Online Beauty School & Online Cosmetology Classes

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Can I attend beauty school all online?

No, not currently. All states currently require the majority or all beauty training hours to occur in the classroom, not online. Because there are many skills that require hands-on practice and repeat practical training in order to pass the practical portion of the board exams, much of cosmetology school must still occur on campus. More schools these days are moving toward offering portions of their training online, particularly theory and book work portions that don't require hands-on work.

"Right now it runs the gamut as far as what is allowed and what's not," Milady Directory of Marketing & Training Gerard McAvey said. "If we look across all 50 states and DC, there is a handful of states that technically have and passed legislation to allow pre-licensure education online. There are three buckets: states that actually have legislation passed to allow online training, states that prohibit online learning and only allow for brick-and-mortar learning, and the states that technically do not prohibit online learning, and therefore schools can partake if they choose."

There are several obstacles schools are facing as they try to introduce online learning and more technology into the classroom, such as getting their state boards to allow it, and purchasing and setting up the tools and resources students will need. We at Beauty Schools Directory believe that some day, online cosmetology school will make up a larger part of the beauty education curriculum as more and more students try to pursue their education from home while also juggling full-time work or family commitments. 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. But we also believe that coming to campus for hands-on lessons will still be a part of cosmetology school indefinitely, because it is such a hands-on line of work. Until then, full online beauty school programs and full online cosmetology school programs are not available.

Can I take any online cosmetology classes?

Yes. The new trend in beauty has been leaning towards cosmetology schools and beauty schools going more online for theory and book learning, or at least using technology to supplement the in-class learning. But at the moment only some online cosmetology courses and online cosmetology classes are offered for continuing education. 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.

Some of the online beauty schools and online cosmetology school programs that are offered are for 12- or 8-credit hours that can expand your knowledge about blood borne pathogens, sanitation, business skills, new techniques and more. So in the meantime, until online cosmetology schools and online beauty schools becomes a reality, get started toward earning your beauty or cosmetology license and request more information from beauty schools in your area.

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?

Beauty School Students Taking Computer-Based Classes

Many cosmetology schools are evolving with the times and adopting high-tech products and services to help supplement students’ education. Especially for the book and theory portions of the curriculum, many schools are now allowing students to take classes online from home, or through an iPad provided by the school. Adopting technology into the cosmetology classroom has been having a positive impact on student learning and retention. Many schools also use online or computer-based games, tests and quizzes to help students study for their licensing 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.

"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 said that more and more schools are asking about the latest devices, and they are seeing a clear shift toward using technology in the cosmetology classroom. Schools know that the generation of students now enrolling want and need this technology to be successful, and schools are trying to be as proactive as possible to do things like including a tablet in the student kit, or adding computer labs in the schools.

"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." 

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