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Preparing for Cosmetology School: What You Need to Know

You’ve probably heard that the beauty industry is growing. In fact, a 2016 report by the U.S. Department of Labor found that demand for hairstylists, barbers, and cosmetologists will increase by 11 percent between 2016 and 2026. As such, it makes sense to pursue a career in cosmetology or a similar related field. With so many options available, how do you decide which one is right for you? To help you make an informed decision about whether cosmetology school is for you and if so, which programs stand out as the best choice, we’ve put together this list of things to know before enrolling in cosmetology school:

Know the Requirements to Enroll

The requirements for enrolling in cosmetology school may vary slightly from school to school, but it’s usually required that you have your high school diploma or equivalent before you enroll. There are age requirements to consider as well.  In California the minimum age is 17, however, schools may require that you are at least 18 to apply.

Research Schools to Consider

There are many different types of cosmetology programs, which means you’ll want to make sure you’re applying to an accredited one that positions you for taking the state exams and licensure. Accreditation ensures that schools meet a certain standard of quality as mandated by the State.  If you need financial assistance, find out of the school you’re considering offering financial aid or scholarship resources.

Research Career Paths

Before deciding on a career path in cosmetology, it’s important to understand what’s involved in each profession. For example, a career as a nail technician or manicurist involves primarily doing manicures and pedicures. A career as a hairstylist or a barber, on the other hand, involves cutting, coloring, and styling hair. There are several career paths you can take to fulfill your dreams in the profession.

Understand the State Licensing Requirements

Cosmetology is governed at a state level. This governance includes training requirements, the licensing process, and more. For example, in California, cosmetologists must have a license if they plan to make money doing any of the following: – Cutting, curling, straightening, or coloring hair – Giving manicures or pedicures – Shaving, waxing, or removing unwanted hair – Doing makeup for customers

When in Doubt, Ask!

Want help deciding if cosmetology is the career for you?  If you’re having trouble deciding which programs you might want to enroll in or have questions about the process, we can help with the answers you need.  Attending a cosmetology program is a rewarding and life-changing experience and not one to be taken lightly.  Our staff is here to help guide you to the career path that is the best fit for YOU, and to help you on your journey to a fulfilling, rewarding, and fun career in cosmetology!


To decide whether cosmetology school is for you and if so, which programs stand out as the best choice, you’ll want to know the requirements to enroll, the different types of schools, the career paths available, and the state licensing requirements. It’s a good idea to also talk to admissions at the school you’re considering to learn more about cosmetology school and find out if it’s the right path for you.

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