Cosmetology Schools in South Carolina

With a thriving beauty community and a low cost of living compared to much of the U.S., South Carolina may be a the perfect place to start your career in cosmetology. Browse our directory of cosmetology schools in South Carolina, or skip ahead to learn about the state's cosmetology licensing requirements and job outlook.

Browse All Cosmetology Schools in South Carolina

For School Owners

Don't see your school listed? Want to discuss becoming a featured school in the directory? Contact us to learn more.

581 Columbia Mall Boulevard
Columbia, SC 29223

(803) 798-8800
Cosmetology, Massage Therapy

Find Cosmetology Schools Near You

Academy of Hair Technology – Accredited

3715 East North Street Suite F
Greenville, SC 29615

Aiken School of Cosmetology and Barbering

3084 Whiskey Road
Aiken, SC 29803

Carolina College of Cosmetology

1600 Elizabeth Street
Conway, SC 29526

Charleston Cosmetology Institute – Accredited

8484 Dorchester Road
Charleston, SC 29420

Charzanne Beauty College – Accredited

1549 Highway 72 East
Greenwood, SC 29649

Denmark Technical College

1126 Solomon Blatt Boulevard
Denmark, SC 29042

Florence-Darlington Technical College

2715 West Lucas Street
Florence, SC 29501

Good Hair Barber and Beauty Academy

1707 Cherry Road Suite 102
Rock Hill, SC 29732

Greenville Technical College

506 South Pleasantburg Drive
Greenville, SC 29606

Horry-Georgetown Technical College

2050 Highway 501 East
Conway, SC 29526

International School of Beauty

7708 Asheville Highway
Spartanburg, SC 29303

Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology - Columbia Campus – Accredited

449 Saint Andrews Road
Columbia, SC 29210

Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology - Columbia Garners Ferry – Accredited

7474 Garners Ferry Road
Columbia, SC 29209

Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology - Florence – Accredited

2443 West Lucas Street
Florence, SC 29501

Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology - Goose Creek – Accredited

98 Davenport Street Suite 10
Goose Creek, SC 29445

Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology - Greenville – Accredited

3528-A Earl East Morris Jr. Highway
Greenville, SC 29611

Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology - North Augusta – Accredited

1113 Knox Avenue North
North Augusta, SC 29841

Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology - Rock Hill – Accredited

2375 Cherry Road Suite 102
Rock Hill, SC 29732

Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology - Spartanburg – Accredited

1515 John B White Sr. Boulevard
Spartanburg, SC 29301

LeGrand Institute of Cosmetology – Accredited

2418 Broad Street
Camden, SC 29020

Pampered Beatuy School of Nails

2340 Ebenezer Road
Rock Hill, SC 29732

Paul Mitchell The School Charleston – Accredited

4952 Centre Pointe Drive Suite 114
North Charleston, SC 29418

Paul Mitchell The School Columbia – Accredited

1008 Meeting Street
West Columbia, SC 29169

Paul Mitchell The School Greenville – Accredited

1215 Woodruff Road Building A
Greenville, SC 29607

Personal Touch Beauty and Barber College – Accredited

128 West Mill Street
Kingstree, SC 29556

Regina Benton School of Cosmetology

225 West Blackstock Road
Spartanburg, SC 29301

SHB International Hair Academy

1403 Third Avenue
Conway, SC 29527

South Eastern Esthetics Institute – Accredited

501 Spears Creek Church Road
Elgin, SC 29045

Strand College of Hair Design – Accredited

423 79th Avenue North
Myrtle Beach, SC 29572

Technical College of the Lowcountry

921 Ribaut Road
Beaufort, SC 29901

Trident Technical College

7000 Rivers Avenue
North Charleston, SC 29406

Upstate College of Cosmetology

1727 East Main Street
Easley, SC 29640

VSKI Cosmetology School – Accredited

2070 Sam Rittenberg Boulevard Suite 322
Charleston, SC 29407

Williamsburg Technical College

601 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue
Kingstree, SC 29556
Accredited School

You must attend a school that meets any licensure requirements as defined by your state. Most states require that you graduate from an accredited or state-approved school.

Cosmetology Schools Near Me

Check out the Cosmetology schools these cities in South Carolina have to offer.

Cost of Cosmetology School Across SC

Metro Average Tuition
Charlotte $17,766
Charleston $17,342
Augusta $16,883
Columbia $16,508
Myrtle Beach / Florence $16,383

Comparing Program Costs in SC

Esthetics/Skin Care School Costs
Highest range: $7,325 - $9,500
Lowest range: $5,150 - $7,325
Average: $7,764
Cosmetology School Costs
Highest range: $16,750 - $19,500
Lowest range: $14,000 - $16,750
Average: $16,790
Barbering School Costs
Highest range: $13,688 - $18,475
Lowest range: $8,900 - $13,688
Average: $15,470
Nail Technology School Costs
Highest range: $6,398 - $10,995
Lowest range: $1,800 - $6,398
Average: $5,598

How to Become a Cosmetologist in South Carolina

South Carolina Cosmetology Careers At a Glance
  • 1,500 education hours are required to become licensed.
  • You must renew your license every 2 years.
  • 4 continuing education hours are required to renew your license.
  • The average salary for cosmetologists in South Carolina is $29,570.
  • There is a predicted 20% job increase between 2020–2030 for cosmetologists.

The first step to beginning a career in cosmetology in South Carolina is to obtain the relevant license. There are several requirements you need to meet before you can apply for licensure, such as:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Possess at least a 10th-grade education (or equivalent)
  • Complete 1,500 hours in a board-approved cosmetology school (or be licensed as a master hair care specialist in the state for at least five years)
  • Pay for and pass written and practical exams
  • Submit a license application

Cosmetologist Salary and Projected Job Growth in South Carolina


Average yearly salary for cosmetology in South Carolina

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2021, licensed cosmetologists in South Carolina earned an average salary of $29,570 annually or $14.21 per hour. This is below the national average of $35,990, but with the cost of living in South Carolina being 11.5% more affordable than other parts of the U.S., you may end up better off overall. The top ten percent of cosmetologists in South Carolina made $55,880 or more in 2020.

Job growth is also looking positive, with roles for cosmetologists expected to increase by 20% between 2020-2030.

Salaries vary depending on factors such as your level of experience, the services you offer, and the area you work in. For example, someone working from a small local beauty parlor in a rural community will likely earn less than a specialized stylist in a high-end city salon.

Median salaries for cosmetologists in some metropolitan areas in South Carolina are:

Metropolitan Area 2021 Median Salary
Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC $30,040
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC $29,710
Columbia, SC $29,260
Florence, SC $28,220
Sumter, SC $27,280
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC $24,680
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC $23,650

Table information sourced from O*Net (2022)

What to Expect From a Cosmetology Program in South Carolina

1,500 Education Hours

Required to earn a cosmetology license

Before you can earn a cosmetology license in South Carolina, you need to accrue at least 1,500 training hours as part of a cosmetology program approved by the South Carolina Board of Cosmetology.

The specific content of the programs will vary slightly from school to school, but there are certain subjects that all cosmetology programs in South Carolina must cover, such as:

Science of Cosmetology:

  • Sanitation and Disinfection: 45 hours
  • Personal Hygiene and Grooming: 30 hours
  • Professionalism and Ethics: 35 hours
  • Public Relations, Salesmanship, and Psychology: 50 hours
  • Anatomy: 45 hours
  • Dermatology: 25 hours
  • Trichology: 25 hours
  • Nail Structure: 15 hours
  • Chemistry: 100 hours
  • Safety Precautions (Public Safety): 30 hours

Practice of Cosmetology:

  • Shampoos and Rinses: 45 hours
  • Scalp and Hair Care Treatments: 30 hours
  • Hair Shaping: 150 hours
  • Hair Styling: 325 hours
    • Thermal Pressing
    • Thermal Curling
    • Wigs
    • Roller Placement
    • Molding
    • Pin Curling
  • Nail Technology: 25 hours
  • Chemical Waving, Relaxing, or Straightening: 225 hours
  • Hair Tinting and Lightening: 225 hours
  • Facial Skin Care, Make-up, and Hair Removal: 40 hours

State Law:

  • Rules, Regulations, and Code: 15 hours


  • Specific Needs: 20 hours

Can I Apprentice as a Cosmetologist in South Carolina?

It is not currently possible to earn your cosmetology license in South Carolina through an apprenticeship program.

South Carolina Cosmetology Licensing Requirements

Once you've completed the required 1,500 training hours, it's time to take (and pass) your examinations and apply for your license. You must complete two exams to be eligible for licensure—a written exam and a practical exam. PSI Services LLC administers both, and they cost $66 each. The passing score for each exam is 75%, and you'll get your results as soon as you finish. If you fail, you may retake the test unlimited times until you pass.

The written exam takes 90 minutes to complete on a computer. You can take the test at several locations, including Beaufort/Hilton Head, Charleston, Columbia, Greenville/Spartanburg, and Myrtle Beach. Test questions are split across the following subjects:

  1. Domain 1: Scientific Concepts (30%)
  2. Domain 2: Hair Care and Services (40%)
  3. Domain 3: Skin Care and Services (15%)
  4. Domain 4: Nail Care and Services (15%)

Applicants must take the practical exam in Columbia and arrive at the site at least 30 minutes before the start of the exam. The exam content breaks down as follows:

  1. Work Area and First Client Prep: 15 minutes
  2. Thermal Curling: 10 minutes
  3. Hair cutting: 30 minutes
  4. Work Area and New Client Prep: 15 minutes
  5. Chemical Waving: 20 minutes
  6. Predisposition Test and Strand Test: 10 minutes
  7. Highlighting with Foil, Virgin Application: 15 minutes
  8. Hair Color Retouch: 10 minutes
  9. Virgin Hair Relaxer Application: Untimed
  10. Blood Exposure Procedure: 10 minutes

In accordance with ADA requirements, applicants with disabilities or those who would otherwise have difficulty taking the examination may request alternative arrangements in advance.

South Carolina Cosmetology Licensure Reciprocity

If you're already licensed as a cosmetologist in another state, you may be able to transfer your license to South Carolina via endorsement. To do so, you need to submit an online application and pay $60.

Military spouses with cosmetology licenses from other states are eligible for expedited reciprocal licenses via the Armed Services Members and Spouses Professional and Occupational Licensing Act.

License Renewal

2 Years

License renewal period

4 Hours

Continuing education required

In South Carolina, cosmetologists must renew their licenses every two years and pay a renewal fee of $52. Licensees need to complete at least four hours of continuing education to be eligible for renewal and can take classes in-person or online.

The continuing education hours must be specific to client safety, board laws and regulations, or infection control, and cosmetologists have to complete them via a board-approved class.

If your license has lapsed for less than three years, you will need to complete six hours of in-person or online reinstatement classes before you can get it reissued and pay a reinstatement fee of $152. If it's been longer than three years since your license expired, you'll need to retake your exams and start the licensing process again from the beginning.

Contact the South Carolina State Board of Cosmetology

Labor License Regulation

Cosmetology in South Carolina allows for many to have a definitive career path that is fruitful and empowering. Supported by a solid infrastructure of schools and salons, budding cosmetologists gain insight by consulting these organizations.

South Carolina Board of Cosmetology
The state board is responsible for issuing and renewing cosmetology licenses and education within the state. The website provides comprehensive information about testing and licenses.

PSI Candidate Information Bulletin
PSI administers cosmetology exams in South Carolina, and their candidate information bulletin provides extensive information on exam content and instructions.

Association of Cosmetology Salon Professionals
This South Carolina-based organization nurtures, supports, and assists licensed cosmetologists in the area.

South Carolina Association of Cosmetology Schools
SCACS is a non-profit association dedicated to providing the best education possible to cosmetology, nail technology, and esthetics students.

South Carolina

How to Become a Cosmetologist in Your State

Select a beauty program and state to view schools