Austin is the capital of Texas, but it’s not the biggest city in the state, and it doesn’t bring in the most visitors, either. Despite that, there’s a lot to love about this city, from the unforgettable BBQ restaurants to the historical landmarks.
The city has been deemed the Live Music Capital of the World, since it offers about 200 live music venues, so most of the city’s entertainment involves music, restaurants, and bars. However, when it comes to cosmetology and the beauty scene, Austin admittedly leaves much to be desired. If you take a look on the map at cosmetology schools or entertainment industry spots involving beauty, you won’t see many options.
But hang on – there’s hope! The beauty scene may be lacking, but that doesn’t mean it’s not growing. Take a look at locally-owned beauty brands based in Austin, and you’ll see a plethora of small brands popping up throughout the city that either focus on being organic and natural or bright and vivid. Perhaps there are some that offer the best of both worlds.
For budding cosmetologists, Austin is a great place to dive into the beauty world because there’s so much room for growth. Most city-dwellers prefer to have their hair cut frequently, and with so many live events, there’s bound to be someone who wants to get dressed up for the evening. The popular beauty brand Glossier held a pop-up shop in Austin back in 2019, so the demand for more beauty products is on the rise.
While Austin may not have as many cosmetology school options as other big cities in the state, there’s still a great selection to choose from that will provide prospective students with a quality education. The demand for cosmetologists is on the rise all over the country, and Austin is no exception from that demand. Austin has almost one million residents, and has a steady growth rate and plenty of tourists each year, so there are bound to be potential clients easily within reach.
The Best Cosmetology Schools in Austin, Texas
Austin may have a limited selection when it comes to cosmetology schools, but there are still some great schools to choose from. We’ve gathered the four best schools in the city that offer cosmetology courses that cover everything from hair, to makeup, to skincare.
We didn’t let just any school on this list. We made sure that each school has good reviews from students and clients, offers a wide range of courses in their cosmetology program, and is financially flexible, since education can be difficult to afford for most students. All of the schools accept some form of financial aid and are generally pretty flexible when it comes to scheduling. Most programs can be completed within a year, although there are exceptions for some part-time programs.
If you’re unsure which school is the right one for you, use our handy school finder to help you find the right one.
Avenue Five Institute
The cosmetology program at Avenue Five Institute is a well-rounded program that will prepare each student for any direction they want to take in their career. They cover the foundation of cosmetology with lessons about science, anatomy, and color theory, so students will have a deep understanding of their craft. Students will also learn how to cut, color, and style hair, as well as the basics of skincare, and manicures and pedicures.
The program will also cover the business side of being a cosmetologist, since many students lean toward opening their own salon or getting into freelance work.
Cost: Estimated cost is up to $20,000. Prospective students can contact Admissions for more information.
Program Length: 1,000 hours. A full-time schedule will take 29 weeks and a part-time schedule will take 48 weeks.
Location: North Austin: 8620 Burnet Rd #300, Austin, TX 78757; and South Austin: 500 E Ben White Blvd Bldg E, Ste 100, Austin, TX 78704
Financial Aid: Financial aid is accepted for those who qualify. They offer resources to financial aid information on their website.
Other Programs Offered: They also offer courses in esthetics, makeup artistry, and massage therapy.
Paul Mitchell The School
Paul Mitchell The School makes receiving a cosmetology education easy by using a digital curriculum. Students will be able to access their digital textbooks whenever they need to and will be able to easily connect with fellow students and instructors.
The cosmetology program begins in the classroom, and students eventually progress to a salon-like setting so they can practice what it’s like on a real salon floor. An optional Phase Two course is available that will mimic a fast-paced salon setting with double bookings and the need for quick decision-making.
The cosmetology program covers hair, makeup, facials, nails, and more.
Cost: The total cost is $15,227.57 if you choose the supply kit that doesn’t include an iPad. If you choose the iPad kit, the total cost is $15,660.56. An iPad is required to access curriculum materials. The supply kit is the only price that varies. Tuition is $13,000, and the application fee is $100.
Program Length: 1,000 hours are required. They’re flexible and offer a full-time schedule and two different part-time schedules. Depending on which one you choose, the program can last anywhere from 7.5-9 months.
Location: 9503 Research Blvd, Bldg 3 Suite 310, Austin, TX 78759
Financial Aid: Paul Mitchell The School has several locations in Texas and Oklahoma, and each one has different financial aid requirements. Contact their Financial Aid Leaders on their website to ask about what they accept.
Other Programs Offered: Other programs they offer include esthetics and barbering.
Baldwin Beauty Schools
Baldwin Beauty Schools offers a great cosmetology program that teaches students all about hair, skin, nail, and makeup services. The program can be completed in as little as 8 months and includes eight weeks of intensive classroom learning, along with hands-on work in the salon that real clients will pay to visit.
All cosmetology students will learn how to secure loyal clients and run a business with the Retail Skills and Salon Business courses. Students will also have access to the most popular professional beauty brands, so they can learn with the very best tools available.
Cost: Total cost is $14,900. Tuition is $12,900, supplies are $1,900, and registration fees are $100.
Program Length: 1,000 hours are required, and the program lasts about eight months.
Location: North Austin: 8440 Burnet Road Austin, TX 78757; and South Austin: 3005 South Lamar, Austin, TX 78704
Financial Aid: The school accepts financial aid for those who qualify. Resources are available on their website.
Other Programs Offered: Other programs include esthetician, manicurist, and student instructor.
Academy of Hair Design
The Academy of Hair Design offers a cosmetology course that covers hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, facials, skincare, makeup, manicures, and pedicures. It’s the perfect course for anyone who wants to be a well-rounded cosmologist or for someone who hasn’t quite figured out which direction they want to go.
Since the course covers a lot of ground in different areas, they offer honors certificates in several skills, so students can focus on specific areas. These certificates include eyelash extensions, skincare, makeup, nail enhancement, hair coloring and styling, and social media.
They also have a barbering course that can be taken instead of cosmetology. Or, graduated cosmetology students can take the crossover course that will add barbering to their list of skills for a lower price and a shorter amount of time than if they had only taken the barbering course.
Cost: Total cost is $14,950. Tuition is $12,650, supplies are $2,200, and registration fees are $100.
Program Length: The program requires at least 1,000 hours. Full-time classes take at least 7 months, and part-time classes take at least 12 months.
Location: 2015 E Riverside Dr., Austin, TX 78741
Financial Aid: They accept government financial aid for qualifying students. Contact their Financial Aid Department or the Financial Aid Director on their website if you have any questions.
Other Programs Offered: They also offer a barbering program. Students who graduate from the cosmetology course can take the crossover course to add barbering to their skill set.