How Cosmetology Schools and Students Are Affected by COVID-19
May 25, 2022 Update
More than two years into the pandemic, many states continue to relax their COVID-19 restrictions, although the specifics vary depending on the state. Refer to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools' (AACS) Guide to Re-Opening for state-by-state information.
COVID Safety Protocols in Cosmetology Schools
Though some cosmetology schools had to close due to financial strains during the earlier parts of the pandemic, many cosmetology schools survived. However, cosmetology schools today may be operating with some changes from the pre-pandemic days to keep their population of students, instructors, and salon clients safe.
The continued restrictions may include any of the following:
Salon Protocols From the CDC
In addition to the safeguards schools have in place, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued Guidelines for Disinfecting Your Facility that many salons follow. Some of the most common minimum standards include:
Onsite school salons have seen the biggest changes. Schools and students may also need to follow safety recommendations involving customer interactions, such as:
Certain states, like Arkansas, may also hold onto the contact information of each client serviced in the school salon for a month. This record helps mitigate further COVID infections. Other salons post a sign at the door stating that they won't offer services to anyone who has signs of the virus.
Remember that just because beauty schools are open in your state, it doesn't mean it's back to business exactly as usual. Contact your school or local salon to learn more about their COVID-19 restrictions.
April 22, 2021 Update
Many states are relaxing their COVID restrictions. Refer to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools' excellent Guide to Re-Opening for state-by-state information.
May 28, 2020 Update
As of today, 41 states have authorized cosmetology schools to reopen with restrictions. We anticipate most other states will do the same in the next month or so. What does "with restrictions" mean? This will depend on your state, but may include any or all of the following:
If your school has a salon, there may be additional restrictions for working with clients:
Note that just because your state allows schools to reopen, it doesn't mean your school will do so. Contact your school to find out the details about when they will reopen and what their restrictions will be.
April 23, 2020 Update
If you are currently attending cosmetology school or will be starting soon (before June 1), you may be concerned about how you will take classes during these uncertain times.
Fortunately, many state cosmetology boards have approved temporary distance learning programs for the schools in their state. These programs would allow you to complete a portion of your training from home—currently 10% or higher.
Distance learning and online learning are totally different things. Distance learning is a temporary emergency option to allow the currently enrolled students a chance to continue education. With online programs schools need to send in a curriculum and follow particular guidelines.
—Kim Burgett, former beauty school owner
What might these programs look like? Although they will vary by school, they might include getting email assignments, watching video lectures, or accessing materials and assignments online. The programs will only cover the theory part of your training.
If your school was already offering online courses, however, your life won't change. You can continue to take these classes as determined by your school.
As of April 23, 2020, the following 48 states have approved temporary distance learning for cosmetology schools:
South Dakota Tennessee
Just as with the coronavirus itself, things can change quickly. State boards that have not approved distance learning today might approve it tomorrow. The number of credit hours might change, as well as the types of courses you can take. To help you keep abreast of any changes, Beauty Schools Directory will publish updates as new information becomes available.
Keep in mind that even if your state allows schools to implement distance learning programs, your school might not necessarily have the resources to do so. Make sure to check with your school to find out their policy.
If you are not a current cosmetology student but have been interested in going to beauty school, you may want to continue researching which school is best for you and requesting information. Many schools are still getting in contact with inquiring incoming students, even if their situation is evolving.