Top Cosmetology Schools in the U.S.

Find the Best Beauty School for You

When you decide to attend cosmetology school, you have many schools to choose from. Finding the right cosmetology school is the first step in a successful beauty career.

Beauty school is fun, but it's not easy. You will be spending a lot of time there, so it's important to choose the right beauty school for you. Consider the following questions when exploring your options:

  • Will you need night classes or can you attend full-time?
  • Will you be able to practice on real clients rather than just wigs?
  • What is the full cost of the program?
  • Is the school accredited so it can offer financial aid?
  • Does the school have a continued education program?
  • Will they help you with job placement after graduation?

From community colleges to franchises that are more local than the big names in the industry, chances are there's a beauty school near you. You want to find a school that has a good reputation among its former students. The stylists at your local salons may be able to offer feedback about any schools in your area. It's also a good idea to request a tour before enrolling.

Beautician applying make-up to woman
Bambu Productions/Stone Collection/Getty Images

The Aveda Institute is one of the most highly regarded cosmetology schools out there. The salons are known for their natural beauty products, so it's an innovative approach to the industry. You can be guaranteed a well rounded and exciting education that covers cosmetology, esthetician services, makeup, massage therapy, and even sales and marketing.

Aveda offers tons of support in the form of financial assistance, flexible class schedules, and job placement opportunities.

The institute offers locations throughout the United States and Canada. Each institute offers a different program lineup, so it's best to explore individual locations as well as the overall program.

One of the best parts of the Aveda Academy is their dedication to continued education. Learning opportunities include annual Aveda education classes, Aveda Business College, Advanced Academies, and the Aveda Master Jam, where you get a chance to be inspired by leading industry artists. More »

Empire Beauty School has been in the business of beauty for more than 80 years. With cosmetology schools in more than 20 states, it is a great choice for your education. The programs offered include cosmetology and esthetics, as well as training in becoming a makeup artist.

Graduates from Empire have gone on to do editorial and celebrity work, open their own salons, and find work all over the world. Empire is known for having fantastic job placement opportunities. They also offer financial aid and scholarships along with various programs to fit your schedule. More »

You will find Paul Mitchell trained hair designers working in almost every corner of the world. The name is universally recognized, which means prospective employers will know that you received a top-notch education. Additionally, it has a reputation for innovation and high-end results.

Choosing this cosmetology school will expose you to courses in design, cutting, coloring, multicultural techniques, makeup, fashion trends, and the art of hairdressing in a multiphase program. The brand is involved with numerous beauty trade shows and offers creative and networking events for their students.

Paul Mitchell has over 100 beauty schools across the country. Programs include cosmetology, barbering, and skin and nail academies. They offer financial aid opportunities, continued education, and assistance in job placement after graduation. More »

The Sassoon Academy is another iconic name in the beauty business. Vidal Sassoon changed the way we look at hairdressing with his precision haircuts that were beyond what anyone had seen before. The Sassoon Academy embodies that sleek, fashion-forward style at the cosmetology schools.

Sassoon promises that you will leave inspired by their courses, which are developed and designed to be contemporary, relevant, and forward thinking. They are delivered with passion, commitment, and technical excellence.

The Sassoon name is recognized all over the world and you can find schools across the United States and Canada. Financing is available directly through the academy with a variety of long- and short-term payment plans. More »