If you're looking for cosmetology schools in Alabama, you've come to the right place! If you're anything like me, I never realized that I witnessed cosmetology at work early in my life. When I was a child, my sister would invite friends and family over to braid their hair. Because of the long and tedious process, my father gave her supreme rights over the television.
Unfortunately, this meant watching hours and hours of Anne of Green Gables, a favorite of my sister's. Most times, I opted to play outside instead. While many may see cosmetology like this ( just a hobby or something for teenagers to make a little extra cash), not everyone realizes that it's a marketable skill.
And if you cultivate it at one of the top cosmetology schools in Alabama, it can be both lucrative and rewarding.
Research Before Committing
It's hard to overstate the importance of doing your research before choosing a school. Most people know they should make sure the school is a good fit for them. Not as many know about making sure you are a good fit for the school.
Whether it's more of a studious and rigorous atmosphere or one that focuses on creativity and individual style, you're going to want to know that before diving in.
Just remember that a sibling or friend attending a program isn't enough. And that doesn't mean you should just take the school's word for it, either!
Researching cosmetology schools in Alabama should be a combination of what you want in a program, the experiences of others, and other factors like scholarships, the length of the program, and of course, the cost.
What to look for in a school
Knowing what to look for in a cosmetology school can be a difficult task. That's why we have a few suggestions:
Show me the money
This is the first consideration for many. Of course, the cost for cosmetology schools in Alabama varies dramatically, from the affordable to the outrageous.
Don't be afraid to ask why the school costs what it does, down to your class materials, professors, and courses. One school may be expensive because they hire fancy Hollywood cosmetologists for guest lectures, while forgoing that status may still get you the license you want.
Checking on the courses offered at the school will also help you make a decision. If you see that the courses are heavily geared towards hair styling, but you're interested in make-up, maybe it's not the right school for you.
One perk of great cosmetology programs is after-school placement, meaning that the school helps you find a job once you graduate. All these factors should help you make an informed decision.
Note: We're going to talk about tuition rates in this article, but the only way to get the best current tuition estimates is to contact the schools themselves.
Who is qualifying who?
When you begin cosmetology, you may find that people are interested in your credentials. Credentials, while not everything, provide customers with information on where you learned your skills, and demonstrate some proof of expertise.
This is why you should be equally interested in the credentials of your institution.
To become a cosmetologist, you'll need to pass the state's board exam, and a fully accredited institution will help you do that. This isn't to say there aren't other programs available — but you should know before you commit.
From the frontlines
Here is where experience comes in handy. Sometimes, all the research in the world won't tell you what the students of a program can. They can tell you if the professors have tempers, if the classes are well-structured, and the success or failure they found after their programs.
Checking reviews online can give you glimpses into potential programs. However, if you have the opportunity, campus visits typically yield a lot more insight.
By talking to current and former students, you can form a full picture of the program. You may even get to sit in on a class to see if it's right for you!
Top Cosmetology Schools in Alabama
Now that you have all these questions in mind, it's time to get some answers! To start your search, here are some top cosmetology schools in Alabama:
Mitchell Cosmetology College (MCC)
According to their website, Mitchell Cosmetology College (MCC) was established in 1986, providing cosmetologists with the experience they need for over 30 years. If you're looking for a place to learn about hair, this is the school to watch.
MCC's curriculum includes a multitude of hair styling info, including advanced techniques for perming, hair color, and unique designs. The school was founded by Tim Mitchell. The school claims to push their students beyond just thinking about passing their boards, and onto thinking about larger success in the field of cosmetology.
One perk of this college is that they use "high-quality product lines" in their teaching. However, even if you use Sephora lashes and Olaplex conditioner in the classroom, this school will give you the tools to get the job done no matter what.
MCC puts their cost of tuition at around $10,000. That cost includes:
Though MCC is heavy on hair, they also offer a wide variety of cosmetology classes, including nail theory, client consultation, and salon ownership. Being good at something and running your own business is not the same thing, and MCC can help its students achieve both.
University Academy Hair Design (UAHD)
Another one of the top cosmetology schools in Alabama is University Academy Hair Design (UAHD). Founded in 2004, UAHD provides quality programs for aspiring cosmetologists, including smoothing treatments, nail services, and waxing.
According to their website, their students also spend time reviewing the statutes and regulations of Alabama's Board of Cosmetology and Barbering, which are necessary for getting your license.
UAHD proves a little more expensive than MCC — an estimated $11,711 for their cosmetology program.
However, on their homepage, UAHD also advertises free financial aid potential students may be able to take advantage of, provided by the Department of Education.
Financial aid is always worth checking out, especially if you're worried about being able to afford cosmetology school.
What you'll get with UAHD's program is a hands-on learning environment that includes experience with the public. This is especially great for students who will stick around in Alabama — you can turn those clients into regulars!
Other parts of the curriculum include learning both the theory and the practice of cosmetology. By putting theory to practice under the tutelage of industry professionals, you'll gain the much-needed confidence and know-how to succeed as a cosmetologist.
Some of the program's other courses even include skin care, eyebrows, and lashes.
Alabama School of Nail Technology and Cosmetology (ASNTC)
Among the top cosmetology schools in Alabama is Alabama School of Nail Technology and Cosmetology (ASNTC). According to their website, they specialize in getting cosmetologists to work. ASNTC claims that 100% of their students found placements after taking part in the program!
Other impressive numbers from this program are an 83% graduation rate and a 90% licensure rate.
Unfortunately, ASNTC's tuition is a pretty penny — clocking in at an estimated $17,800. However, that cost could be offset by a near-guaranteed job after graduation.
As with others on this list, financial aid is available for ASNTC, and the program can be completed in less than one year. The average student leaves this program with about $6,000 of debt.
ASNTC is scant on details regarding their specific curriculum, but assure potential students that their program meets licensure requirements in all 50 states. So if you have cosmetology dreams outside of Alabama, this could be the choice for you!
Aveda Institute (AI)
If you like socially conscious cosmetology, the Aveda Institute might be the school for you. AI places a special focus on social responsibility and ecological stewardship. More than just turning you into a cosmetologist, AI is interested in turning its students into leaders.
With a slightly longer schedule than most of the other schools, AI's program takes students an estimated 57 weeks to complete (but about half complete it in 50). They offer programs in cosmetology, esthiology (skin care), and massage.
While job placement assistance is provided in the form of career days and instruction, AI makes no guarantees about post-graduate employment.
However, the school is connected to a network of high-end spas and salons around the country, and it posts those jobs for students.
Tuition at AI is the steepest yet — an estimated $18,000. However, according to their disclosures, 86% of their students were gainfully employed in as skin care specialists, theatrical make-up artists, manicurists, and more.
What You'll Gain from Cosmetology
There are many ways to succeed in cosmetology. You can decide to become a world-famous Broadway make-up artist or just get a stable job doing what you love. By choosing the right school, you can put your ingenuity and flair to work. And the right choice can help you stand out when you present yourself to the world.
One of the best ways to start is gathering information and visiting some of these cosmetology schools in Alabama! Ask questions, be curious, and never be too afraid to follow your dreams. If you do it right, you may find the career you've been waiting for your whole life.
If you have any great tips about preparing for cosmetology school, leave them in the comments below!