Looking For a Hairstylist School Near You?

Did you know there are over 300,000 licensed hairstylists in the US? Are you hoping to join their ranks?

If so, you've probably been Googling "hairstylist school near me" to learn more about a hairstylist education. Maybe your search even brought you to this page.

There's no doubt that becoming a cosmetologist can be an exciting and rewarding career. It's your job to treat clients like rockstars and help them to look and feel their best.

But before you dream of opening your own salon or launching your own product line, it's time for a quick reality check. To meet your career goals, you'll first have to complete hairstyling school and get licensed to work in your state. It will take time, money, and a lot of hard work, but the results will be worth it!

In this post, we'll look at the realities of getting your hair styling education and what to expect during your training. We'll also help you with your original query and point you towards the "best hairstylist school near me."

Ready to get psyched about your new career path? Read on to learn more!

Do you want to become a hair stylist? Here is information on how to go to school to become a hair stylist.

Is a Hairstylist Education Right for You?

You love keeping up with the latest and greatest hairstyle trends. Your YouTube feed is full of makeup tutorials. And you get giddy every time it's your turn to go to the salon.

Does this mean you should become a cosmetologist yourself?

Beauty and hairstyling school isn't something you should do on a whim. It requires a huge time commitment (often thousands of hours of education), plus all the hours you'll spend practicing outside the classroom. There's also the cost of your schooling, exams, and licensing fees.

Are you really committed to the idea of becoming a cosmetologist? Do you love the industry enough to get out of bed for those early classes? Are you willing to stay late to practice more and master a difficult technique?

If you can answer "yes" to all these questions, it sounds like you're ready to take the next step. But before we discuss how to find a hairstylist school near you, let's first consider what you'll learn when you attend.

What Will I Learn at Cosmetology School?

The exact curriculum varies by school, program, and state. You should also know that each state has its own education requirements for hairstylists too (more on that later).

In general, though, a cosmetology program will include hair styling, makeup and esthetics, and nail technology. Many students are surprised to learn there are also courses in ethics, law, business, and sanitation.

Here's an overview of what you might expect to learn during your hair styling education.

Hair Care, Science, & Styling Techniques

The bulk of your education (perhaps 1000 hours or more) will revolve around hair. This includes:

Shampooing and washing

Understanding chemicals

Chemical safety

Hair coloring, bleaching, and tinting

Permanent waving and hair relaxing

Hair and scalp conditioning

Cutting, trimming, curling, shaping, and styling

Skin conditions and diseases

Basic anatomy and physiology

Hair and eyelash extensions

Chemical hair treatments

Although there's a lot of room for theory and creativity, there's also a lot of important science and safety concerns to learn too. A good hairstylist knows how to combine art and science effectively.

Makeup, Esthetics, & Nail Technology

Although you may find a school that focuses solely on hair, most cosmetology programs also include education about nails and makeup. Expect to spend a few hundred hours learning about:

Skin analysis and nutrition

Facial treatments and mask therapy

Hair removal, tweezing, and waxing

Non-therapeutic hand, foot, and arm massage

Professional makeup application and techniques

Manicures and pedicures

Light-cured nail gels

Fabric and sculpting procedures

Infection control

Light therapy

Electricity, machines, and apparatus

You can also expect to learn about relevant products that relate to hair care, nail care, and esthetics.

Business, Law, & Ethics

Whether you plan to open your own salon or rent a booth in an existing business, you'll need to know about local laws and regulations. Your hairstylist education will also include instruction on:


Business management


Client relations and record-keeping

Local labor laws

Worker's compensation

Emergency first aid

Business ethics

Health and sanitation

Relevant OSHA standards about chemical use

Licensing laws and requirements

Continuing education (CEU) requirements and options

Reciprocity agreements between states

Ideally, your hairstylist school will also help you prepare for any written or practical exams your state requires to get licensed.

How to Find the Best Hairstylist School Near Me

So, now that you have a better idea of what to expect at cosmetology school, how can you find a great school near you? Follow these steps to help you narrow in on the best schools in your area.

1. Start With a Broad Search

Begin your search online with terms like "cosmetology school near me," "beauty school near me," or "hairstylist school near me."

(Keep in mind that barber schools focus solely on short hairstyles and facial shaving for male clients. In fact, many states won't allow cosmetologists to perform some of these tasks. So unless you know you want to become a barber, narrow your search to beauty or cosmetology schools.)

Request information via the school's online contact form, or request a free consultation with the admissions department. As you receive phone calls, emails, and information packets, keep everything organized so you can compare each program. 

2. Determine Your Priorities

Next, think about your current circumstances and lifestyle. Are you a student about to graduate high school, or are you married with kids and thinking about a new career?

You need to be realistic about the amount of time and money you have to devote to your hair styling education. The best program for you will be the one that best fits your budget and schedule.

Here are some important factors to consider as you analyze each school:

Proximity to your home or job

Cost of tuition, supplies, and books

Financial aid and financing options

Class schedule and options (full-time, part-time, nights and weekends, etc.)

Teacher-student ratio

Job placement assistance

If you're young with few responsibilities, you may be able to blitz through a full-time program and get your license within a year or so. If you have a family or a full-time job (or both), you may need to consider a part-time program to allow you to care for your other obligations.

3. Consider the School & Curriculum

Not all beauty schools are created equal. You shouldn't automatically sign up for the cheapest program or the one that's closest to your home. You're investing a lot of time and money in your hair styling education, so you want to choose the best school in your community.

First of all, make sure the school is accredited. The top cosmetology schools in the country are accredited by the National Accrediting Commission for Career Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). This means the school has met strict industry standards and government regulations.

Next, consider how much training the school provides beyond theory and technique. As mentioned above, there's a lot more to becoming a hairstylist than mastering updos. You also need skills related to business management, job interviews, marketing, and client relations.

A good school also does its best to prepare students to pass the state's written and practical exams. Schedule a tour of the school and study the quality of the campus salon. Any program you consider should include many hours of instruction and practice on real clients.

4. Prepare Questions to Ask Your Hairstyling School

As you narrow down your choices, create a list of relevant questions to ask when you arrive for a tour. These might include:

Is the school accredited with the NACCAS?

What's the total cost of tuition, books, and supplies?

What financing options are available to me?

Are there any scholarships or grants I can apply for?

What programs do you offer, and how long do they take to complete?

What's the student-to-teacher ratio?

What are the current graduation rates and job placement rates?

Do you offer exam preparation and job placement assistance?

Do you have an absentee or leave-of-absence policy?

If other important questions come to mind, jot them down and add them to this list.

5. Meet With Admissions Reps & Make Your Decision

Finally, it's time to schedule some campus tours and meet admissions reps face-to-face. This is your chance to get your questions answered and see the quality of the facilities.

If possible, arrange to visit while school is in session. What kind of vibe do you get when you walk into a classroom or the student salon? Does everyone look happy, enthused, and engaged in their work?

You should also consider the condition of the buildings, classrooms, and salon. Is everything in good working order? Are the classrooms and offices neat and tidy? Does the staff treat you with kindness, patience, and respect?

When you feel confident that you've found "the one" for you, all that's left to do is enroll and begin your hairstylist education!

Start a great career as a hair stylist and earn good money and love what you do.

Hair Styling Education Requirements by State

As mentioned above, every state has its own education and licensing requirements for cosmetologists. You can't just watch some YouTube tutorials and set up shop — you have to meet these important legal requirements first.

Here's a quick overview of the minimum education requirements in each state:

Alabama: 1500 school hours or 3000 apprentice hours

Alaska: 1650 school hours or 2000 apprentice hours

Arizona: 1600 school hours, plus written and practical exams

Arkansas: 1500 school hours, plus written and practical exams

California: 1600 school hours or 3200 apprentice hours

Colorado: 1800 school hours, plus written and practical exams

Connecticut: 1500 school hours, plus written exam

Delaware: 1500 school hours or 3000 apprentice hours

Florida: 1200 school hours, plus exams

Georgia: 1500 school hours or 3000 apprentice hours

Hawaii: 1800 school hours or 3600 apprentice hours

Idaho: 2000 school hours or 4000 apprentice hours

Illinois: 1500 school hours, plus exams

Indiana: 1500 school hours, plus exams

Iowa: 2100 school hours, plus exams

Kansas: 1500 school hours, plus exams

Kentucky: 1800 school hours, plus exams

Lousiana: 1500 school hours, plus exams

Maine: 1500 school hours or 2500 apprentice hours

Maryland: 1500 school hours or a 24-month apprenticeship

Massachusetts: 1000 school hours, plus exams

Michigan: 1500 school hours or a 24-month apprenticeship

Minnesota: 1550 school hours, plus exams

Mississippi: 1500 school hours, plus exams

Missouri: 1500 school hours or 3000 apprentice hours

Montana: 2000 school hours, plus exams

Nebraska: 2100 school hours, plus exams

Nevada: 1800 school hours, plus exams

New Hampshire: 1500 school hours or 3000 apprentice hours

New Jersey: 1200 school hours, plus exams

New Mexico: 1600 school hours, plus exams

New York: 1000 school hours, plus exams

North Carolina: 1500 school hours, plus exams

North Dakota: 1800 school hours, plus exams

Ohio: 1500 school hours, plus exams

Oklahoma: 1500 school hours or 3000 apprentice hours

Oregon: 1800 school hours + 250 additional education hours

Pennsylvania: 1250 school hours or 2000 apprentice hours

Rhode Island: 1500 school hours, plus exams

South Carolina: 1500 school hours, plus exams

South Dakota: 2100 school hours, plus exams

Tennessee: 1500 school hours, plus exams

Texas: 1500 school hours, plus exams

Utah: 1600 school hours or 2500 apprentice hours

Vermont: 1500 school hours or 2-year apprenticeship

Virginia: 1500 school hours or 3000 apprentice hours

Washington: 1600 school hours or 2000 apprentice hours

West Virginia: 1800 school hours, plus exams

Wisconsin: 1550 school hours or 4000 apprentice hours

Wyoming: 2000 school hours, plus exams

Keep in mind that licensing requirements often change, so be sure to check the current regulations in your state. There may also be continuing education (CEU) requirements every year or two to keep your license active.

What if you move to a new state? Some states have reciprocity agreements, allowing you to easily transfer your cosmetology license. Others may require more education or more exams before you can become a hairstylist in your new state.

Where to Find a Hairstylist School Near Me

By now, you should have a much clearer understanding of what to expect from a hairstylist education. It's more than just fancy up-dos and the latest hair color trends — it's a lot of hard work!

If you're up for the challenge, though, you'll love your career in this exciting and fast-paced industry. You'll be able to let your creativity shine and you'll form lasting friendships with your clients and colleagues.

As you begin your search for "hairstylist school near me," keep this article bookmarked for reference. Consider the school's curriculum, entry requirements, financial assistance, and job placement opportunities. Ask the questions listed above to help you narrow your choice and find the perfect cosmetology school for you!

Ready to begin your search today? We can help. Click here to browse our listings of the best cosmetology schools in your area.