Denver is the biggest city in the Rocky Mountain region, meaning that post-graduation job prospects will be much higher than in other states in the surrounding area. The population of the city has also grown significantly between the 2010 and 2019 census, indicating an even stronger likelihood for career opportunities.
There are several major theatres in Denver, which means that if you’re looking to use your skills in a stage setting, they’ll likely be available after graduation. Every show needs hair and makeup people for their stage crew, so there are a good amount of potential opportunities in that niche.
Denver also has a bustling museum scene. Since museums often hold exhibit openings on a semi-frequent basis, this makes for additional opportunities to build a client base as you make their hair and makeup beautiful for those events.
Denver is more walkable than many cities in the United States, particularly in that part of the country. There is a good amount of public transportation available as well, so getting around the city isn’t impossible if you don’t own a car. Driving in the city won’t be an issue though, as parking is usually pretty easy to find and it’s about average in terms of city traffic congestion.
There are four highly ranked cosmetology programs in Denver that each offers a different approach to the curriculum. This means that no matter what kind of learning environment you thrive in, you’ll likely be able to find something that works with your strengths.
Two of these schools, Paul Mitchell the School and Aveda Institute, teach techniques and use products that are specific to their chain of salons. The other two programs, Empire Beauty School and Emily Griffith Technical College, train cosmetologists with a variety of techniques and products.
There are pros and cons to both of these approaches, so keep that in mind while you’re weighing all of your options. For instance, working with a school that teaches to a specific salon chain makes networking a breeze, but this may mean you’re not seen as versatile by outside salons. Working with an independent school may make you seen as more versatile, but networking may be more difficult.
The Best Cosmetology Schools in Denver
When it comes to ranking the best of the best that Denver has to offer, there are several factors to take into account. To start with, we looked at what makes each cosmetology program unique, as everyone has different learning styles and goals they want to achieve from school. Along with this, we also examined things like cost and location, which can be the deciding factor when choosing the school that’s right for you. To find the school tailored to your exact needs, check out our school finder.
Aveda Institute, Denver is associated with Aveda Salons–a global company–which makes this a really good school for networking. Learning the Aveda products and specific techniques will also help a lot when it comes to securing a job after graduation, especially if you take advantage of networking opportunities. Another standout for Aveda Institute, Denver is that they offer massage therapy as well as instructor training. If teaching really speaks to you while you’re learning about cosmetology, the instructor program is an opportunity to expand on that and really run with it, even across the country (or the globe!)
Program Length: 1500 hours
Location: 801 Kalamath St, Denver CO 80204
Financial Aid: Aveda Institute Denver does have financial aid available to those who qualify.
Other Programs Offered: Esthetics, barbering, massage therapy, educator training
Emily Griffith Technical College is a great choice if you’re looking to enjoy all the perks of a college campus while still getting top-notch cosmetology training. This program’s tuition is significantly less expensive than some of the other options available, but it should be noted that this cost doesn’t cover any books or learning materials you may need throughout the year. Emily Griffith Technical College offers flexible starting dates, as well as both full-time and part-time options to complete the program, which makes this a good choice if you need flexibility. Finally, their career opportunity network helps students secure jobs after graduation.
Cost: $10.9k plus books and materials
Program Length: 11 months
Location: 1860 Lincoln St, Denver CO 80203
Financial Aid: Financial aid and scholarships are available at Emily Griffith Technical College to those who qualify.
Other Programs Offered: Barbering, esthetics, massage therapy
Paul Mitchell the School, Denver gives each student a full cosmetology kit and offers a distance learning option for some parts of the program. Students work closely with learning leaders through the beginning phases of their academic career and also have the opportunity to be part of student teams. These teams each have different interests, ranging from sustainability to social media, and can help hone skills the student is looking to build. There is also a big emphasis on working in the school’s salon for practice and learning, which gives lots of real-world experience.
Program Length: 1500 hours
Location: 405 South Teller Street, Lakewood CO 80226
Financial Aid: Scholarship and financial aid are available at Paul Mitchell the School Denver to those who qualify.
Other Programs Offered: Esthetics
While Empire Beauty School isn’t in Denver, it’s just a short drive away in Littleton, which is a smaller city. Empire Beauty School’s cosmetology program incorporates business and retail training alongside typical cosmetology teachings, so this is an excellent choice if you have ambitions to open a salon of your own. Each student enrolled in the cosmetology program gets a student kit with all the tools necessary to help you succeed in your field. Empire Beauty School also does events working with women’s shelters, so if humanitarianism is something important to you, this may be a particularly good fit.
Program Length: 1500 hours
Location: 8996 W Bowles Ave, Littleton CO 80123
Financial Aid: Scholarships and financial aid are both available at Empire Beauty School, Denver to students who qualify for them.
Other Programs Offered: None