Best 9 Cosmetology Schools in Seattle / Tacoma (2022)
With so many options, picking the right cosmetology program for you can feel overwhelming. We've put together a list of some of the top hair and beauty schools in the Seattle, Washington area to help make the process easier.
Top Cosmetology Schools in Seattle / Tacoma
Top Cosmetology Schools in Seattle / Tacoma (Full List)
This popular Tacoma school offers programs in cosmetology, barbering, esthetics, and manicuring, and teacher training for those who want to become educators. B.J.'s states that its instructors utilize their wealth of knowledge and experience to deliver training beyond technical skills. The school works with the Summit Salon Business Curriculum to help students grow their business knowhow and hair and beauty skills.
The school's 1,600-hour cosmetology program is normally completed in 54 weeks by full-time day students or 67 weeks by night students. It covers various topics, from hair cutting, coloring, and styling to manicures, skincare, first aid, and practical business skills.
Reviews on Indeed generally praise the program. One reviewer wrote that they wished the school offered a program that was more advanced but ultimately gave it 5 stars: "The institution that I attended was a great learning curve. I was given the tools to open up my own business and or work in a salon/professional setting."
Paroba College offers programs in several hair and beauty topics, including cosmetology, barbering, esthetics, teacher training, hair design, and advanced/master courses in esthetics. The college lets students study three days per week to balance work, children, and other commitments around their training.
The college's 1,600-hour cosmetology program takes around 14 months to complete. It covers topics including hair cutting and styling, coloring, chemical texturing, manicuring, facials, makeup, hair removal, and retail sales.
The school has a four out of five-star rating on Indeed, with reviews like: "Learned about hair skin and nails. Had a few months in theory class before I was able to move onto the floor to practice hands on. It was great to have such great teachers."
Evergreen Beauty has several locations across Washington state. The Everett campus is located just off of Everett Mall Way, meaning it's convenient for students from Lynnwood, Granite Falls, Monroe, and other local townships. It offers cosmetology, hair design, esthetics, nails, makeup artistry, individual eyelash extensions, and instructor training programs.
Evergreen's cosmetology program moves students through three levels. First is phase one, which covers health, safety and sanitation, hair cutting and coloring, and professional ethics. Next is phase two, including barbering, extensions, wigs, skincare, and nails. Last is phase three, where students complete an externship and receive state board prep and career assistance. The school's EverFlex classes clock in at just four hours per day, with online assignments for students to complete at their convenience.
"I thought I signed up how to learn a new skills and I am leaving to begin a career in the beauty industry with the most amazing mentors and friends," says one graduate on the school's testimonials page. "Thank you Evergreen!"
At its Seattle location, the Aveda Arts & Sciences Institute offers programs in cosmetology and esthiology (esthetics). The school's cosmetology course incorporates theory with extensive hands-on experience to provide students with a complete understanding of beauty and wellness.
The curriculum includes hair cutting, coloring, texture services, nail care, makeup application, business development, retail knowledge, and concepts of gaining and retaining clients. Upon completion, students move on to intensive real-world training to hone their skills.
"Awesome education in cosmetology and hair design," says one review. "They have a diverse clientele, students and instructors. And of many salon quality services. Great place to learn cosmetology and get licensed. Great place to get hair and skin services, waxing too."
This career-focused Tacoma school offers students cosmetology, esthetics, and instructor training programs. The school is unique because it works with Summit Salon Business Center—a recognized leader in providing business-consulting services in all facets of the beauty industry. #Teamsummit (as they call themselves) incorporate training tools into the cosmetology curriculum that reinforce business and marketing strategies for success.
Summit's comprehensive 1,800-hour cosmetology program covers many topics, including beauty and hair skills, business skills, and marketing skills. The school works to continually update the curriculum to ensure its students stay on top of the latest industry trends and techniques.
"It's an amazing school!" says one recent Facebook review. "They have wonderful students and the staff and owners are kind and care about our educational experience they are a very good place to start!"
At its North Seattle location in Mountlake Terrace, Gene Juarez Academy (formerly Highlights Beauty School) has a 15,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility conveniently located off the I-5. The campus offers a modern salon-like atmosphere with high-tech classrooms and 105 clinic stations.
The school offers a core cosmetology program that takes 1,600 hours to complete, with students attending classes three days per week. Students begin learning from a distance before moving on to full salon-floor training by the end of their education. The curriculum covers all areas of hair and beauty, including hair cutting, coloring, and styling, hair extensions, eyelash extensions, chemical waving and relaxing, nails, skincare, and customer service.
Reviews of the program are positive, such as this from one graduate: "Excellent program, felt confident in my skills during my whole training, developed excellent communication skills and amazing friendships while there."
This Centralia college offers programs in cosmetology, manicuring, teaching, and "New Market," in which students can earn a science, CTE, and elective credit toward graduation while preparing for a rewarding career right out of high school in association with New Market Skills Center.
The cosmetology program takes 1,640 hours to complete and teaches students many skills, including hair styling, coloring, cutting, manicures, pedicures, waxing, makeup, and more.
"I personally graduated from this school and I can legitimately say that it is a great school," says one review. "The instructors are AMAZING and prepare you so much for when you move onto working in the real world. They're there to truly help you and push you to be your best and they have the best personalities. The owners are GREAT and very good at what they do. If you are thinking about trying out beauty college either now or maybe in the future I highly recommend this school. Thank you Centralia Beauty College for everything!"
Like its sister location in North Seattle, Gene Juarez's South Seattle location offers one core 1,600-hour cosmetology program. Classes run on a three-day schedule, with students attending for ten hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, or Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Once they reach the last stages of their training, students practice their skills in the on-site salon, which sees over 40,000 clients between the two campuses. Students also learn important marketing and business skills to ensure they have the best career starts possible.
"Great school I enjoyed it to the very end," says one Indeed review. "You will learn a lot. The instructor's were the absolute best. You have to wear all black but not a uniform so that is good, The 1st day your already doing stuff. Its very hands on so your not sitting in a classroom falling asleep."
Students at this school can choose between programs in cosmetology, master esthetics, and "New Market." The latter allows students who are still in high school to obtain the same advanced education as those enrolled in the regular cosmetology program, while earning their high school diploma or GED through New Market Skills Center.
The cosmetology program takes around 11 months to complete, with students attending four days per week. The Academy not only teaches innovative hair color and cutting techniques but also gives its students a foundation in business management to help them develop the entrepreneurial skills they need to have a successful career in the field of cosmetology.
"I'm a full-time student at the school and is the most amazing environment that I've ever been around," says one Facebook review.
How We Ranked Seattle / Tacoma 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 10 cosmetology schools in Seattle / Tacoma.
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.