What Are the Top Schools for Hair Stylists or Barbers?

Learn about the types of education and training programs available for hair stylists and barbers. Find out about three top schools with hair styling and barbering programs. Schools offering Nail Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look for in a Top School for Hair Stylists or Barbers?

Services for hair, facials and manicures can be performed for men and women by licensed cosmetologists. However, barber programs may offer more emphasis on shaving and trimming facial hair. The National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) can direct you to your state licensing board, which may be able to provide information on schools and their graduation rates or licensing pass rates (www.nictesting.org).

You'll need a hair stylist or barber program that meets your state's requirements for hours of hands-on experience. Programs are typically offered by for-profit schools and community colleges. You might be interested in earning credits that could later translate to a 4-year degree. Here are three possibilities.

What Are Three Top Schools for Hair Stylists or Barbers?

Bishop State Community College in Mobile, AL

Bishop State Community College is a public community college with four campuses. Faculty members have won Chancellor's Awards from the Alabama Community College System.

The Carver Campus barbering and hair styling program offers a 52-credit, 4-semester certificate and a 61-credit, 5-semester associate degree. You'll learn cutting, styling, shampooing and shaving. Scalp treatments and facials are also part of the program. After completing general education courses and occupational courses, like sanitation, chemistry, hair processing, marketing and management, you could minor in cosmetology or business. The cosmetology minor includes aesthetics and hair shaping. The business minor includes management principles and accounting. These programs are available:

  • Certificate in Barbering and Hairstyling
  • Associate in Occupational Technologies (Barbering and Hair Styling)

College of Central Florida in Ocala, FL

The College of Central Florida (CCF) is a regional campus of the University of Central Florida (UCF). UCF tied for 165th in U.S. News & World Report's ranking of national universities in 2019.

The Delores Hunt Personal Service Institute (PSI) offers a day cosmetology certificate and the Lorraine Gerrity PSI offers evening cosmetology and barbering certificates that will prepare you for licensing by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Registration. You'll complete 40 vocational credit hours and 1,200 clock hours in any of these. Courses are offered online through a media center and at the PSI facility.

Evening certificate programs typically take 12 months, on a Monday through Thursday schedule. You'll work directly with the public in the 52-station PSI teaching facility during Tuesday and Thursday clinic hours to gain practical experience. You could get hands-on experience with hair or barber cuts, barber design, facial shaving, color and permanents, scalp treatments, wraps, manicures, facials and hair removal, such as tweezing. You can earn either of these certificates:

  • Cosmetology
  • Barbering

Houston Community College in Houston, TX

HCC is a 6-campus community college serving nearly 60,000 students. It's accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to grant associate degrees. HCC offers 1-3 semester certificate programs in cosmetology, skin care, hair weaving, salon management and instruction. Associate cosmetology operator and instructor degrees are also available. The cosmetology program belongs to Pivot Point International and uses its curriculum. In the Pivot Point program, you could benefit from a comprehensive hair, nail, makeup and skin care education with optional hand-on trips abroad.

These programs are offered:

  • Cosmetology Operator-Certificate
  • Cosmetology Instructor-Certificate
  • Facial Specialist-Certificate
  • Styling/Salon Management Entrepreneur-Certificate
  • Cosmetology Operator Associate in Applied Science
  • Cosmetology Instructor Associate in Applied Science

Ten Hair Stylist Schools

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocation Estimated Undergrad In-State Tuition*
Albany Technical College2-year, PublicAlbany, GA$3,000
KC's School of Hair Design2-year, PrivatePontotoc, MS$13,000
Panola College2-year, PublicCarthage, TX$3,000
Stanly Community College2-year, PublicAlbemarie, NC$2,000
Bridgerland Technical College2-year, PublicLogan, UT$2,000
Capri College - Cedar Rapids2-year, PrivateCedar Rapids, IA$17,000
Laurel Technical Institute2-year, PrivateSharon, PA$10,000
Martin Community College2-year, PublicWilliamston, NC$1,000
Clary Sage College2-year, PrivateTulsa, OK$21,000
Mott Community College2-year, PublicFlint, MI$5,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

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:
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