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What is a Hair Design School?

By Carol Francois
Updated May 16, 2024
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A hair design school teaches hairstyling techniques. These schools focus on providing both beginner and advanced hairstyling. Hairstyling is a growing industry, providing services directly to consumers, film studios, theater productions, and photographers.

There are four different types of hair design schools: advanced hairstyling, African-American hairstyling, wig styling, and theatrical hairstyling. In order to apply for any of these programs, you must be a licensed cosmetologist. Cosmetologists have completed the basic program requirements to cut and style hair.

Admission is based on a combination of transcripts from previous hairdressing training, interview, and portfolio. Some of the more exclusive schools have an admissions test, where the candidate is asked to create a specific hair design within a predetermined time frame. Portfolios are usually a series of head shots or photographs of unique hair designs and styles that you have created. The models can be friends, family, or professional hair models.

Advanced hairstyling programs offered through a hair design school are usually part-time programs, available in the evening and on weekends. These programs are certificate-based, and typically four to eight weeks in length. The classes are focused on techniques for different hair types and the modern styles made popular in the media.

African-American hairstyling is a specialty skill. Training is available from a wide range of hair design schools. These courses focus on long-term care and styling options. The hair type most commonly found in the African-American community is quite fragile, and special care is required before applying any of the advanced hairstyling techniques. This training program allows a hairstylist to expand their client base.

Wig styling is an important skill that is taught in hair design school. Wigs require specific care programs and the creation and modification of wigs is a skill that is in increasing demand. Celebrities and cancer patients often use wigs. Many diseases and illnesses result in long-term hair loss. The ability to create and style a wig is a valuable skill.

The hairstyles that are created for movies, videos, TV shows, and theater productions must meet very specific criteria. They must have a consistent appearance, enhance the appearance of the actor or actress and fit into the time period and setting of the production. The role of a hairstylist on a movie set usually includes research and design. These skills are taught in hair design school.

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