Hairdresser Training Programs and Schools

Learn how enrolling in a cosmetology program can prepare you to become a hairdresser. Keep reading to see what kind of training you need to earn your license to work as a hairdresser. Schools offering Nail Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Hairdressers wash, cut, color and style hair for clients. Training and preparation for this career can be a relatively short period.

Schools Beauty and cosmetic schools; those accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences guarantee a high level of competency
Programs Usually less than a year, often offer flexible hours and part-time or night schedules
Training Topics include basics of cutting and coloring hair, latest trends, tidiness, and customer service and communication skills; practice on mannequins common; licensing is required in every state and requirements vary

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences

What Training Is Required to Become a Hairdresser?

Most cosmetology programs are less than one year long. During this time, you'll learn the basics of cutting and coloring hair as well as learning how to communicate with clients and manage your professional interests. Some beauty schools offer flexible hours, part-time schedules or night courses to accommodate your needs. Because of the hands-on, technical nature of the work, online courses aren't available.

What About Licensing Requirements?

States license cosmetologists and each state dictates its own requirements. Usually, there's a minimum number of practice hours. Some states require you to pass written and practical exams. Many states require upwards of 2000 clock hours to meet the experience requirements, and they also require you to have completed an approved training program. Licensing exams are usually administered by state boards of cosmetology or equivalent agencies.

Where Can I Study?

Beauty schools are available in all fifty states, and they offer cosmetology and hairdressing education. You may want to look for schools that have been accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences (NACCAS) since they guarantee a high level of competency.

Another thing to consider when selecting a cosmetology school is location. Since each state sets its own licensing rules, it's advisable to study in the state in which you want to work. If you train in a state other than the one where you plan to work, you may need to meet additional requirements to earn a license in the second state. You can find hairdresser training programs at these listed schools:

  • Empire Beauty Schools (Multiple locations)
  • Bishop State Community College (Mobile, AL)
  • Remington College (Multiple locations)
  • Johnston Community College (Smithfield, NC)
  • Laney College (Oakland, CA)

How Will I Learn?

Hairdressing is taught in a variety of ways, from watching DVDs at home and practicing on mannequins in class to listening to teachers and reading textbooks on theory and technique. You may have to take written and practical exams at each stage of learning.

At most beauty schools, an initial period, which may range from six weeks to two months, is dedicated to hands-on practice on mannequins. After completing this section of your training, you'll begin working with real people in a paying salon. During this phase, your work will be supervised by instructors, and you'll attend class for half days or on the days when you aren't working with customers.

  • Coloring
  • Hair cutting procedures
  • Special event styling
  • Hairstyling techniques
  • Shampooing
  • Shaving
  • Massage
  • Scalp treatments
  • Facials

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Fortis College

    Fortis College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Fortis College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Pensacola
  • Empire Beauty School

    Empire Beauty School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Empire Beauty School:

    • Certificates

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

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    • Maryland: Owings Mills
    • Pennsylvania: Owings Mills, Hanover
  • Cortiva Institute

    Cortiva Institute responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Cortiva Institute:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Maitland, Pinellas Park
  • Waukesha County Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Pewaukee
  • United Beauty College

    Campus Locations:

    • Colorado: Denver
  • South Texas Barber College Inc

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Corpus Christi
  • Seymour Beauty Academy

    Campus Locations:

    • Missouri: Seymour
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Milwaukee
  • Red Rocks Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Colorado: Lakewood