Beyond the Cosmetology State License Exam: Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy Orange County

The first to finding and maintaining a career in the beauty industry is getting your cosmetology license. If you live in (or are planning on moving to) Southern California, then you know that you’ve got a few options, but what you may not know or might not have considered, is that not all cosmetology schools or beauty academies are alike. There are many different factors to take into consideration when choosing the right cosmetology school for your needs, and we’ve covered most of those factors in another blog, so today we’ll be focusing on not only simply getting your cosmetology license in California, but going beyond passing the Cosmetology State License Exam in order to thrive in your new career in the beauty industry.

First, let’s look at the requirements that cosmetology students must fulfill in order to become a licensed cosmetologist. In the state of California, the California State Board of Cosmetology governs and regulates this sector of education and state licensing. Other states may have their own requirements, asking students to obtain different licenses in order to practice skin care, nail care, hairdressing, etc. but in California, the rules are fairly clear and simple:

  • Attend a state licensed beauty academy or cosmetology school and complete the minimum education & training as required by the state:
    • 1600 hours or 3200 apprenticeship hours for a state cosmetology license
    • 1500 hours or 3000 apprenticeship hours for a state barber license
    • 400 hours for state nail technician license
    • 600 hours or 1200 apprenticeship hours for an esthetician license
    • 250 hours (practitioner) & 500 hours (therapist) for a licensed massage therapist
      You must then pass the state of California Cosmetology Board Exam
  • These exams can be taken in English, Spanish as well as Vietnamese in California
  • Lastly, you must pass the State Board Cosmetology License Exams

Once these steps have successfully been completed, you will have earned your California Cosmetology License, which will allow you to practice cosmetology and work as a beauty technician in the state of California. Now while it might seem simple to do just about anywhere on paper, there’s certainly a lot more factors to consider when choosing the right beauty academy in California to not only help prepare you for the Cosmetology State Exams, but also to provide you with a solid foundation that you can apply for many years to come in your new cosmetology career. But where do you start?

If you’re considering a career as a cosmetologist or in one of the many professions within the beauty industry, you’re going to want to find a beauty school that goes above and beyond just the Cosmetology State Licensing Exam. Much like a doctor or lawyer would seek out the best school or schools available to them in order to increase their chances of not only passing their tests, but to excel and become front-runners in their respective fields, you’ll want to do the same. Cosmetology school is no different and so the first thing you’ll want to do is find the right beauty school and get the best education and hands-on training available, from an accredited and well-known institution.

The second step is to make sure that the school you’ve chosen is not only approved by the regulation boards and governing bodies at the state, but that it is also accredited. Lastly, you’ll want to see what professional memberships the school has, and whether or not factors like financial aid come into the picture when making a decision on the right school for your specific needs.

So what does it mean to go beyond simple preparation for the Cosmetology State License exams and your regular course of study? The beauty industry is ever-changing and the need for licensed cosmetologists, makeup artists, estheticians, cut & color specialists, barbers and nail technicians grows exponentially every year. It’s important to prep to pass the State Cosmetology License Exam, but it’s also vital to be a part of a beauty school that holds its instructors and lecturers to rigorous beauty industry standards, standards that are changing subtly each day.

Small classrooms and a clean, inviting, well-lit and safe environment to learn in, along with state-of-the-art equipment and the latest technique are vital to building a strong foundation for your career, not just simply passing the state cosmetology exam. At Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy, we not only nurture our new and current students enrolled in our cosmetology courses, but we value the students who have already graduated and gone on to become successful doing what they love – whatever that may be. At Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy, we want to see you pass the State Cosmetology Exam, but we also take pride in helping you develop the skills necessary to keep growing in your chosen field of beauty, long after you graduate.

We work hands-on; enjoy building synergy within our classrooms and creating a team environment that’s not only educational and fundamental for our students, but also fun and creative. Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy is nationally recognized and accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences. We also are approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, The California Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, The United States Department of Education and The State of California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

Need help paying for your cosmetology education? Look no further. Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy is one of the few cosmetology schools in California that is approved and recognized by the United States Department of Education for participation in the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Pell Grants, and Federal Student Loans. We offer cosmetology classes and hands-on learning and we have a clean, new, multi-floor facility located centrally to the 5 Freeway in the heart of Orange County, complete with several rooms, lecture halls, computer labs as well as a full salon and makeup vanities, mani-pedi stations and private learning areas. So while our private cosmetology curriculum will of course prep and help you pass the State Cosmetology License Exam, know that at Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy, we truly want our students to succeed in their chosen career beauty & cosmetology career paths years down the line. We’ve put a lot of effort and preparation into making sure you’ve got a solid cosmetology foundation and the fundamentals to keep learning throughout your career in this exciting and ever-changing industry! Please call us at 888-463-7869 to schedule a short campus tour or meet with one of our staff today!

*for more info on our cosmetology school accreditation and approvals, visit: