22 Top Beauty Schools in Iowa|Programs & License Requirements

There are many beauty schools in Iowa offering a wide range of specialized training programs in the beauty industry.

A lot of people who consider going to the beauty schools in Iowa city began their journey in a Salon. A lot of them want to become hairstylists, barbers and there are others who like to focus on hair and skin.

Each of these specializations requires a unique training program. All beauty schools are different, but most offer some or all of the following courses that are designed for any of the different specializations that you might be interested in.

Beauty School Courses

  • Cosmetology
  • Nail Technician
  • Esthetics 
  • Instructor 

Cosmetology –

This is what makes beauty schools different from other colleges and universities.

Students will work on real customers in a salon environment and be taught how to shampoo, cut, style, colour and treat hair.

A cosmetology course is what most beauty schools are all about. In general, it is the study of the application of any form of beauty treatment.

Most cosmetology courses are around 1600 hours in length and on average will take approximately 10 months of full-time attendance to complete.

Students are expected to learn specifically anything else you can do with hair such as the following:

  • haircutting
  • glamour photography makeovers
  • salon management
  • hairstyling
  • hair sculpting
  • hair colouring
  • highlights
  • advanced braiding
  • weaves
  • hair extensions

There are a lot of schools that have recognized that students have a real interest in some specialized area of cosmetology. In order for these schools to meet the desire of students for specialized training, they have devised additional training in areas like skin care, advanced European facial techniques, international body spa therapy, full-body treatment, makeup technology etc.

Courses in Cosmetology offers the following:

  • Practical Experience
  • Video Education
  • Computers and Technology
  • Advanced Education
  • Integrated Learning

Practical Experience: On-hands, experience is the cornerstone of any good cosmetology course. Students should expect to be able to work in a salon or clinic with real customers that understand that their beauty treatment is being administered by a student while having an instructor nearby. The aim of having an instructor nearby is to ensure that everything goes well.

This gives each student the opportunity to know what the job feels like and also provides a wealth of knowledge about the beauty industry.

Video Education: When it comes to cosmetology programs, many schools have a video education program that allows students to study basic and advanced subjects by watching videos.

As usual, many schools incorporate these videos into the standard course but are sometimes used as part of advanced specialization programs.

Computers and Technology
: Just as you know, cosmetology requires a hands experience but virtually every school uses technology and computers in their educational programs.

In this century, classes and educational seminars will use PowerPoint presentations and slide shows.

Students who are preparing for the state board certification tests or need review assistance can use computer programs or other online tutoring programs to help them prepare and learn.

There are schools that also train students on how to use hair colour programs or applications to help their clients determine the hair colour that specifically wants for their hair type.

Advanced Education
: Many beauty schools in Iowa offer advanced educational programs that include the latest trends and information from leading educators and stylists throughout the United States and the world.

There are beauty schools in Iowa also that invite Guest speakers regularly to give seminars and demonstrations on industry-related topics such as make-up, professionalism, colour techniques and new products.

Integrated Learning: A lot of beauty schools in Iowa make use of a standard
system of salon skills as part of their program.

It is a progressive learning system and so it integrates student course books with corresponding video materials. What this does is that it make it easier for students to learn by utilizing different learning styles.

Nail Technician

Most beauty schools in Iowa offer nail technician training programs. These classes teach students how they can effectively perform manicures and pedicures and how they can work with the nail technology they find available.

A typical nail technician course will take around 600 hours in length and that will be around 4 months on a full-time basis to complete.

Students can expect to learn the following latest techniques in nail treatments:

  • manicures
  • pedicures
  • sculptured nails
  • gel nails
  • tips
  • overlays
  • flat nail art
  • nail wraps
  • airbrushing and
  • various nail decoration techniques

Practical Experience: Every good nail technician training course should include practical experience as part of their program. Students taking such programs will get to perform nail treatments.

Sculptured Nails: Sculptured nails are a popular treatment in the beauty world. They involve the placing of a foil on the nail and then applying an acrylic or gel overlay onto the nail.

Classes use sculptured nail stations that allow students to do precise and delicate work.

Nail Art: This course in beauty schools allows students to express their artistic abilities while learning all the various nail decoration techniques that are available. some of the things you would learn include:

  • airbrushing
  • flat nail art
  • striping
  • rhinestones
  • nail jewels
  • lace
  • nail dust and
  • polishing techniques


In programs related to Esthetics, students are taught how to perform cosmetic treatments on skin. The esthetics program caters for students that are interested in skincare, makeup and spa services.

An Esthetics program is usually around 600 hours or approximately 4 months of full-time attendance.

The program is specialized and focuses on skincare treatments.

There are a lot of of schools with wet body spa rooms and custom facial and make-up training rooms with skincare equipment, motorized hydraulic facial chairs and other training aids.

In Esthetics, students are taught how they can analyze the skin and provide basic skin treatments such as cleaning, toning, exfoliation, mask application and basic treatment. You can expect the following in the Esthetics schools that you plan to attend.

On Hands Experience: Every esthetics program has to provide hands-on experience, students can therefore perform skincare treatments on customers while an instructor oversees the treatment. This helps students in identifying lapses and seeing how they can improve.

Makeup: Make-up classes are also an integral part of an esthetics program. Classes should include instruction on how to apply make-up for different applications such as theatre, film and photography.

Spa Therapy:

Esthetics courses include hands-on classes that are designed to teach the theory and practical aspects of body spa treatments. Students learn how to apply body treatments such as body bronzing, body wraps, hot stone massage, etc.


An instructor course is for beauty professionals that already have some experience in the industry and have plans of sharing their knowledge with others.

The instructor course is designed to equip beauty professionals who have some level of work experience with the skills that they need to share their knowledge and help other people learn.

A typical course is around 650 hours in length and usually takes about 4 to 5 months to complete if attended full-time.

Teacher training programs has to meet the state requirements for theory, teaching experience and hours.

Once a student completes an instructor course they will need to pass a state board examination to become licensed.

Admission Requirements in Beauty Schools

Most beauty schools in Iowa are looking for students that have graduated from high school or students who have attained a high school graduation equivalency certificate known as GED.

Apart from that, several beauty schools admit individuals who have completed at least 10 high school credits and have the ability to benefit from the training offered.

However, it is advisable that you contact the beauty school that you are interested in before you apply to see if you will meet their admission requirements.

The Class Schedule in Beauty Schools

Attending beauty schools in Iowa is a serious endeavour and most times it involves 4-10 months of full-time attendance.

Though committing to such classes can be a challenging task to many people, therefore a lot of beauty schools in Iowa offer flexible schedules to accommodate people with a busy lifestyle.

Virtually, every beauty academy will allow students to attend classes part-time instead of full-time. What happens is that the beauty school will extend the classes over a longer period of time to make it easier for students to attend.

There are evening classes also in most beauty schools, especially for individuals who work during the day.

Unfortunately, most states require that the majority of beauty training hours need to be in a classroom and that simply implies that there are no online-only schools.

However, there are beauty schools that offer online cosmetology classes for continuing education.

Financial Aid in Beauty Schools

Most beauty schools in Iowa have financial aid programs available to their students.

The United States Department of Education administers Pell Grants, Stafford Student Loans and Plus Loans.

Typically, a financial aid officer will perform an evaluation of each student’s financial need and design a package of financial aid programs. if they qualify.

The aid package is designed to help each student with the cost of their total educational expenses.

Beauty schools in Iowa that offer financial aid a lot of times provide information that explains all the various Department of Education programs.

Many even have online forms that will determine if an applicant qualifies immediately.

The packaging of financial assistance and the amount that is provided is often determined according to guidelines that were established by the U.S. Department of Education.

It will be required that the student provide the school that they are interested in attending with the information on family income, family size and other data that is required to determine the eligibility for financial aid.

You can find out more about financial aid at the U.S. Department of Education.

Ohio License Requirements

In order to obtain a license in cosmetology, esthetics or nail technology in the state of Ohio, students must complete the requirements that are listed below from the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology.

To qualify for cosmetology licensure in Ohio, you must attend a licensed school and complete the state of Ohio’s minimum required training hours and then take the state’s cosmetology board exams after which you will receive your Ohio cosmetology license shortly thereafter.

Ohio Board of Cosmetology License types and their requirements

Once you graduate from the beauty schools in Iowa, the following are some of the license to go for and each of these licenses have their requirements and education hours. They are:

  • Cosmetologist License-500 Hours
  • Managing Cosmetologist License-1800 Hours
  • Hairstylist License-1200 Hours
  • Managing Hairstylist License-1440 Hours
  • Esthetician License-750 Hours (+ 16-hour Training To Do Microdermabrasion)
  • Managing Esthetician License-750 Hours
  • Nail Technician License-200 Hours (+ 8-hour Training To Use Electric File)
  • Managing Nail Technician License -300
  • Barber License-1800 Hours (call 614-466-5003)
  • Cosmetology Instructor License-Managing Cosmetology License + 1000 Hours Or 1 Year Salon Experience
  • Natural Hairstylist License
  • Massage Therapist License-750 Hours (call 614-466-3934)

See the full details about these cosmetology licenses.

More on Licensing Requirements

Let us further look at the licensing requirements for cosmetology, esthiology, and nail technology as they pertain to the state of Iowa.

Before you can practice you must obtain a relevant license. Obtaining the license allows the state or other governing body to control and monitor those who practice in the fields under their realm of authority.

To become a cosmetologist, esthiologist, or nail technician course within Iowa, individuals must receive state licensing just like we stated earlier.

Completion of a relevant educational program at the beauty schools in Iowa ensures proper training.

Someone who attended any other beauty school apart from the beauty schools in Iowa has to meet the educational guidelines that are established by the Iowa State Board of Cosmetology.

Now after any student has completed their training at a beauty school out of state or the beauty schools in Iowa for cosmetology, they must take a state licensing examination that is issued by the board.

A passing score on the exam enables the individual to apply for an Iowa cosmetology license. Below are the different aspects of the beauty schools in Iowa and their license requirements:

Getting a Cosmetology License

In order for you to receive an Iowa cosmetology license, such individual must have completed 2,100 hours of training at any of the beauty schools Iowa-specifically the ones for cosmetology.

Individuals who went to an out-of-state school for their cosmetology courses has to have their training properly reviewed and approved by the Iowa State Board of cosmetology.

Apart from that, they also have to submit an original letter of verification of licensure that contains a raised state seal and reflects current licensure status in their field of specialization.

The letter must be sent in an envelope that features a state-printed return address.

Getting a Esthiology/Esthetics License

To receive licensing for esthiology in Iowa, about 600 hours of training at any of the beauty schools in Iowa for cosmetology are required.

Those obtaining their esthiology education out of state are subject to a different review and approval process, which mirrors that of a cosmetology license.

Separate esthiology licensing may not be offered in all states, but the individual must be able to provide official proof of licensure to practice within this discipline.

Getting a Nail Technology license

Getting a nail technician license requires the completion of 325 hours of training at an Iowa school of cosmetology.

The guidelines that apply to education at an out of state school for cosmetology also apply for licensing for Iowa nail technologists. Applicants have to be aware that methyl methacrylate (MMA), a compound used in some nail bonding compounds and artificial nails, is prohibited in Iowa.

Additional Information on Licensing requirements

In addition to the educational hour requirements above and passing the state licensing examination, the applicant must be able to provide proof of their high school diploma or GED and proof of graduating from a school for cosmetology.

Iowa does not have reciprocity with any other states. An individual who has a cosmetology license obtained from another state may only apply for an Iowa cosmetology license by endorsement if he or she has taken a national-level examination.

There are states that use a state-level exam, which most times is not the same.

The Licensing process

An application for licensure must be completed and submitted with the initial license fee and an official transcript or diploma from a board-approved school for cosmetology.

State licensing for cosmetology is granted for a two-year period and must be renewed in order to remain active.

The initial license fee is $60 and the biennial license renewal fee is $60.

At any time, members of the public can verify and print the Iowa nail technician, esthiology, or cosmetology license of an individual. Once the Iowa cosmetology license is received, the individual is authorized to work within the relevant field in the state of Iowa.

To get the most from their Licensure, some individuals pursue continuing education. The Iowa Board for Cosmetology offers additional information.

Ohio Cosmetology License Renewal

Ohio licenses must be renewed by January 31 of every odd-numbered year. It costs $30 to renew your license, the board also requires at least 8 hours of cosmetology continuing education classes per renewal period.

Instructors must complete an additional 8 hours of instructor-only continuing education. One hour of continuing education must be dedicated to human trafficking.

If the renewal is late, the fee becomes $75. If you get an independent contractor’s license, the license is $60 if renewed on time, $105 if late. The original cost of the independent contractor’s license is $75.

Cosmetology License Reciprocity (Transfer) in Ohio

All applicants who wish to transfer their cosmetology license to Ohio must pass the state’s written, practical and manager’s exams.

Ohio doesn’t offer reciprocality with other states.

You may get a license in Ohio without taking an additional exam if you were previously licensed in Ohio, got your license in another state, and returned to Ohio.

What is Esthiology?

Esthiology is just another word for Esthetics. A lot of times we refer to skincare programs as esthiology. Whether esthiologists or estheticians, they all have special training when it comes to administering facials, aromatherapy, skincare, makeup, etc.

So is Esthetics Different Than Esthiology?

Not by much! As we said, esthiology includes training in skincare, makeup application, hair removal, and body treatments.

Overall, we like to think that esthiology is the practice of making people feel well again just like Esthetics does, through improving their skin and helping them work into their self-confidence. Both are truly an art and a science to help others embrace their glow!

The benefits of Esthiology/Esthetics

There are so many benefits of esthiology/esthetics practices and they are:

1) Skincare treatments improve skin conditions including acne reduction, wrinkle and ageing repair, and even the disappearance of dark spots.

2) Makeup application can result in education about your skin tone, condition and application technique.

3) Body treatments can also improve skin conditions, but they can also provide relaxation and rejuvenation.

4) Through hair removal done by estheticians, they often improve the look and feel of the skin and consequently give people a boost of confidence.

List of Beauty Schools in Iowa

  • Capri College-Dubuque
  • Capri College-Cedar Rapids
  • Iowa School of Beauty-Marshalltown
  • Faust Institute of Cosmetology-Storm Lake
  • American Hair Academy
  • Iowa School of Beauty-Des Moines
  • La James International College-Cedar Falls
  • La James International College-Johnston
  • La James College of Hairstyling and Cosmetology
  • La James College of Hairstyling and Cosmetology
  • La James International College-Ft Dodge
  • Iowa School of Beauty-Ottumwa
  • PCI Academy-Ames
  • La James International College-Davenport
  • La James International College-Iowa City
  • Capri College-Davenport
  • Iowa School of Beauty-Sioux City
  • E Q School of Hair Design
  • Faust Institute of Cosmetology-Spirit Lake
  • Total Look School of Cosmetology & Massage Therapy
  • The Salon Professional Academy-Iowa City
  • Aveda Institute-Des Moines
Capri College-Dubuquehttp://www.capricollege.edu
Iowa School of Beauty-Marshalltownhttp://iowaschoolofbeauty.com
Capri College-Cedar Rapidshttp://www.capricollege.edu
Faust Institute of Cosmetology-Storm Lakehttp://www.faustinstitute.com
Iowa School of Beauty-Des Moines & Johnston http://iowaschoolofbeauty.com
American Hair Academyhttp://americanhairacademy.com
World of Beauty Academyhttps://www.worldofbeautyacademy.com/
La James International College-Cedar Fallshttp://www.ljic.edu
La James College of Hairstyling and Cosmetologyhttp://www.lajames.edu
La James International College-Ft Dodgehttp://www.ljic.edu
Iowa School of Beauty-Ottumwahttp://iowaschoolofbeauty.com
PCI Academy-Ameshttp://www.PCI-Academy.com
La James International College-Davenporthttp://www.ljic.edu
La James International College-Iowa Cityhttp://www.ljic.edu
Capri College-Davenporthttp://www.capricollege.edu
Iowa School of Beauty-Sioux Cityhttp://iowaschoolofbeauty.com
E Q School of Hair Designhttp://www.eqschool.net
Faust Institute of Cosmetology-Spirit Lakehttp://WWW.faustinstitute.com
The Salon Professional Academy-Iowa Cityhttp://tspaiowacity.com/
Total Look School of Cosmetology & Massage Therapyhttp://www.totallookschool.com/
Aveda Institute-Des Moineshttp://avedainstitutedesmoines.com/
Indian Hills Community Collegehttps://www.indianhills.edu/

OH State Board of Cosmetology Contact Information

  • Ohio State Board of Cosmetology
  • 1929 Gateway Circle
  • Grove City, OH 43123
  • Phone Number: 614-466-3834
  • Fax Number: 614-644-6880
  • E-mail Address: sue.gatwood@cos.state.oh.us or ashley.riffle@cos.state.oh.us


Beauty Schools in Iowa

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