Online Beauty School & Online Cosmetology Classes

Jump to Your Question:

Can I attend beauty school all online?

The answer to that question is kind of tricky. It’s one of those yes-and-no questions that requires a bit of explanation. The following information is meant to help you understand why online education might not be the best option for cosmetology training.

We’ll also take a look at situations when distance learning courses do align with online beauty school training. From there, you can take a look at what kinds of technology are already making an impact in cosmetology programs.

Why should you rely on Beauty Schools Directory as your source for online cosmetology information?

  • We have one of the most comprehensive lists of top beauty schools on the web.
  • You can easily contact all your options for cosmetology training from one place.
  • You can apply for our scholarship, which can help cover your costs for tuition and fees.
  • We have a world of resources about every kind of cosmetology program, and several related areas, such as massage therapy, salon management and more!

If you are ready to view your options for online cosmetology schools and campus based programs, enter your zip code, or choose your state and preferred program to start.

Short answer: There aren’t currently any 100% online beauty school programs that qualify you for state licensure.

As of 2017, all states currently require the majority or all of your beauty-training hours to occur in the classroom, not online. Why?

Here are the main reasons students need to complete a large portion of their cosmetology training in-person, under the guidance of experienced professionals:

  • Most cosmetology skills are hands-on – requiring in-person coaching and training.
  • Cosmetologists work face-to-face with their customers; training in real environments helps develop interpersonal skills.
  • The mentorship of experienced professionals cannot be completely replicated online when it comes to beauty training.

Three Ways States Approach Online Beauty School Training

In general, states approach regulation of online beauty school and cosmetology courses in three different ways:

  1. Allow virtual beauty schools. These states actively approved that online learning is okay for cosmetology students.
  2. Prohibit online beauty programs. Many states agree with the idea that cosmetology programs should be taught in person by licensed professionals, and include mandatory training hours.
  3. Do not prohibit or regulate. In other words, these states allow online and campus programs, and leave it to the schools to format their own curriculum.

The thing you need to know about each of these options, is that if you get your distance learning cosmetology degree, you are most likely not going to be able to get licensed in your state. Plain and simple.

Obstacles to Online Beauty School Programs

There are several challenges beauty schools face when integrating e-learning cosmetology courses to their program options. These obstacles can include:

  • State Cosmetology Board approval
  • Investing in the online learning infrastructure that offers the same quality of a traditional classroom experience
  • Convincing potential students that these options will result in the careers they want

We at Beauty Schools Directory believe that online cosmetology school options will make up a larger part of the beauty education curriculum as technology advances. But for now, we believe there will always be an essential in-person component of beauty school training.

Of course, with advances in computer simulations and communication tools, it would be foolish to rule out any prediction for what the future could bring. Who knows, you may find a virtual beauty school classroom in the future…where simulation labs replace actual clients. In fact--

The Tide for Online Beauty School Training is Already Turning…

In fact, NACCAS (one of the accrediting bodies for cosmetology schools) bylaws allows up to 50% of accredited programs to deliver their beauty school curricula in an online format. This proves that State Boards, school owners, and legislators are already planning and implementing these advances in online beauty education.

And why not? With so many medical and healthcare degrees offering distance learning courses in subjects, such as anatomy, chemistry, and other knowledge-based subjects, why shouldn’t the cosmetology specialties do the same? After all, many beauty students are juggling busy lives and other jobs.

Any bit of convenience helps!

Can I take any online cosmetology classes?

Possibly. Even though the trend is steering towards courses you can do on the computer, expect to take most, if not all of your training in person. The one spot we are seeing e-learning options expand is in the continuing education courses beauty schools offer. These are credits many states require as part of the license renewal process, and completing your cosmetology CEUs online can be a very helpful.

Examples of online continuing education courses for beauticians can include:

  • Safety & sanitation
  • Blood borne pathogens
  • AIDS & HIV training
  • Topics in cosmetology
  • Topics in teacher instruction

That means that students of online beauty classes must already have a beauty license and simply be completing their CEU hours to renew their cosmetology licenses. Whether it's in cosmetology or a more focused industry like nails or skin care, students can further their cosmetology training with beauty schools online with programs for continuing education.

There are also services like SalonPrep, which is one of the most thorough online cosmetology review programs you can take. It was developed by cosmetologists and includes online study guides divided by subject, audio lessons to review the study guides, sample questions to test yourself, and timed practice exams you can take online to prep for your boards.

What technology is being used in the cosmetology classroom?

Many cosmetology schools are showing signs of this online evolution by adopting high-tech products and services that supplement students’ classroom education.

What virtual beauty school tools & approaches are we seeing?

  • iPads provided by schools in place of traditional textbooks
  • Computer-based games that result in learning outcomes
  • Practice tests and quizzes to prep for Board exams

Milady, the largest cosmetology textbook provider in the industry, is providing a number of new high-tech supplements to the cosmetology classroom, such as eBook downloads, CourseMate online teaching tools, and a digital curriculum accessible from mobile and tablet devices. Many of Milady’s tools have also helped instructors be more effective in monitoring students’ progress and grades, and be able to give one-on-one support to students who need a little extra help.

Take a look at Milady’s Online Haircutting Simulation, for example. For under $50, you can refresh your haircutting skills through a 3-D interactive, game-like atmosphere.

This e-learning beauty program includes:

  • Reports that gauge and critique your performance
  • Personalized virtual clients to meet the needs of your desired skills
  • Different modes of skill and difficulty help you advance and learn at your own pace
  • Two-year access period where you can use the program as many times as you want

Quotes about online cosmetology learning from Milady’s Director of Marketing, Gerard McAvey:

"Right now a lot of it is incorporating the technology in the classroom, like distributing iPads or having computers within the school," McAvey said. "While students are technically in the confines of the school, they are actually using the devices and working on their own,going through activities, lessons, and videos, and being able to dip their toes in the water."

McAvey goes on to note that beauty schools that integrate online and virtual learning tools for cosmetologists typically don’t look back. He see a necessary balance between online and campus cosmetology course options...

"One of the benefits [of online hybrid learning] is the flexibility of going through a lesson and being able to go back through again later," McAvey said. "It's difficult to accommodate 25 students and their individual needs, but this allows them to review and reinforce specific areas that require more attention. It puts more power and control into students' hands, which makes them more comfortable and open to learning." 

Are you ready to learn more about online beauty schools?

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