Cosmetology is also a growing industry and the demand for talented cosmetologists is high – especially in the state of California. According to a recent survey, California ranked number 5 in the top ten states with the highest annual spending on beauty. Every year, Californians shell out $11 million on skincare services and $5.2 million on hair!

If you’ve got a passion for all thing’s beauty, perhaps you have considered going into cosmetology. This is a fantastic decision as there are many opportunities and benefits. You can also pursue many types of jobs after you get your cosmetology license – or even start your own business or salon!

But how can you become a cosmetologist? Well, the first step is to head to beauty school. The state of California requires all cosmetologists to complete 1600 hours of training before they can earn their license.

So, here’s everything you need to know about the process of becoming a cosmetologist.

1. First Step: Find the Right Beauty School

First and foremost, you need to enroll in an accredited beauty school. This means that the state has approved the school’s training curriculum and it meets the necessary requirements.

Now, there are plenty of accredited beauty schools in each state – but it’s important to attend the right school for you. Not all beauty schools are created equal, and you will have a better learning experience at some.

The most important factor to consider is the way that the school trains its students. You want to go to a school that really prepares you for your future with hands-on training and a cohesive curriculum. Remember, you are not just learning information to pass your certification test – you are being trained for a future career.

You’ll find that the cosmetology program at JD Academy of Salon + Spa takes a different approach than other beauty schools. Our main goal is to engage with our students from day one, so our instructors take the time to offer hands-on training. We make sure that you have mastered your foundational skills before moving on to advanced techniques.

We also have an academy salon and spa where you get to practice everything you learn in the classroom on real clients. This allows our students to earn real experience before they enter the workforce.

beauty school students watching their instructor

2. Step Two: Prepare to Learn

Once you have enrolled in the right beauty school, you’ll dive headfirst into training and learning. To meet the state’s 1600-hour requirement, you will start with some required coursework and classes. JD Academy of Salon +Spa’s cosmetology course includes:

  • 1100 hours of hairstyling training, including cutting techniques, chemical treatments, waving, coloring, bleaching, and styling courses.
  • 200 hours of health and safety courses, including state laws, regulations, health considerations, disinfection, anatomy and physiology, and sanitation training.
  • 200 hours of esthetics courses including skincare techniques, eyebrow beautification, and make-up artistry training.
  • 100 hours of nail art training.

All of our courses are broken into four parts.

First, you will sit through a theory and lecture presentation where the teacher will cover all of the basic information. Next, you will watch a demonstration of the technique from an experienced instructor. Then students will practice on mannequin heads until they have mastered the skill. Finally, they will have the chance to practice with clients through our student salon and spa*.

3. Step Three: Take the State Licensing Exam

Once you complete the required 1600 hours of training and have passed all of your courses, you will graduate from beauty school. The next step in your journey to becoming a cosmetologist is to study and then complete the state licensure exam.

women taking an examYou will need to first submit the Cosmetologist Examination Application for the state of California. Once your application has been approved, you will schedule your exam date, time, and location.

There is a practical and written portion of the exam, and both will be taken on the same day. The written exam has 100 test questions covering subjects that you have learned during beauty school. There is a 2-hour limit for this portion of the test. Next, you will complete the practical exam. Here you will need to complete a list of techniques on mannequin heads, including cutting, bleaching, and perming the hair as instructed. This will take about 4 hours to complete.

Once you have passed both portions of the exam, you will earn your license and you can begin practicing as a cosmetologist!

4. Step Four: Find the Job That Works for You

Once you earn your license, the real work begins. There are many career opportunities you can pursue. Many cosmetologists begin their careers working in a salon to gain more experience and build up their clientele. Some salons will set required hours, while others allow hairstylists to work around their appointment times.

If you prefer a bit more flexibility with your schedule, you could consider renting a booth in a salon instead. This means that you will set your own hours – but you are also responsible for finding clients on your own. You will need to use the marketing skills you’ve learned in beauty school to succeed!

But there are many other career paths that cosmetologists can follow. Some jobs to consider are:

  • Salon owner
  • Beauty school instructor
  • Makeup artist
  • Working for photo shoots, film, or television
  • Freelance stylist for fashion shows, weddings, and events
  • Editorial and advertising stylist
  • Personal stylist
  • Beauty brand ambassador

And these are just a few ideas! There are many ways you can use your cosmetology training once you graduate.

women getting her hair done by a stylistReady to Become a Cosmetologist?

If you think that becoming a cosmetologist would be the dream job for you, your first step is to enroll in beauty school. You can learn more about JD Academy of Salon + Spa by contacting us online. Also, be sure to schedule a tour of our Danville, CA campus to check it out for yourself!

*All services provided by students are done under the supervision of licensed professionals.

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Thinking about a new career in the salon or spa industry?

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