Best 8 Cosmetology Schools in Austin (2022)
As a diverse and vibrant city and the 11th most populated metro area in the country, Austin, Texas, is an ideal place to pursue a beauty school education and embark on a career as a cosmetologist.
When it comes to choosing a cosmetology school, it’s important to look at a variety of factors to find the perfect professional and personal fit. Need some help deciding which one is a good match for you? The below cosmetology programs came out on top as the best in Austin.
Among the many options, some cosmetology schools stand out above the rest. To help you identify the best programs for your career goals, we've ranked the top cosmetology schools in Austin with information on required hours, cost, graduation rates, and more.
Top Cosmetology Schools in Austin
Top Cosmetology Schools in Austin (Full List)
The 1,000-hour cosmetology program offered by William Edge Institute focuses on providing a flexible education that works with many different schedules. At this Aveda Institute, students can graduate in as few as seven months but have up to a full year to complete all requirements. Classes start throughout the year and take place Tuesday-Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Upon enrollment, each student receives a kit including a Chromebook, Milady MindTap, Milady textbooks, tools, supplies, and various Aveda products. In addition to preparing students for the written and practical examinations, the school also offers career placement assistance and mentorship from alumni.
Avenue Five Institute North offers several educational programs, including a cosmetology program that students can attend full-time, part-time, or via a hybrid model. Students who select the hybrid version can complete up to 25% of the required coursework online, with the remaining portions including location-based, hands-on learning.
Interested students can take part in a virtual tour given by an admissions counselor. Regardless of the program chosen, students should plan to spend eight months completing this 1,000-hour program. Some of the topics covered include chemical processing and relaxing, color theory makeup artistry, and retailing and business. This program also includes state board preparation.
From its home base in San Marcos, Total Transformation Institute of Cosmetology offers a 1,000-hour cosmetology program utilizing the Milady system of hair color and cutting.
The program is divided into two phases. In the first phase, students learn the basics of hair cutting and coloring, nail technology, and waxing. The second phase focuses on putting these newly learned skills to use under the supervision of a professional instructor. Students also build business skills during this phase.
Throughout their schooling, students will spend 800 hours on hair care theory, 100 hours on nail care theory, 100 hours on skin care theory, and 100 hours on program orientation, sanitation, and how to use supplies and equipment.
Located in Austin, the South campus of Baldwin Beauty Schools offers a 1,000-hour cosmetology program mirroring the one offered at the North campus. Interested students can schedule an in-person tour of the campus and facilities to ascertain whether it’s a good fit and pay a $25 registration fee and $100 enrollment deposit if they decide to apply.
Aspiring cosmetologists who previously completed hours at another beauty school can transfer these to Baldwin and shorten the number of required hours. Aside from cosmetology-focused classes, students also study retail skills and salon business. In 2019, the program maintained a 97.67% licensure exam pass rate.
Paul Mitchell the School Austin divides its cosmetology program into three levels: Core, Adaptive, and Creative. As students move through the curriculum, they tackle the increasingly advanced subject matter.
An optional Phase Two program allows students to get advanced practical training by working in a clinic classroom environment and learning more advanced management and administrative skills.
Student teams at Paul Mitchell participate in public outreach, fundraising, and team meetings to socialize with other students and be part of the Austin community.
As part of the attendance cost, every enrollee receives a comprehensive student kit and an iPad. Students attend school Monday-Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the school typically offers a new start date every couple of months.
Baldwin Beauty Schools North provides 14 start dates throughout the year for its cosmetology program, making it easy for busy students to find a schedule that works for them. This school utilizes the Pivot Point International curriculum that focuses on hair, skin, and nail services.
All told, students complete 1,000 clock hours (at about 32 hours per week) that cover both theoretical and practical topics. After completing an eight-week intensive classroom session, students spend the remainder of their eight months of enrollment as student cosmetologists, providing services in the full-service student salon.
Students also participate in Retail Skills and Salon Business courses to learn the sales and career management skills that enable them to build a solid client base.
Since 1977, Seguin Beauty School has provided beauty education services to students in the greater Austin area. The school’s cosmetology program takes less than eight months to complete and covers all technical aspects of the discipline and the business of salons. Seguin is licensed by the state of Texas and approved by the Council on Occupational Education.
Many students at Seguin receive a variety of internal and external scholarships and grants, and the school helps with job placement after graduation by helping students find employment in their chosen specialty.
Graduates go on to work as cosmetologists, stylists, manicurists, makeup artists, product line educators, and salon managers/owners.
How We Ranked Austin Cosmetology Programs
The cosmetology schools ranked are accredited or state-approved to provide cosmetology programming according to the licensing requirements in the state. We researched schools that qualified as Title IV institutions and had an average of at least 25 students enrolled in the most recent 3 academic years of available data (2018 - 2020). These schools are all within 50 miles of a major city center and had a weighted 3-year average graduation rate (2018, 2019, and 2020) greater than 50%. After filtering for those requirements, we sorted the remaining programs by the highest weighted average graduation rate to determine the top 8 cosmetology schools in Austin.
Graduation rate and student enrollment data are from the U.S. Department of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) reports. Schools with key data points missing from IPEDS reports may be omitted from the ranking, as are schools with data that is unattributable to its beauty programs. Many excellent educational institutions—including community colleges—offering a wide variety of vocational programs may, as a result, not be represented on these rankings of top beauty schools.