Cosmetology School, Beauty Schools, And Hair Design Schools- How Are They Different?

If you’re the friend that everyone comes to for an updo or french braid, you may be thinking about taking your skills into the workforce. When you look at schools, you will see that there are a variety of secondary education programs available to give you the skills you need to become a hairstylist. When you look for programs, you may see various terms, including Cosmetology School, Beauty School, and Hair Design School. In this article, we will look into the differences between these programs to help you choose which route is the best for you.

How Are These Programs Different?

Cosmetology School and Beauty School are exactly the same. They are simply two different terms that describe the same type of schooling. Hair Design Schools, however, are different. These programs differ in terms of the skills they teach, the amount of time they take to complete, and the types of career possibilities they open up. We will look into these differences in detail below.

Skills Taught

One of the most important aspects you will want to look into when choosing a program is the skills that they cover. You need to find a program that will teach you, and allow you to be licensed, in the services you are most passionate about.

Cosmetology School And Beauty School


Cosmetology School, which is also known as Beauty School, teaches a wide variety of topics related to health and beauty. These topics are taught through both classroom instruction and hands-on training. They focus on the care of hair, nails, skin, and makeup.

One of the most well-known skills taught in Beauty School is hair care. You are taught how to cut and dye hair, as well as how to perform special treatments such as perms and deep conditioning. You are also taught to style hair in a variety of ways.

This program teaches you to care for skin and nails as well. You’ll learn how to provide manicures and pedicures. You’ll learn to perform hair removal services such as waxing, and care for skin through acts including exfoliation, wrinkle reduction, facials, and more. You’ll even learn skills in the area of makeup.

Cosmetology School does not only teach how to cut hair, give manicures and pedicures, and nourish and beautify the skin of clients. It’s lessons go deep into the science behind treatments. The skills taught include treatments with extensive training requirements, such as permanent makeup, eyelash extensions, and hair removal. This program teaches you to spot and treat minor problems in the areas of hair, skin, and nails as well. It gives you the ability to be a valuable resource to your clients in terms of both beauty and health.

Hair Design School


Hair Design School typically only teaches students to cut, color, and style hair. It is still taught through a mixture of in-class education and hands-on training, but covers a much smaller variety of topics. You may learn to provide manicures, pedicures, and facials, but you will likely not learn the more in-depth services.

Even though Hair Design School does not teach as many topics, it can still be a good option. If your main passion is in styling hair, it may be the right choice for you. It’s not as in-depth, but it still allows you to become an educated and licensed professional in the haircare field.

Length Of Program

When you’re looking into which program to choose, consider how much time you are willing and able to spend in training. In short, Beauty School takes much longer to complete than Hair Design School. We will look into the time frames in detail below.

Cosmetology School And Beauty School

Cosmetology School time frames vary based on location, but in general they take about one year to complete. Typically, the classes are measured by hours, and not by semesters like other college course are. You need to complete a certain amount of hours to graduate. This means that if you miss class, you may fall behind and graduate later than you originally expected.

These programs are made up of both classroom hours and hours spent learning in a hands-on way “on the floor.” You’ll need to practice on both mannequins and actual clients in order to gain your necessary hours.

Hair Design School

Hair Design Schools can be finished at a much faster rate. They are still measures in hours, but they require a significantly smaller amount of time spent both in the classroom and in “on the floor” experience. These programs can typically be finished in as little as a few weeks, but they may take a few months depending on location and the rate you move forward.

Career Possibilities

When you are choosing a program, it is important that you consider the type of career you would like to hold in the future. Think of the style of salon or spa you’d like to work in, as well as the wages that you expect to earn. These aspects both vary based on which type of schooling you choose.

Cosmetology School And Beauty School

Since Cosmetology graduates have significantly more experience and education under their belts, they are able to land more careers than Hair Design Specialists. Cosmetologists are generally sot out for high-end salons and spas. They are necessary in salons that perform more than just hair care as well.

Hair Design School

Hair Design School graduates are more likely to work in smaller salons, or places that only provide hair services. This may cause them to experience a pay gap as well, when compared to their Cosmetology degree-holding coworkers.

Choosing Which Program Is Right For You

When you are trying to decide which type of program is right for you, remember the differences. Hair Design School in general allows you to cut, color, and style hair. Cosmetology School allows you to go far beyond those services. Think about how much time you can dedicate to the program, and how soon you need to get yourself back into the working world. Consider where you’d like to work and the salary you’d someday like to earn. If you examine each of these areas, you’ll be able to choose the perfect program to help you achieve your career goals.

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