Best Cosmetology Schools in Memphis, TN – 2020 Round-up

| Last Updated: July 4, 2021

Cosmetology is one of the professions that this world cannot do without. From providing services such as arranging and dressing to massages, facials, and other skin-care miracles, this industry has seen the biggest boom of the decade. 

It is one of the things in the service industry that took off well and is still a popular choice for many. Not only that, but it also remains to be the most sought-after choice for a self-employment career pick, which is why more and more cosmetology schools are popping up in Memphis. 

If you are interested in being a cosmetologist, you have come to the right platform. Here you will find information that will set you off on the right track for being a cosmetologist. 

Requirements to be a Cosmetologist in Memphis, TN 

Before you can take off your career as a cosmetologist in Memphis, below are some requirements that you need to fulfill;


You should be 16 years or above so you can meet the educational and examination requirements, which include completion of 1500 hours doing practice and learning cosmetology theory at a school. There is also a practical examination that has to be cleared. If you have already gone through the above-mentioned steps, you can apply for your initial license for $60. 


You must be up to date in regards to the expiry date of your license. You can sign up for reminders and notices which can be mailed to your doorstep one month before it has to be renewed. The fee for renewal stands at $60.00, according to Rule 0440-1-.13(3) of the Tennessee Rules of Cosmetology. In case of a late renewal, an additional fee of $25 is charged. If your license remains expired for about three years, you will have to retake the exams and start from square one. 

Salary and Job Outlook in Memphis, TN 

The Tennessee Department of Labor has gathered data showing that there has been a sharp increase in people in Memphis working as hairdressers, hairstylists, manicurists, and skincare specialists. 

Entry-level jobs in cosmetology pay about $17000 while the median salary is $24,000, and experienced individuals can earn up to $35,700 per year. In other words, the median salary per hour is roughly $11.74. 

Even though there is no record of the benefits such as social security, healthcare, or pension in this industry, it is the same for most service sector industries.

The bonuses are pretty high to compensate for the lack of other monetary benefits, standing at a median of $700, relative to a base salary of $24,901. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 6780 people are employed as cosmetologists in Memphis this year, and the number is supposed to reach 11,330 by 2022 in Tennessee. This reflects an overall increase of 19% in over ten years and creates about 410 jobs every year. 

List of the Top Cosmetology Schools in Memphis, TN 

If you are looking to enroll in a cosmetology school, we have compiled the top ones in Tennessee below to save you time and mind-boggling research. The graduates are amongst very successful cosmetologists in the city and can speak for the high-quality knowledge imparted by their curriculums. 

1. Empire Beauty School

List of Programs

  • Hair Design
  • Hair Cutting
  • Basic Skincare
  • Color and Texture
  • Business/Retail Training 

Contact Info

  • Address: 568 Colonial Road, Memphis, TN
  • Phone: 901-881-8766

Our Review of the Program

This school gives the best know-how and hands-on training in the most clarified manner. They teach you all the fundamentals and advanced techniques that you will need in the industry. You will graduate with the ability to master hair cutting, hair styling, and hair coloring. 

What makes their programs engaging and fun is the fact that they help you develop skills, which you will need in real life, including time management skills. Anyone can master anything, but doing things efficiently under a limited time frame is what you will learn here. 

Furthermore, this school keeps up with the latest trends in haircutting, design, and coloring for all age groups so you will master hair textures and haircuts or styles that will please anyone who walks in. Apart from hair, they also focus a lot on nail services, including manicures and pedicures and esthetic skin-care procedures, which are trending.

To conclude, this is the best school to go for if you are looking to learn the basics right while keeping up with the latest trends. The cherry on top is that they also help you develop communication and marketing skills, which would help you gain a good customer base in the future.

2. Tennessee College of Applied Technology

List of Programs

  • Shampooist
  • Cosmetologist 

Contact Info

  • Address: 550 Alabama Ave, Memphis, TN 38105
  • Phone: 901-543-6100

Our Review of the Program 

The cosmetology program offered by this school is the best for entry-level cosmetologists who have their minds set on quick employment opportunities. It offers both theory and practical work in regards to hair care, hair styling, and skincare. Basic techniques of cutting, shampooing, and styling hair are taught here, along with the art of manicuring and sculpting nails. 

They offer a really good faculty team, hiring only the best people who have great teaching skills and a lot of experience to share from the duration they work as cosmetologists. This makes for a good and very strong relationship with peers and teachers and can be used later in life when you start up your own salon for promotion or partnerships. This is a trend that has taken on fluidly in the last two years. 

It is an all-in-one kind of a deal because they teach not only skills required to be a good cosmetologist, but also marketing skills so you can land a good client base and have good customer relations in the industry. This is the most crucial aspect of this industry because word of mouth can either make you or break you. 

3. The Ivy Institute School of Esthetics

List of Programs

  • Face Cupping
  • Female Waxing
  • Foot Reflexology
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Male Brazilian Waxing
  • Dermaplaning Certification
  • Hollywood Eyes Certification
  • Multi-Tasking/Multi-Masking
  • Spray Tanning with Angie Snow
  • Microchanneling with Growth Factors
  • Brow Mapping & Lamination Certification Workshop
  • Chemical Exfoliation & Advanced Chemical Peel Dual Certification

Contact Info

  • Address: 5200 Park Avenue, Suite 100, Memphis
  • Phone: 901-590-3531

Our Review of the Program 

What is so unique about this school is that it has partnered up with Dermalogicia, OFRA, and Senegence Cosmetics and BIO-Therapeutic to give their students the best hands-on experience while they are still in the learning stages. 

This is possible via visits from representatives from the partnerships which contribute to the positive learning experience. This way, the school not only benefits from the experience of the current faculty but is also able to cultivate young minds with more contextually diverse ideas as partners usually are from a different city or state. This also allows the students to experiment outside their comfort zone and venture into unlimited possibilities.  

They also include a short training course so that the students get a chance to apply whatever they learn on the clients. This way, when they go out in the market looking for a job, they have relevant experience and can be trusted. Because of this, graduates from this school land amazing job and business opportunities.

Graduates also have diverse options to choose from, such as an esthetician, spa manager, owner, sales representative, or a make-up artist. All these are notable professions and gain profits really quickly as compared to other traditional methods of teaching. 

4. Gould's Academy

List of Programs

  • Chemistry
  • Haircutting
  • Hair Removal
  • Hair Pressing
  • Salon Business
  • Concepts in Hair Color
  • Manicure and Pedicure
  • Wigs and Related Theory
  • Skin Diseases and Disorders
  • Hairstyling and Related Theory
  • Properties of the Hair and Scalp
  • Facials and Related Theory of Make-Up
  • Shampooing, Rinsing and Conditioning
  • Chemical Texturizing (Chemical Relaxers)
  • Chemical Texturizing (Permanent Waving)
  • Administration, Salon/Spa Ethics, Tennessee State Law, First Aid, and Infection Control 

Contact Info

  • Address: 1203 Ridgeway Rd Ste 203, Memphis, TN 38119
  • Phone: 901-767-6647

Our Review of the Program 

Gould’s Academy offers a lot of flexibility to its students. It has day and evening classes, depending on whether the student wants to go for full-time or a part-time routine. It also provides an extensive beauty school education to prepare students for the Tennessee State Board of Cosmetology Licensing exam and the Mississippi State Board of Cosmetology Licensing exam.

The school specializes in its well-known hair school program, which makes use of various methods of teaching by the Sassoon Academy and Goldwell Signature curriculum. This course also increases the marketing knowledge of the student by taking on cues from the business course by “Nuts & Bolts.” Teaching students important business conducting skills ensures their success in the competitive salon industry.

The academy adds a fun factor to this already exciting career by giving lots of flexibility and freedom to their students in terms of styles and trends. This way, the students gain confidence and are able to thrive in new creative environments where quality is not all that’s needed, and bringing new, improved ideas to the table matters a lot. 

At Gould’s Academy of Cosmetology, you can expect to learn a diverse skill set that you will need to become a successful cosmetologist. It not only excels in cutting, styling, and performing chemical services on mannequins, but it also offers the chance for real-world experience with the help of a licensed cosmetology instructor.

5. The Institution School of Cosmetology

List of Programs

  • Nail Technician 
  • Barbering Course
  • Instructor’s Course
  • Natural Hair Course 

Contact Info

  • Address: 2755 Colony Park, Drive Suite 2, Memphis, TN
  • Phone: 901-726-3002

Our Review of the Program 

TISOCB prepares students for the diversity in the beauty industry by offering them guidance by licensed instructors through a very carefully devised cosmetology curriculum. It also follows closely with the Cosmetology State Board Exam, so you can be sure to pass that. 

The best thing about this school is that it embraces the natural beauty and devises methods to work around it and enhance the existing features rather than bringing on a whole different, artificial look. If this ideology aligns with yours, this is the place to be. 

It offers braiding, styling and finishing, perm and smoothing, hair coloring, precision haircutting, manicure and pedicure, and makeup and facial classes in their curriculum. By the end of the learning period, you would be aware of all the tips and tricks of giving the clients exactly what they need. You will also get a chance for hands-on training and practicing on real clients so that you don’t start off without any experience. 

In this school, they believe in creating a personal image for the success of the cosmetology career. This pushes the students to not only excel in the skill set but also work on themselves as better individuals. They also offer an instructor’s course if you are looking to teach instead of practicing cosmetology. 

Cosmetology Schools in Memphis, TN Comparison Table

Choosing the right school can be a very difficult decision to make, but with the help of the table below, you might find some relief in the process. We have compiled the top schools of cosmetology in Memphis for you side-by-side so that you can have a clearer picture of what you have on the table to choose from. 

  • Hair Design, Hair Cutting, Color and Texture, Basic Skincare and Business/Retail Training
  • 568 Colonial Road, Memphis, TN
  • 901-881-8766
View Latest Price →
  • Shampooist and Cosmetologist
  • 550 Alabama Ave, Memphis, TN 38105
  • 901-543-6100
View Latest Price →
  • Dermaplaning Certification, Chemical Exfoliation & Advanced Chemical Peel Dual Certification, Brow Mapping & Lamination Certification Workshop, Hollywood Eyes Certification, Microchanneling with Growth Factors, Microdermabrasion, Face Cupping, Multi-Tasking/Multi-Masking, Spray Tanning with Angie Snow, Foot Reflexology, Female Waxing and Male Brazilian Waxing
  • 5200 Park Avenue, Suite 100, Memphis
  • 901-590-3531
View Latest Price →
  • Administration, Salon/Spa Ethics, Tennessee State Law, First Aid, and Infection Control, Shampooing, Rinsing and Conditioning, Haircutting, Properties of the Hair and Scalp, Manicure and Pedicure, Hairstyling and Related Theory, Facials and Related Theory of Make-Up, Chemical Texturizing (Chemical Relaxers), Chemical Texturizing (Permanent Waving), Wigs and Related Theory, Skin Diseases and Disorders, Hair Removal, Hair Pressing, Chemistry and Salon Business
  • 1203 Ridgeway Rd Ste 203, Memphis, TN 3811
  • 901-767-6647
View Latest Price →
  • Natural Hair Course, Barbering Course, Nail Technician and Instructor’s Course
  • 2755 Colony Park, Drive Suite 2, Memphis, TN
  • 901-726-3002
View Latest Price →


To conclude, studying in a cosmetology school and getting a cosmetology license is not a tough process. It is one of the things which do not require a lot of time or monetary investments but give quicker and more efficient results in terms of a career pick. 

People Also Ask

If you have made up your mind about wanting to study cosmetology, you will have lots of questions in mind. To save your time, we have listed down the most frequently asked questions below; these cover course durations, costs, the time required to study, and getting a license to become a cosmetologist.  

How Long Does it Take to Get Your Esthetician License?

It is not a very lengthy process. You just need to submit your application to be monitored along with the testing fees. Also required will be proof of your educational hours at any Tennessee cosmetology school. Cosmetology programs must consist of a minimum of 750 hours of training and be in accordance with the state standards.

How Long Do You Have to go to School For Cosmetology?

You will find it hard to believe that unlike traditional institutes where it takes up to four years on average to get a degree, you can look up cosmetology schools, which will let you wrap up your training only in about eight months on the minimum. It can also stretch on to two years, depending on the number of courses you plan on taking and the nature of the class (part-time, full-time). 

Can You Get Financial Aid For Beauty School?

Many cosmetology schools offer financial aid like any other university. This is an added opportunity for people who are looking for grants, loans, and scholarships to study and make a career. Whoever applies for federal financial aid has to fill in a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

How Much Does The Cosmetology State Board Test Cost?

To take the board test, the fees should be mailed to PSI, in the form of cashier's check or money order. The overall test costs $140, while theory and practice if given separately, cost $70 each. If the exam is not given within six months, the fee is canceled. The amount can also be refunded if asked before the six-month expiration period. 

How Do I Prepare For Cosmetology School?

If you wish to pursue a degree in cosmetology, you should take up the subject in high school to gain as much expertise as you can on the subject. Then you can get an internship or a job at a salon as an assistant to learn real-time off stylists. You could also stay up-to-date with trends online. The last step is carefully going through the program that the school of your choice is offering. 

What is the Average Cost of Cosmetology School?

Cosmetology schools are not that expensive, like traditional four-year bachelor programs. In Memphis, the lowest fee charged for a full cosmetology course is $12,000, with the highest fee charged is $18,000 by more high-end institutes. If you manage to land a scholarship, the cost will cut down.

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Hi I'm Emilia! I like to think of myself as the "crash-test-dummy" of the hair world. Whether that means testing out the newest curling iron or going with fresh hair styles. I like to mix it up. I share my thoughts on Caffe Hair based on my first hand experience!