppity classmates who did not like me and I even had a client who lied to the director and said I came to school hungover lol.

    Through all of that, I was still able to get an amazing education from a few instructors who brought out my greatness and my confidence in this field. I was also able to make some lifelong friendships in the process as well. All and all I would not change my experience because it really prepared me for life as a stylist. Everyone will not like you and there will be no one to hold your hand once you graduate so make the most of your time while you’re in school.

  7. Lauren says:

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    Great article. I will be enrolling in cosmetology school next month & im super excited. After years of debating doing hair, I finally jumped in my field 6-7 months ago & I’m LOVING IT ! the feedback i get from my styles are amazing & they push me to go harder. So why not take the next step and ENROLL! I’ve done research on schools, I’ve gone to admission counseling for certain schools, and I’ve also consulted alumins from different schools in my area. I was EXTREMELY blessed to land a job where the cook and his wife will be opening up a new school next month! (They’re probably tired of me checking in for “updates”’on when I can enroll.) lol. I’m just extra excited. my niece even expressed to me that she wants to do hair and I’ll be enrolling her into a “Beauty Jr” class in a couple weeks! I plan to use my certification for doing hair and one day opening up my own salon! I’m 24, so I have so many oppurtunities in front of me that I’m ready to jump on and grab. I think 2k18 will be my debut year with ALL THINGS HAIR !

  8. Jo L. Hampton says:

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    Me & all but one of my sister’s have all done hair since we were very young teens, 3 of them are licensed cosmetologist but I never wanted to go to cosmetology school. I never wanted to do hair all day, every day but I have ALWAYS loved changing my hair & hair extensions, wigs all that. I was one of the first people, in my small town, to start wearing full lace wigs like 10 years ago (they are just catching on around there). lol BUT I live in a different area now and there are so many more opportunities, right now I only do crochets(for others, but I do everything on myself & daughter) lol but I really want to start doing frontal installs as well. A stylist in my area just opened a natural hair & braiding school where you can get licensed in 12 weeks!! I am very interested in this course because I think it will help alot with what I already do & I want to perfect my braiding skills as well bc frontal installs can only be flawless if the foundation is flawless! & it’s only 12 weeks!!! Why not?!?! ! Lol So no I never went to Cosmo school & never wanted to…..until now!! 🙂

  9. Camel Raymonvil says:

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    First of all, I loved this article! For someone who may be weighing their options and possibly having a hard time choosing a school, this is perfect. When I was younger, I wanted to go to cosmetology school because I didn’t know how to braid and was in love with how great a work of art you can create with hair.

    My sister did hair as a teen and was so amazing at coming up with intricate braid styles that people loved. I wanted to learn to but she didn’t want to teach me. Did I learn? Yes. Did I go to cosmetology school? No. But I did do all of the above steps when it came time to choose between cosmetology school and going to a university.

    Because I am such a self-starter and can basically teach myself how to do anything, I chose to go to a university to become a teacher (I love kids and their vivid imaginations) and teach myself everything dealing with hair along the way.

    Throughout my journey, I’ve learned to manage and treat different hair types, braid hair, make wigs, color hair, and so much more. I definitely would have loved to go to cosmetology school, but I also think I made a good choice not to go.

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