Cosmetology courses are becoming more popular every year as the industry sees growth both in the number of jobs available and in the average pay for those in the beauty industry. Do you love styling hair? Do you love playing with nail color and design? Do you love achieving that perfect look with the best makeup? A career in cosmetology might be just what you’re looking for. 

Online cosmetology courses make it much easier to prepare yourself for a new career. You can learn beauty theory and concepts, and sometimes even get hands-on experience, all from home. With the best and most experienced instructors and mentors, you’ll be on the right path in no time at all. 

Check out these best online cosmetology courses and see which works for you. 

1. Advanced Skin Science for Beauty Therapists (Udemy)

Advanced Skin Science - Udemy

Cosmetology can include specializations in skincare and treatments. If you are already a beauty therapist or have some knowledge of the skin and how to care for it, this course can help deepen it. Not only will you learn about the physical and chemical makeup of skin, but you’ll also learn about afflictions and how to treat them. 

This is one of our best online cosmetology courses because this course can be used as a refresher for those who are already qualified beauty therapists or cosmetologists. It can also be used to improve the level of care you give your clients. There are over 6 hours of video lectures along with other course materials. Enrollment includes lifetime access to the course and materials as well as a certificate of completion.

Advanced Skin Science for Beauty Therapists Price: $74.99 Sign up for the Course

2. Beauty Care Distance Learning (Stratford Career Institute)

Beauty Care - SCI

If you don’t already have a foundational knowledge of cosmetology and are looking for a course that covers everything, the Beauty Care course from the Stratford Career Institute could be the one. You’ll cover everything from the care of hair, nails, and skin to running a salon business and interacting with your clients. 

This is a course that will introduce theory and concepts that can then be applied to entry-level beauty careers or even to more advanced cosmetology training. No additional materials are needed outside of the online learning environment. Affordable monthly payments are available as you work toward your cosmetology career diploma.

Beauty Care Distance Learning Price: $989 Sign up for the Course

3. Beauty Therapy & Makeup (International Career Institute)

Beauty Therapy - ICI

Beauty therapy encompasses many aspects of not just beauty but also creating a healthy physical appearance. In addition to learning how to design and apply makeup for different needs, you’ll learn how to apply nutrition and other sciences to improve the health of skin, hair, and nails. Massage and relaxation round out this comprehensive online course. 

You can earn your Beauty Therapy and Makeup diploma from the International Career Institute in as little as 24 weeks. However, you have up to three years to complete your coursework. While the course itself is affordable, two monthly payment options are also available.

Beauty Therapy & Makeup Price: £798 Sign up for the Course

4. Professional Certification Courses (QC Makeup Academy)

QC Makeup Academy

If you want your cosmetology career based around your makeup passion (or obsession), the QC Makeup Academy offers many courses. All interaction with your course instructors, tutors, and mentors is done online and you will receive your physical coursework materials in the mail, including a makeup kit. Learn not only about the concepts and practice of makeup but also about how to run your own makeup business.

You have the flexibility to take one course at a time while paying for each through a convenient and affordable payment plan. This makes the QC Makeup Academy courses the perfect continuing education courses for those already working in the cosmetology or beauty therapist professions.

Professional Certification Courses Price: Varies by course Sign up for the Course

5. Online Lash and Brow Series (The Beauty Academy)

Lash Brow -Beauty Academy

The Beauty Academy is one of the most well-respected names in cosmetology training and their online Lash and Brow course is equally respected. This short course allows you to learn concepts and theory in a convenient online environment with access to tutors. You’ll then practice these concepts with friends and family, all while insured through the school. 

One of the best things about the Beauty Academy is that it’s easy to continue your at-home cosmetology education with hundreds of other courses. Are you nearby one of their campuses? You can even attend classes and training in person. Lash and brow courses available online include brow shaping and eyelash extensions.

Online Lash and Brow Series Price: Varies by course Sign up for the Course

6. Online Lash Training: Classic & Volume (The Lash Professional)

The Lash Professional

If you want to learn everything there is to know about lashes then you want to turn to the Lash Professional. You’ll receive a starter kit for each course and have access to online video tutorials. Your instructors, available anytime through email, will cover the science behind lashes, types of extensions, methods of application, and even running your own lash business.

Their Classic and Volume lash courses are available together which gives you both of their 7-day courses. You should have some knowledge or practice applying lash extensions, even if it is just applying them yourself. The Lash Professional also offers a Lash Lift course for those who are looking to learn additional skills. 

Online Lash Training: Classic & Volume Price: $595 Sign up for the Course

7. Nail Technician Training (International Open Academy)

Nail Technicial - IOA

With nail technician training, you can offer even more services as a cosmetologist. Manicures and pedicures have never been more popular and getting the “full treatment” with a new hairstyle, some nail art, and professionally done makeup is pretty popular. With the nail technician training from International Open Academy, you’re one step closer to becoming a one-stop-shop for your clients. 

You don’t need any prior experience or education to take this course. You’ll learn everything you need to know from caring for the skin of the hands to the latest in nail art methods like UV gel and shellac. Even if you only want to learn these skills for your personal benefit, and that of your friends and family, this course gives you everything you need to know.

Nail Technician Training Price: $119 Sign up for the Course

8. Full Certificate Super Pack Program (The Academy of Nail Design)


You can’t get much higher than the top of the list and at the top is The Academy of Nail Design. The Super Pack Program includes everything you need to know about becoming a nail technician as part of your online cosmetology course learning. Learn how to be a beauty professional with all the skills needed for basic licensing in most states (check your local requirements). 

Six practical modules get you putting theory and concepts to work in real-life situations. Your Super Pack combined courses also provide you with all exam fees, access to additional resources, and an eBook on becoming a mobile nail tech. Payment plans are available.

Full Certificate Super Pack Program Price: $850 Sign up for the Course

9. Full Beauty Course (Beauty Courses Online)

Beauty Courses Online

Karen Harrington has 30+ years of experience in the cosmetology industry as both a salon owner and an instructor. Her full course at Beauty Courses Online includes nail tech, face and body waxing, facial methods, manicures and pedicures, lashes, and relaxation massage. There are absolutely no pre-requisites for signing up for the full course. Each course is also available individually. 

Beauty Courses Online offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so if you aren’t satisfied with the course instructors or materials, you have nothing to lose. You can also check out a couple of free sample lecture videos. If you’re looking for a comprehensive course that covers all the cosmetology skills you need to know, check this out!

Full Beauty Course Price: $675 Sign up for the Course

10. Hairdressing (International Career Institute)

Hairdressing - ICI

We’ve covered all the skills you may need when becoming a cosmetologist up to this point except hairdressing. The International Career Institute is just one of the many options for learning hairdressing at home. There are two options for this hairdressing course. The diploma can be earned in just 24 weeks. An advanced diploma takes 31 weeks but offers a much more in-depth understanding of theories, concepts, and practice.

Whether you choose an advanced diploma or not, you will still learn about the many aspects of managing a salon business. From selling your services to selling salon products, you’ll know to be successful. You’ll also learn how to work with your clients to keep them coming back. Whether a simple shampoo and cut to color or perm, International Career Institute teaches it all. 

Hairdressing Price: $1,199 for diploma; $1,599 for advanced diploma Sign up for the Course

11. Pro Hairstyling Course (Online Makeup Academy)

Pro Hairstyling Course - Makeup Academy

There’s nothing quite like hands-on experience to give you the confidence you need to call yourself a cosmetologist once you’ve completed your online courses. The Online Makeup Academy offers a Pro Hairstyling Course that gives you everything you need for that hands-on practice, including a mannequin head and clamp, curling iron, straightener, extensions, combs, and accessories.

Throughout your hairstyling course, you’ll receive one-on-one support and feedback so you know where you can improve and where you are succeeding. Even once you receive your certificate, you’ll have lifetime access to the course. 

Pro Hairstyling Course Price: $873 split into three payments Sign up for the Course

12. Ultimate Hair Course (Michael Boychuck Hair Academy)

Ultimate Hair Course

If you are already an experienced hairdresser but are looking for a way to ramp up your skills and take your client’s style to the next level, then you want to take a Michael Boychuck course. While there are basic, Master, and Premier courses available as well, it’s well worth your time to take the Michael Boychuck Hair Academy Ultimate Hair Course. 

You’ll receive a mannequin head featuring human-like hair for hands-on practice as well as an eBook textbook. Learn everything from those red carpet looks to the perfect bridal style, the perfect haircutting technique, the do’s and don’ts of hair color treatments and even marketing your business. 

Ultimate Hair Course Price: Contact for tuition rates Sign up for the Course

13. Online Waxing and Skincare (The Beauty Academy)

Waxing and Skincare - Beauty Academy

Sometimes it’s about highlighting natural beauty by grooming the features we already have and by taking care of the biggest asset we already have – our skin. Through the online waxing and skincare courses offered by The Beauty Academy, you can learn how to buff and polish your client’s skin to a healthy glow. 

Course offered in the online waxing and skincare series include waxing and threading as well as facials techniques and spray tanning. You can study at home or even on the go through your phone or tablet. Contact tutors via email 7 days per week for guidance and feedback on course concepts. 

Online Waxing and Skincare Price: Varies by course Sign up for the Course

14. Beauty Industry Essentials (Fashion Institute of Technology)

Beauty Industry Essentials

Do you dream of taking your cosmetology career past the salon? It’s possible with the training and guidance of industry experts at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Here, through their Beauty Industry Essentials course, you will learn more about product design and development as well as how these products are marketed. 

The focus throughout this course is learning how to build your own brand through entrepreneurship or stepping out on your own as a freelancer to mingle with the biggest names in makeup, fragrances, and more. Learn how to build your own business from the ground up and market it to success whether you see yourself as a single salon location, an entire franchise, or even creating your own unique branded products based on your expertise in the industry. Payment plans are available.

Beauty Industry Essentials Price: $999 Sign up for the Course

15. Free Cosmetology Practice Tests (Cosmetology Career Now)

Cosmetology Practice Tests

You could spend hours each day studying and practicing for your cosmetology board exams to become certified and never feel confident about taking the tests. You could practice your techniques and methods as much as you’d like but it still makes you nervous. The only good part about all this anxiety is that you aren’t the only person to feel that way! Taking the board licensing exams is nerve-wracking. 

However, Cosmetology Career Now offers a full set of free, online practice exams. General exams cover basic knowledge, theory, and concepts and are divided into three parts. Exams for estheticians and nail techs are more specialized. You can also choose to take state-specific exams based on your location to learn more about what will be on the actual exams once you get there. This can help ease your anxiety by building your confidence in your knowledge and skills. 

Free Cosmetology Practice Tests Price: Free Sign up for the Course

If you’re ready to begin studying for a new career in cosmetology, you’ve come to the right place. Are you already a cosmetologist and you want to learn more so you can offer additional services to your clients or improve on the skills you already have? This extensive list of the top 15 best online cosmetology courses should set you on the right path to a great career in the beauty industry. 

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