Barber Schools in Southern California with Program Summaries

Aug 01, 2019

The state of California has 27 accredited institutions that offer career training in barbering. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for the eight largest schools in southern California to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

Aspiring barbers in southern California have the option of applying to several beauty academies and institutes, many of which are private for-profit schools that grant diplomas. Students learn barbering through lectures as well as externships that allow them to work on real customers. The barbering and barber crossover programs may feature full- and part-time scheduling.

Career Requirements

The state of California requires barbers to complete 1,500 hours of training in a barbering school that has been approved by the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. Students must be at least 17 years old and have graduated from the tenth grade in order to enroll in such a program.

Trained cosmetologists who wish to gain barber licensing can complete a 400-hour approved barber crossover program, which includes topics not typically included in a cosmetology program. Once barbering instruction is complete, students achieve licensure by passing the state board exam. Continuing education is not required to maintain licensing. All of the eight schools profiled below have been approved by the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology and accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences. Graduation from these programs leads to taking the licensing exam.


Coachella Valley Beauty College

Based in La Quinta, Coachella Valley Beauty College offers bilingual classes with flexible schedules for prospective barbers. Students in the barbering program learn about haircutting, shaving, facials, shampooing, hair coloring and hair tinting, among other topics. A barber crossover program is also available for cosmetologists. Graduates of either of these programs are given a diploma.

Hair California Beauty Academy

Hair California Beauty Academy in Orange offers classes in partnership with nearby Saddleback College. The barbering course trains students in such areas as hair cutting, skin care, safety, hair treatments, reception and management. After completing the course, students will be qualified to work as barbers, salon managers or salon owners.

International School of Beauty

The International School of Beauty in Palm Desert offers barbering and barber crossover training. The barbering class requires student to perform a specified minimum number of haircuts, shaves, facials, massages and other related procedures. Topics covered include barbering chemistry, proper handling of electricity and dangerous substances, hair styling and facials. Cosmetology-trained students in the crossover class get the additional training needed to become barbers. Classes for both programs are available for both full-time and part-time students.

John Wesley International Barber and Beauty College

Individuals with and without training in cosmetology can gain the training needed to become licensed barbers at John Wesley International Barber and Beauty College in Long Beach. Financial aid is available for students who present proper identification, a high school diploma or GED and proof of income. The barber course offers practical experience performing procedures such as hair cutting, finger waving, hair coloring and chemical straightening, as well as classes in topics like barbering rules, anatomy, safety, sanitation and shop management. The crossover course includes lectures and demonstrations, along with practical experience working on live clients.

Lancaster Beauty School

Located in Lancaster, this beauty school offers a course in barbering that can be completed in as little as ten months. Educational resources include a school library, from which students may check out videos, styling books, DVDs and magazines. Students learn how to cut and color hair, shave and trim beards, apply permanent waves and perform facials. Students who have achieved a 90% rating in attendance and academics, completed over 60% of the course and are up to date with their clinic operations may be eligible to take part in an externship program with professional salons. This school also offers a barber crossover program.

Lu Ross Academy

Lu Ross Academy in Ventura was the first institution in Ventura County to launch a barbering program and was voted Best Trade School by the Ventura County Star's Reader's Choice Awards in 2010 and 2011. The barbering program includes practice in hair styling, chemical waves, hair coloring, hair cutting and disinfecting techniques. Students are also apprised of laws and regulations, concepts in anatomy and physiology, record keeping techniques and professional ethics.

Paul Mitchell The School - Costa Mesa Branch

Paul Mitchell The School has over 100 branches, including one in Costa Mesa, which offers both a barbering and a barber crossover program. Other Southern California locations include San Diego, Temecula, Santa Barbara, Sherman Oaks and Pasadena. The barbering program at the school's Costa Mesa branch focuses on teaching students grooming procedures specifically for male clients in a three-phase program. During the core phase, students learn fundamental skills; in the adaptive phase, students learn sound daily practices related to retailing, sales, time management and professional communication. In the creative phase that completes the program students gain real life experience and attend career fairs in anticipation of the beginning of their professional careers. A three-phase structure is also used for the crossover program.

Western Beauty Institute

Established in 1959, Western Beauty Institute now has three locations in Southern California: Lancaster, Fullerton and Van Nuys. Aspiring barbers can enroll in a barbering program and cosmetologists can enter into a barber crossover program. The barbering arts course gives instruction in such topics as industry regulations, sanitary requirements, hair care, facial and shaving procedures, professionalism, ethics and customer relations. The barber crossover program covers all aspects of the barbering profession not specifically covered in cosmetology programs. The school offers a barbering arts scholarship.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Barber Training Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
Coachella Valley Beauty College Less than two-year, private for-profit; rural fringe Barbering,
Barber Crossover for Cosmetologists Diploma Program
$12,900*
Hair California Beauty Academy Less than two-year, private for-profit; midsize city Barbering $9,750 (Program Tuition 2018)**
International School of Beauty Less than two-year, private for-profit; rural fringe Barber Program,
Barber Crossover Program
$16,000*
John Wesley International Barber and Beauty College Less than two-year, private for-profit; large city Barber Training,
Barber Crossover Training
$10,875*
Lancaster Beauty School Less than two-year, private for-profit; large suburb Barbering Diploma Program,
Barber Crossover Diploma Program
$16,475*
Lu Ross Academy Less than two-year, private for-profit; rural fringe Barbering $17,450*
Paul Mitchell the School-Costa Mesa Branch Less than two-year, private for-profit; midsize city Barbering Diploma Program,
Barber Crossover
$19,500*
Western Beauty Institute Less than two-year, private for-profit; large suburb Barbering Arts,
Barber Crossover
$8,587.69 (Program Cost, no date given)**

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **School's Website

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