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Beauty School Curriculum



All beauty schools have rigorous requirements that must be met for graduation. Accredited beauty schools and the top beauty schools both require students to complete a number of apprenticeship hours, coursework, demonstration examinations in front of licensed cosmetologists and written examinations. To understand the typical beauty school curriculum, it is helpful to distinguish between accredited beauty schools which have their own requirements, as well as top beauty schools like Paul Mitchell, Aveda, Empire and Regency.

Accredited Beauty Schools

Cosmetology schools receive accreditation from the National Accreditation Committee of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences. The National Accreditation Committee of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences creates its standards based upon the regulations passed by the Department of Education, a government agency. The accreditation committee stays updated on the recent regulations passed by the Department of Education and will modify its own accreditation standards according to these changes in the law.

Basically, the National Accreditation Committee of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences seeks to teach hair styling, nail care and business professionalism skills to students. The NAACAS believes that it is important for students to be able to contribute to the business atmosphere of a salon.

The state license requirements govern the individual courses that must be taken by cosmetology professionals. The basic course includes over 1200 hours. The following is a list of the typical coursework requirements at a cosmetology school:

– Theory
– Cold Waving
– Coloring of Hair
– Hair Conditioning
– Hair Shaping
– Shampooing
– Styling
– Manicuring and Skin Care
– Professional Ethics
– Lab
– Hair Relaxing
– Hair Bleaching

Top-Rated Beauty Schools

At Paul Mitchell, Aveda, Empire and Regency, the requirements for a curriculum will slightly vary. Paul Mitchell bases its approach to a curriculum in the “Multiple Intelligence Theory.” The Multiple Intelligence Theory was developed by Howard Gardner of Harvard University. Each student creates a curriculum that is based on his or her dominant strengths. One of the required textbooks for completion of a curriculum at the Paul Mitchell School is “Milady’s Standard Cosmetology.” This standard book is used by almost every cosmetology school in the country.

The Aveda curriculum is more straightforward. 1500 hours of coursework completion are required for graduation. In addition to the requirements listed above, here are the other unique courses that must be completed for a certificate from Aveda:

– Plant Aromaology™
– Permanent Restructuring
– Makeup
– Nail Care

The Empire Beauty School divides the coursework into 5 phases. These 5 phases must be completed in order to graduate. Empire provides a more practical type of education for stylists. During Phase 5, stylists will learn some of the following skills:

-Resume & Cover Letters
– State Board Licensing Requirements
– Salon Industry Tips

At Regency Beauty Institute you learn with Studio Luma®, a program that’s exclusive to the school. Classes here are organized into themes. Each week you focus on a single class, which teaches you a specific technical skill as well as soft skills. You learn things like:

– How to do a guest consult
– How to talk to guests, even when the situation is challenging
– How to get guests to rebook appointments
– How to sell product
– Hair cutting, coloring and styling
– Natural and artificial nails
– Skin and makeup application
– Salon management

Classes are a combination of videos, animations, illustrations and open-book tests. In addition to technical and soft salon skills, you also learn the business side of things as well as get help with career preparation and searching.

The full-time program at Regency Beauty Institute can be completed in about a year. The program length is based on each state’s minimum hour requirement for a cosmetology school. Some campuses offer part-time programs.

Every beauty school has its own variation on the typical curriculum program that a student needs for graduation. A student can visit the website for each beauty school and see whether the culture fits his or her needs. Every school has its own style, and one particular style may be more beneficial for beauty school students than a style at another beauty school. It is up to a student to find a program that works with his or her desires and needs.