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In your search for the perfect cosmetology school, you may notice that schools in different states will refer to themselves as a cosmetology school, cosmetology college or beauty school. While this may seem confusing, know that these terms are basically interchangeable and just depends on how the schools have decided to brand themselves.
Hair schools, on the other hand are not synonymous with cosmetology schools. The difference is that hair schools will typically only offer hair design programs such as cutting, coloring and styling. Cosmetology and beauty schools will offer hair design courses in addition to courses in esthetics and skincare, makeup and nail technician to make a comprehensive program.
What should I focus on instead of the terms used by the school?
There are a number of things to keep in mind while exploring possible cosmetology programs. First, make sure the cosmetology school offers courses in the area of expertise you are most interested in and that it accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, The Council on Occupational Education or the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences. This will guarantee you are looking at cosmetology training opportunities that have been deemed educationally effective. In addition, these schools will be most likely best able to prepare you for your state licensing exam after completion of the program.
Another thing you should consider when choosing a beauty school is in what capacity do the instructors work and how active the school is in the industry.
- Do they only teach at the beauty school?
- Do the instructors continue to practice cosmetology at a salon or home business?
- Does the school participate in national networking events sponsored by associations such as the Professional Beauty Association or the American Association of Cosmetology Schools?
- Does the cosmetology school allow its students to participate in national hair and makeup competitions put on through organizations including the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation and the Junior Style Stars?
Lastly, you should also observe how instructors interact with the beauty school students on the floor during hands-on-training exercises. Schools that offer programs that excel in on the floor teaching with instructors who are willing to help students while working with clients will set you up better for success in the long run.
How should I decide between cosmetology school and hair design school?
If you find are interested solely on doing hairstyling, coloring and cutting, then we recommend you find a hair design school in your area. Hair designs program are often times less expensive than cosmetology programs because they do not offer the full course curriculum for other beauty programs, such as makeup and esthetics. If you aren’t sure what area of cosmetology you wish to pursue then you should opt for a comprehensive cosmetology program. This will give you a feel for numerous beauty specialties and give you more of an overarching understanding of the cosmetology industry.
Now that you know the difference in cosmetology terms, all you have to do is start searching for the school right for you.