The Top Five Cosmetology Programs

Top Cosmetology Pograms

Everything You Need to Know About Beginning Your Cosmetology Career

If you’re seeking a career that allows you to express yourself creatively and artistically every day, gives you the freedom to build a custom business exactly as you’d always imagined, and grants you the privilege to bring out the best in people you interact with on a daily basis, then becoming a cosmetologist might be the perfect choice for you!

There are plenty of reasons to become a certified cosmetologist – for starters, you’re always in demand, you can build your own schedule, and you can merge work with play in an easier way than other professional endeavors.

But becoming a licensed, certified, and in-demand cosmetologist doesn’t just happen, you need will, talent, and of course, training. We’ve laid out the top five cosmetology programs that you should start looking into to get your cosmetology career going! 

Check out our favorite programs, hear us out on why they’re great choices, and figure out which schools and programs are the perfect fit for you. 

For the definitive guide for anyone in or considering entering the field of cosmetology, click here.

The Top Five Cosmetology Schools

Paul Mitchell

Paul Mitchell has been a worldwide and world-renown brand for decades, which, you probably know. But did you know they’re also one of the best cosmetology programs in the country?

With a special focus on hair, the Paul Mitchell programs offer prospective cosmetologists courses on skin, nails, and general cosmetology as well. In other words, there’s no shortage of knowledge coming from this institution.

This school has frequently been listed on the top five list of best cosmetology schools by the Beauty School Directory. With this program, you’ll be prepared to ace your state boards and your license exams, and you’ll certainly have endless opportunities post-grad – the Paul Mitchell Brand has plenty of name recognition in the industry.


We know you’ve heard of Aveda before. The popular brand is more than just premium plant-based beauty products, in fact, they’re a prestigious institute with lots of locations, plenty of great instructors, and the hands-on experience you need to become the best cosmetologist you can.

Aveda is frequently ranked in the top 5 of the country’s most respected programs, ranking them in the top 3 as recently as 2007. There are more than 100 worldwide locations.

This program doesn’t just grant you access to the best in the business, it helps you become recognized as one of the best in the business – in other words, no matter how great the actual program is, the Aveda name has clout in the cosmetology industry, and that’s never a bad thing.

The Ogle School

This institution, founded in 1973, is one of the best programs for cosmetologists in the United States. With several locations in Texas, people travel from around the world to attend this renown institution that offers hands-on experience, visiting lectures from famous professionals in several industries, and offers plenty of resources to teach hopefuls how to manage their own salons.

This institution offers several forms of financial aid and grants and promises its students that not only will graduates leave their program prepared to build their careers, they’ll be better recognized for the name recognition of the Ogle program.

Empire Beauty School

The Beauty and Cosmetology Schools Directory has frequently listed the Empire Beauty School as one of the top cosmetology programs in the nation.

With just over 20,000 students enrolled as recently as 2013, this program continues to grow and prosper with each passing year. It has over 100 locations, in several states, and offers students cosmetology programs, esthetic and makeup programs, hair, skin, and nail programs, as well.

The chain of schools is nearly 8 decades old and continues to lead the industry in cosmetology graduates and professionals. The program offers hands-on experience, salon management courses, and even environmentally-friendly locations in both North Carolina and Florida.

Regency Beauty Industries

This institution is a touch smaller than a few we’ve already mentioned on our list, but it certainly doesn’t sacrifice on experience and education. The Regency Beauty Industry is based out of St. Louis Park, Minnesota and has locations in up to 20 states. Their cosmetology programs cover a number of different cosmetology subjects such as styling, skin care, makeup, hair coloring, hair cutting, and more!

Not only does this school offer financial aid, it encourages reaching out for federal financial aid, so it’s certainly flexible and understandable when it comes to funds. Regency Beauty Industries is unique in that it uses the Regency Salon Partners program to offer networking opportunities to its students and graduates in order to cement employment for them post-graduation.