The Baltimore Beauty Student's Resource Guide

Baltimore may be the perfect place to begin a beauty career—but there's more to it than just completing training and earning your license. The whole city has exciting opportunities for students of cosmetology, esthetics, and other beauty fields both during and after training.

This article will explore salary and growth opportunities for popular Baltimore beauty careers, some of the city's top employers in the field, and the area's in-demand beauty specialties, scholarship opportunities, and supply stores. At the bottom, you can find a list of additional resources to help you succeed as a beauty professional in Baltimore.

Salary and Job Growth in Baltimore Beauty Careers

Baltimore has a thriving beauty scene, with a ton of different careers to choose from. Each has its own salary and job growth expectations.

  • Cosmetology: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists employed in the Baltimore-Towson-Columbia area earned annual mean salaries of $32,810 in 2019. This figure is substantially higher than the national median of $26,090.
  • Hair Braiding: Meanwhile, Glassdoor found hair braiders in the Baltimore metro area earn an average of $19,625 per year, 3% below the national average.
  • Barbering: Barbering careers are also in high demand throughout Maryland, with projected job growth of 8% between 2019-2029. Barbers working in the Baltimore area earned annual mean wages of $35,640 in 2019, compared to the national median of $26,270. As a state, Maryland offers the highest wages in the country for barbers. In 2019, these professionals brought home annual mean wages of $57,500.
  • Esthetics: Skincare specialists and estheticians also enjoy high annual mean wages in the Baltimore metro area, earning $49,820 in 2019. These wages can vary substantially across the state: Those in the bottom 10% of workers earn $21,740 while those in the top 10% receive $64,070. Jobs for estheticians are projected to grow by 16% in Maryland between 2018-2028.
  • Nail Technology: Manicurists and pedicurists, also known as nail technicians, are in demand throughout Baltimore and the state as well, with projected growth of 11% between 2018-2028. Annual mean wages in the city reached $23,480 as of 2019.

Top Beauty Employers in Baltimore

African Hair Braiding Group

Located in Owings Mills, this Black hair salon specializes in a wide variety of braids. Examples include the Senegalese Long Twist, Fluffy Twist, Nubian Twist, Goddess Braid, and weaves. The shop specializes in using two braiders simultaneously to make the experience quicker for clients.

Brocatos Studio of Hair Design

Brocatos maintains a Yelp score of 4.5 scores based on 78 reviews. This full-service salon provides hair services for men, women, and children and makeup artistry for special events.

Great Clips

This national chain has two locations in Baltimore as part of its more than 4,400 independently owned and operated salons. Great Clips currently employs more than 35,000 stylists and is always on the lookout for more qualified hairstylists and barbers.

Hair Cuttery

With four locations throughout the Baltimore metro area, Hair Cuttery offers plenty of opportunities for getting your foot into the Baltimore beauty scene. Glassdoor reviews highlight benefits such as free continuing education, 401k and health insurance after 60 days of employment, and several incentive programs.

Salon Laurie

Highlighted as having the best business practices 12 years in a row by Salon Today Magazine, Salon Laurie employs hairstylists, barbers, nail technicians, and estheticians. Besides providing a fun work area, employees can also take advantage of benefits and continuing education programming.

Studio 7 Salon and Spa

Specializing in hair and skin services for all textures and styles, Studio 7 employs various professional massage therapists, hairstylists, estheticians, and skin specialists.

Studio 921 Salon & Spa

Located in the historic Locust Point/Federal Hill neighborhood, this bustling salon and spa employs hairstylists, colorists, estheticians, and makeup artists to provide a wide variety of services.

Specialties and Certifications Baltimore Beauty Students Should Consider

If you decide to attend beauty school in Baltimore, you may come across a few specialties and certifications not found elsewhere. If you're looking to offer specialized services, consider some of the following options:

  • Barbering: If you're interested in barbering, the Baltimore Beauty and Barber School offers a 1,200-hour professional barbering program using the Milady training method. Students learn advanced skills through interactive lesson plans, lectures, and hands-on experiences. As of 2017, it maintains a nearly 98% licensure rate for graduates.
  • Black Hair Care: People who identify as Black or African American account for 62.7% of Baltimore's population, creating substantial demand for stylists specializing in meeting their unique hair needs. Many Black-owned salons, such as Diaspora Salon, provide specialized services to Black customers. It could be beneficial to add hair braiding to your skillset.
  • Medspas: Medpas offer treatments such as injections, fillers, laser therapies, and facials alongside traditional spa offerings. Medspas offer trendy options for medical-grade services and may be good options for medical or nurse estheticians.
  • Makeup Artistry: Whether providing makeup artistry services for proms, weddings, photoshoots, or other special occasions, several different makeup schools exist in Baltimore and offer the opportunity to earn certifications in this popular service.
  • Nail Art: With nail art techniques such as stamping, stenciling, and airbrushing becoming popular, students can consider getting certified in some of these advanced services to stand out from the competition.

Beauty School Scholarships and Grants for Baltimore Students

Aspiring beauty school students may take advantage of several scholarships to help them pay for college. These include:

  • Jack R. Tolbert Memorial Grant: This Maryland-specific scholarship provides $500 per year awards to students attending a career school lasting at least 100 hours, including cosmetology and beauty school programs.
  • Central Scholarships: Designed to support Maryland high school graduates looking to attend a career or technical program, students can apply for these scholarships if their family income is under $66,000 per year.
  • Empire Beauty School Scholarships: Located in Owings Mills, Empire Beauty School offers several different scholarships to help students pursuing cosmetology programs lower their costs and graduate with less debt.
  • Aveda Scholarships: With 15 locations in and around Baltimore, the Aveda Beauty Changes Lives Scholarship is a great option. Designed to support students whose educations were halted or delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these awards provide $1,000 in funding.

Looking For More Scholarships? offers a $2,500 scholarship for beauty and wellness professionals. We've also gathered the most comprehensive list of nation-wide scholarships available for beauty students.

Top Beauty Student Supply Stores in Baltimore

In Baltimore, you'll find several beauty supply stores, including the following:

KC Beauty Mart

KC Beauty Mart provides a wide variety of beauty supplies, including wigs and hair products, nails, cosmetics, and full kits in two locations in the greater Baltimore area.

Call: 410-904-5791
Visit: 7665-A Arundel Mills Boulevard, Hanover, MD 21076

Jinny Beauty Supply

Operating as a wholesale retailer, Jinny Beauty Supply offers specialty beauty and barbering products for multicultural hair care. The company currently has more than 60,000 different products in stock.

Call: 240-294-1861
Visit: 8700 Larkin Rd., Baltimore, MD 20763


CosmoProf offers countless brands and professional supplies in areas of hair care, lashes and brows, cosmetics, nail art, skin and body, and salon-grade tools and kits. The group also specializes in providing hair products for textured hair.

Call: 410-663-3810
Visit: 7686 Belair Road, Baltimore, MD 21236

Sally Beauty

With several different locations throughout Baltimore, Sally Beauty supplies beauty students and professionals alike with thousands of salon- and spa-grade products. Students can also join the free membership program for discounts.

Call: 410-377-2401
Visit: 6344 York Road, Baltimore, MD 21212

Paul's Beauty Warehouse

Located in the Woodlawn neighborhood, Paul's Beauty Wearhouse currently stocks more than 10,000 professional products and supplies designed for barbers and stylists. They sell only to licensed professionals, making it easier to offer lower prices.

Call: 410-277-0900
Visit: 1821 Whitehead Road, Baltimore, MD 21207

Other Resources for Baltimore Beauty Students

Maryland Board of Cosmetologists
Operating under the Maryland Department of Labor, this agency approves all licensing applications for individuals looking to become cosmetologists in Maryland.

Artisans of Beauty Association of Maryland
This professional association supports beauticians, barbers, nail technicians, braiders, and other beauty professionals in the field. Members take advantage of continuing education programs, events, and networking opportunities throughout the year.

Natural Hair Care Exposition
This Baltimore-based annual event celebrates natural hair by providing access to speakers, vendors, and live demonstrations during a multi-day exposition.

Maryland AACS Schools
The American Association of Cosmetology Schools provides a list of Maryland-based cosmetology schools it recommends to help prospective students make an informed decision.

PSI Exams
The proctored exam company PSI exams handles the cosmetologist, nail technician, esthetician, and senior cosmetologist exams for the Maryland Department of Labor. Examinees must schedule their tests through PSI. The company offers several testing locations throughout Baltimore.

Cosmetology/Manicurist Private Career Schools in Maryland
The Maryland Higher Education Commission provides a searchable list of all beauty schools and cosmetology academies throughout the state.

Select a beauty program and state to view schools