What Classes Should I Take to Be a Hair Stylist?

Find out where to take state-approved barber, hair styling and cosmetology classes that can lead to becoming a licensed hair stylist. Get an overview of the classroom and hands-on coursework required for diploma, certificate and associate degree programs. Schools offering Nail Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Where Can I Take Hair Stylist Classes?

You can take hair stylist classes at cosmetology schools, barber colleges, technical schools and community colleges. To become a licensed hair stylist you must complete a required number of hours through an educational program approved by the barber or cosmetology board in your state. State licensing board websites can often supply you with a list of approved schools. Because of the need for hands-on training, classes in hair styling are not generally offered online.

Many schools offer a diploma, certificate or associate degree in hair styling, barber and cosmetology programs; these can take between nine months and two years to complete. Diploma and certificate programs typically take less time to complete than programs leading to an associate degree, such as an Associate of Applied Science in Cosmetology. Once you've completed the required number of credit hours, you can apply to take your state's licensing exam.

What Will I Learn?

You'll learn how to cut, style, color and chemically treat hair through classroom and practical instruction. In addition to shampooing and blow drying techniques, you'll learn how to mix chemicals and dyes and perform various processes used to relax, wave and color hair. You'll also learn how to apply scalp treatments, style wigs, work with hair pieces and attach and maintain hair extensions.

When you take hair styling classes through cosmetology programs, you'll learn additional skills, such as nail and skin care, as well as makeup application techniques. Programs offered through barber colleges tend to focus on hair cutting and styling for men and include classes in shaving techniques and the application of various facial treatments. Additional hair stylist course topics include:

  • Safety and health regulations
  • Sanitation procedures
  • Salon management
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Hair and scalp properties

What Kind of Hands-On Training Will I Receive?

During the first half of your training, you'll typically work on mannequins. After you've completed a required number of classroom hours, you'll be able to work on live subjects. Many schools sponsor clinics open to the public, where you can perform hair services on customers while you complete your training. During this period, you may be issued a temporary student permit, allowing you to work on clients under the supervision of a licensed instructor.

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

  • Virginia College

    Virginia College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Virginia College:

    • Certificates

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Georgia: Augusta, Columbus, Macon
    • South Carolina: Augusta, Columbus, Macon, Columbia, Florence
  • 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

  • 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
  • Red Rocks Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Colorado: Lakewood
  • Queen City College

    Campus Locations:

    • Tennessee: Clarksville
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Milwaukee
  • Pueblo Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Colorado: Pueblo