A cosmetology course is what most beauty schools are all about. Cosmetology in general is the study and application of any form of beauty treatment, but most people commonly associate it with hair. A typical cosmetology course is around 1600 hours in length and on average will take approximately 10 months of full-time attendance to complete. During the course, a student can expect to learn about haircutting, glamour photography makeovers, salon management, hairstyling, hair sculpting, hair coloring, highlights, advanced braiding, weaves, hair extensions and pretty much anything else you can do with hair.
Not all beauty schools are accredited by their state board. Most states have websites that will allow users to search for accredited schools in their state. The Arizona Board of Cosmetology handles beauty school accreditation in Arizona and provides online access to the list of state certified schools of cosmetology.
Several schools recognize that students often have a real interest in some specialized area of cosmetology. To meet this desire for specialized training, many beauty colleges have designed advanced courses that allow students to gain additional training in areas like esthetics (skin care, advanced European facial techniques, international body spa therapy, full body treatments, makeup technologies) and nail technology (sculptured nails, gel nails, silk wraps, hair coloring, precision perming).
On hands experience is the cornerstone of any good cosmetology course. Students should expect to be able to work in a salon or clinic with real customers that understand that their beauty treatment is being administered by a student with an instructor nearby to make sure everything goes well. This will let each student know what the job feels like and will also provide a wealth of knowledge about the beauty industry.
Many schools have a video education program that allows students to study basic and advanced subjects by watching videos. The videos are often incorporated into the standard course but are sometimes used as part of advanced specialization programs.
Computers and Technology
Cosmetology is usually a hands on experience but virtually every school uses technology and computers in their educational programs. Classes and educational seminars will often use PowerPoint presentations and slide shows. Students that are preparing for state board certification tests or need review assistance can use computer programs an online tutoring programs to help them prepare and learn. Many schools also train students on how to use hair color programs or apps to help clients determine the hair color they want for their hair type.
Most beauty schools offer advanced educational programs that include the latest trends and information from leading educators and stylists throughout the United States and the world. Guest speakers regularly come in and give seminars and demonstrations on industry related topics such as make-up, professionalism, color techniques and new products.
Many beauty colleges use the Standard System of Salon Skills as part of their program. This is a progressive learning system that integrates student course books with corresponding video material. This attempts to make it easier for students to learn by utilizing different learning styles.