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Cosmetology School Requirements to Consider Before Entering Beauty School

January 20th, 2021


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Cosmetology is an essential trade that not everyone can do.That means attending cosmetology school is a great option to set yourself up for a successful and rewarding career. However, that doesn’t mean everyone is suited to a career in cosmetology. Before you sign up for cosmetology school, you need to consider these important things.

What is Cosmetology School?

Cosmetology is commonly referred to as the art and science of improving the appearance of can work to someone’s  hair, skin, and nails. In  cosmetology school, sometimes referred to as “beauty school,” students develop skills in hairdressing, hair coloring, and styling. Some and cosmetology schools offer additional specialty services. These can include esthetics and makeup artistry, along with basic advanced skin care. Requesting detailed information from schools you are interested in can help you narrow your focus area and determine which beauty school might be the best fit for you.

General Prerequisites

There are some prerequisites for cosmetology school that you’ll find across most curriculums.For example, just about every cosmetology school requires that you be 18 years old by the day classes start. Some cosmetology schools allow you to start younger, but the youngest a school will typically go is 16 years old.

Additionally, you’ll usually need a high school diploma or GED. Some cosmetology schools will offer GED assistance if you want to attend but don’t have your GED. Either way, you’re going to need to present evidence that you have a high-school-level education, as cosmetology school will build on concepts learned in high school.

Specific Prerequisites

Depending on the cosmetology school you’re hoping to attend, there may also be specific prerequisites you need to fulfill. For example, some beauty schools, especially more prestigious schools, might require a referral from a cosmetologist in the area. In the case of more prestigious schools, you may also need prior education to attend.

Some cosmetology schools don’t have such prerequisites, but only accept a certain number of students. When beauty schools have a limited number of available slots per graduating class, it can make the application process more competitive.In this case, add-ons, like referrals, prior experience, and extracurricular education will boost your chances of acceptance. Do research on the specific school to learn more about whether or not they require additional experience or education before acceptance.

How to Apply for Cosmetology School

The admissions process is unique for each school, but there are general steps to consider when applying for cosmetology school. In addition to meeting the general and specific prerequisites mentioned above, it’s a good idea to contact your school of choice and request additional information about that specific university. In many cases, these informational packets can answer many lingering questions.

Once you feel comfortable with the programs the cosmetology school has to offer, it’s time to contact the admissions department to schedule a campus visit. Attending a campus visit will  help you determine if the campus location will work with your commute.

If the campus tour goes well,it’s time to start exploring tuition fees and start-up costs. If cost is a concern for you, the admissions department will help you with financial aid resources. There may be scholarship opportunities or payment plans to help ease the financial burden of completing the program.

Does Cosmetology School Count as College Credit?

Technically speaking, cosmetology school is not the same as a traditional college. Cosmetology school is usually referred to as a trade school. Sometimes referred to as a vocational or technical school, beauty school requirements take less time to fulfill than a 4 year degree and give you the skills needed to be operational in the field when instruction is completed.

Physical Ability

While cosmetology may not strike you as an especially physical trade, there are a variety of physical elements to cosmetology. No matter what specialization you choose  as a cosmetologist, you’re typically going to be on your feet for most of the day. That means you need a fair amount of endurance.

Dexterity is another important physical component of the cosmetology trade, though the specific level of dexterity needed depends on your specialization. For example, a hair braider is going to need significantly more dexterity over a long period of time than a colorist. Think about what you hope to specialize in, then think through what your physical routine might look like during a typical day or week within that specialty.

Your Mindset & Time Commitment

Every person has a unique mindset and preconceived notion moving into any trade, cosmetology included. It’s important to make sure your mindset is correct and conducive to success before you start working on the education you need to be operational in the trade of cosmetology. There are many reasons you might end up loving a trade, but holding a certain amount of love for it at the beginning of your education can go a long way in ensuring that you are able to put in the work necessary to become a cosmetologist.

In short, if you’re considering cosmetology school because you think it’s an easy option, you may want to reconsider. Loving the field of cosmetology before you start your education will take you far.  Sure, you’ll start to love it even more as you dig into the work over the course of your time  in beauty school, but your passion will have a direct impact on your ability to learn. Caring about cosmetology from the very beginning will allow you to put your heart and soul into it the whole way through.

There’s also an important time commitment involved in completing your degree program. Depending on your course load, a 1,500 hour cosmetology program can take anywhere from 12-20 months to complete. This is an important factor to consider when you are preparing to attend a program.


There are countless reasons someone might choose cosmetology school, and there’s really not a bad reason for going into a specific trade.. If you’re interested in becoming a cosmetologist, a high-quality cosmetology school can help you achieve your goals. With the cosmetology program at Tricoci University of Beauty Culture, you can get a quality education in cosmetology as quickly as possible, so you can start living your dream sooner rather than later.

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