Whether you’re looking to become a hair stylist or simply wanting to learn more about the cost of hair school, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The cost of hair school can vary greatly depending on the program, location, and other factors, but on average you can expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 for a cosmetology program.

In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about the cost of hair school, including the different types of programs available, the factors that can affect the cost, and tips for financing your education.

Types of Hair School Programs

When it comes to hair school programs, there are a few different options depending on your interests and career goals. Below are the most common types of hair school programs:

Cosmetology Programs

Cosmetology programs cover a wide range of beauty services, including hair, makeup, skincare, and nails. These programs typically last between 9 and 12 months and cover both theory and practical skills. Graduates of cosmetology programs can work in salons and spas, or even start their own businesses.

Barbering Programs

Barbering programs are focused specifically on men’s haircuts and grooming services. These programs usually take around 6 to 9 months to complete and cover topics such as hair cutting, shaving, and facial hair grooming. Graduates of barbering programs can work in barbershops or salons that offer men’s grooming services.

Esthetician Programs

Esthetician programs focus on skincare services such as facials, waxing, and makeup application. These programs usually last between 6 and 9 months and cover both theory and practical skills. Graduates of esthetician programs can work in spas, salons, or even medical offices that offer skincare services.

Hair Design Programs

Hair design programs are focused specifically on hair cutting, styling, and coloring. These programs usually take around 6 to 9 months to complete and cover both theory and practical skills. Graduates of hair design programs can work in salons or spas as hairstylists or colorists.

It’s important to research each type of program to determine which one aligns best with your career goals.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Hair School

Are you thinking about attending hair school, but wondering how much it will cost? The answer isn’t always straightforward. The cost of hair school can vary based on a number of factors. Below are some of the key factors that affect the cost of hair school.


One of the biggest factors that can affect the cost of hair school is the location of the school. Schools in major cities or in more affluent areas may have higher tuition rates than schools in more rural areas. It’s important to research and compare different schools in your area to find one that fits your budget.

Program Length

The length of the program you choose can also impact the cost of hair school. A shorter program may have lower tuition costs, but it may not provide as comprehensive of an education. Conversely, a longer program may be more expensive, but it may give you more hands-on experience and a deeper understanding of the industry.


The curriculum of the program can also affect the cost of hair school. Some programs may offer more specialized courses or additional training in areas like makeup or esthetics. While these programs may offer valuable skills, they may also come with a higher price tag.

Equipment and Supplies

Another factor that can impact the cost of hair school is the cost of equipment and supplies. Some schools may require you to purchase your own tools and supplies, which can add up quickly. Other schools may provide these items as part of your tuition, but this may also be reflected in a higher overall cost.


The accreditation of the school can also affect the cost of hair school. Accredited schools may have higher tuition rates, but they may also offer a higher quality of education and better job prospects after graduation. It’s important to research the accreditation of any school you’re considering to ensure that it meets industry standards.

Ways to Finance Your Education

Attending hair school can be a significant investment in your future career. However, it can also be expensive. Fortunately, there are several ways to finance your education, including grants and scholarships, student loans, payment plans, and apprenticeships.

Grants and Scholarships

Grants and scholarships are excellent ways to finance your hair school education because they do not have to be repaid. You can search for grants and scholarships on various websites, such as BeautySchools.org and the Scholarships.com.

Many beauty schools also offer their own scholarships and grants to help students pay for their education. It’s worth checking with the schools you are interested in to see if they offer any financial assistance.

Student Loans

If you cannot find enough grant or scholarship money to pay for your hair school education, student loans can also be an option. You can apply for federal student loans, which typically have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options than private loans.

However, it’s important to remember that student loans must be repaid, and you will accrue interest on the loan amount. Before taking out any student loans, be sure to research your options thoroughly and understand the terms of the loan.

Payment Plans

Some hair schools offer payment plans that allow you to pay your tuition in installments rather than one lump sum. This can make it easier to manage your finances while attending school.

Before choosing a payment plan, be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully. Some payment plans may require you to pay interest or fees, which could increase the total cost of your education.


Another way to finance your hair school education is through an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships allow you to work and learn simultaneously, so you can earn money while gaining valuable experience in the industry.

Many states have apprenticeship programs for cosmetology and barbering, which can be a great way to finance your education while also getting hands-on experience in the field.

Pros Cons
Grants and Scholarships
  • Free money
  • No repayment required
  • Can be competitive
  • May not cover all costs
Student Loans
  • Flexible repayment options
  • Lower interest rates (for federal loans)
  • Must be repaid
  • Accrue interest
Payment Plans
  • Allows for installment payments
  • Easier to manage finances
  • May require interest or fees
  • Could increase total cost of education
  • Earn money while learning
  • Gain valuable experience
  • May not be available in all areas
  • May require a commitment to work for the employer after graduation

Remember, before financing your education, be sure to research all of your options and choose the one that works best for your financial situation and career goals.

Tips for Choosing the Right Hair School Program

If you’re considering attending hair school, it’s important to choose the right program that fits your needs and career goals. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision.

Research Potential Schools

Do your research and make a list of potential schools that offer hair programs. Look up each school’s website and read about their program offerings, admission requirements, tuition fees, and financial aid options. Consider factors such as location, class schedule, and program length.

Read Reviews and Testimonials

Read reviews and testimonials from current and former students of the hair program you’re interested in. These reviews can give you an idea of the quality of education, faculty, and overall student experience at the school. Look for reviews on the school’s website, social media pages, and third-party review websites.

Visit the Campus

Visit the campus of the schools you’re interested in to get a feel for the environment and facilities. Schedule a tour with the admissions office and ask questions about the program, class size, and student support services. This will give you a chance to see if the school is a good fit for you.

Talk to Current Students and Alumni

Connect with current students and alumni of the hair program you’re interested in. Ask them about their experience with the program, the quality of education, job opportunities after graduation, and any challenges they faced. This will give you an idea of what to expect if you attend the program.

Consider Your Career Goals

Consider your career goals and choose a program that aligns with them. For example, if you want to work in a high-end salon, choose a program that offers training in advanced techniques and provides opportunities for internships or apprenticeships in high-end salons. If you want to start your own salon, look for a program that offers courses in business management and entrepreneurship.

School Tuition Program Length
ABC School of Hair Design $15,000 12 months
XYZ Academy of Hair and Beauty $20,000 15 months

It’s important to consider the cost and program length when choosing a hair school program. Compare tuition fees and program length of each school to determine which program fits your budget and timeline.

Remember to choose a program that aligns with your career goals and offers the education and training you need to succeed in the hair industry.


In conclusion, the cost of hair school can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, but with a little research and planning, it’s possible to find a program that fits your budget and career goals.

By considering the types of programs available, the factors that can affect the cost, and the different ways to finance your education, you can make an informed decision about which hair school program is right for you.

So whether you’re dreaming of becoming a licensed cosmetologist, barber, esthetician, or hair designer, take the first step towards your future today by exploring the options available to you.

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