If your teen is heading into a career in cosmetology, or just has a passion, I’ve got some good online learning option for your homeschool curriculum, and some advice about earning college credit.
High School Credit
These first 6 courses are offered through a free online platform out of Ireland called Alison. To complete the free courses you’ll need to create an account. You’ll also see lots of ads that you can choose to have removed by buying an upgrade for about $10 if you want.
As a homeschooling parent, you determine the amount of high school credit to award based on your judgement or your state’s laws, but my recommendation is as follows:
Use this list of 6 short courses as a full high school course. Each short course can represent a module inside your full high school course.
Identify a title for your course (Introduction to Hair & Makeup, Introduction to Cosmetology, etc.), award 0.5 high school credits (1 semester), and assign a letter grade.
Learn professional skills, tools and products for bridal makeup and strategies for business in this free online course. (3 hours)
This free course will explore the professional skills, tools and products for bridal makeup. You will learn skin preparation, techniques for eye-makeup, and the romantic bridal look. Customer care service will also be discussed so you can grow your clientele. To succeed as a freelance business, you will learn how to set up your business structure, meet legal requirements and master the strategies to market your brand for success.
Learn everything you need to know to become a professional makeup artist in this free online cosmetics diploma course. (10 hours)
This diploma course teaches you how to apply professional-level makeup for a variety of different looks and occasions, including films and photoshoots. We investigate what motivates people to approach makeup artists and layout the techniques used to enhance their eyes, lips and skin to transform their entire look. This course suits anyone who wants to apply cosmetics professionally or even those who simply want to look their best.
Learn the techniques for creating distinct and appealing looks using contour and highlight with this free online course. (3 hours)
This free online course teaches you how to apply contour and highlight to add definition and depth to the face, particularly the jawline and cheekbone. The course will provide you with a detailed explanation of how to prepare the face and apply contour and highlight. You will also see what products and brushes are best to use for this technique. Other systems that you can use to create a more dramatic contour will be discussed.
Learn how to style bridal hair like a professional using the best tips and techniques found in this free online course. (3 hours)
This free online course teaches you how to design beautiful bridal hairstyles. We describe the necessary tools and products and go over general hair preparation processes. The course then moves on to actual hair styling, and we demonstrate a variety of techniques to create bridal hairstyles that can be combined in multiple ways for an endless source of options. We train you to prepare clients (or friends) for special occasions.
Learn how to do a perfect traditional manicure and all about applying permanent nail polish in this free online course. (3 hours)
In this free online course, you will learn to master the art of performing a perfect manicure treatment. We’ll show you the various tools used in manicure treatments and the importance of hygiene and tool sterilization. The course provides a detailed explanation of the application and removal of permanent nail polish. You will obtain the necessary skills and knowledge for the perfect manicure treatment and nail polish application.
This free online course presents a step-by-step guide to help you perform your own eyelash lift and tint treatment. (3 hours)
This free online course takes you through a step-by-step eyelash lift and tint treatment. We lay out the benefits of such a treatment to explain why clients tend to prefer this treatment over a false lash application. We examine the various tools and pieces of equipment used to complete this treatment. This course suits anyone who wants to give their friends’ eyes a little extra ‘pop’ and offers beauty therapists an edge over the competition.
My Hair Dresser (MHD) Subscription
For a much more in depth opportunity to get training for basic and advanced learners, the online site MHD offers monthly subscriptions for $20 that gives access to all of their classes and tutorials. From the UK, MHD has over 500 hairdressing and barbering classes/videos taught by leading experts. Most are hair cutting and styling techniques (including African hair types), but they also have beauty treatment, nails, makeup, and business classes as well. You could use this product as enrichment or pick and choose to create individual high school courses for high school credit.*
- African Type Hair
- Barbering and Men’s Haircuts
- Celebrity Hairstyles
- Chemical Texturising
- Dressing and Styling
- Education Advice & Solutions
- Hair Colouring
- Hair Cutting
- Hair Perming
- Hair Trends
- Hairdressing Education
- Hairdressing History
- Hairdressing Instructors
- Hairdressing tutorials
- Salon & Business Advice
For high school credit, all time in the subject counts, that includes practicing the technique/lab. For instance, a video may take 20 minutes, but the student may spend 10+ hours practicing the skill over the course of a week. Be sure to consider that when assigning credit.
To participate in cosmetology courses that generate college credit as a high school student, your best bet is to use your state/local dual enrollment program through your community college. Not every community college offers this option, but if yours does, it’s the best choice for several reasons:
- The credit earned through dual enrollment is regionally accredited which means it could be used as elective credit in some non-cosmetology degrees later. (cosmetology schools are trade schools which makes it unlikely that those credits could be used in a non-cosmetology degree)
- In states where you have to be 18 to obtain your license, this gives you an opportunity to “practice” the craft until that time.
- Some community colleges will offer free tuition, meaning it’s possible to get a full certificate, diploma, or even degree in high school for free.
- Your community college will provide advice and guidance about state laws and license requirements.
- Your community college will have resources for internships and job placement.
- Your community college may have a salon that is open to the public, offering an earlier start for customer experience.
- Cosmetology schools will also provide guidance about laws, resources for career placement, but they will all require a GED or high school diploma for admission, limiting your teen’s ability to start now or for free/reduced tuition.
SAMPLE: This program below isn’t offered online and won’t be useful for YOUR teen’s enrollment (unless you live in Catawba County, NC), but I’m using it to demonstrate that these programs DO exist for high school students. This diploma program is open to 11th and 12th grade students (or high school graduates) and free tuition while in high school (regular tuition upon high school graduation until you finish) Use this sample as inspiration to look for similar programs at your community college.
Notice the two general education requirements in this program. You may be able to use CLEP for those!
General Education Requirements
- COS 111 – Cosmetology Concepts I Credit Hours: 4
- COS 112 – Salon I Credit Hours: 8
- COS 113 – Cosmetology Concepts II Credit Hours: 4
- COS 114 – Salon II Credit Hours: 8
- COS 115 – Cosmetology Concepts III Credit Hours: 4
- COS 116 – Salon III Credit Hours: 4
- COS 117 – Cosmetology Concepts IV Credit Hours: 2
- COS 118 – Salon IV Credit Hours: 7
- WBL 110 – World of Work Credit Hours: 1
This profession will require a state licensure to practice and ongoing continuing education to maintain your license. These procedures will differ by state. Be sure to check YOUR STATE’s license requirements at a .gov website. You can google “cosmetology license” with your state in the search and you should be able to find the official page easily.
To prepare this post I pulled my state’s requirements, your state will differ. This is the TYPE of information you’ll want to locate for your state.
North Carolina Board of Cosmetology License Requirements
COSMETOLOGIST LICENSE: 1500 Hours
BARBER LICENSE: 1528 Hours
ESTHETICIAN LICENSE: 600 Hours
NAIL TECHNICIAN LICENSE: 300 Hours
COSMETOLOGY INSTRUCTOR LICENSE: License + 800 Hours or 5 Years of Experience
NATURAL HAIR CARE INSTRUCTOR: 300 Hours
MANICURIST INSTRUCTOR: License + 320 Hours or 2 Years of Experience
ESTHETICS INSTRUCTOR: License + 650 Hours or 3 Years of Experience
MASSAGE THERAPIST LICENSE: 500 Hours
Professional beauty licenses expire on October 1 across the state, but different professions renew in different years. Cosmetologists must renew licenses every 3 years, completing 24 continuing education hours during that 3-year period. Estheticians, manicurists and cosmetology instructors all renew annually, and 8 hours of continuing education must be completed during that time.