Beauty Courses and Classes Overview

Beauty courses are available at technical schools and community colleges for students seeking careers in cosmetology. Courses and classes may include lectures and hands-on lab work with live models in student-staffed salons with instructor oversight.

Essential Information

Hair stylists, cosmetologists and nail technicians take beauty courses, usually as part of 1- or 2-year programs that lead to professional certificates or associate's degrees. Students learn about hair cutting and styling, applying make-up, providing popular spa services and giving manicures.

Here are some common concepts taught in beauty courses:

  • Trends and techniques
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Theory and practice
  • Terminology
  • Manicuring/pedicuring
  • Facial services
  • Financial management

List of Beauty Classes

Basic Hair Cutting, Design and Artistry

Students in these entry-level classes learn about cutting and styling hair of all types. Typical razors, clippers, scissors and combs are introduced, and students learn when and how to use them. Students learn styling techniques and hair finishing options. At the conclusion of this class, students are prepared to perform hair cutting techniques appropriate for all lengths of hair and for male and female clients.


Building on a foundation of physiology and anatomy, sanitation and infection control, basic cosmetology courses cover general skincare services, such as makeup application, facials and nail treatments. Students also learn to shampoo, condition and style hair. Course content and labs focus on typical salon services.

Chemical Reformation Techniques

Students master chemical hair applications and treatments in this course. In addition to performing scalp and hair analysis, students also learn to chemically straighten hair and to give perms. Learning modified shampoo and conditioner applications in keeping with chemical texturizing treatments complete the skill set. Students should have a good understanding of working with hair before learning chemical processes, and chemical reformation courses are usually taken after introductory beauty classes.

Hair Coloring Techniques

Learning proper formulation and application of hair color as befits a client's hair and scalp is an advanced skill. Studying the chemistry and the process of hair coloring is often completed sometime in the middle of a cosmetology program. Mastering temporary and permanent hair color is a required competency, one that students have a chance to practice during labs as well as in student-staffed salons.

Salon Operations

Beauty students nearing the end of their studies who are interested in owning or operating their own beauty salons or spas take this course. In addition to having the practical skills applicable to the field, salon managers need to know about local health and safety regulations, relevant laws, ethical practices and business operations. Human resources, day-to-day operations, customer service and inventory skills are essential to the operation of spas and salons.

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