How to Determine If a Cosmetology School is Right for You

How to Determine If a Cosmetology School is Right for You

The Beauty School You Attend Can Make All the Difference

Choosing your career path out of school or changing your career after working in another industry are major decisions that most people don’t take lightly or make without information to back up their choices. But if you’re set on working in the beauty industry, then attending cosmetology school is the ticket to get you there and help you land your dream job.

Navigating your new path can be difficult, however. With so many beauty school options, depending on where you live, picking the best program for you should inspire some serious contemplation.

Your best bet to set yourself up for success is choosing a cosmetology school with a multi-faceted curriculum that goes beyond beauty basics and helps you build your business and people skills as you learn. To find one of these schools, you’ll need to take a look at all your options and carefully compare programs offered at each.

Consider What’s Included in Your Tuition

When you’re looking at cosmetology schools, ask for a breakdown of what tuition covers. While one school may seem incredibly affordable and another more pricey, it’s possible that you aren’t paying for the same things with your tuition at each.

The top cosmetology schools ensure all their students have access to the same quality beauty and tech tools, to keep the playing field level and to ensure you’re able to learn techniques properly — bad tools don’t foster good technique! Thus, these tools are included in the tuition, so you aren’t set up with a shopping list and told to go buy your own.

Beauty supplies can be expensive, especially quality ones. Pick the school that gives them to you as part of what you’re already paying to save yourself the time and frustration of looking for good deals or attempting to find what you need.

Consider Curriculum and Program Duration

It can be tempting to pick the beauty school with the curriculum that’s fast so you can get on with your career more quickly. But doing so is actually a disservice to you and to your future. Instead, choose the beauty school with an in-depth curriculum that covers more than just basic beauty topics.

Cosmetologists often operate their own businesses, and are responsible for finding and retaining clients, selling beauty products, bookkeeping, and more. The cosmetology school you choose should include subjects like these so you’re prepared for “the real world.”

Depending on the state you live in, cosmetology schools may have different curriculum requirements. Be sure the school you choose is accredited with your state’s licensure board, which will ultimately approve whether you can become a practicing cosmetologist.

Consider the Faculty and Staff

Having an important contact in the beauty industry can make your career. Cosmetology schools owned and operated by a big name could help you land a job after graduation.

Well-known cosmetologists tend to have had experiences that allow them to illustrate various aspects of the industry better than someone who has only been cutting and styling hair in a small town for the last 20 years. You want to choose a school that stays abreast of the latest beauty trends and has access to guest speakers and demonstrators who can further your skills and teach you new techniques.

But you also want to feel comfortable around your instructors and the staff who work at the school. When you take a tour, ask to meet a few of the people who will be teaching your classes. If you like them, then you’ll probably like being in their courses and learning from them.

Consider the Reputation

Beauty school name recognition can be a boon or a bane. When you apply for your first job after earning your certificate and obtaining your license, your potential employers will want to know where you received your training. If they recognize the name of the school you attended, you better hope it’s because they think positively of it.

Choosing a school with a good reputation is vital when you’re starting out in the industry. To get a sense of what people think of the cosmetology schools you’re considering, run a Google search of “cosmetology school near me” and read reviews from previous students. Ask the admissions team at the school if you can candidly talk to current students or recent graduates, too.

And if you’re still unsure of what people think of the school, ask your own hair stylist or the salon owner of where they work.

Consider the Location

If you’re planning to attend cosmetology school full time, you can expect to be on campus most days of the week for classes. If that’s the case, you’ll want to choose a school with an easily-accessible location.

Short commute times and frustration-free parking (or public transportation availability) are examples of what you might consider. If it’s hard to get to your school, or you have to drive long hours, those may be barriers to your ability to attend classes regularly. If you can’t attend regularly, then graduation could be delayed.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to choosing a cosmetology school, there are a lot of considerations to help you make the right decision. Weighing your options and the pros and cons of each can guide you to the right school for you.