What Are the Best Beauty Schools?

If you’re considering a career as a stylist, you should be asking, “What are the best beauty schools?”. Knowing this answer could mean the difference between getting an average job as a beautician or working in a fast-paced salon where trends are created and defined.

What Factors Make a Good Beauty School


When trying to answer, “What are the best beauty schools?”, it’s important to consider the factors that make a good beauty school. These include:

  • Cost – How much does the tuition of the beauty school cost?
  • Location – Is the beauty school located nearby, or will you have to move?
  • Credentials – Will graduating from the school look good on your resume? Make sure that the beauty school you’re interested in is highly rated by the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences (the NACCAS) and offers a cosmetology degree.
  • License – Is the school licensed by your state board of cosmetology? You can learn the answer by writing to your state board or visiting their website. Be sure to check for licensing suspensions or any other complaints.

Summary of Cosmetology Beauty Schools

Once you’ve compiled the above information, you’ll be ready to look over your list and decide the best beauty school for you. We’ve also done a general search, and the following summary of cosmetology schools appear to meet the requirements which most cosmetology students might be looking for. Just remember, researching a beauty school before enrolling is just as important as researching a prospective college.

1. Arrojo Cosmetology School – Located in New York City, it is currently regarded as one of the most prestigious beauty schools in the United States. It is owned by Nick Arrojo, who has starred on TLC’s hit show, What Not To Wear.

Students learn the same techniques used by Arrojo, and upon graduation they’ll have an opportunity to apply for a job with Arrojo’s salon team. If you’re looking for a chance to work in the upper levels of fashion, then the Arrojo Cosmetology School may be for you.

2. Empire Education Group – Each year, over 8,000 students graduate from schools owned by the Empire Education Group. In total, they have 86 schools spread out across 18 different U.S. states. Available programs include: Esthetics, Nail technology, Cosmetology, Hairstyling, Massage, and Teacher of Cosmetology. Some of the Empire Education Group schools include:

  • A Cut Above (Indiana)
  • Arthur Angelo (Rhode Island)
  • Artistic Beauty Colleges (Arizona and Colorado)
  • Blaine the Schools (Massachusetts)
  • Chic University of Cosmetology (Michigan)
  • Concorde Academy (New Jersey)
  • Empire Beauty Schools (Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia)
  • European Academy (New Jersey)
  • The Hair Design School (Kentucky)
  • Martin’s College of Cosmetology (Wisconsin)
  • National Motion Institute (New Jersey)
  • Pierre’s School of Cosmetology (Maine)
  • Scot Lewis Schools (Minnesota)

3. Aveda Institutes – 30 Aveda Institutes are located across 21 U.S. states. One of the country’s most prestigious beauty schools, its students were awarded 35 of the 100 Beacon Awards in 2007 (given to graduates who show particular promise). Programs include: Massage and Day Spa, Cosmetology, Nail Technology, and Esthetology.

4. Ogle School of Hair, Skin and Nails – When someone asks me, “What are the best beauty schools?”, I always make a point to include Ogle on the list. Founded by Shelton Ogle in 1973, four schools are located in Texas. Students can study in the following areas: Esthetology, Cosmetology, and Student Instructor Training.

5. Regency Beauty Schools – Always expanding, Regency Beauty Schools have 46 facilities in 12 U.S. states. All students receive the same quality training in nail, hair and skin care, regardless of which school they attend. This allows Regency Beauty Schools to maintain consistent quality from one beauty school to the next.

6. Paul Mitchell Schools – Affiliated with Paul Mitchell salons, this chain of beauty schools has been around for over two decades. 10 facilities are located in California, while another 50 beauty schools are spread across 25 states. Student programs include: Nails, Skin and Basic Cosmetology.