Beauty School Curricula

Curious what curriculum to expect in beauty school?

Congratulations on choosing beauty school as your future career path! As you’re preparing to choose a school and enroll, you are probably wondering what to expect from the program outline and curriculum. While each state and school may handle the curriculum a little differently from one another for the different programs (cosmetology, barbering, makeup artistry, nail technology, and esthetics among others), there are some common components that most schools share. For example, many schools use the same curriculum foundation and the same set of textbooks. Beauty Schools Directory has compiled information about what to expect from the curriculum and the vendors you may encounter when you enroll. If you haven’t yet found the right school for you, simply enter your zip code in the box to the right and choose the program you’re interested in, then click “Find Schools” to get started.

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What does a sample cosmetology school curriculum look like?

Cosmetology TextbooksEach state has unique curriculum requirements for each of the programs for which they offer licenses, so we always urge you to contact your own state licensing board to find out what your state requires schools to teach. Each state may also require a different amount of training hours to get licensed for the individual programs. Below is a sample cosmetology school curriculum, and it may not apply to your state or school.

  • Science: Infection Control, Chemistry, Electricity/Light Therapy, Anatomy, Physiology, Trichology
  • Hair Technique: Hairstyling, Hair Cutting & Shaping, Hair Coloring, Chemical Texture Services, Scalp Treatments, Hair Treatments
  • Other Technique: Skin Care Treatments, Cosmetics Application, Nail Technology Services
  • Professional Development: Ethics, Communication, Payment/Compensation, Licensing Requirements, Licensing Laws, Business Management, Client Record-Keeping

Again, you should speak to the individual schools about their specific curriculum outline. Look at the programs the school offers, and the list of courses each program includes. Read through the descriptions of the courses, and find out whether the class will be measured in credits, clock hours or competencies. Understand what instructional methods the teachers are using, and their grading procedures so you know how you will be assessed. Ask the admissions representatives what the expected outcomes of the program will be, and how they will prepare you to not just pass the exams and get your license, but to have a successful career in the long-term.

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Who is Milady?

Milady is the biggest name in textbooks associated with beauty education for more than 80 years. Chances are, if you are a licensed beauty professional, you used one of the Milady Standard Textbooks at school and when you prepared for your licensure exam. More than 10 million beauty professionals have become licensed using a Milady product and more than 90% of all current students in beauty related education use Milady educational products.

Milady LogoMilady's Standard textbooks for Cosmetology, Esthetics, Nail Technology, Barbering, Makeup, Massage Therapy and Salon & Spa Management incorporate fresh, innovative approaches to education. The books are very visual and eye-appealing, and most of the texts are offered in both English and Spanish. The textbooks are comprehensive and contemporary, and the student resources are abundant, addressing the many learning styles you may have.

Milady also offers a completely digital curriculum with CourseMate, eBooks, and they incorporate cutting edge technology in a variety of platforms: print, CD-ROM, DVD, web-based, mobile and tablet lessons and more, all created with the creative and digital learneres in mind.

What is Pivot Point?

Pivot Point Curriculum

Pivot Point International is considered to be the premiere curriculum in cosmetology education. Founded by Leo Passage in 1962, Pivot Point is the global leader in hair and beauty education and with a Pivot Point International network of millions of graduates, the most widely taught beauty school curriculum. The Pivot Point curriculum teaches students to see, think, create and adapt as a beauty professional. The curriculum marries art and design, as well as the most innovative techniques used in the industry today – not just the “how,” but also the “why” of everything you do. The Pivot Point curriculum teaches foundational design principles of form, texture and color, and then incorporate these with practical applications, such as sculpting, long hair design, texture and color. You will also learn how to adapt every aspect of the design to your clients’ needs. This helps make students of Pivot Point schools valuable assets to any high-end salon or spa. Pivot Point schools get support for education, students, faculty, staff, admissions, marketing and more through Pivot Point’s Member School program. Their educational library includes six subject modules: Cosmetology Fundamentals, Sculpture, Hair Design, Color, Texture, Salon Success and Meta (an international trend collection).

What is the CLiC Certification Program?

Certification Pull QuoteThe CLiC International system, or "Certified Learning in Cosmetology" system, is another cosmetology curriculum program. They offer a series of textbooks and accompanying teachers’ guides with detailed text, diagrammed illustrations and modern photography. The CliC system provides a basic cosmetology foundation, then builds on it by introducing artistic and visual concepts that nurture creativity as well as interpersonal and sales skills. It is presented in a simple-to-complex format that measures the learning process each step of the way and helps set standards in the industry. An international certification from CliC means students have mastered the skills and been tested to perform them at salon ready levels.

CLiC Certification LogoThe CLiC Certification Program provides schools and salons a certification system to meet the need for varying skill levels and to refine the assessment of cosmetology and people skills. The Certified Learning in Cosmetology (CLiC) System helps students master the skills and knowledge to become professional cosmetologists. CLiC incorporates principles of architecture, theatre and other art, forms as a framework to tie together scientific and mathematical concepts in addition to elements of biology and fine arts. CLiC is designed to offer an education in the art, math and science of haircutting, hair designing, hair chemistry, hair coloring, makeup, nails and success dynamics - all the skills needed to be successful in today's progressive salons.

  • "Certification is a good way of knowing a stylist is qualified and can actually do what they say they can do!" Martin Parsons - International Educator
  • "A Certification with a grade from an educational institute would twice enhance a candidate's chances for a positive career and a profitable future in the field of cosmetology." Scott Parks - Principal Bucks County Technical School
  • "The benefit for a student becoming certified is the recognition that they are knowledgeable in the arts of cosmetology." Geno Stampora - International Educator.

What is Studio Luma?

If you take part in Studio Luma®, you can go beyond just your typical beauty classroom setting. Studio Luma® was designed for students who want work at their own pace, using a mixture of videos, animations, open-book tests, and illustrations.

Each week you will focus on a single class which teaches you how to deal with all sorts of real life salon situations including:

  • Salon management
  • Helping indecisive guests
  • How to get along with other stylists
  • Hair cutting, coloring and styling
  • Skin & makeup application
  • Natural & artificial nails

While using Studio Luma®, you will also get hands-on practice in the student salon with teachers who are always available for one-on-one help. The average completion time for a full-time program is about a year. Be sure to check your state’s minimum hour requirement for cosmetology school. If a full-time schedule isn’t for you, some campuses may offer part-time programs as well.

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