December 5, 2018

How to Evaluate a Cosmetology School in California

Student in Cosmetology School

Have you always dreamed of being a hair stylist? Were you that little kid cutting dolls’ hair every time you found a pair of scissors (or maybe even a little brother or sister’s)? Then maybe it’s time to stop dreaming and start doing. If you want to be a cosmetologist, you can. All you need is some talent, time, training, and a cosmetology license. But to get started, you also need to choose the right beauty school.

Here’s how to evaluate a cosmetology school in California:

Do Your Research on Cosmetology Schools in California

If you love your hair stylist, that’s a great place to start. Where did he or she go to school? What would they recommend? Your friends and family can also be good resources for information. Or maybe you know someone who works at a salon or barbershop. Ask them for advice. You’ll also want to get online and do some research. Seek out success stories of graduates and find out why they went to the school they did and whether they were satisfied.

Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few likely contenders, start asking some tough questions:

How Long Have They Been in Business?

The truth is that experience does matter. If a school has been around for 50 years, there’s probably a really good reason why it’s lasted so long. It’s also sad—but true—that that some schools say they can provide you with a great education, and then go out of business, leaving you stuck. Beware of big promises from small schools that are just starting out. You want experience and longevity.

Look at the Curriculum and Teaching Methods

It goes without saying that you’ll want a program that uses a hands-on approach. After all, how are you going to learn to cut, color, and style hair if you don’t actually do it? But is the school also teaching methods that have stood the test of time, while also remaining cutting edge? Vidal Sassoon was a leader in the cosmetology industry and the company’s proprietary ABC methodology of cutting is applauded worldwide as top-notch. Is the school you’re considering one of Sassoon’s partner schools?

Find Out What Happens to Their Graduates

Whether you ask school officials or graduates themselves, you want to know how well students did in cosmetology school—and after. Were the skills they gained during their training up to the standard of the industry? Were graduates able to find work? And perhaps most importantly, were they prepared for the real world? Today’s schools are required by law to provide prospective students with “gainful employment” data. Check out the school’s website and see how many of their students are employed.

Take a School Tour

As you get closer to making a decision about cosmetology school, request additional information, call the school with questions, and make sure you go to the actual facilities and check them out. Observe a class, check out their onsite salon, talk to staff, instructors, and students. Pay attention. Does everyone seem like they actually like what they’re doing? They should! You want to be taught by passionate professionals and surrounded by like-minded students who are as serious about their education as you are –but who also know how to enjoy what they’re doing. After all, you want to love what you do and have fun at it.

Consider the Costs

Your education is an investment in your future, but you still need to understand its financial costs. Contact the school and connect with its Financial Aid office. You might qualify for financial aid. Ask about promotions and scholarships. And if you take out federal loans, make sure you have a plan to pay them back.

If you’re ready to get serious about your future, we’re here to help. Salon Success Academy has been providing students in the Inland Empire area with comprehensive cosmetology training for more than 60 years. Our instructors are professionals from the field with extensive knowledge about industry trends and teaching methods that help you learn all you need to know to work in the rewarding beauty industry. They will even help you prep for your licensing exam. Fill out the form and schedule a school tour today.

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