A look at the best beauty schools in America
With the American Association of Cosmetology Schools reporting a chronic shortage of skilled professionals to fill positions in the beauty industry, training at a beauty school would seem to be a great investment. Training at a nationally recognized and accredited beauty school will further insure your success.
Before choosing a beauty school, you’ll want to have a specialty in mind. To decide on a specialty, in addition to your interests, consider the following:
-Am I introverted or extroverted?
An introvert may be happier in the calm of a massage therapy salon, while an extrovert might thrive in a noisy, funky hair salon with lots of clients and colleagues.
-Do I prefer routine or spontaneity?
The multitasking environment of an esthetician (who offers skin care, hair removal and other body treatments) might be too much for someone who prefers routine.
-What is my physical condition?
Massage and other bodywork require a fair amount of physical strength. Styling hair requires standing for long periods of time.
Once you’ve decided what specialty is right for you, you’re ready to choose a beauty school. The following were rated the top beauty schools in America by the Spa and Beauty Education Web site. All are nationally accredited. For current information on enrollment and tuition, schools should be contacted directly.
In 2007, Aveda Institute students won 35 of the 100 “Beacon Awards”, which are given annually to beauty school students who show outstanding promise. There are over 30 Aveda Institutes in 21 states across the U.S.
-Cosmetology (hair services, make up, nail services and “aromaology”, Aveda’s trademarked science of the study of scents used in beauty treatments)
-Massage and Day Spa (anatomy, basic massage techniques and hydrotherapy treatments)
-Esthiology (Aveda facials, waxing, sugaring and make-up application)
-Nail Technology (natural nail care, spa manicures and spa pedicures)
EMPIRE EDUCATION GROUP
With 86 schools in 18 states, Empire is one of the largest and oldest providers of beauty education in the U.S. Over 8,000 students graduate from Empire schools each year. In addition to Empire Beauty Schools, the group also includes the following schools:
A Cut Above in Indiana
Arthur Angelo in Rhode Island
Artistic Beauty Colleges in Arizona and Colorado
Blaine the Schools in Massachusetts
Chic University of Cosmetology in Michigan
Concorde Academy in New Jersey
Empire Beauty Schools in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland,
Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania
European Academy in New Jersey
The Hair Design School in Kentucky
Martin’s College of Cosmetology in Wisconsin
National Motion Institute in New Jersey
Pierre’s School of Cosmetology in Maine
Scot Lewis Schools in Minnesota
-Cosmetology & Hairstyling
-Teacher of Cosmetology (includes teacher training techniques for manicures, pedicures and nail artistry)
OGLE SCHOOL OF HAIR, SKIN AND NAILS
Founded in 1973 by Shelton Ogle, an internationally recognized hair designer, there are four Ogle School locations in Texas.
-Cosmetology (focuses on hair design)
-Esthetology (focuses on skin care and make-up)
-Student Instructor Training (prepares licensed cosmetologists, estheticians and manicurists to work as instructors)
PAUL MITCHELL SCHOOLS
In business for over 20 years, these schools are closely associated with Paul Mitchell salons. There are 10 Paul Mitchell schools in California and 50 Paul Mitchell schools in 25 other states across the country.
-Basic Cosmetology (heavily focused on hair design)
-The Skin Academy (covers international skin treatments, speed waxing, customized treatment protocols, skin analysis, ingredient technology, make-up techniques and prescriptive retailing)
-The Nail Academy (covers the science of foot and hand beauty, as well as business skills, trends and products)
REGENCY BEAUTY SCHOOLS
Regency currently has 46 schools in 12 states, and has plans for continued expansion. Their goal is to maintain consistency by building one school at a time to Regency standards rather than franchising. They have a single, comprehensive curriculum at all locations which includes training in hair, skin and nail care.