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What To Look For In A Nail School? How To Pick The Right One?


You have your heart set on nail school. It’s time for the big decision. What school would be the best fit for you? Will it be that fancy state of the art facility with the big price tag or the one with the 80s decor that won’t max out your credit card? It’s easy to pick a winner. We’ve distilled the single most important factor in selecting your future beauty or cosmetology school. Our breadth of knowledge is based in the US. So if you live in this part of the world, the following tips are going to simplify the decision making process. Beyond our borders, the decision is already less complicated for internationally based nail students. First figure out the requirements of your locality and then seek training from a reputable nail care brand/product manufacturer. Many companies, as well as our international YN distributors, are equipped to offer professional nail care courses with documented certification.

If you want a career in hair, nails or skin the first step to the profession is a cosmetology license. In the State of California, with probably the strictest regulations, a person can earn a license by passing the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology exam. It is a standardized exam with two parts: written and practical. Technically it requires that you are at least 17 years old, have completed 10th grade, and completed approximately 400 hours/10 weeks of practical training coursework from an accredited cosmetology school. The focus of cosmetology school is to teach you all about how your work must always follow proper hygiene, disinfection, and sanitization guidelines for the health and safety of the public. Newsflash. They do not teach you how to do nails in beauty school. There won’t be a word on business marketing or acrylic technique. Most schools teach with odorless systems; products great for practical exam training but pointless in the salon. Beauty schools teach to pass the test. Few and far between go above that call of duty.

You may live in a big city with a sea of options. Or you may live in a less populated area where there’s just one school in town. Hopefully with the way we are currently living, there may be some current and good online learning options available. Take advantage of that. Do a quick search for local beauty schools near you. Go online. Read the reviews. Connect with professional nail folks whose work you already admire. Message them for a beauty school recommendation. The advice you can get from an experienced nail tech will save you on many occasions.

In life and when searching for the right beauty school, you want to avoid at all costs anything cheap, dirty, or sketchy. This doesn't rule out the clean, decent, but outdated place. They are two completely different things. If all you learn in Cosmetology school is disinfection and sanitization. You want your school to practice what it preaches. You might find that there are plenty of “good enough” places out there that are also clean and decent. This is a “hit it and quit it” situation on your way to becoming a great nail tech. You really just need things to be functional like a starter house or a road trip rest break.

Cosmetology Schools can range anywhere from $600 to $3500 to $20,000. The most important thing to consider when you’re looking for a beauty school is the price. Pick the least expensive place that is clean and decent; for your sake and the sake of your future career in nails. Be cautious of any place that looks flashy or makes big promises. Take for example our very own, Tracey Reierson and her family. It’s a household made up of three board certified beauty professionals. Each one attended a different beauty school with very different price tags. With all their joint experience, they were disappointed to learn that not much was different among the three programs. The biggest difference was the burden of student debt and it could have been avoided.

When you calculate the cost of beauty school, make sure to reserve a small fund for investing in your continued education. You are going to need and want another layer of coursework that focuses exclusively on getting you salon ready with acrylic/gel technique, nail art, business marketing and operations. Get your license. Strike while the details are fresh and immediately enroll in a continued education course, like our One Week Course (OWC). We swear this will sling shot you towards a deeper understanding and ability to execute a beautiful set of nails.

**This is an adaptation from our YN Biz Talk playlist on YouTube, “WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A NAIL SCHOOL? HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT ONE?”

***Follow our YN YouTube Channel and click here to watch the full discussion: