Best Cosmetology Schools in Michigan (2022)
With so many options to choose from, picking the best cosmetology program to kickstart your new beauty career can be daunting. To simplify the process, we've compiled a list of the top 15 cosmetology schools in Michigan, with information on curriculum requirements, training hours, student reviews, and more.
Top Cosmetology Schools in Michigan
Top Cosmetology Schools in Michigan (Full List)
The French Academy of Cosmetology in Spring Lake offers students programs in cosmetology, esthetics, and nails and a cosmetology instructor course for those who want to become educators.
The school's 1,500-hour cosmetology program teaches a wide variety of essential hair and beauty skills and provides a mixture of comprehensive practice and classroom theory training. Students work with mannequins, live models, and clients to perfect a range of techniques, including hair cutting, coloring, styling, nails and skin care, perming, waxing, makeup, and more.
"Great reviews from trainers, gives a student a great idea of a typical day hands on with clients," says one reviewer on Indeed. "The hardest part was the book work, it required hours of study. I enjoyed the clients I met and that returned to me, along with the trainers that were very helpful in all aspects."
The Wells family started L'esprit Academy in 2004 after decades of experience in the high-end salon and day spa business. The school partners with industry-leading brands including Wella, American Crew, Kryolan Makeup, Dermalogica, CND, and Design Essentials to give its students experience with multiple product lines and build professionalism and technical skills.
The school offers programs in cosmetology, esthetics, manicuring, and instruction. The cosmetology program takes 1,500 hours to complete taken full-time, part-time, and on a hybrid basis using the secure Microsoft Teams video platform and Milady's MindTap online learning portal.
"Great Cosmetology, Esthetics, and nail programs," says one recent reviewer on Facebook. "Definitely recommend for those looking to enter the beauty industry."
Located along the St. Clair River just minutes from lively downtown Port Huron, Paul Mitchell the School Great Lakes offers students programs in cosmetology, nails, and teacher training. The 1,500-hour cosmetology program takes students through three training phases—Core, Adaptive, and Creative.
In the Core phase, students focus on the fundamentals of cutting, color, texture, styling, skin, and nails and receive an introduction to Paul Mitchell the School culture. In the Adaptive phase, the learning continues in the classroom and in the clinic, where students practice and perfect the fundamental skills they've learned. In the Creative phase, students learn more advanced and creative techniques while preparing to work independently in salons. An optional Phase Two program is also available for students who want an additional challenge.
"Hands on, great teachers," says one former student on Indeed. "You learned about doing men and women's hair, makeup, nails, facials, and any diseases that may affect your work."
At its Farmington Hills campus, Paul Mitchell the School offers cosmetology and teacher training programs. The 1,500-hour cosmetology program is the same high-quality training offered at other Paul Mitchell schools, guiding students through three different levels of training as they build their skills and prepare to pass the state board test and start their careers.
Like at its sister locations, students at this school receive a full kit upon enrollment that includes everything they might need for their studies—such as hot styling tools, mannequin heads, combs and brushes, scissors, clips, and more. Students also have access to a huge amount of digital support, including the Paul Mitchell online portal, career advice, and the Paul Mitchell cutting and coloring apps.
Reviews on Indeed are positive, such as this from one recent graduate: "Great learning environment, great environment to be a better person. Would recommend the salon for all types of people. Grateful for the salon experience."
MJ Murphy Beauty College offers students a manicure program and a cosmetology program, which the school designed with professional success in mind. The school is committed to preparing students for both the technical and business side of hair and beauty careers.
The program takes 1,500 hours to complete and combines classroom theory with hands-on practical training in hair cutting, coloring, dressing, scalp treatments, sanitation, salon management, facials, nails, and more. Students practice their techniques in the school's onsite salon.
At Paul Mitchell the School Grand Rapids, students can choose from cosmetology or teacher training programs.
The 1,500-hour cosmetology program takes students through three distinct training phases—Core, Adaptive, and Creative—until they are fully proficient and ready to pass the state board exam. Paul Mitchell schools are known for their energetic, creative culture, and students are encouraged to participate in events throughout the school year. This includes its three-month-long FUNraising events, in which students raise money for charities in local communities and across the globe. Since 2004, students and staff have raised over $22 million.
"Loved the school and staff… been using my skills for about six years now," says one graduate on Indeed. "I learned a lot, the staff was generous and nice. Always had my best interests at heart."
The Bayshire Academy of Beauty has been educating hair and beauty students since 1936 and now has several locations across Michigan—in Saginaw, Caro, and Bay City. It offers students programs in cosmetology, nail technology, massage therapy, and instructor training at its Bay City campus. All three locations provide full-service salon services for both scheduled and walk-in clients, meaning students get plenty of opportunities to practice their craft.
The school's cosmetology program takes 1,500 hours and covers a wide range of relevant topics and techniques, including hair cutting, coloring, styling, facials, nails, chemistry, anatomy, and salon management.
Reviews on Indeed are positive, such as this comment from one recent graduate: "Good school. I really enjoyed the combination of technical skills as well as the practical hands on stuff. Wish I could of had more clients while I was there, so I would have felt even more confident soon graduation. They basically get you ready to take the state boards. Which they must have done a good job at because I passed both the written and the practical exams first try."
Paul Mitchell the School offers cosmetology and teacher training programs at its popular Michigan campus in Sterling Heights. The school is in the center of Metro Detroit, just minutes from artistic attractions such as The Detroit Institute of Arts. The cosmetology program takes 1,500 hours to complete and takes students through three levels of training—Core, Adaptive, and Creative. As students gain skills and confidence, they progress through the levels until it's time to take the state board exam. An additional intensive add-on program is also available for those who want to advance their education.
"Went to school here & it was amazing!" says one enthusiastic reviewer on Yelp. "Harvard of beauty schools. The future professionals are so talented. Learning leaders are so helpful."
At its East Lansing campus, the Douglas J Aveda Institute offers students programs in cosmetology, esthetics, and massage. The 1,500-hour cosmetology curriculum is designed to help students stay safe and get the education they need to pursue a career as licensed cosmetologists, with a combination of digital learning, in-class lessons, and salon experience. Students use Aveda's sustainable, eco-friendly products throughout the program and are encouraged to give back to the community through charitable projects.
Students work through five phases of training, starting with the Intro level and graduating through the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Salon Life phases as they learn. Classes are available during the day or evening, making it easy to fit studies around other commitments. The school also offers students ongoing career advice with access to Aveda's network of salons and professionals worldwide.
"We began the program online due to Covid restrictions and had both in person and online experience," says one former student on Indeed. "I loved being hands on and having the ability to learn with my classmates! I believe the year was tough for everyone but we were able to make it through the program and come out stronger!"
Locally owned and operated for over 70 years, Michigan College of Beauty has enjoyed continuous operations since 1939. It offers students several beauty-based courses, including cosmetology, nail technology, advanced esthetics, and an instructor program. The college became a Pivot Point member school in 1982, and in 2010 moved to its current location and doubled in size with a bigger clinic area and state-of-the-art facilities.
The school's cosmetology program takes 1,500 hours to complete full-time, or around 58 weeks. Part-time and evening classes are also available. The program covers various relevant topics and techniques, including hair cutting, coloring and styling, nails, hair, and salon sanitation.
One reviewer on Indeed praises the school's teaching staff and hands-on training, then says, "They start with the basic of knowledge and the safety, than hands on and then a combination of both. They prepare you for the state board test and help you to find a job."
This Waterford Township beauty college encourages its students to explore their creative side and discover their full potential. The school offers students programs in esthetics, cosmetology, nails, and instructor training for those who want to take their career one step further.
The school's cosmetology program takes 1,500 hours to complete on a full-time basis. The school is committed to small class sizes and hands-on training to ensure every student fulfills their educational potential. While studying, students learn the ins and outs of the industry, from haircutting, dressing, and styling, to color techniques, perms and chemical treatments, nails, makeup, and more.
"I had an Awesome learning experience here loved Everyone from staff to students," says one former student on Facebook. "The teachers here are what make this school such an incredible learning environment," says another.
This Troy beauty school was originally founded in 1965 by Armand Dagenais. a talented hairstylist and salon owner. In 1997, his son, Mr. D., purchased the school and continues to fulfill his father's vision and directs the school in his honor. Today, the school offers students various programs, including esthetics, nail technology, cosmetology, and instructor training.
Using the Pivot Point training and educational systems, the college's 1,500-hour cosmetology program is available full-time or part-time, with day or evening schedules available. It's designed to train and prepare students for successful future careers in hairstyling, coloring, cutting, permanent waving, manicuring, esthetics, and employability skills.
Reviews on Facebook praise Mr. B. and the school, with comments such as this: "Very impressive, did a lot of research before we chose this school the owner actually personally took care of my daughter. Great guy really cares about the students and still loves what he does. I am very greatful for the time he spent with us. I believe my daughter's success begins here. Thank you again I really appreciate you!"
This Detroit school offers three core programs—cosmetology, manicuring, and instructor training. The cosmetology program takes 1,500 hours to complete and covers everything a student needs to know to pass the state board exam and launch their future career. Classes begin once per month and can be completed on a full-time, part-time, day, or evening basis.
The school encourages students to give back to the local community while studying and regularly hosts charitable outreach events. Students also spend their time practicing their skills in the school's onsite salon, where they perform services on real clients under the supervision of expert advisors.
Reviews on Indeed are positive, praising the hands-on training, flexible hours, and knowledgeable teachers. Here's one such testimonial from a recent graduate: "I completed the cosmetology and cosmetology instructor program through this institution. The staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. They prepare you for the state board exam and a career in cosmetology."
Hillsdale Beauty College offers students cosmetology, esthetics, and instructor licensing programs. The school's 1,500-hour cosmetology curriculum focuses on core concepts designed to aid students in their future careers, covering topics such as the latest trends in haircutting, coloring, styling, salon business knowledge, and training in customer service.
The first ten weeks of the program are in the classroom with lectures, demonstrations, and practice in moldings, shaping, pin curling, facials, makeup, manicuring, and personal improvement. After 350 hours, students begin their public clinic experience and study the mechanics of design and the art of hairstyling, with home assignments assigned to each class.
The school has a 4.7 out of five-star rating on Indeed, with glowing reviews from recent graduates. "Best school I have ever been too. Get a lot of one on one help and make sure your ready for state board. They have a 100% passing rate and the teachers are absolutely amazing."
The Cadillac Institute of Cosmetology is owned and operated by Ryan J. Gregory, who grew up in the field with his parents, James and Dena Gregory, cosmetology educators and school owners for over 30 years. Ryan has been an educator for ten years and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Saginaw Valley State University. The school offers programs in cosmetology and instructor training.
The 1,600-hour cosmetology program features two levels of training. During the first 350 hours of training (junior level), students attend lectures and complete written assignments, projects, and tests. They participate in hands-on demonstrations and practical assignments on mannequins and other students. They then take a practical exam and are promoted to senior status if they pass. At this level, they receive a styling station in the student salon, where they learn the skills necessary for performing all aspects of cosmetology on paying guests while being supervised by a licensed instructor.
"I attended at the full time status, which allowed me to finish within 1 year," explains one recent graduate on Indeed. "Once you have the minimum hours to work on actual clients, your day is very busy and similar to an in salon day."
How We Ranked Michigan Cosmetology Programs
The cosmetology schools ranked are accredited or state-approved to provide cosmetology programming according to the licensing requirements in the state. We researched schools that qualified as Title IV institutions and had an average of at least 25 students enrolled in the most recent 3 academic years of available data (2018 - 2020). These schools are all within 50 miles of a major city center and had a weighted 3-year average graduation rate (2018, 2019, and 2020) greater than 50%. After filtering for those requirements, we sorted the remaining programs by the highest weighted average graduation rate to determine the top 25 cosmetology schools in Michigan.
Graduation rate and student enrollment data are from the U.S. Department of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) reports. Schools with key data points missing from IPEDS reports may be omitted from the ranking, as are schools with data that is unattributable to its beauty programs. Many excellent educational institutions—including community colleges—offering a wide variety of vocational programs may, as a result, not be represented on these rankings of top beauty schools.