What are the requirements to go to cosmetology school?

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Ready to live your dream of going to cosmetology school?  Because there are no national requirements for cosmetology, each state is responsible for establishing its own standards.  While most states are very similar, there are always exceptions, so if you need more specific information, be sure to find your state here.   Let BeautySchools.com help answer all of your questions so that you can get started in the world of beauty as soon as possible!

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How old do I have to be to attend beauty school?

We know you are itching to begin taking classes, and we can’t blame you for that!  For the most part, most schools require that you be either 17 or 18 years old.  There are some, including Oklahoma,  South Carolina and Louisiana  that do allow you to enroll when you are 16.  Other states do not take into consideration how old you are and only look at the level of high school education you have completed in order to deem your eligibility into their cosmetology programs.

Do I have to have a high school diploma or GED?

The most over arching answer is yes, but ultimately it depends on the school in which you plan to enroll in, the cosmetology specialty you are interested in, and the state’s requirements.  In a few states such as California, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana and New Jersey, you can find schools that do accept students who have only completed 10th grade.  Although vary uncommon, in Oklahoma, Connecticut and Michigan you can find cosmetology schools that will also accept students who have completed 8th or 9th grade.

Have no fear though if you haven’t received your GED or high school diploma.  Many schools also have entrance exams set up for those missing the educational requirements.  These tests will prove to the school that you have the knowledge to be successful in its cosmetology programs.  Because these entrance exams aren’t at the state level, you need to check with each beauty school you are considering to see if this is an option they have available.

Meet these requirements?  Let’s find you a program!

Can I enroll in cosmetology school classes in high school?

As mentioned above, typically schools only allow students to become enrolled and take classes after they have met the educational standards they have deemed appropriate.  Luckily, there are many high schools across the country that have partnered with cosmetology schools to either offer cosmetology classes as elective courses through the high school.  Even better news, often times these classes can go towards your cosmetology education once you have become a full-fledged cosmetology student.  Just imagine, mixing up typical high school courses such as math and science with a cosmetology class!

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Great Falls (DC Metro Area)

How Attending Esthetics School Jump Started A Beauty and Skin Care Career

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dani1Working in the beauty  industry doesn’t always mean you have to attend cosmetology school and practice hair design.  Just ask Danielle Finney, a licensed esthetician and Clinique Business Manager in Kansas City.  The team at BeautySchools.com chatted with Danielle about  how her passion for skin and beauty began at a young age and how it shaped into a rewarding  4 years working with clients on a daily basis.

When did you decide you were interested in the beauty industry?

I became interested in the industry when I started visiting an esthetician for my skin. As most teens, I suffered from acne and just couldn’t get it figured out myself. Like many say, at that time I felt like I had “tried everything.”   So I wanted a professional’s help! She truly inspired me by the way she helped me feel so much more confident in my own skin. That’s when I knew that I wanted to be able to do the same thing for others.

Why did you choose a purely esthetician school over a cosmetology school  that offered an esthetics portion?

Personally, I didn’t have an interest in hair or nails. Learning all of the techniques for facials, waxing and treatments such as microderms and chemical peels was more in the direction I wanted to focus on in my career.   When comparing esthetics programs, I wanted a tour of each school and exposure to the learning environment. I was interested in seeing the different treatment machines that we would have training on, treatment rooms, supplies provided and products used.  I choose B-Street Design in Overland Park, now one of Marrinello’s Schools of Beauty, because it was centered on the core programs I was most interested in and best matched my educational goals.

What was your favorite and toughest learning experience during your esthetics program?

I loved how fast paced everything seemed. Having a class full of people that shared the exact same passion and interest makes practicing techniques easy! During downtime, that’s exactly what each of us classmates did on another.  We practiced different facials or waxing components that we had just learned.   The hardest part I would say was getting over the first few clients. In most esthetic schools, once you’ve completed a set number of hours, and passed the tests, you are able to perform services on the public. So gaining the confidence to start practicing everything you’ve learned on someone besides your classmate, of course was so nerve wracking at first.   But it was also such a rewarding learning experience and I wouldn’t trade the nerves for anything.

How did your esthetic program lead you to where you are currently working?

I currently do not work inside of a medical spa or day spa. I’m now on the retail side of the industry. Although I miss performing treatments on a daily basis, as I did before I moved over to retail, I still have to opportunity to share my passion for skin care everyday. I truly enjoy helping others with their skin needs and feeling happier with their natural beauty. I also love the opportunity I have to be around the latest skin care products that are being made. There is always something new, and I have an interest in knowing what’s out there, how’s it’s made and why it may (or sometimes may not) work.

What continued education or training have you completed, and why do you think it’s important?

I have had the privilege of being trained on many different types of laser skincare. The school I attended did not offer such additional educational hours, but I do recommend that aspiring estheticians who would like to work in a medical spa, seek continued training. Many medical spas will offer training opportunities throughout the year once hired, but having experience and additional certifications  to list on a resume are always a plus.

What advice would you give students who are interested in a career in esthetics?

Try to take your state board as soon as possible after graduation. Keep yourself educated, because this industry continues to change with the different technologies being used these days in skin care! There are so many opportunities in the beauty industry and experience is definitely key when looking for your dream job. Everyone has to start somewhere in life. Remember that you may have to start someplace else to gain the experience that your dream job would prefer to see on your resume. Most importantly, remember that you’re the expert in your client/patient’s eyes.

Are you now ready to master the art of esthetics and skin care?  Find an esthetician school today to get started!

Great Falls (DC Metro Area)

Completing Cosmetology School to Pursue A Dream Career as a Makeup Artist

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jessicaBetween beauty magazines, fashion shows and celebrity styling,  it’s no wonder that a career as a makeup artist has become such a sought after profession.  BeautySchools.com was lucky enough to talk with Jessica Harbin, a Kansas City makeup artist at Chanel and owner of I-Do Special Events, about her journey to where she is today.   An industry veteran who has worked in almost every aspect of the beauty industry for the past 12 years, Jessica is one of Kansas City’s most in-demand wedding stylists, and has turned her passion into a thriving profession.

When did you decide you were interested in the beauty industry?

I decided after graduating from high school, and a year of community college under my belt, that I wanted to pursue a career in makeup and hair for weddings. While in high school, I always was the go-to girl for up-dos and makeup application. Every dance, my friends would come over to get their hair done, and I knew then that it was something that I wanted to do.

What were the most important factors you considered when looking at cosmetology schools?

When looking at cosmetology schools, there were three things I knew I wanted.

  1. It needed to be close to home.
  2. It needed to be a cosmetology school with a name and brand that I knew and was familiar with.
  3. It was a must that it offer financial aid to its cosmetology students.

During cosmetology school, your program included makeup, nails, and esthetics in addition to hair.  Did you favor one of these cosmetology specialties over the others?

When in school, I always was most interested in makeup and skincare. Although we didn’t do as much concentration of makeup application, as I would have liked, knowing how the skin worked was extremely interesting. At the time I went to school, they didn’t offer an esthetics program, so the cosmetology program offered me the next best option.

What was your favorite learning experience and toughest part during your cosmetology training?

My favorite part of the learning experience during cosmetology school, was actually learning all of the science that goes into it. I loved learning the chemistry behind mixing hair color and perm solution and really making sense of what you learn in grade school.   It finally clicked…so it made it MUCH more interesting for me.   I also loved learning the anatomy of skin and why certain skin conditions occur. The toughest part was cornrows. Yes, cornrows. I know that sounds strange, but every week as a daily assignment, you had to do a head of cornrows. I was terrible at them and they would often take me all day to complete!

How did cosmetology school best prepare you for a career in the beauty industry?

Cosmetology school really gave me the opportunity to work with so many people from every walk of life. Instead of just dealing with someone with my skin and hair type, I was able to work on clients and classmates, thus giving me experience with anything that may be thrown my way!

What continued education in cosmetology or training have you completed and why do you think it’s important?

Being in the cosmetic industry, there are several continued opportunity classes available for you to attend to further your knowledge.  These cosmetology classes are offered by almost all of the top brands and will teach you several techniques and secrets about products that you are then able to share with your clients. There are also national organizations, such as the Professional Beauty Association, that host opportunities for you to further your professional development.

Favorite thing about working in the beauty industry?

My favorite thing about working in the beauty industry would be meeting new people. I have worked many weddings, promos, events, and photo-shoots and have met so many wonderful new friends. I love being the one they count on to make the most important event glamorous! It also allows me to be creative, and get my creative fix! Here is just one example of my work.

Makeup done by Jessica Harbin an I-Do Special Events

What is one tip you would give people considering enrolling in cosmetology school or a specialty program such as makeup, esthetics, or nails?

My advice would be to pick a school that offers exactly what you were looking for. Like I said, at the time I decided to go to beauty school, there weren’t any schools around that offered an esthetics program. Even though that’s what I wanted to do, cosmetology school was my only real option. Although I am glad that I have that knowledge in my back pocket, it’s not really what I was looking to do. So be choosy and pick a school that’s truly geared to your career goals.

Ready to begin your journey in the cosmetology industry?  Take the first step today and start looking for beauty schools!